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Any downsides to REALBasic (for Windows)?


In my continuing (eternal?) quest for a VB 6 replacement, I'm looking at RealBasic.

At first blush it meets all my requirements:
a. Productive IDE.  Intellisense/code completion and other enhancements

b. Produces standalone EXEs that start out *reasonably* small (looks like a 1.3 MB overhead for the runtime "core" in the EXE)

It even has the benefit of compiling for the Mac, although that's just a "nice to have" not a requirement.

Are there any Gotchas that I'm missing?

Anyone run into problems with RealBasic? Bugs? Features it should have but is missing? (for example, I can't set the text color on Buttons or List boxes. Seems like a simple idea, but it won't do it)

The real Entrepreneur
Thursday, February 19, 2004

I am a big fan of REALbasic.  I mostly use the OS X version, although I also use the Windows version occasionaly at work.

Version 5.5 is currently in beta and will likely be released in a month or so.  New features include:
* Can build Linux apps
* Try/catch blocks
* All-new database engine
* Remote debugging
* More efficient compiler
* Console/Service applications
* Mach-O Support on Mac OS X
* Simpler sockets
* interprocess sockets
* Access the address book in Mac OS X
* Comboboxes
* Styled Text Classes

I've been using the 5.5 betas for some time now and they are looking pretty solid.

Some gotchas:
* ODBC driver is a bit buggy
* No native Oracle or MS SQL server drivers
* Cannot create components or DLLs
* Proprietary file format, although there is an XML export capability

Overall, I find it to be a nice blend of VB6 and VB.NET.

I write the Database column for REALbasic Developer Magazine, so I am a bit biased.

Paul Lefebvre
Thursday, February 19, 2004

What I miss is the drop-down list box of available functions/members when using intellisense.  May not be an issue for people that use it on a daily basis, but my primary language is C++, I'm only a vb/vba dabbler.

Dan Brown
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Do you need to use "Dim" to declare variables in RealBasic?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

What are:
"* Styled Text Classes"  ?

Does this (I HOPE!) refer to styled text being available in things like command buttons?

"What I miss is the drop-down list box of available functions/members when using intellisense. "

It thought that intellisense would provide this if you hit the the Tab key when you get the "...". It might be nice to have that list automatically come up, but it's not a problem for me.

The real Entrepreneur
Thursday, February 19, 2004

From the Beta ReadMe: "New with RB 5.5 is the ability to do styled text operations independant of an EditField."

I have  no idea if this lets you change button text.

Yes, like VB you need to use Dim to declare variables in REALbasic.

Paul Lefebvre
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Crap, I didn't realize it would come up when you hit 'tab'.

Dan Brown
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Any comments or opinions on the data engine?

How good is it?

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Albert D. Kallal
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Another question on the data-engine,  does it complicate installation?  i.e. do you need to install some BDE style data engine or is it pretty much standalone?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The database engine included with RB 5.2 is pretty weak.  It works, but it has limited SQL support, is prone to corruption, tables/columns cannot be dropped and other strange things I'm forgetting right now.

The new database engine included with RB 5.5 (both Pro and Standard) is a fantastic improvement.  It supports a subset of standard SQL92 syntax, indexing, larger field/database sizes, TimeStamp data type and more.

Both databases are single user.

In 5.2, the database is simply a file that you include with your application.  In 5.5 the database can also be a simple file or it can be contained in a folder of separate files (to support larger database sizes and improved performance).

You can download the beta from the REAL Software web site to check out the Database readme.

Paul Lefebvre
Friday, February 20, 2004

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