Playing with REALbasic 2006.1

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I was playing with REALbasic 2006 release 1 yesterday on my MEPIS Linux laptop yesterday and I must say that I’m impressed. The IDE is rich, and easy to get to know. I’m currently running the free Standard edition. I was productive right from the beginning.

Being a FoxPro developer at heart, I was excited about getting started with displaying and manipulating data and databases. It seems as if there aren’t too many examples on the web just yet that deal with manipulating of the built in database features however. If there are, I haven’t found them.

I was able to download and build and run an example application that was originally written for the Mac OSx. This example was for using a list box to display an array of names. The names could be added to the array on the fly and then saved out to text file. Pretty simple stuff. Exactly what I should be starting with.

After changing the build settings, telling it only to build for the Linux environment, it build the application into a single file that was 2M. A simple application that was 2M. While some of you may be thinking that 2M for a simple application with one form is large, this is the only binary file that is needed to get the application running. No DLLs, no dependancies. Way cool. In fact I was able too run the application off of the network server on a Linux machine that has never had REALbasic installed on it.

I found two issues so far that I’m going to keep an eye on with REALbasic. First, is that the IDE was running VERY slow. This may be because I’m running this on a very old laptop, that REALbasic isn’t optimized for Linux yet, or that it’s just slow. The second problem that I’m seeing is that in the IDE, the text labels are sized appropriately. When running the application however, the text is chopped off at the bottom. No biggie in that I just size my buttons a bit larger than I normally would. This is most likely a problem with my KDE environment in Linux. There’s probably a fonts setting that needs tweaking somewhere.

To sum this all up, I’m just sticking my toes into the REALbasic world and I’m finding the waters nice and warm so far. I may take the plunge and purchase REALbasic Professional for the $400 promo that’s going on right now. I’d love to get proficient at this, be able to earn a living, and be able to develop database applications on Linux, Mac, and Windows environments. It’s definitely worth a look!

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