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Machine ID


As you may know we offer MachineID function in our SystemInformationMBS module. That ID is a MD5 of some values of the computer like the Mac serial number, Mac model, CPU Brand string and hard disk serial. But that is not very stable as some people may have seen values change. Especially hard disk serial may sometimes be available and other times not.

So we got a better way as a Xojo project. Our new Machine ID example project uses a SQLite database for preferences and to keep a list of configurations. We use the following 10 values for a configuration: MACAddress, MacModel, HardDiscSerial, MacUUID, WinProductKey, ComputerName, CPUBrandString, Platform, PhysicalRAM and ProcessorCount.

The CheckMachineID method checks if the current values for all of them matches an existing configuration. If yes, we have a perfect match. Otherwise if 9 of 10 values match, we add the new configuration to the database. This way we learn all the configuration and user can change RAM or swap hard disk without breaking the licensing. Only if 2 or more values changed, we would ask for license key or activation via web and than store the new configuration.

Download: MachineID.zip
The example will be included in next plugin prerelease. You may want to fine tune this to your needs.

Please provide back feedback and we can update our example.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr7


New in this prerelease of the 18.4 plugins:
  • Added IEClearBrowserSessionMBS global method.
  • Changed how timeout is passed to LDAPMBS.Search function.
  • Updated SQLAPI library to version 4.2.4 beta 1.
  • Changed CDDataSetMBS.setDataSymbol, CDThreeDScatterGroupMBS.setDataSymbol and CDPolarLayerMBS.setDataSymbol to retain the CDDrawAreaMBS object to keep it alive.
  • Changed DecompressZLibMBS to auto detect the size of output data.
  • Bugfixes in ChartDirector 6.3:
    • In contour and surface charts, the color axis is not drawn correctly if smooth coloring is and the number of ticks on the color axis are significantly less than the number color stops. For example, there are only 2 ticks, the color axis will draw itself by using a smooth gradient to vary colors between the two ticks, ignoring the other color stops in between.
    • In contour and surface charts, if the color axis is of logarithmic scale, and smooth coloring is used, the colors are still interpolated using linear scale. As a result, the coloring may look good.
    • For the color axis, if auto-scaling is used, the setColorScale always results in linear scale, even if setLogScale has already been called for the color axis.
    • Vector layer crashes if setArrowHead(0) is called.
    • In a vector layer, the setLineWidth has no effect if setArrowStem is used.
    • In a vector layer, the stem is visible even if the line width is 0.
    • In a vector chart, the legend icon disappear if the head size is 0 (that is, the vector chart shows stems).
    • In a vector chart, the image map is not natural if the stem width is thicker than the arrow head.
    • FinanceChart can produce too many x-axis labels in some cases.
    • ChartDirector can crash if the SurfaceChart has no data
    • DrawArea.setOutputOptions has no effect for SVG.
    • ArrowShape does not work in CDML <*IMG*>.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Xojo Script Warning Enumeration


One of our apps uses XojoScript to compile and run scripts on the fly. We log warnings and errors. There is a list of all warnings in Xojo documentation. Today I had to figure out which warning is a specific number, so I started building a table. Here it is:
XojoScript EnumerationDescriptionValue
ConversionPrecisionConverting from %OriginalType to %NewType causes a possible loss of precision, which can lead to unexpected results.5
ConversionSignConverting from %OriginalType to %NewType causes the sign information to be lost, which can lead to unexpected results.6
CustomA custom warning displayed with Pragma Warning.8
Deprecated%Name is deprecated.1
DeprecatedWithReplacement%Name is deprecated.  You should use %Replacement instead.2
FloatingPointComparisonPerforming a %Operator comparison on floating-point values can yield unexpected results due to their inexact binary representation.7
NameLookupChangeBefore 2014r3, this would have referred to the %OldPath but now it refers to the %NewPath.14
OldStyleConstructorOld-style constructor methods are no longer supported.  You should use "Constructor" instead.3
ShadowedConstantThis constant shadows one already defined by %Superclass.13
ShadowedPropertyThis property shadows one already defined by %Superclass.12
UnknownPragmaWarningUnknown pragma name.4
UnusedEventParameter%Name is an unused event parameter.11
UnusedLocal%Name is an unused local variable.9
UnusedMethodParameter%Name is an unused method parameter.10

Welcome Stefanie


Monkeybread Software proudly presents our new junior software developer Stefanie Juchmes. Last month Stefanie finished here Bachelor of Science in Informatics. And she accepted our employment contract, so 1st January she will start at Monkeybread Software.

We are looking forward to a lot of new content from here including tutorials, examples, videos and presentations related to our plugins. And as she knows some C++, we may even involve here in some plugin programming. But first, I've given her my library of books about FileMaker and Xojo to read.

You may have seen Stefanie at a few conferences this year and we may bring here to a few more conferences in 2019 so she can meet our clients.

Bugs fixed in ChartDirector 6.3


With MBS Xojo Plugins 18.5 we include the new ChartDirector 6.3 version for all platforms. The main new feature are embedded resources:

ChartDirector can use images for the chart background, pattern colors, scatter symbols, CDML icons, … In previous versions of ChartDirector, these images have to be provided using file system paths. ChartDirector 6.3 allows these images to be embedded in executables as resources, and uses "resource paths" to access them. This eliminates the need to redistribute image files with the executable. Apart from images, font files can also be embedded as resources.

Beside the new resources functions, it also includes the following bug fixes:
  • In contour and surface charts, the color axis is not drawn correctly if smooth coloring is and the number of ticks on the color axis are significantly less than the number color stops. For example, there are only 2 ticks, the color axis will draw itself by using a smooth gradient to vary colors between the two ticks, ignoring the other color stops in between.
  • In contour and surface charts, if the color axis is of logarithmic scale, and smooth coloring is used, the colors are still interpolated using linear scale. As a result, the coloring may look good.
  • For the color axis, if auto-scaling is used, the setColorScale always results in linear scale, even if setLogScale has already been called for the color axis.
  • Vector layer crashes if setArrowHead(0) is called.
  • In a vector layer, the setLineWidth has no effect if setArrowStem is used.
  • In a vector layer, the stem is visible even if the line width is 0.
  • In a vector chart, the legend icon disappear if the head size is 0 (that is, the vector chart shows stems).
  • In a vector chart, the image map is not natural if the stem width is thicker than the arrow head.
  • FinanceChart can produce too many x-axis labels in some cases.
  • ChartDirector can crash if the SurfaceChart has no data
  • DrawArea.setOutputOptions has no effect for SVG.
  • ArrowShape does not work in CDML <*IMG*>.
The new version can be tested now with 18.5pr6 or newer.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr6


New in this prerelease of the 18.4 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Fix for missing accessibilityIsAttributeSettable function


For one of our Xojo app, we got crash reports for missing accessibilityIsAttributeSettable function in various classes:

-[NSMenuItem accessibilityIsAttributeSettable:]: unrecognized selector sent to instance 0x600001ffea00
Please report to the application developer.

0 CoreFoundation 0x00007fff3cc54fa5 __exceptionPreprocess + 256
1 libobjc.A.dylib 0x00007fff68d4befb objc_exception_throw + 48
2 CoreFoundation 0x00007fff3ccd2c8d -[NSObject(NSObject) __retain_OA] + 0
3 CoreFoundation 0x00007fff3cbf65de ___forwarding___ + 1468
4 CoreFoundation 0x00007fff3cbf5f98 _CF_forwarding_prep_0 + 120
5 AppKit 0x00007fff3a7aea33 NSAccessibilityPerformEntryPointBOOL.llvm.11937614488442194757 + 16
6 AppKit 0x00007fff3a545d63 NSAccessibilityEntryPointIsAttributeSettable + 86
7 AppKit 0x00007fff3a61a460 -[NSCarbonMenuImpl _carbonIsAccessibleAttributeSettableEvent:handlerCallRef:axElement:] + 185
8 AppKit 0x00007fff3a409778 NSSLMMenuEventHandler + 1009
9 HIToolbox 0x00007fff3be26b79 _ZL23DispatchEventToHandlersP14EventTargetRecP14OpaqueEventRefP14HandlerCallRec + 1502

The name of the class and functions related in the stack trace changes, but the problem is always the same. Same function in Apples framework wants to call deprecated accessibilityIsAttributeSettable function, but that one is no longer implemented in Apple's own classes. It's a code path which doesn't happen for all users, so only a few get the crash and maybe this is related to some accessibility setting.

Anyway, via a new InstallNSAccessibilityPatchMBS function in our plugin, we'll patch it and install a accessibilityIsAttributeSettable function to just return false every time. If the class has such a method, the class method is preferred, but we install a fallback to avoid the crash.

So when you see such a crash, you can soon try our MBS Xojo Plugins in version 18.5 and call InstallNSAccessibilityPatchMBS method on start of the application.

Write formatted text with DynaPDF


As you may know you can use MBS Plugins with Xojo and FileMaker to write PDFs with DynaPDF functions. The WriteFText functions accept formatting commands in the text, so you can create various formats. We got a few examples in the following Xojo source code:
  • Change text rise and size to get footnote references
  • Change font to get e.g. a bold font
  • Change color
  • Create lists with hierarchies, numbered entries or multiline entries.
Check the sample code here:

// set font call pdf.SetFont "Helvetica", 0, 12.0, true, pdf.kcpUnicode dim y as Double = 50 // change font size and raise for foot note references text = "\FS[12]Hello World\FS[6]\TR[6]123\TR[0]\FS[12] Just a test." call pdf.WriteFTextEx(50, y, 200, -1, pdf.ktaLeft, text) y = y + 20 // change font to get bold text = "\FT[Helvetica]Hello \FT[Helvetica-Bold]World \FT[Helvetica]everyone." call pdf.WriteFTextEx(50, y, 200, -1, pdf.ktaLeft, text) y = y + 20 // change color in the text text = _   "\FC[" + str(DynaPDFMBS.RGB(255, 0, 0)) + "]Red "+_   "\FC[" + str(DynaPDFMBS.RGB(0, 255, 0)) + "]Green "+_   "\FC[" + str(DynaPDFMBS.RGB(0, 0, 255)) + "]Blue "+_   "\FC[" + str(DynaPDFMBS.RGB(0, 0, 0)) + "]Black " call pdf.WriteFTextEx(50, y, 200, -1, pdf.ktaLeft, text) y = y + 20 // make list text = _   "\LI[0]First"+EndOfLine+"with two lines\EL#"+_   "\LI[0]Second\EL# "+_   "\LI[0]Third\EL#" call pdf.WriteFTextEx(50, y, 200, -1, pdf.ktaLeft, text)
The same formatting texts can be used in FileMaker, Xojo and any other development tool supported by DynaPDF like C++, VB, PHP and Delphi.

ChartDirector 6.3 Released


We got the announcement of an update to ChartDirector:

Advanced Software Engineering is pleased to announce the immediate availability of ChartDirector 6.3.

ChartDirector 6.3 adds support for embedded resources in executables. As embedded resources are mostly used in desktop GUI applications (as opposed to web or command line scripts), so ChartDirector 6.3 is only released for C++ and .NET (C#, VB).

ChartDirector can use images for the chart background, pattern colors, scatter symbols, CDML icons, … In previous versions of ChartDirector, these images have to be provided using file system paths. ChartDirector 6.3 allows these images to be embedded in executables as resources, and uses "resource paths" to access them. This eliminates the need to redistribute image files with the executable.

Apart from images, font files can also be embedded as resources.

More details can be found in the ChartDirector 6.3 Release Notes.

We'll update our MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin soon, when we get the libraries and header files.

IconFamilyMBS class deprecated


In our Xojo plugins we have the IconMBS and IconFamilyMBS classes. They use Apples frameworks with icon functions, but those are not well maintained the last few MacOS releases and we see more and more issues. Probably as a lot of functions are based on the deprecated QuickDraw framework. So we deprecate IconFamilyMBS class for the next prerelease plugin.

So please change code and move to newer functions. For example instead of IconFamilyMBS class to get an icon in various sizes, you can use NSWorkSpaceMBS class methods. IconForFile functions returns the icon for a file and than you can use NSImageMBS class to scale down. With the following code you can quite easily get a 2x picture for a FolderItem:

const SizeWanted = 256
dim file as FolderItem = SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.rtf")

dim n as NSImageMBS = NSWorkspaceMBS.iconForFile(file)
// set size we want
n.setSize SizeWanted*2, SizeWanted*2

// make picture
dim p as Picture = n.CopyPictureWithMask

// make 2x picture here:
dim q as new Picture(SizeWanted, SizeWanted, array(p))

If you need an icon for a file type, you can use the IconForFileType function. If you need to add an icon to a file, please use SetIcon method in NSWorkSpaceMBS class.

The folderItem.IconMBS function is still working well and was upgraded in MBS Xojo Plugins in version 14.2 to use NSWorkspace methods to get the icon.

By the way, NSWorkspace's icon functions internally use the same functions as our IconMBS class, which is not deprecated!

Xojo Stammtisch in Zürich, Schweiz


On my next visit to Zurich, I'd love to make another Xojo developer meeting:

Wer hat Interesse an einem Xojo Entwicklertreffen am 21. November in Zürich?



Einfach gemütlich zusammen sitzen und über Xojo schnacken.
Gerne zeige ich auch neue Pluginfunktionen oder helfe bei Problemen mit Xojo Projekten. Einfach Computer mitbringen und was zeigen.

Bei Interesse bitte anmelden: Anmeldung

Wer Interesse hat an einem Termin mit mir für Softwareentwicklung, Schulungen, Entwicklungshilfe, Plugin Empfehlungen, assistierte Fehlersuche, Code-Review und IT-Beratung, der darf sich gerne melden für eine baldige Terminfindung.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr5


New in this prerelease of the 18.4 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

xDev 16.6 Issue


The November/December (16.6) issue of xDev Magazine is now available. Here's a quick preview of what's inside:

Munich 2018 by Marc Zeedar
The MBS Xojo Conference in Germany gets bigger every year. This fall it was held in Munich and Marc went so you could stay home and read all about it.

Upgrading Xojo by Jim Meyer
No doubt you have a few older Xojo projects you haven't upgraded to the current version. How much trouble will it be to get them working in the latest IDE? Will it be worth it? Jim shares his experience.

Road Work by Marc Zeedar
These days, programmers can work almost anywhere there's Internet. Marc spent a few weeks in France testing the theory and has tips for working on the road.

Building a Controller by JC Cruz
Jose shows how to build a data-entry controller.

PLUS: Clipboards, database rules, database transactions, Xojo 2018r3, and more!

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.5pr4


New in this prerelease of version 8.5 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr4


New in this prerelease of the 18.4 plugins:
  • Updated ChartDirector control examples.
  • Fixed bug in CDPieChartMBS class and setExplode method with HiDPI.
  • Added delegates to documentation.
  • Fixed SystemInformationMBS.UserName for Windows.
  • Updated ChartDirector for Mac to newer build.
  • Improved handling of extra quotes in CSV text for SplitCommaSeparatedValuesMBS function.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

ChartDirector Plugin with HiDPI


We got updated ChartDirector control example projects for HiDPI and Xojo 2018r3 coming with next MBS Plugins:



When using our plugin, you can set CDBaseChartMBS.ScaleFactor to 2 to get our plugin to multiply all numbers by 2 and get you a higher resolution of the graph. This makes it easy to adapt an application for higher resolutions.

Xojo 2018 Release 3


The new version of Xojo was released this week. You probably read the announcement on the Xojo website. Improvements include Dark Mode (see blog article) and IDE enhancements (see blog article).

For MBS Plugin there is a little change we will apply to next plugin release: The list of data types for SQL in the Xojo plugin SDK was extended and now includes all variants of integer from 8 to 64-bit and signed/unsigned. We''ll update our MBS Xojo SQL Plugin to make sure we can pass right data type to Xojo for UInt16 and others. The plugin will stay with old behavior for older Xojo versions.

This Xojo release looks great so far and we are moving a lot of projects from older versions to the new Xojo 2018r3 release. The labels on Windows are a big improvement as well as the other changes to reduce flicker on Windows. And the new Xojo version works with Xcode 10, which we need for MacOS 10.14 Mojave.

There is a move in software development to get us 64-bit only on Mac. We like to avoid the annoying dialogs for 32-bit for our customers and soon start implementing the notarization for our apps. There is an AppWrapper update (3.9) coming to help there. But usually it will be a shell script to do the signing, the notarization and build a dmg. We want to automate the build process as much as possible.

For old Real Studio, it may come the time to say good bye. MacOS 10.15 may no longer support 32-bit and not run it.

See also review from Bob Keeney: Xojo 2018 R3

Strange looking PDF in Microsoft Edge and Apple Preview


Have you received PDF documents like this?



This is a PDF preview in Microsoft Edge. The PDF in question uses an OpenType font with postscript outlines with the variant without CID Font operators and this format is not supported by the Microsoft Edge PDF viewer.

For MacOS, the preview app shows the PDF, but when you print it, you get an empty paper.

We got a workaround for using this type of font with DynaPDF functions in our FileMaker and Xojo Plugins. So if you like to use such a font and get a working preview above, you need to not use the unicode encoding, but pick one of the 8-bit code pages like 1252.

Query the properties for font via GetSysFontInfos (Xojo) or DynaPDF.SysFontInfo (FileMaker) and check what you get back for BaseType. If the base type is OpenType. If it is open type and CIDOrdering property is empty, please don't use unicode code page for loading that font.

Or as I assume most clients do, is to trash the font and use one with proper character collection information. Otherwise having a checkbox to fall back to 1252 code page could be a checkbox to include for PDF output.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr3


New in this prerelease of the 18.4 plugins:
  • Added SCNCameraMBS, SCNLightMBS and SCNCameraControllerMBS classes.
  • Updated SQL Database plugin for changes in Xojo 2018r3.
  • Deprecated Account types for ACAccountTypeMBS class as Apple deprecated them for MacOS 10.14.
  • Changed SSH2TunnelMBS class to stop thread in destructor.
  • Added ReadFile method to SmartCardMBS class to read data from various smartcards (e.g. Swiss Health Insurance Card or Belgian Identity Card).
  • Added NSTextFinderMBS class.
  • Added find bar methods with NSScrollViewMBS class.
  • Added find bar methods with NSTextViewMBS class.
  • Added NSColorSpaceMBS.File property.
  • Added NSProcessInfoMBS.operationSystemVersion method and properties.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

New functions for smart card reading


In the last two weeks I worked on new functions to read smart cards. We got a client interested in reading Belgian national identity card via CryptoTokenKit functions in our plugins and a FileMaker client interested in reading Swiss Health Insurance cards. We got both working with our latest MBS Plugins.



For testing, we used both the Smart Card Reader from König (left) and the SmartTerminal ST-1144UB from Cherry (right). Both do the job with a little difference. For the left device, you can connect and query status, even if there is no card. The right one only allows to connect when you have a card inserted. Other readers work probably as this uses a standard interface and drivers are built into the operation system.

For Xojo we got the new CryptoTokenKit classes in MBS Xojo Mac64bit Plugin for the modern way Apple likes to handle this with asynchron operation and delegates. Beside this, we also go the older cross platform way via PCSC API and the ReadFile method in and SmartCardMBS class.

For FileMaker, we added a new SmartCard.ReadFile function for Mac and Windows in the upcoming MBS FileMaker Plugin version 8.5.

Whatever function you use, you can pass the right file ID and read the files you need from the smart cards. We also got a function to split the data into the parts. See SmartCard.SplitValues for FileMaker and SmartCardMBS.SplitValues function for Xojo.

Older blog entries:

2018-10-21 MBS Sale for Conferences
2018-10-19 Reading Belgian national identity card
2018-10-14 URLs without UserName and Password please
2018-10-12 MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr2
2018-10-11 CURL Up 2019
2018-10-07 Call stored procedures with output parameters
2018-10-02 MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.5pr1
2018-09-28 XDC 2019 Call for Speakers
2018-09-27 Moving to Xcode 10
2018-09-25 MonkeyBread Software Releases the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 18.4
2018-09-24 Xojo Stammtisch in Zürich, Schweiz
2018-09-23 Bitsundso Download
2018-09-21 How to plan a conference
2018-09-21 Under the Radar Podcast
2018-09-21 MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.4pr10
2018-09-19 Missing LSSupportsOpeningDocumentsInPlace for iOS Apps
2018-09-19 Xojo job offer in France
2018-09-18 Meetings at Consumer Electronics Show CES 2019 in Las Vegas?
2018-09-17 MBS Xojo Plugins, version 18.4pr9
2018-09-16 Use Machine Learning for detecting porn images

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