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MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr4

Tuesday 25 October 2016 at 3:28 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.5 plugins:
  • Fixed an issue with CURL wildcard mode not finding files sometimes.
  • Fixed a problem in barcode creation.
  • Fixed a possible crash in WindowsClipboardMBS.GetData.
  • Added NSApplicationMBS.showHelp.
  • Updated to DynaPDF
  • Changed JavaVMMBS Constructor to use existing JavaVM if initialized before.
  • Fixed bug with printing for DynaPDF. Please adapt newer example code.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 6.5pr4

Tuesday 25 October 2016 at 2:20 pm
New in this prerelease of the 6.5 MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Automated video editing with Xojo

Tuesday 25 October 2016 at 2:08 pm
For years we use Xojo from time to time to write little apps to do video editing. Especially automated batch editing in order to avoid human error or repetitive tasks. Years ago we did that with QuickTime functions in Xojo and we still remember the nice EditableMovie class there. Today the world changed and we switched to use our AVFoundation plugin instead. AVFoundation is Apple's latest framework for video editing and it provides similar functionality, but in a more modern fashion. The use of asynchronously processing on several CPUs is built in and you can easily benefit from those enhancements in Xojo.

The job description:
  • Build a video from segments of videos recorded by an automated camera. We get a new file each 10 minutes and have to join them.
  • Cut away some time on beginning of first and end of last file.
  • Crop the video to a rectangle. This cuts away all the ceiling, floor and walls we don't need.
  • Compress for AppleTV, so you can watch it anywhere.
The sample project will be included with next plugins, but here is the main work method: (more)

MBS Workshop @ Denkform

Monday 24 October 2016 at 11:27 am
For our German speaking clients we have a workshop day:

In Zusammenarbeit mit der DenkForm GmbH bieten wir eine Schulung zum MBS Plugin an. Am 3. November 2016 (auch 2. März 2017 und 7. Dezember 2017) können Sie in Hofheim am Taunus an einer eintägigen Schulung teilnehmen. Lernen Sie die über 4100 Funktionen einmal näher kennen und wie Sie sie effektiv einsetzen. Sammeln Sie Ideen und verbessern Sie ihre FileMaker Lösungen durch den Einsatz unseres Plugins.

Das Monkeybread Software Plugin für FileMaker stellt eine vielseitige Erweiterung der eigenen Datenbank dar. Der Kurs bietet nicht nur einen tiefgreifenden Überblick in die Benutzung und Entwicklung, sondern bietet auch die Chance das Plugin günstiger zu erstehen.
  • Einführung in das MBS Plugin
  • Überblick über die Funktionsbereiche
  • Neues im MBS Plugin dieses Jahr
  • Rundgang durch ausgewählte Beispiele
  • Gemeinsames Implementieren von Plugin Funktionen in eine Datenbank:
  • Upload/Download mit CURL auf einen HTTP/FTP Server
  • Ausfüllen eines Formulares auf einer Webseite
  • Bilder bearbeiten
  • PDF Verarbeitung
  • Druckerfunktionen
  • Adressbuch und Kontakte abfragen bei Mac OS X.
  • Fragen und Antworten
Die Teilnahme kostet 99 Euro inkl. MWSt. und Verpflegung.
Details und Anmeldung bei der Denkform.

PS: Die Mindestteilnehmerzahl wurde erreicht und der Workshop findet am 3. November statt.

Call for Speakers for MBS Xojo Conference in Berlin 2017

Saturday 22 October 2016 at 12:17 pm
For our MBS Xojo Conference in Europe, 3rd to 6th May 2017 in Berlin, Germany, we are looking for speakers.

If you like to present an interesting topic around Xojo, please contact me soon.
We already have a few on the way and will add them to the schedule as soon as we received topic description and registration from speakers.

The final schedule will probably be released somewhere in December. Until that you can show your commitment to the conference and get the early early bird price for the ticket for 40% off the regular price.

Interest for our conference so far is much higher than the last years and registration is already at a record level over six months in advantage. Be sure to mark the date in the calendar and move your work to leave a week free to join us and enjoy a few extra days in Berlin!

Like to speak, sponsor or register already? Just email me. Register here

Visiting MBS Office

Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 8:55 pm
We are always happy to have guests from all over the world. If you come close to mid western area of Germany (near Koblenz), be sure to send us a message. Maybe we have time to meet for a drink and some shop talk. Once again today we met with a client in Koblenz for dinner. But also when I am traveling for conferences or to clients, I try to organize local meetings with other developers and get in touch. For me it is important to see what you guys are doing with Xojo and FileMaker, what issues you see and what things are missing. Later I can fill those with a plugin function or provide you tips for using existing plugin functions.

As you may know I also offer consulting, training and custom plugin development. While you can of course hire me to come to your office for a visit, it may be better for you to leave office. Take a day off and get something done with me. Come for a visit and we develop a solution together.

In the last years we had people come to get a personal MBS Plugin workshop, a training day to get an overview on our plugin features. Another client came to develop a web app in Xojo or implement the usage of a web service in a FileMaker solution. Getting started together, than continue alone in following days. You can also come with a list of issues we should work on in your projects. Most likely I can show you solutions using plugin functions as others had similar problems before. Often it is easier to pay for an hour instead of spending a day yourself looking for a solution!

If time permits we can always add some sight seeing to castles, monastery or mid-age buildings, do some hiking or checkout a brewery or winery. See you someday!

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 6.5pr3

Tuesday 18 October 2016 at 4:54 pm
New in this prerelease of the 6.5 MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr3

Tuesday 18 October 2016 at 3:00 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.5 plugins:
  • Fixed a regression on SQL prepared statement with error: "dictionary is nil".
  • Optimized NSViewMBS/NSWindowMBS getters, so they return the same view/window object if possible.
  • Added tabbing related functions/properties/constants to NSWindowMBS class.
  • Rewrote StyledText.RTFDataMBS to read/write RTF.
  • Updated SQLite to 3.15.0.
  • Added ConvertStyledText, WriteStyledText and WriteStyledTextEx functions to DynaPDFMBS.
  • Added drag & drop delegate methods to NSWindowDelegateMBS class.
  • Fixed an issue with QuartzCode plugin part where NSException handling plugin part was not correctly referenced.
  • Added MacFileOperationStatusMBS.Handle property.
  • Improved DNSServiceAddrInfoMBS for IPv6.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

How to fix the Sierra printing bug in FileMaker

Monday 17 October 2016 at 10:57 pm
Have you seen a dialog like this?

You may have noticed that after printing to PDF, the next print jobs will again print to PDF. The dialog may show "Save" on the button or "Print". The label doesn't matter as all printing goes now to PDF.
With the upcoming 6.5pr3 plugin you can fix this with our PrintDialog functions:

Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS( "PrintDialog.Install" ) ]
Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS( "PrintDialog.Enable" ) ]
Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS( "PrintDialog.SetResetDestination"; 1 ) ]

Somewhere in your initialization scripts you can call this sequence. It installs our code to observe the print dialog on Mac. You enable the feature and you set the option to reset the print destination each time the dialog shows. This clears the problem with printing to PDF in our tests. We have a couple more options like preselecting printer, paper tray or paper format.

New plugin will be available tomorrow or by email on request.

Goodbye Salzburg

Sunday 16 October 2016 at 5:09 pm
After two weeks of conferences I am on my way back home.
This was an exhausting, but also entertaining and very interesting time. I met a lot of people, had shop talk all day and developed new stuff on the fly.

The Dallas FileMaker user group moved their meeting date for me and over 20 users attended. Next in Houston I met about 100 Xojo developers at the yearly Xojo developer conference including all the Xojo staff. This week in Salzburg at the FileMaker Conference I met around 200 FileMaker developers from German speaking countries.

As usual I spend only a little time in sessions. More important for me is the time in the lobby where people show me their projects, explain what issues they have and what functions they'd like to have. I can show what features my plugins have, what may help the client and how we can proceed. Some people even have projects for me I could do and some are interested in personal consulting or training services.

As you may have noticed, I am coding in-between and writing blog articles. For Xojo I hoped for a 64-bit debugger sooner as I worked the last weeks on a CloudKit plugin. Still I hope to get it done and debugged in the next weeks, so you guys can try it.

For FileMaker we got a couple of news:
As usually if you see a feature in the other plugins and you like me to transfer it, please tell me. For a lot of features it makes sense to offer them for both. The styled text feature for DynaPDF is right away built for both tools. We had the Java classes in Xojo for ten years already and now added this functionality for FileMaker as well.

I am looking forward to meet you at the next conferences:
and some more where I don't yet know the dates. Keep me informed if you organize a conference or hear about one. See you there!

DynaPDF and Styled Text, Xojo vs. FileMaker

Sunday 16 October 2016 at 11:10 am
Another idea I got on the FileMaker Conference here in Salzburg: Users may want to have a text field with styled text and transfer that text as good as possible into a PDF page via DynaPDF.

The Xojo framework provides a StyledText class where we can query text styles (italic, bold and underline), color, font and font size. Via the paragraph class, we get alignment information, too.

The FileMaker plugin SDK offers functions to query styled text. But I have to query style for each character and detect the runs myself (see feature request). It does provide some more styles, e.g. strikeout. But it does not provide alignment information (see feature request).

The plugin can now convert styled text as good as we can to format commands in DynaPDF. WriteFText/WriteFTextEx functions can process various commands and we can easily support different fonts, alignment, color, styles and even more features.

In FileMaker the example looks like this:

MBS FileMaker Plugin with Styled Text to PDF

As you see we have the input field on the top left, the translated commands for review on top right and the final PDF as preview below.

And in Xojo I made a text editor with live preview:

MBS Xojo Plugin with Styled Text to PDF

For the Create PDF button to write a PDF you only need the DynaPDF Starter version. But for live preview with rendering a page, we need a Pro license. whenever you change something in the left text area, we update a few milliseconds later the preview on the right side. The page size is set to match the canvas size, so you get an unscaled high DPI preview.
As you see we have alignment only in Xojo, but strikeout only in FileMaker.

PS: Available soon in plugin version 6.5pr3 or by email now.

Scrollbar Elasticity in FileMaker

Saturday 15 October 2016 at 3:23 pm
screenshotAs you may have notices in FileMaker 14 a feature was added to support elastic scrolling on Mac OS X 10.7 and newer.

As FileMaker only has one main control used for both a list and a layout, the elastic scrolling is always there for you. But some users don't enjoy it in their layouts.

So just before the lunch today here at FileMaker Conference in Salzburg, I spend approximately 20 minutes on a new function to query and set the elasticity mode on the scrollbars in a layout:

MBS("Window.Scrollbar.SetScrollElasticity"; 0; "none")

You can set the scrollbars to auto, none and allowed. By default it is auto, so the system preferences define whether it is allowed or not. You can now switch it per layout and adjust it when switching to list mode or to layout mode.

PS: Coming soon in the next prerelease. If you like to try earlier, please email me.

FileMaker iOS App SDK 15.0.2

Saturday 15 October 2016 at 1:42 pm
As you may know I offer an iOS SDK Extension for additional commands for the iOS SDK from FileMaker.

Sadly the 15.0.2 SDK has a little change. The updateProjectSettings utility used in the Xcode project overwrites the RequiredToLink.mm file each time. But in this file we put our initialization call for our static library. This breaks the extension.

To fix it, please rename the RequiredToLink.mm file in the project. For example name it "MyRequiredToLink.mm". After the change is made, the file is no longer overwritten and you can enjoy our extension.

And someday we hope to see plugin support in FileMaker iOS SDK and offer our plugin for iOS. I already have one compiled here...

An award for the MBS FileMaker Plugin

Saturday 15 October 2016 at 09:25 am
At the FileMaker Conference 2016 in Salzburg I received an award for the best development tool for FileMaker:

Klemens und Christian

Thanks for recognizing my ten year commitment to FileMaker for writing the MBS Plugin.
And thanks to all my customers who supported me with ideas and by using the plugin.
A few of the new ideas from the conference will be in the next prerelease.

Open script by contextual menu

Friday 14 October 2016 at 3:29 pm
One of the ideas I got on the German FileMaker conference:
Add a menu entry to the contextual menu to open the script from a perform script step:

screenshot context menu

So when you have a script step to perform a script, you can right click it, pick the open command and jump right to that script.
Coming in pr3 soon and already localized for all languages FileMaker supports.

PS: For FileMaker 14 and 15.

MBS FileMaker Plugin Workshop today

Wednesday 12 October 2016 at 08:14 am
Today we have our workshop for our FileMaker Plugin here in Salzburg. We already met with people for dinner yesterday:

If you are in Salzburg right now and you like to join, please contact me soon.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr2

Monday 10 October 2016 at 10:24 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.5 plugins:
  • Fixed events for IKImageBrowserViewControlMBS class.
  • Added CUPSMBS.PrintData function.
  • Fixed a possible issue with CalendarItems being released while script runs.
  • Added CustomNSViewMBS isFlipped event.
  • Added MimeEmailMBS.DecodeInline function.
  • Updated libXL library to version 3.7.0.
  • Updated SQLAPI++ 4.1.10.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 6.5pr2

Monday 10 October 2016 at 9:29 pm
New in this prerelease of the 6.5 plugins: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Library vs. Plugin

Friday 07 October 2016 at 3:47 pm
At the Xojo conference here in Houston Xojo Inc. announced a couple of upcoming features for Xojo. You can read details on the Xojo blog, Bob's blob or soon in Xojo Developer Magazine. One of the news in the creation of plugins in Xojo. Let's call those a library as you bundle Xojo code with resources into an archive. And as a few people asked me how that would affect me or whether I will support them, so here a few details:

First what is a Xojo Plugin currently?
Well, a xojo plugin currently is a zip archive with file extension .xojo_plugin. You can rename it to .zip and unpack it if you like to take a look inside youself. What you find are a couple of folders with various compiled libraries inside. Those libraries come per platform, so we have there DLLs for Windows, dylibs for Macs and shared objects for Linux. Current MBS Plugin have 8 different variants included.

To write such a plugin, you take a native compiler for your platform, write some C, C++, Objective-C or assembler code. You can include static libraries in your plugin and fully use all the features in the C compilers offer you. The libraries include the Xojo declarations and register them at runtime, so the IDE loads all plugins and queries them for the declarations.

What is a Xojo library?
Not sure how Xojo Inc. will call it exactly, but as far as I know it will be a new type of project. There you can include all stuff you currently have in projects like modules, classes and windows. Than you press build button and it will compile them all and write intermediate code into a new file. This should include resources like images and native libraries written in C/C++.
So you can add a library to a project and when compelling the Xojo IDE will include the library parts in the normal build process.

Convert Plugins?
Depending on how library projects will be designed, it may be possible for me to write a converter for my plugins. An application which can read my plugin definitions and generate the wrapper classes. Each method there would have a declare line to call the underlaying C function. I am not sure how well this would work and whether the overhead is worth it. Could be that it is easier and more convenient to just keep the plugins as they are and just provide newer stuff in the new format.

Uses for Libraries
We all have common code which we currently include in all projects. This common code can be moved into a library project and be prebuilt. This way the build process of our normal apps should be faster. Although when debugging the project, the debugger may not be able to step into our own library!

Next you want to bundle some code and sell it. Plugin vendors like me may be able to finally deliver iOS compatible plugins this way. At least precompiled is better protected than encrypted classes which have been breached before. Selling libraries could increase the number of vendors and help to get more third party controls into the Xojo store.

Possible Problems
There are a couple of problems coming which needs to be resolved:
  • First what happens if you add a library with a window to a console project?
    Probably this will cause errors and some libraries must have flags and #if set to work well.
  • How can libraries be compatible to several Xojo versions?
    The intermediate code from LLVM and the file format used by Xojo may not be forward or backwards compatible. Also calls to the framework may change, so newer library may miss a function in the Xojo runtime if used in an older version of the Xojo IDE.
  • How do we handle conflicts within the libraries?
    Class names may be declared in different ways. While I hope we can do libraries without putting them into namespaces, it would be nice if the library user could optionally add a namespace in order to resolve conflicts.
  • Would libraries include function names, so we see that in stack traces?
  • Can we debug into the library if we have the library source code?
    Maybe we may need a library format including source code for debugging, at least for home made libraries.

So let's see what gets released later in 2017 and maybe refined in upcoming releases in 2018.

FileMaker meeting in Dallas

Wednesday 05 October 2016 at 8:44 pm
We had a nice meeting yesterday with the FileMaker developers from Dallas area:

I presented about MBS Plugin and especially demonstrated features from our last release 6.4 and new features in the upcoming 6.5 version. We a couple of discussions about FileMaker Cloud and the Linux version of the MBS Plugin.

See you in Salzburg next week or in Phoenix next year!

Older blog entries:

2016-10-05 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.5pr1
2016-10-04 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 6.5pr1
2016-10-03 Xojo Feedback Success rate
2016-10-03 Sending emails in FileMaker with MBS Plugin
2016-10-01 Better popup menus on Windows for FileMaker
2016-09-30 Software maintenance contract (Softwarewartungsvertrag)
2016-09-29 Packing for conferences
2016-09-29 Listbox.CellTextPaint examples
2016-09-28 Thoughts about visiting Conferences
2016-09-28 Xojo at the rescue
2016-09-28 FileMaker Cloud with MBS Plugin
2016-09-27 MBS Releases the MBS Xojo / Real Studio plug-ins in version 16.4
2016-09-27 MBS FileMaker Plugin 6.4 for OS X/Windows
2016-09-25 Tip of the day: Calling function name
2016-09-24 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 6.4pr9
2016-09-24 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.4pr9
2016-09-22 Todo/Reminder Synchronization for FileMaker on Mac using MBS Plugin
2016-09-22 Xojo Optimization
2016-09-21 Select Internet Explorer version for FileMaker
2016-09-20 Split and Join strings


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