Working with REALbasic

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I’ve started a new project that is to run on Linux and I decided to give REALbasic a try. I’m impressed. A completely integrated working environment along with a debugger. Of course, as with anything, there is the good, the bad and the ugly:

The good:

Cross platform development. I can reach 99% of all platforms.
Full graphical IDE
It’s platform aware so I can conditionally write code that executes on one or more of the platforms as needed.
Strong typed language. This is different from Fox where many of the “type” errors won’t be caught on compilation. I may grow to like this feature more or I may grow to resent it. We’ll see.
Controls! HTML Viewers, sliders, and more. It’s nice to see new options for building a UI.
OO. I can subclass as I see fit.
NOT VB6 clone. While it shares lots of similarities to VB, this is its own animal. Of course I’m not an expert on VB so it is hard for me to tell where there are similarities and differences.
No dependencies. I can build an application and just deploy that application with no DLLs. No 1.1G .NET library necessary. Very cool. I can create the need for dependencies but it’s not at all necessary.

The bad:

I’m doing most of my development on a Linux laptop. On occasion, the application development environment will just dissappear. The Linux version hasn’t been out for a long time and I expect this to improve as newer versions come out.

The ugly:

Slow IDE on Linux. I think RB’s bread and butter is the Mac platform, closely followed by the Windows platform. But I think the intellisense really drags my development machine down. It’s only a P3 600Mhz laptop so that might be more of the culprit than anything.
No report writer. It appears as if most people roll their own reports using a variety of techniques. This gives great flexibility but creates a burden on developers. Perhaps some day the team will include one.

I spoke above about the lack of dependencies. In fact, yesterday I created an application that connected to my MySQL server. Debugged it and then I build it for Linux and Windows platform. I ran the application on Linux and it connected! 2.2M application. I then ran the EXE version on a windows machine and it connected! 2.2M exe. Astounding!

Obviously I’m still floundering in development. I’ve got to start asking questions on the message forum(s). Some of the development is very different from VFP so I’ve got to wrap my head around it. I’m wanting to build a global data access object but I’m not quite sure how to go about it. Ah, learning curves.

To see more fundamental information on REALbasic, check out The Wikipedia article on REALbasic. Stay tuned!

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