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Xojo Meeting in Atlanta

Tuesday 28 June 2016 at 11:45 am
If you have time to stop by in Atlanta, be sure to come to our meeting there.

The Xojo Atlanta group is meeting 25th July.
Usually the meeting is in the Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, 2210 Holly Springs Parkway, Canton, GA 30115.

And I am happy to join the meeting myself this time. Also good to visit Atlanta once again. I still have great memories about the visit 2011 for the REALsummit.
Be sure to ask me all your plugin questions and learn what is new in Xojo and MBS Plugins this year.

PS: If you need training, consulting or help with Xojo and/or our plugins, we can arrange private meetings for Las Vegas and Atlanta area. See you!

Xojo Stammtisch in Hanau

Saturday 25 June 2016 at 4:33 pm
Peter Bially und Carsten Kümritz haben einen Xojo Stammtisch organisiert für kommende Woche:

Termin: 29. Juni 2016
Zeit: ca. 18.00 - 22.00 Uhr

Fürstenbahnhof Hanau-Wilhelmsbad
Burgallee 127
63454 Hanau

siehe
fuerstenbahnhof-hanau.de

Diskussion im Xojo Forum:
forum.xojo.com/31685-xojo-stammtisch-rhein-main-29-6-2016

Wer kommen möchte, möge sich doch bitte per Forum/Email vorher beim Peter Bially melden, damit da genügend Plätze reserviert sind.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr4

Saturday 25 June 2016 at 12:00 am
New in this prerelease of the 16.3 plugins:
  • Updated to DynaPDF 4.0.1.3
  • Turned PPC back on for most plugins.
  • Added JSONMBS.IsValid property.
  • Added ColorTolerance parameter for DynaPDFMBS.ShowDifference.
  • Added WordFile properties and method to change markers.
  • Updated LibArchive to version 3.2.1.
  • Changed IORegistryMBS.Path to work for entries longer than 511 characters.
  • Added PortMidiMBS.Initialize which you can call to initialize now. Or the plugin calls it internally on the first use of PortMidi.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Survey about European MBS Xojo Conferences 2017

Wednesday 22 June 2016 at 8:29 pm
We are checking options for another Xojo related conference in 2017.

Again we look for a place in Germany, but this time we consider whether we go to Berlin instead of Koblenz. Berlin could be a city where people may go for additional days for some sight seeing and entertainment. Berlin will definitive be more expensive as the hotels have higher rates, unless we stay far outside. But if we go there, we need to make that decision soon to reserve the space in advance to get good rates.

Date could be somewhere in May/June 2017 as fall is taken by Xojo Inc. for their Xojo Developer Conference. And I would expect the next XDC in 2018. (@Xojo: If you do something in Spring 2017, please tell me soon!)

If you have time, please fill this survey with just 10 questions. Please leave name/email for further questions. For additional comments, please email us or comment here. Please don't do the survey twice. Thanks.

XDC sessions

Tuesday 21 June 2016 at 09:06 am
Only a few months left for the 2016 Xojo Developer Conference. If you plan to go, be sure to reserve your flight for a good rate now. And also make a hotel reservation in advance. Xojo Inc. just added another session where Greg O'Lone will talk about supporting Retina and HiDPI in your apps.

XDC will take place in Houston, TX October 5-7, 2016. It features sessions on best practices, special interests and other technical topics, with content for every level of Xojo developer. Educational sessions will cover topics like Xojo iOS, Raspberry Pi, database design, user interface design, debugging techniques, writing secure apps, and much more! Want to know what XDC is like? Watch our highlights video!

XDC Pricing: Register now!
Advanced Registration: till August 22, 2016: $899
Late Registration: August 23 - Conference: $999

XDC will take place at the lovely boutique Hotel Derek in the Galleria area of Houston. It's right in the middle of two airports, giving you plenty of options (and time) to find a great flight! We have negotiated a hotel room rate of $164 a night. Rooms can be reserved here.

If you have any questions about XDC, feel free to email Data Brown.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr3

Sunday 19 June 2016 at 4:19 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.3 plugins:
  • Added more properties to DirectShowVideoInfoHeaderMBS class.
  • Improved string access for all plugins.
  • Added HTMLViewer.IEGetTextArea and HTMLViewer.IESetTextArea.
  • Fixed a problem with handling alpha channel pictures (Broken in 16.2)
  • Changed LDAPMBS.Connect to not raise exception on Mac/Linux and simply return no error.
  • Added SmartCard plugin.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Faster String handling

Saturday 18 June 2016 at 7:34 pm
We have a central C++ class in our Xojo plugins to access string content. Recently I discovered that one of the apps here is really slow working on strings with plugin functions. And I discovered most time is spend on text converting.

The string passed to plugin has some encoding and internally we need some encoding to do what we need to do, e.g. a function needs UTF16, but the Xojo string is UTF-8 or Windows ANSI or whatever. So we use ConvertString to convert the encoding. In the plugins we actually call REALGetStringData function from the plugin-sdk.

But most strings are in UTF-8 in Xojo and in fact most times also just ASCII strings. So we can optimize this.
So for converting from ASCII string to Windows ANSI, MacRoman and UTF-8, we don't need to convert at all.
For ASCII string to UTF32 or UTF16 we can omit the convert and just do it ourselves. This saves a lot of time in our tests here.

So by not using the Text Converter here we can save over 90% of the CPU time to get the content of a string in a given encoding.
Of course not for all strings, but for most. Please try in 16.3pr3 soon.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr2

Friday 10 June 2016 at 5:03 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.3 plugins:
  • Fixed bug in DynaPDFPageLabelMBS class.
  • Updated to DynaPDF 4.0.1.2
  • Added SSH2SessionMBS.UserAuthPublicKeyFromMemory.
  • Added SQLSelectMT and SQLExecuteMT methods to SQLPreparedStatementMBS class.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

xDev Magazine Launches xDevLibrary

Wednesday 08 June 2016 at 11:00 pm

June 8, 2016 -- xDev Magazine is delighted to announce the re-launch of RBLibrary as xDevLibrary, following the purchase of the classic à la carte article site in April. To celebrate the grand re-opening, for the first week everything on the site is 10% off the normal price!

xDevLibrary gives Xojo developers a way to instantly purchase terrific books, tutorials, how-tos, and other programming articles from top Xojo writers. Currently the site contains mainly the same content as the former RBLibrary, but xDev is committed to enhancing existing products, as well as regularly adding new content, including articles from past issues of xDev Magazine.

With that in mind, the site is launching with with a brand new book from Eugene Dakin: "I Wish I Knew How to... Program Raspberry Pi 2 B Electronics with Xojo." This fantastic 380+ page book will guide you in using Xojo to program your Raspberry Pi motherboard and includes examples such as ultrasonic distance, LCD words, graphics, and custom glyphs, infrared sensors, photo and video recording, servos, LEDs, infrared receivers, and more.

Interested readers can find out more and save 10% on their purchase of the book (through June 15th) at xDevLibrary.

Marc Zeedar, the publisher of xDev Magazine, feels that xDevLibrary is a great complement to the resources already offered by his publication. "Now we can offer the best of both worlds: the value of a subscription-based service and the instant purchasing of individual articles and books."

Former RBLibrary owner Norman Palardy is also excited about the transition to the new site. "xDev has been providing REALbasic users with learning resources for over 14 years and we're pleased to see them continue their commitment to the Xojo community."

xDevLibrary is re-launching with a simple one-page design, but a more elaborate design is planned for the long-term. Feedback and suggestions as to what readers would like to see is encouraged! (more)

XDC in 4 months

Sunday 05 June 2016 at 5:10 pm
Just 4 months left for the 2016 Xojo Developer Conference. If you plan to go, be sure to reserve your flight for a good rate now. And also make a hotel reservation in advance. There are no more rooms for 3rd October available!

Update: Dana informed me that hotel has rooms for all days and they will increase those for 3rd October soon. If you need one there you can contact her.

XDC will take place in Houston, TX October 5-7, 2016. It features sessions on best practices, special interests and other technical topics, with content for every level of Xojo developer. Educational sessions will cover topics like Xojo iOS, Raspberry Pi, database design, user interface design, debugging techniques, writing secure apps, and much more! Want to know what XDC is like? Watch our highlights video!

Register now!

XDC Pricing:
Advanced Registration:
till August 22, 2016: $899

Late Registration:
August 23 - Conference: $999

XDC will take place at the lovely boutique Hotel Derek in the Galleria area of Houston. It's right in the middle of two airports, giving you plenty of options (and time) to find a great flight! We have negotiated a hotel room rate of $164 a night. Rooms can be reserved here.

If you have any questions about XDC, feel free to email Data Brown.

Xojo License guide

Saturday 04 June 2016 at 09:58 am
The Xojo licensing is quite easy compared to other tools. You start with downloading and installing Xojo and develop your apps without a license. Later when you need to build something, you can order the license you need: Desktop, Web, iOS or Pro.

If you work in a team, you certainly want to use the some kind of version control, so you need the Xojo text based project format. This requires a valid license of Xojo, so with a company you buy your license keys earlier for that feature. And this feature makes sure you buy a license for every developer.

For the team one can have a team account and add the other accounts for your employees. Than you can buy licenses for everyone and assign them. This way all the license payments go through one person (Accountant or CEO of company) and individual developers don't notice changes. The IDE will automatically find the new key when updating the next time.

On the other side a typical school installation can go without a license. Or maybe just one for one computer which does all the builds. That makes Xojo an excellent tool for learning programming.

A new license currently is $699 for Pro. The others are cheaper, but on the long run most professional developers get the Pro as they use several targets. And with Pro you get the benefit of joining the beta program, so you can test newer version before release. At least you should open your projects in a beta and try if things still work. Would be bad if a new release breaks your project only because you did not report a problem in beta cycle.

Purchasing Xojo usually goes through their website. In the past Xojo was/is also available through various resellers or local distributors. And they participated in some bundle offers in the past.

From time to time Xojo does sales like on programmers day (256th day of the year) or Black Friday. You can find old announcements for those sales and try to predict future sales. With a typical discount of 20 or 30%, you can just buy a new license if your existing one expires within 2 months and you still save money.

You can have your license auto renew. We normally turn this off and see what we do when we come closer to the renewal day. If there is a sale for updates, you can add a year or two to your license plan. Or if your license expires, you can skip a few months and continue with old license before you buy a new license. You save more than the 10% for auto renew if you skip 2 month before buying a new license. Clever planning can save money!

I also keep an eye here for licensing and post regular about sales. If you look for a discount, feel free to email me, so I can remind you when something is available. For conferences or local meetings we had in the past discount coupons to raffle away.

PS: And if you like to support Xojo Inc. even more, you can of course just buy a second license. My account has currently 3 licenses listed. Or you join XDC to meet Xojo Inc. employers in person.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr1

Wednesday 01 June 2016 at 11:22 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.3 plugins:
  • Fixed bug for OverlayMBS class not creating a window on Windows 10.
  • Added DynaPDFOptimizeParamsMBS class for optimize command.
  • Updated to DynaPDF 4.0.1.1
  • Fixed issue in Archive classes with text encoding.
  • Added userInterfaceLayoutDirection for NSMenu, NSApplication and NSCell.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

SQLite turned 16

Monday 30 May 2016 at 08:31 am
SQLite just turned 16 years old.

The first check-in of SQLite code occurred 16 years ago.
see sqlite.org/src/timeline?c=2000-05-29

Version 1 just had a few commands. Open database, close database, execute a statement. Code for recordsets didn't exist at that time and came later.

Congratulations to Richard Hipp and his team!

DynaPDF 4.0

Thursday 26 May 2016 at 4:23 pm
Yesterday DynaForms GmbH released DynaPDF 4.0.

PDF/A conversion
The focus of development in DynaPDF 4.0 was the development of a new PDF/A 2b and PDF/A 3b converter. The new converter should be able to completely rebuild PDF files.
This requirement has lead to the development of a new content parser that is able to completely regenerate and optimize content streams. This makes it possible to apply much more extensive repairs. Since all content streams will be rebuild, also references of the .notdef character can be removed (in PDF/A 1 it was allowed to reference the .notdef character directly but this is no longer allowed in PDF/A 2 and 3).
This increases the conversion rate drastically and completely error free and optimized PDF files will be created which render and print faster. This is not only interesting for PDF/A conversion, PDF files can also be normalized or just optimized.
Not anything that is possible with the new content parser is already available in corresponding functions. For example, the parser is also the new base for the rendering engine. Since it can read and write page contents, the development of a PDF editor is no problem anymore. Especially images and vector graphics can be edited in addition to text, which was not possible before. In the coming months the new parser will replace the old code more and more.

Annotations
The icons of text and file attachment annotations, as well as the pre-defined stamps can now dynamically created in German, French, and English. This is especially important when viewing PDF files since nothing could be shown if the icons or stamps are not embedded.

FileMaker, Xojo and Real Studio
The new plugin for DynaPDF 4.0 will be available in the next days. We include new options there for optimizer to reduce image sizes.

MBS Xojo Conference done

Wednesday 25 May 2016 at 2:45 pm
Our Xojo conference is done and everyone left the hotel. This was a great conference. We had 50 people signed up for it, but only 44 showed up on the conference as 2 did training only and 4 had to cancel. The highlight of this conference was certainly to have four xojo engineers there including our special guest Norman Palardy from Canada. I think everyone appreciated having Trisha and Norman here and thanks to Xojo Inc. for paying part of the airfare.

For next conference a few things may change. For example the pricing will be much more aligned to give you an incentive for signing up early. Depending on the exact hotel contract we have a deadline 2 or 3 months before where we can cancel the conference in case we have not enough people or we can at least reduce to the numbers we need. Luckily we reduced to 40 a months before, so we hit the numbers quite well. It is always easier to add a few people than to reduce. For the evening program we may switch to make it opt-in so we only reserve space for people who want to join. It's a pity if you throw away a lot of food because people stay in the hotel.

Our free tickets for young people offer was well received and we had two students to join us for the conference. Getting young people to join the community will be a thing we have to do better in the future. On our conference a few people looked for young talents and senior developers to hire. If you look for a job, going to a conference is a good possibility to find employers and employees or for self employed to find clients or contractors.

Finding the best week for a conference is difficult. Some people couldn't join this year due to school holidays in that week and already booked family vacation. For others this week was perfect. If you are a teacher, you can only join conferences in school holidays. For the next time we have to see which week fits best and what days we use.

Scaling the conference is a thing to keep in mind. For the next conference we probably look for a place to hold 80 people and an option to reduce to maybe 40. Depending on the final numbers we may take some options or not. Like with 50 people we could get speakers and microphones, with 60 we could add invitation for a second Xojo engineer.

Later this year we will run a survey to find interest for conference next year. Currently we check options. Moving to another location is a possibility, but for the convenience of a bigger city with subway and airport nearby may result in a higher ticket price. A quick check reveals that Berlin as location with a nice hotel would approximately cost 100 Euro more per ticket.

See you soon in Houston, Texas for the XDC 2016.

Austin and Koblenz

Wednesday 25 May 2016 at 11:12 am
A few times I visited Austin, Texas already. Mostly because Xojo Inc. is there and I visit their conferences if possible.

Now I just learnt that Koblenz has a partner city in Texas and it's Austin.

And there is a whole community around visiting each other's city:
partnerschaft.koblenz-austin.de

Now we have to see if we do another conference in Koblenz and get someone from Austin to come. As far as I know 4 employers of Xojo Inc. near in or near Austin.

PS: Also discovered years ago on a trip to Atlanta that Marietta, Georgia had a German partner city nearby my home town: Linz. So in both cities I saw signs about that partnership.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio plug-ins version 16.2

Tuesday 24 May 2016 at 5:44 pm
NICKENICH, Germany (May 24th, 2016) -- Monkeybread Software releases version 16.2 of the MBS plug-in for Xojo and Real Studio.

The MBS plug-in comprises a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the Xojo (Real Studio) development environment with 2,300 classes featuring over 58,000 documented functions. Our plugins support all three platforms Mac OS X, Windows and Linux with all project types desktop, web and console including 64-bit and ARM targets.

Some of the highlights on the 16.2 update:

Our latest plugins have been updated for latest plugin SDK with support to Xojo 2016r1 and future releases. We reduced linkage to Carbon framework. Only 10% of the plugin parts still link to Carbon as they need functions from this framework. And once again our plugins support OS X 10.4 to 10.11.

The new plugin package comes with a new set of archive classes. Those allow you to read and write various archives including zip, tar, pax and others. The archive library supports unicode names and file permissions, so you can now properly handle those in archives.

For Mac we got new midi player class for AVFoundation to play midi notes.

For Windows we have a new task dialog class to show dialogs. You can customize them with adding buttons, links, radio buttons and a checkbox. Events allow you to react on clicks and disable invalid options. And we put a lot of work into getting a nice icon of your choice into the dialog if needed.

Our DynaPDF users can now extract text of only a rectangle part of the page. If you look for a bug, you may want to try our trace feature. If enabled, we write all the function calls for DynaPDF with return values to a text file. Our difference showing feature for PDF pages now handles transparent areas and recognizes smaller changes.

For ChartDirector we added a scale factor. This way you can request your charts in a higher resolution, e.g. for display in your Retina/HiDPI aware application. The multi chart class now keeps references to child charts in order to make sure they are not released too early.

The encryption plugin now can do RSA encryption & decryption with public & private keys. Generating keys can now yield time to other threads.

The SQL Plugin now includes an internal PostgreSQL library for Mac and Linux. Windows users can still point to the DLLs. The MT methods now do parsing of SQL statement in background thread for improved performance.

The overlay class now handles right clicks and works with CGImages for better performance. Barcode functions can now generate SVG as string, WordFile functions handle different parts and we can watch for Notifications on Xojo windows. ColorSync classes work now on 64-bit again, NSAlert has now a timeout and BlockMBS class can run synchronously.

Finally we updated SQLAPI++ to version 4.1.9, DynaPDF to version 3.0.52.156, libJPEG to 9b, LibSSH2 to 1.7.0, OpenSSL to version 1.0.2f, SQLite to 3.13.0 and CURL to 7.47.1.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

New Archive classes for handling zip and tar archives

Tuesday 24 May 2016 at 10:56 am
We got new classes for handling archives using libarchive. The new ArchiveReaderMBS class can read an archive and you can easily extract file information and content. The ArchiveWriterMBS class can write archives. Both classes read/write in chunks and process archives serially. Compression is supported with zip (deflate) and bzip2 compression. Here an example for going over any supported archive format and read the file names:
dim a as new ArchiveReaderMBS
a.SupportFilterAll
a.SupportFormatAll

// open file
dim f as FolderItem = SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.zip")

if not a.OpenFile(f) then
Break // path invalid?
end if

dim e as ArchiveEntryMBS = a.NextHeader
while e <> nil
print e.PathName

e = a.NextHeader
wend

Developer Meetings for Sweden and Denmark

Sunday 22 May 2016 at 4:22 pm
We organize Xojo and FileMaker developer meetings for Kopenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden:

If you like to join, please contact me soon:

29th May 2016, Stockholm
We meet with a couple of Xojo developers in a nice restaurant on the Alviks beach.
Topics will include current Xojo release, MBS Plugins and Xojo conferences.

30th May 2016, Stockholm
We meet with a couple of FileMaker developers in a nice restaurant on the Alviks beach.
Topics will include recent FileMaker 15 release, MBS Plugins and the upcoming conferences.

13rd June 2016, Kopenhagen
We meet with a couple developers in downtown Kopenhagen.
Topics will include the WWDC keynote from Apple, recent plugin changes and what's new in Xojo/FileMaker world.

Of course you can attend all the meetings if you like. We meet normally at 18 o'clock, but of course you can come later.
Joining is free of cost except for your own traveling, food and beverages.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.2pr10

Friday 20 May 2016 at 10:56 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.2 plugins:
  • Updated SQLite to 3.13.0.
  • Updated libJPEG to version 9b.
  • Fixed a bug in picture handling which made VMirrorMBS to fail.
  • Added Archive classes to read/write archives like tar, zip and others.
  • Added BarcodeGeneratorMBS.SVG function.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Older blog entries:

2016-05-20 MBS Xojo Conference: Some Pictures
2016-05-19 MBS Xojo Conference started
2016-05-17 Casual Get-Together this week in Koblenz
2016-05-17 Podcast with Dr Hipp: SQLite history, success and funding
2016-05-16 OmegaBundle ended
2016-05-14 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.2pr9
2016-05-12 Omegabundle for Xojo 2016 - ends 15th May
2016-05-11 Reading CURL logs
2016-05-08 MBS Xojo Conference in 10 days
2016-05-07 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.2pr7
2016-05-04 Omegabundle for Xojo 2016 New Sponsor Adds Render Service
2016-05-02 xDev Magazine Issue 14.3
2016-05-01 Developer Meetings for Sweden
2016-04-30 Extracting PDF text from area
2016-04-29 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.2pr6
2016-04-28 Shorts Report Designer 1.6.1
2016-04-26 Xojo Developer Meeting in Zurich, Swiss
2016-04-24 Final Extension of Omegabundle for Xojo 2016 with Free Icon Pack
2016-04-22 Xojo Meetings in Zurich, Switzerland
2016-04-20 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.2pr5

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