News from the MBS Xojo Plugins Version 24.2

In this article I want to introduce you the new functionalities from the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 24.2.

XL

For MBS Xojo Plugins 24.2 we include new XL classes to create conditional formatting in an Excel file created in code. While you can always load an existing document with conditional formatting or diagrams and just fill the cells with data, we now can create the rules for conditional formatting in code. Our blog article explains exactly how this works: Conditional Formatting in Excel exports from Xojo. Just take a look and try it out.

See XLConditionalFormatMBS and XLConditionalFormattingMBS classes.


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MonkeyBread Software Releases the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 24.2

Nickenich, Germany - (May 14th, 2024) -- Monkeybread Software today is pleased to announce MBS Xojo Plugins 24.2 for macOS, Linux and Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin collection currently available for Xojo. MBS Xojo Plugins have been updated and now includes over 3000 classes and 82,000 documented features, and the versatile plugins have gained more new functions:

We upgraded our JSONMBS class with the Merge method to merge two JSON blocks or arrays. This allows to easily merge two arrays of JSON data for example.

The XL Plugin can now create conditional formatting in code. Use the XAddConditionalFormat function to define the format to apply and use AddConditionalFormatting to define the rules to use. This could be a simple comparison or include a calculation in Excel to determinate whether the formatting should be applied. The new LibXL version can better handle SVG, so we updated our GetPicture function.

When you build your iOS app, then you can enjoy our new printing class for iOS: UIPrintPaperMBS, UIPrintInteractionControllerMBS, UIPrintInfoMBS, UIPrinterPickerControllerMBS and UIPrinterMBS. Use UIPrinterPickerControllerMBS class to pick a printer and then use UIPrintInteractionControllerMBS class to print with or without dialog. A point of sale application can print receipts without a dialog to the right printer selected by code.

Our MongoDB classes got improved with new functions to execute custom commands with Command functions in MongoClientMBS and MongoDatabaseMBS classes. If you expect a result, please use CommandQuery function instead and loop over the returned documents. You can set the app name in the MongoURIMBS class to be reported to the server on connecting and query the credentials used.

Our CURLSMBS class can now pick the SSL backend. By default we use OpenSSL, but you can switch to SecureTransport on macOS or SecureChannel on Windows using SetSSLBackend method in CURLSSSLBackendMBS class, if you prefer the local SSL engines. We include the newer Apple IDN implementation for CURL, which we contributed to the project recently.

For iOS we have MFMailComposeViewControllerMBS and MFMessageComposeViewControllerMBS classes, so the user can get a dialog to compose either an email or a text message. You can pre-populate the dialog with text, subject and attachments. The user then modifies and sends the message.

The NSPathControlItemMBS class allows to customize entries for the NSPathControlMBS control, the WindowsDisplayMBS class got new logical size properties and you use the Flatten method in GMImageMBS class to remove the alpha channel of an image.

You can create thumbnails asynchronously on macOS using the QLThumbnailGeneratorMBS class, the NWPathMonitorMBS class got a current property for the current path, use the isFlipped event in the NSViewControlMBS control to define whether coordinate system is vertically mirrored and we got new array utility functions.

Finally we updated CURL to version 8.7.1, DynaPDF to 4.0.87.250, LibXL to 4.3.0, SQLAPI to 5.3.1, SQLite to 3.45.3 and Xcode to version 15.3.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

Xojo May Sale

Xojo Inc. announced a sale for the next few days:

Save 20% on All Xojo Licenses & Extras

Right now through Thursday, May 16th save 20% on All Xojo Licenses!

New Licenses? Yes! Save 20% on New Licenses!
Renewals? Yes! Save 20% on all Renewals!
What about Upgrades? Yes! Save 20% on all Upgrades!

Plus, save 20% on the entire Xojo Extras store. Find plugins, resources, classes and more to help you with all your projects!

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MBS Xojo Conference Recap

Outside picture of the hotel showing the front door and lift. We had a great conference in Andernach. Great to meet with all the people back in Germany after 5 years of a break.

Location

When you fly in, instead of taking the subway to the city next to the airport, you take a train, maybe switch to another train and you make it to Andernach. If you come by car, your GPS will show you the way. By picking the smaller city, we get much more value from the hotels, restaurants and sights for our money. The city itself glances with history and buildings from the medieval and roman ruins. Add to that the nice parks and the initiative with the editable city with plenty of public vegetable and fruit gardens. Finally for us, organizing something just 6 km away from home is much easier than anything far away.

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MBS Xojo Plugins, version 24.2pr5

New in this prerelease of the 24.2 plugins:
  • Added Flatten method to GMImageMBS class to remove alpha channel from image.
  • Build CURLSMBS class with openssl, SecureChannel for Windows and SecureTransport for macOS, so you can decide which one to use.
  • Added deprecation marks to CURLNMBS and related classes.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

You can subscribe to our Xojo mailing list to get notified for new pre-release and release versions.


Preemptive vs. cooperative threads in Xojo

When Xojo adds preemptive threading in one of the next releases, a few people will jump into this and play with it. But you need to understand when to use preemptive and when cooperative threads are better. As far as we know, you can switch this anytime by setting a property to basically opt-out the thread from the cooperative thread scheduler and run the thread preemptive.

On demand switching

A chance where to switch explicitly to the preemptive thread is when calling a lengthly functions like for example JSON parsing. Let's show a bit of pseudo-code:

Sub TestJSON() // some JSON you got a text Var Text As String = ... // switch to preemptive Thread.Current.Type = Thread.Types.Preemptive // now parse without blocking main thread Dim json As New JSONItem(Text) // and maybe switch back Thread.Current.Type = Thread.Types.Cooperative // do something with JSON End Sub
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Picking picture on macOS

When your application needs a picture, you may offer the user to pick a picture from the photo library. With the PHPickerViewControllerMBS class in our MBS Xojo iOS Plugin, you can let the user pick a picture from his/her photo library. And with the controller the user doesn't need to grant permission to the photo library.

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xDev Magazine 22.3 Issue

The May/June (22.3) issue of xDev Magazine is now available. Here's a quick preview of what's inside:

London Paris Germany by Marc Zeedar
Since he was flying over ten hours to Europe anyway, Marc went early and ate his way through London and Paris.

The 2024 MBS Xojo Conference by Marc Zeedar
As in-person conferences wane, Marc had to go to Andernach, Germany, and he’s glad he did. Experience what it was like, what he learned, and what he saw. Plus, a geyser!

Design Patterns Part 4 by Marc Zeedar
Our design pattern series continues with the Facade pattern, which is a class to simplify a complex API.

Rasp Pi Electronic Fun Part 7 by Eugene Dakin
Eugene shows how to use your Raspberry Pi to control a motor.

Transactional Email Services by Tim Dietrich
Learn about transactional email services, the problems that they solve, and how to send email via Twilio SendGrid.

Plus: Topics such as how to use ChatGPT in your Xojo projects, the scoop on Scope, using Phidgets, an interview with Xojo developer Jeremie Leroy, and more!

Cross platform code in Xojo

At the training day before our Xojo conference, we showed how to make a little REST web API with a Xojo web project and provide data to desktop, console, iOS and Android applications. And all use very similar and almost identical code.

There are little differences like iOS has tables with sections and cell data objects while android uses value and detail texts for the rows. But we were impressed on how much is so similar. Let us show you the similarities and differences.

Open database

Let's start with opening a database in a web project. For the sample, we use the example database coming with the EddiesElectronics project, but you can use whatever SQLite database you like or connect to a database server.

In the web project, we add code in the Opening event:

EventHandler Sub Opening(args() As String) Var file As New FolderItem("/Users/cs/Training/EddiesElectronics.sqlite", folderitem.PathModes.Native) db = New SQLiteDatabase db.DatabaseFile = file db.Connect End EventHandler
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MBS Xojo Plugins, version 24.2pr4

New in this prerelease of the 24.2 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

You can subscribe to our Xojo mailing list to get notified for new pre-release and release versions.


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