Seattle Real Studio User Group Meeting

The SeaRUG June meeting will be at the Northgate Branch of the Seattle Public Library

Tuesday, June 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Please try to be on time as we need to be out of there no later than 8:00.

Paul Rodman had volunteered to make a presentation on using RBScript for this meeting.

Seattle Public Library Northgate Branch is at 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

We hope to see you there!

For more information:
Google Discussion Group and SeaRUG homepage

Filemaker Stammtisch Rhein/Main

There is a Filemaker Meeting at 7 pm on thursday, 9th June 2011 in Hofheim (in Germany near Frankfurt/Main).

As a special guest, I will present my MBS Filemaker Plugin. I hope to meet a lot of Filemaker users there. Maybe you come, too?

If you like to attend, please contact me or the people at the denkform company which hosts the event:

MBS Filemaker Plugin, version 2.4pr4

New in this prerelease of the 2.4 plugins:
  • Added Drag and Drop functions for Mac.
  • Fixed a bug with dpi value not used right for PDF image creation.

Simons story from Realcon2011 Essen

Read the full story on his website:

Also we got some more feedback which we'll put tomorrow on the conference website.

Tip of the day: a floating Cocoa HUD window

You can turn a Real Studio window into a HUD window. That works even for floating windows. David Della Rocca kindly send me this example project.

The idea is quite simple: In your Cocoa application you simply take the floating point window and set the style mask to special combination with HUD, Utility and other flags set.

Download project:

Update: If you use setContentBorderThickness you can make the bottom borders rounds:
Self.NSWindowMBS.setContentBorderThickness( 4.0, NSWindowMBS.NSMinYEdge )

MBS SQLite Extension, version 1.1pr2

New in this prerelease of the 1.1 extension:
  • Added Cube SQL Examples
  • Fixed a 64 bit bug with registration.
For more information visit the SQLite Extension website or download the prerelease version.

Studio Stable Database 2.2

Studio Stable Database 2.2 was released this week. If you need a lightweight database server which works nice with Real Studio, check it out.

I'm happy that our MBS SQLite Extension works just fine with Studio Stable Database. For the free server, you have to load the extension yourself with load_extension command. But for the (paid) Club servers, you simply copy our extension to the extensions folder and restart the server.

New in version 2.2 is encryption with blowfish (pure Real Studio code or faster with MBS Real Studio Plugin) and timing measurement for optimization.

Learn more about Studio Stable Database servers on their website:

PS: Their download website is made with Real Studio Web Edition.

Mac & i, second issue

I got my copy of the Mac & i magazine.
That's a Mac and iOS related German magazine and they cover some programming, too.
This issue has a six page article about Real Studio 2011. Maybe you have the chance to read it?

Libs folder

There was a question about the libs folder coming with Real Studio applications.

If you read documentation, you can see that libs folder can be merged:
UsersGuide:Chapter 15:Building Your Application.

So instead of this:

You can merge to this:

This does only work if both applications have been built with the same Real Studio version and the same plugins.
The example apps above are web edition projects, but this works for desktop applications the same. For desktop apps on Windows, the name of the libs folder is "Libs".

Busy again

Back to work with a full inbox and a lot of people in the website chat.
As you can see we have people online from eleven countries browsing our website.

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you have trouble finding something on our website. Or if you found an unintended feature (a bug).

A little detail: The person from romania is browsing the help files from hard disk and still the chat works!

Pictures from our Real Studio Conference 2011

In total we had 33 people showing up. And something like 15 people who did not respond, not show up or cancelled shortly before.


In the lobby

In the main conference room:

And Tobias with Helge running my phidget text LCD example project with the device:

See also -->

Back home

The conference is done and we are back home.
Thanks to everyone for helping and attending. Thanks to the team of the unperfekthaus for their services, which were better than what you'd guess by the house name. Nice rooms and excellent catering.
Thanks to Nils for the big job of doing the main part on organization. And thanks to all the sponsors.

Realcon: Splitter example

We had this window splitter example project made here a few minutes ago. Here you can have your copy:

Warning: This is quick and dirty and without any comments. But it was created in less than 5 minutes :-)

Realcon 2011 started

We just started :-)

That's Stephane talking in the Keynote about Cocoa, LLVM, Web Edition and other stuff.

Pictures from yesterday

Just a few pictures Nils made yesterday on the get together meeting:

The evening before the conference

We had a nice evening here at the Unperfekthaus. Around 15 people showed up over the evening/night. People from USA, UK, Belgium, France, Norway, Sweden and Germany. It's a nice group. We also had cakes and sparkling wine as one participant has birthday today.
See you tomorrow at 9:30 am for the keynote.

Arrived in Essen

Arrived at the Holiday Inn in Esssen :-)
In a few minutes we'll take a walk to Unperfekthaus.
Are you here, too?


Someone using ThreadMBS class?
We are going to deprecate and remove ThreadMBS class soon.
I'm looking for more safe methods to allow threading. For example the last prerelease added preemptive threaded CURL.

PS: The conference starts in 24 hours. Still time to sign up and come. :-)

MBS Real Studio Plugins, version 11.2pr2

New in this prerelease of the 11.2 plugins:
  • Improved internal conversion from CGImage to Picture to be double the speed if there is no mask.
  • Rewrote parts of Screenshot code for Mac to work better on future OS versions.
  • Fixed bugs in ScreenshotRectMBS for Mac using OpenGL, so we can use that code path now. Should be faster.
  • Fixed a bug with CGImage creation in plugins so it should now work better in the future.
  • Changed EncodingToHTMLMBS to ignore byte order character.
  • Fixed IconMBS/IconMaskMBS on Cocoa to have correct masks.
  • In MenuMBS class renamed IconSelector to SetIconSelector, IconRefHandle to SetIconRefHandle, IconCGImageHandle to SetIconCGImageHandle and IconCFStringHandle to SetIconCFStringHandle.
  • Added more handle properties to MidiPlaybackMBS class.
  • Fixed a crash with Picture.ScaleMBS in console/web projects.
  • Fixed NSWindowMBS.contentBorderThicknessForEdge so it returns now the right value.
  • CURL can now run with preemptive threading which gives much better performance.
  • PDF rendering now uses Crop box.
  • Fixed Position and PositionTime properties in QTFrameExtractorMBS class, so you can set them now.

Conference schedule updated

The schedule for our Real Studio Conference 2011 has been updated:

If you want to come, please fill the registration form as soon as possible. While you can simply show up in Essen, it would be good to know you are coming.

Tip of day: Dynamically add webimageview to webpage

A client asked for adding a webImageView to a webpage. Okay, there is no plugin solution needed as this can be done if you try a few things:

dim i as new WebImageView

i.Name = "logoview"
i.URL = ""
i.Left = 10 = 10
i.Width = 460
i.Height = 80

self._addcontrol i

This works. How to find the _addcontrol method? Well, I first looked for embed method, insertcontrol, addcontrol, constructor parameters in the documentation. As there is nothing, I tried a few things. You can simply code and see what the compiler says. If you type "self._addcontrol" and compile you get either an unknown identifier or missing parameters. In the second case you know the method exists.
Join the feedback case: Add addcontrol method to webview

A few Conference Notes

You need a last minute hotel room? Please contact Nils Heeren.
Friday meeting is at 7 pm. Several people told me they will be there. This is especially a chance for people who can't spend the weekend on the conference to simply come to this event.
Saturday evening will be nice. We'll have a guided walk through city. And after that we'll stay in a craft brewery.
Jens Boschulte, our PDF specialist will be present on all three days.

Conference Countdown

Just three days left till our conference in Essen. It's still possible to sign up or simply show up.
Of course it's always better for us to have your name on the list a few days before.

MBS Filemaker Plugin, version 2.4pr3

New in this prerelease of the 2.4 plugins:
  • Added new optional filename parameter to Window.AsPDF, GMImage.GeticcColorProfile, GMImage.Getprofile, GMImage.GetiptcProfile, GMImage.WriteToPNGContainer, GMImage.WriteToJPEGContainer, GMImage.WriteToGIFContainer and GMImage.WriteToPNGContainer.
  • Added GMImage.WriteToGIFContainer and GMImage.WriteToPNGContainer.

Visited Essen one week before the conference

Just one week left before realcon 2011. I visited Essen today for some more organization stuff and brought you a few pictures.

If you arrive by tram/subway at Limbecker Platz, you enter the mall Limbecker Platz from the basement. This mall is huge with over 200 shops. If you exist the mall through the main entrance, you are in the pedestrian area. Look to the right and you see a Gravis shop, an retail chain specialized in Apple hardware. Look to the left and you see 100 meter away the frontside of the Unperfekthaus.

First meeting of the Seattle REAL Studio User Group

from Dennis Bitch:

If you're in the Seattle area, hopefully you've already signed up for SeaRUG (Seattle REAL Studio User Group) membership and this is old news. But just in case, here's a last minute reminder:

Our first meeting will be held this Saturday, May 14, at the Seattle Public Library University branch, from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please be sure to attend.

MBS Filemaker Plugin, version 2.4pr2

New in this prerelease of the 2.4 plugins:
  • Plugin Version function returns version now in format 2.4.0.xx where xx is the build number.
  • Added VersionAutoUpdate function which returns version number in format 020400xx. Same as Version, but better parsable.
  • Added type paramters to PDFKit.GetPDFPageImage and WebView.RenderImage to select type and filename for image.
  • Added resolution parameter to PDFKit.GetPDFPageImage function.
  • Added box parameter to PDFKit.GetPDFPageImage function.

Rotated text

Drawing rotated text in Real Studio has been a problem for a long time now, but I recently added functions for this to our plugins. As of 11.1pr2 (later this week), the Graphics.DrawRotatedTextMBS method draws like this:


Left is Mac and right Windows. As you see Windows does not do antialiasing as nice as Mac, but we'll see if that can be improved over time.

Conference Update

Just ten days left. As far as I know, people from this countries are coming:
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Swiss
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Liechtenstein
But we'll see who is not just interested, but does really sign up and show up.

Tip of the day

Use FlushPages() function regularly while creating huge PDF files.
It writes the pages to disc which have already been processed. This way you can create PDF files which do not fit in memory.
I just created an example which can easily create a 10000 page PDF with 8 GB in size.

MBS REALbasic Plugins, version 11.2pr1

New in this prerelease of the 11.2 plugins:
  • Fixed crash in JPEGTransformationMBS.
  • Added DynaPDFMBS.RenderPDFFile and DynaPDFRasterizerMBS.AddRasImage.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Added graphics.DrawRotatedTextMBS method.
  • Added CGBitmapContextMBS.BitmapInfo
  • Added ClipToMask, CopyPath, DrawLinearGradient, DrawRadialGradient, DrawTiledImage, GetClipBoundingBox and a few constants to CGContextMBS class.
  • Added CGGradientMBS class.
  • Fixed a bug with MakeTransparentMBS function to prevent crashes.
  • Added methods to QTFrameExtractorMBS to extract frames going backwards.

Plugins for 56 countries

Just cleaned up the customer database and saw that we have users in 56 countries:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

And 40% of all orders come from the USA, followed by 12% from Germany, 7% United Kingdom and 5% France. Next in line with 4% are Italy, Canada and Japan.
I'm not an expert for statistics, but I'd guess this is close to the distribution of Real Studio on the world.

Review of MBS

I got this review from Dennis Wallentin:

As a developer You know that clients usually evaluate Your softwares from two aspects, the GUI's usability together with the functionality. What we also know is that Real Studio provides us with a basic toolkit but where the toolkit excludes some controls together with some components. In other words, we must consume our limited time with developing own solutions and/or own workarounds to meet the requirements. At the same we also know that we don't get full paid by the clients for all the hours we spend on developing softwares.
So how do we resolve a situation like that? The short answer is; we simple use third-party components. Developers have always been skeptical towards other developer's work and using third-party components was, when they become available, not an exception from that "rule". However, the progress during the last 10-15 years has forced us to change attitude and simple accept existence and the use of third-party components. The benefit is that we can reduce the development time, we can focus on the essential parts of the solutions and by using third-party controls we can also boost the GUI in our solutions.
Yes, using plug-ins definitely solves some problems but it also put us in a different position in that we must trust and rely on third-party vendor(s). And, of course, that the quality of their components and services meets our requirements. Deciding which vendor(s) to use becomes a critical business issue for us putting us in exactly the same situation as our clients face. In my experience Monkeybread Software (MBS) is a vendor with great products and an excellent support. The more we learn about their components the better we can leverage them and we may also get a higher ROI. The components I use from MBS are both reliable and stable. Their controls make the GUIs in my solutions to be more user-friendly and put a quality stamp on both me and my products. To summarize, MBS and their products are highly recommended.

Dennis Wallentin
RB Developer
MS Excel MVP

Podcast birthday

Today our podcast has its third birthday.
I hope you enjoy our videos at

And you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes: iPhone/iPod or High Resolution.

Do not hesitate to send us suggestions and wishes for new videos.

MBS Filemaker Plugin, version 2.4pr1

New in this prerelease of the 2.4 plugins:
  • Added type paramters to PDFKit.GetPDFPageImage and WebView.RenderImage to select type and filename for image.
  • Added resolution parameter to PDFKit.GetPDFPageImage function.

MBS Real Studio Plugins 11.1

We just released our plugin collection in version 11.1.
Finally we have a DynaPDF 3 version with raster to show to the world. It's not yet complete as a far things are not yet included like blending modes. But I think it's okay to start developing applications with it. For DynaPDF we will have regularly new versions coming and if you are interested, we can add you to the dynapdf newsletter for updates. The update next week should add support to the render engine for annotations, forms, layers and patterns.

Beside the DynaPDF additions, the version 11.1 has a huge number of new features. New classes for color matching on Windows, improved Zip classes and new CoreGraphics Display classes. There is also a rewritten OpenCL Plugin part where you can compile and run OpenCL code to do blazing fast image transformations. We now support a few more phidget devices and new HASP dongles.

For a complete list, check the release notes.

MBS Plugins 11.1 Release notes

Here are the release notes for version 11.1:
  • Moved from DynaPDF 2.5 to DynaPDF 3.0.
  • Added Windows Image Color Management classes to perform color matching on Windows with ICC profiles.
  • Added some 64 bit support to UnZipMBS and ZipMBS classes. Works with having files bigger than 4 GB inside the archive. But seems not to work so far with archives > 2 GB.
  • Added CGDisplayConfigMBS, CGDisplayModeMBS and CGDisplayReconfigurationEventMBS classes.
  • Added PhidgetNMEADataMBS, PhidgetGPVTGMBS, PhidgetGPSTimeMBS, PhidgetGPSSatInfoMBS, PhidgetGPSMBS, PhidgetGPSDateMBS, PhidgetGPRMCMBS, PhidgetGPGSVMBS, PhidgetGPGSAMBS, PhidgetGPGGAMBS, PhidgetFrequencyCounterMBS, PhidgetBridgeMBS and PhidgetAnalogMBS classes.
  • Added more Open CL functionality: CLSamplerMBS, CLProgramMBS, CLMemMBS, CLKernelMBS, CLEventMBS, CLPlatformMBS, CLContextMBS and CLDeviceIDMBS classes.
  • Added HASPHLDMBS class. Newer HASP Dongles need you to generate your own APIs (library files) which you now can read into HASPHLDMBS class.
  • Added FetchFirst, FetchLast and FetchPrior to SQLCommandMBS class.
  • Added movie GetMovieApertureModeMBS.
  • Added more NSWindowMBS methods like setContentBorderThickness.
  • Added NSViewMBS.enclosingScrollView.
  • Added HTMLViewer.NSScrollView and WebViewMBS.NSScrollView.
  • Added PNGReaderMBS.ReadRow method which takes a memoryblock (for better speed).
  • Added NSHelpManagerMBS class.
  • Added ExtraLatency and UseMinimumLatency to CAPlayThroughMBS class.
  • Added PictureBlend DiffPicturesMBS function.
  • Added GlyphGetCubicPaths and GlyphGetQuadraticPaths methods to ATSUStyleMBS class.
  • Added ATSPathEventsMBS class.
  • Added UnZipMBS Position2 property
  • Added UInt64ToDoubleMBS and DoubleToUInt64MBS.
  • Added BusSpeed and CPUSpeed to SystemInformationMBS module.
  • Added CAPlayThroughMBS class.
  • Added SUAppcastItemMBS.propertiesDictionary
  • Added incrementalData and UserAgentString to SUAppcastMBS class.
  • Added 91 constants for AccessibilityMBS class.
  • Added Tag properties to MDItemMBS and MDQueryMBS.
  • Added MBS.VersionString constant.
  • Added DirectorySizeMBS.CountBundlesAsItem property.
  • Added ScientificStrMBS function.
  • Added NSHTTPCookieMBS and NSHTTPCookieStorageMBS classes.
  • Added Picture GetMaskMBS function for leak testing.
  • Added gworld state saving to NSSavePanelMBS and CustomNSViewMBS classes events for the case you use QuickDraw picture functions in order to avoid crashes.
  • Added unregisterDraggedTypes and registerForDraggedTypes to NSWindowMBS class.
  • Added unregisterDraggedTypes, registerForDraggedTypes, registeredDraggedTypes to NSViewMBS class.
  • Added NSSecureTextFieldMBS class.
  • Added NSSearchFieldMBS class.
  • Added NSControlMBS.cell
  • Added SecureDongleXMBS module.
  • Added HIconFromFileMBS and HIconFromPicturesMBS functions.
  • Added CloseForString and CreateForString to GZipFileMBS class.
  • Added StrMBS function.
  • Added BeginTransparencyLayer, BeginTransparencyLayerWithRect and EndTransparencyLayer to CGContextMBS class.
  • Added more methods to WIAGUIDMBS class.
  • Added SobelMBS and SobelChannelsMBS functions to picture class.
  • Updated to Real Studio 2011r1 Plugin SDK.
  • Updated libz to version 1.2.5.
  • Updated DynaPDF 3 Plugin to version dynapdf
  • Updated DynaPDF 2 Plugin to version dynapdf (DynaPDF 2 plugin is available as separated download.)
  • Updated to SQLAPI++ 3.8.1.
  • Fixed memory leak in NewCFMutableDictionaryMBS.
  • Fixed a bug with MDQueryMBS so it works better in the future.
  • Fixed bug in PictureMBS when with using RowInFormat with RGBA and a RGBA picture the alpha values were not copied.
  • Fixed crash in QuickLookMBS. Compiler optimized away the weak link check.
  • Fixed crash in CombinePictureWithMask with various plugin parts: PNG, Tiff and GraphicsMagick.
  • Fixed crash with passing nil for when parameter in AudioDeviceSetPropertyString, AudioDeviceSetPropertyMemory, AudioStreamSetPropertyString and AudioStreamSetPropertyMemory in CoreAudioMBS class.
  • Fixed endian bug in DNSQueryRecordMBS class so type and class are now reported correctly.
  • Fixed PDFPageMBS.Render to support rotation.
  • Fixed Window.HasNoShadowMBS for cocoa.
  • Fixed a crash with PNG reading from string inside threads.
  • Fixed bug in DynaPDFMBS.InsertPicture with byte alignment.
  • Fixed bug in RegistrationEngineMBS to place delimiter correctly: ICYR-RES4-UXQ1ICYR and not ICYR-RES4-UXQ1-ICYR
  • Fixed GZipFileMBS.CloseForString to not miss some bytes on the end.
  • Fixed memory leak in GetMBfromPictureMBS.
  • Fixed crash in JSONMBS.FindFirstLabel.
  • Fixed PhidgetSpatialMBS.setCompassCorrectionParameters method.
  • Fixed PhidgetSpatialMBS.SpatialData event bug.
  • Fixed RemoveWindowProxyIconMBS and WindowProxyIconFileMBS for Cocoa targets.
  • Fixed crash in PhidgetManagerMBS destructor.
  • Fixed WinLocalizationMBS properties to be now console safe.
  • Fixed an issue with huge CGImageMBS objects. CreateCGImageMBS works now better.
  • Fixed an issue with resolution not set correctly on Windows for writing tiff pictures with WriteRGB, WriteBW or WriteGray.
  • Updated Phidget classes to support version 2.1.8.
  • Updated CF classes, so they are now all console/web safe.
  • Updated ScreenshotWindowMBS and ScreenshotWindowRectMBS for Cocoa target.
  • Plugins now have code to get or set Real Studio arrays for older Realbasic versions (e.g. 2007r2). Plugins can't create arrays or append data there.
  • Removed folderitem.AsAliasMBS and ResolveAliasMBS as we deprecate that in favor of GetSaveInfo built into Real Studio.
  • Removed CGGetActiveDisplayListMBS, CGGetDisplaysWithPointMBS, CGGetDisplaysWithRectMBS and CGGetOnlineDisplayListMBS.
  • Removed AntiAliasedTextSizeMBS and IsAntiAliasedTextEnabledMBS functions.
  • Removed CPUInfoMBS class. Use SystemInformationMBS module instead.
  • Removed AraneusAleaMBS class as it does not work with current devices.
  • Removed CGDisplayListMBS class as we now use Real Studio arrays.
  • Removed SUAppcastItemArrayMBS class.
  • Changed DrawCGPDFDocumentMBS to work on Cocoa.
  • Changed GZipFileMBS.Close to set lasterror to zero.
  • Changed WebUIDelegateMBS.CreateWithRequest to accept a WebViewMBS object as return value.
  • Changed SUAppcastMBS.items to return REAL Studio array of SUAppcastMBS objects.
  • Changed CURLSMBS class linking so it runs now on Ubuntu 64 bit.
  • Overloaded most ChartDirector plugin functions to take color values in addition to integer color values. This should make use in Real Studio easier for most people.
  • Rewritten parts of CGDisplayMBS class so you now won't need CFStringMBS and CFDictionaryMBS objects to use it.
  • Most plugins now load libgtk if needed instead of hard linking it. This helps people which use console only applications and don't need to install gtk there.
  • Improved Web*DelegateMBS classes to better forward messages they don't handle. This fixes a focus issue with usign WebUIDelegateMBS class.
  • Window.MakeTransparentMBS now returns an integer. You store that integer in a property on your window and later in the Close Event you call CleanUpTransparentMBS with this value. This clean up is needed on Carbon application to avoid crashes.
  • Linked Java Plugin different so it does not trigger an install dialog when run on a Mac without Java installed.
  • DynaPDF.InsertPicture now handles 8 bit masks.
  • RotateMBS, Rotate90MBS, Rotate180MBS and Rotate270MBS now work on console applications and in the REAL Studio Web Edition.
  • Window.HasToolbarButtonMBS, Window.UnifiedTitleAndToolbarMBS and Window.CanBeVisibleWithoutLoginMBS now works on Cocoa targets.
  • -->

    realcon2011 in Essen/Germany

    It's getting crowded... Only a month ago, we announced 15 sessions. This week, we had to upgrade conference space to accommodate all the interesting sessions and workshops which make up "realcon2011" - this year's Real Studio Conference in Germany.

    Developers from 10+ countries in Europe and even the U.S. have confirmed their participation. With the event schedule growing beyond 20 sessions, Real Software's Stèphane Pinel as well as Thomas Tempelmann (Arbed), Jens Boschulte (DynaPDF) and Christian Schmitz (MonkeyBread Plug-ins) are well accompanied by such names as chectec, Codiso and Revolver Software from Germany and by Mediatec and QiQSL from the UK.

    We definitely hope to see many of you arrive early on Friday night (May 20th) to kick-off the event at midnight. "Official" conference days are Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd 2011.

    Registration form, event schedule and more information are available here:

    REAL Studio Developer Magazine 9.4 published

    The May/June 2011 (9.4) issue of REAL Studio Developer is now available!

    Here's a quick preview of what's inside this issue:

    * Georgia Here I Come * by Marc Zeedar
    Marc attends the RB Summit 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia, and writes about all the goings-on. Find out what's in store for Real Studio and see photos.

    * GUI Design GUIde * by Tam Hanna
    Designing your program's graphical user interface is a key skill. Eliminating extra steps to save the user time is more obvious with mobile apps, but those same techniques are helpful on the desktop as well.

    * The Meaning Gradient * by Jens Bendig
    Understanding the real meaning of what's going on inside your application is critical. Jens explains how you can increase your understanding by developing an app structure that's more conducive to meaning.

    * Your Preferences in Keys * by JC Cruz
    All the details you need to know for storing your application's preferences in key-value pairs.

    In our regular columns we've got articles on printing styled text, serving SQLite, the risks of handshake contracts, web app sessions, and much more.

    Tips for your trip to the Realcon2011

    If you plan to attend the realcon2011, our Real Studio Conference 2011 in Essen, Germany, here are some notes which may help you planning your trip:

    First the Unperfekthaus does have hotel rooms, but it's a living community and already taken. My hotel preference is the Holiday Inn in Essen where I reserved my room. Some participants are in the Holiday Inn Express in the next street.
    The lowest price seems to be the Gasthaus Nordstern with just 26.50 Euro per night.
    You can get rooms for the Lindenhof (starting at 40 Euro) or the Ambassador (starting at 45 Euro). Also 4 star hotels like the Welcome Hotel Essen or Holiday Inn (both starting at 55 Euro) are available.
    On all bookings, make sure that you pick Essen in Germany, not in Belgium ;-)
    Visit REAL Studio Conference 2011 in Essen
    The next airport from Essen is the airport Essen-Mülheim, but that is more an airport for sport flyers. Good if you fly yourself, but for a normal airline, you'd certainly prefer the Duesseldorf International airport. There you can get connections to nearly everywhere, including flights to the USA, Italy, France or UK. This airport has its own train station, where you can take RE trains (regional express) directly to Essen main station. Just a 22 minutes ride and a short walk inside Essen.
    Some cheaper flights don't go to Düsseldorf airport, but to Düsseldorf-Weeze airport. That's a smaller airport 50km north east of Düsseldorf. But from there you can take the shuttle bus to Essen.

    Car parking
    To drive you simply take Limbecker Platz as destination and park there. It's a big shopping mall, actually the biggest inside a city for Germany. But it closes around 8 pm, so over night, you may want to park somewhere else. The parking garage at the Weberplatz is open all day, so it may be a good choice.

    Friends and Family
    If you have someone who joins you on the visit and who is not into software development, we have special offers. Your family members or friends can visit Essen and join us for meals and social program.

    see also: Low cost to the conference


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