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Upcoming Changes for our SQL Plugin

Thursday 25 August 2016 at 9:07 pm
From talks with clients, we got a few cool ideas for our SQL Plugin to make live easier or give you more flexibility.

We get some new method overloads for SQLValueMBS to pass MemoryBlocks for various blob field types there as value. So if you have a memoryblock and you pass it, the value is not first converted to a string (a copy of the bytes) and passed to the plugin. Now it passes the memoryblock directly. In general we want to have all plugin functions taking a block of bytes should accept either string or memoryblock to avoid extra conversions.

To quickly get the content of a blob field, you can now use asBLobMemory and asBLobString. Next the Prepare command on SQLDatabaseMBS now returns a SQLPreparedStatementMBS object, so you don't need to cast it anymore. For ODBC, we set the ODBCAddLongTextBufferSpace option now by default to false.

For SQLFieldMBS and SQLParamMBS we add ReadLongOrLob methods so you can read a blob value and have it be written directly to a file (folderitem) or to a stream. For the stream, you can pass any object of a class implementing the Writeable interface. So binary stream is fine as well as a socket, serial port or textoutputstream. This saves you may be a line of code, but it may help people looking for such a method.

For SQLValueMBS class, we added new methods to pass folderitem, memoryblock or Readable interface, e.g. a binarystream. So you can have the plugin stream from a file to a blob field for you from a file.

Next you can pass all parameters as a Dictionary to SQLCommandMBS. Also you can use a dictionary with Bind method in SQLPreparedStatementMBS, too. So if you have data for new record already in dictionaries, you can pass them to SQL commands. With SQLValueMBS you can now set it with a variant.

Now as we can set values for parameters by variant, we detect the type from the variant. So if the variant has a string, we set the parameter to be a string parameter. The auto detection works so well here, that now for prepared statement the binding of a type is optional. So if you bind values to a prepared statement with newer plugin without specifying the actual type, the bind will now work.

There is one thing to note: Passing a memoryblock or a string without a defined encoding, we take it as bytes (BLOB). If you pass text or a string with define encoding, we pass it as a text value. Please make sure you pass either explicit type or you make sure encoding is defined or not.

Save the date for MBS Xojo Conference in Berlin 2017

Wednesday 24 August 2016 at 12:27 pm
The next MBS Xojo Conference in Europe will take place 3rd to 6th May 2017 in Berlin, Germany:

Thursday, 4th May 2017: Conference and dinner event.
Friday, 5th May 2017: Conference.

Wednesday, 3rd and Saturday, 6th May 2017, we will offer training for interested developers.
Topic wishes are welcome.

On all evenings, we will have casual get-togethers in the summer garden and for Thursday we'll organize a dinner with barbecue there.

Location: Ellington Hotel, Nürnberger Straße 50-55, 10789 Berlin

If you book a room, please refer to our room contingent named "Xojo" to get rooms for 108 Euro/day single and 118 Euro/day double. Please call or email the hotel for reservations.

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

Tip of the day: DynaPDF form creation with calculation

Tuesday 23 August 2016 at 11:17 pm
Today I wrote the following example code for a client. This snippet creates four form fields. The last field is read only and has a calculation in javascript attached, so the PDF Viewer can calculate the sum of the three fields above. The example shows a second feature called number formats. The PDF Viewer can than format the number with the given number of digits, dot or comma as decimal or thousands separator and of course with a currency prefix/postfix.
dim y as Double = 50 dim lines() as string lines.Append "var v1 = this.getField(""Val1"");" lines.Append "var v2 = this.getField(""Val2"");" lines.Append "var v3 = this.getField(""Val3"");" lines.Append "event.value = v1.value + v2.value + v3.value;" dim script as string = Join(lines, EndOfLine.UNIX) dim f as integer dim a as integer a = pdf.CreateJSAction(script) f = pdf.CreateTextField("Val1", -1, false, 0, 50.0, y, 200.0, 20.0) call pdf.SetTextFieldValue(f, "50.00", "50.00", pdf.ktaRight) call pdf.SetNumberFormat(f, pdf.kdsNoneDot, 2, pdf.knsMinusBlack, "", false) y = y + 30 f = pdf.CreateTextField("Val2", -1, true, 0, 50.0, y, 200.0, 20.0) call pdf.SetTextFieldValue(f, "100.00", "100.00", pdf.ktaRight) call pdf.SetNumberFormat(f, pdf.kdsNoneDot, 2, pdf.knsMinusBlack, "", false) y = y + 30 f = pdf.CreateTextField("Val3", -1, false, 0, 50.0, y, 200.0, 20.0) call pdf.SetTextFieldValue(f, "200.00", "200.00", pdf.ktaRight) call pdf.SetNumberFormat(f, pdf.kdsNoneDot, 2, pdf.knsMinusBlack, "", false) y = y + 30 f = pdf.CreateTextField("Sum", -1, false, 10, 50.0, y, 200.0, 20.0) call pdf.SetFieldBorderWidth(f, 0.0) call pdf.SetTextFieldValue(f, "350.00 €", "350.00 €", pdf.ktaRight) call pdf.SetFieldFlags(f, pdf.kffReadOnly, false) // This last field calculates sum of other fields // Works only in PDF Viewers supporting JavaScript! call pdf.AddActionToObj(pdf.kotField, pdf.koeOnCalc, a, f) call pdf.SetNumberFormat(f, pdf.kdsCommaDot, 2, pdf.knsMinusBlack, " €", false)
PS: Technically we could also offer this for our FileMaker Plugin if needed.

Learn about code signing

Monday 22 August 2016 at 8:51 pm
If you plan to deploy software for macOS 10.12, please read this technical note from Apple:

Technical Note TN2206
macOS Code Signing In Depth


You may need to code sign your disk images when delivering software as well as the software inside.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.4pr4

Saturday 20 August 2016 at 11:19 am
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
  • Updated to DynaPDF
  • Fixed FileListMBS on Mac to work well with file names who have slash in the name.
  • Merged a few plugin parts so we have less DLLs and plugins load better in the Windows Xojo IDE.
  • Added linux implementation for DirectorySizeMBS class.
  • Fixed an issue with FileListMBS.Item() function.
  • Updated SQLite to 3.14.1.
  • Fixed an issue with Twain scanners when we get several callbacks quickly.
  • Added file path utility functions to NSFileManagerMBS class.
  • Added NSURLRequestMBS.requestWithHandle, NSURLMBS.URLWithHandle, CFStringMBS.stringWithHandle, CFDictionaryMBS.dictionaryWithHandle and CFArrayMBS.arrayWithHandle functions.
  • Added SQLite3MBS.LoadExtension function.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Office view this week

Tuesday 16 August 2016 at 09:04 am
Office view this morning:

If you are in southern Germany in the area Allgäu and need some training, consulting or shop talk, please contact me.

Show download in a new tab

Friday 12 August 2016 at 10:14 pm
In a Xojo Webapp you can not just provide files for download, you can also put them on links:

dim p as Picture = LogoMBS(500)
dim w as new WebPicture(p)

w.Filename = "image.png"
file = w

myLink.Target = myLink.kTargetNewWindow
myLink.URL = w.URL

myLink is a WebLink object on the web page. File is a WebLink property defined in the webpage.
The link now opens in a new browser window or a new tab. For a PDF or image file, this will show it directly in the browser and not start a new download.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.4pr3

Monday 08 August 2016 at 12:27 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
  • Updated to DynaPDF
  • Added DynaPDFImageMBS.PictureData function.
  • Changed Twain plugin to also load TwainDMS if Twain is not available. This allows you to install open source twain for 64-bit.
  • Changed VolResolveIDMBS, NewFolderItemMBS, NewFolderItemMBS, GetFileFlagsMBS and GetFolderFlagsMBS to work in 64-bit.
  • Changed plugin linking to set install name to be name of plugin part plus .dylib on Mac.
  • Added various CFURLMBS class properties.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Special offer for August: All Plugins Pack

Saturday 06 August 2016 at 1:25 pm
New to MBS Plugins? Want to get all MBS Plugins?

For August we have a special offer:

MBS Xojo DynaPDF Pro Plugin
MBS Xojo SQL Plugin
MBS Xojo Complete Plugin
MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin
MBS Xojo BugReporter Kit

For $1099 USD, 888 £ or 999 € instead of $2015 USD. (save $916)

Same licenses valid for our Real Studio plugins. You can use the DynaPDF License from us for the Xojo, Real Studio and FileMaker plugin as well as your C/C++, Delphi, PHP and Visual Basic projects.

Interested? Order now via Paddle

(VAT may apply for people in European Union as well as sales tax for various US states)

Recent changes for DynaPDF licenses

Saturday 06 August 2016 at 12:11 am
Did you notice recent changes to the licenses and features in DynaPDF?
There were two changes which may have gone unnoticed by licensees of the DynaPDF library:

1. Extracting images is now possible with Lite edition due to the new GetImageObj function. This does not apply to inline images, but to all of the big images and those are usually the ones of interest. e.g. if the PDF is from a scanner and only contains a big JPEG stream, you can get this image with Lite instead of Pro. The Pro version still offers more details with the parser interface where you can see which image is used on which page and with what output size. This allows you to know the display resolution, so you can detect low resolution images.

2. The optimize command moved recently from being part of the PDF/A add-on down to the Pro version. You still need the PDF/A add-on to convert arbitrary PDF files to PDF/A. But if you only need to reduce file size by removing duplicate content (e.g. common fonts or images in merge PDFs), you can now just go with your Pro license. This also applies to scaling down images to reduce file size even more!
The optimize command can be used to fix errors in PDFs as it rebuilds the content streams to make them error free. Especially when you archive emails from various clients, you may want to rebuild them just to make sure they display in the future on all readers.

If you are interested in a license, be sure to contact us with your wishes, so we can see if we can build a nice bundle for you for various licenses or apply any current discount offer.
All features are available for FileMaker, Xojo and Real Studio solutions.

XDC in two months

Monday 01 August 2016 at 5:23 pm
Just two months left for the 2016 Xojo Developer Conference. If you plan to go, be sure to reserve your flight for a good rate now. And also make a hotel reservation in advance.

Only three weeks left for the cheaper registration fee. So far Xojo Inc. has over 70 developers registered and 50% of the attendees are international, with people coming all the way from the UK, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Austria, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia! Also they have a lot of first time attendees - we are really looking forward to meeting all of the new people!

XDC will take place in Houston, TX October 5-7, 2016. It features sessions on best practices, special interests and other technical topics, with content for every level of Xojo developer. Educational sessions will cover topics like Xojo iOS, Raspberry Pi, database design, user interface design, debugging techniques, writing secure apps, and much more! Want to know what XDC is like? Watch our highlights video!

Register now!

XDC Pricing:
Advanced Registration:
till August 22, 2016: $899

Late Registration:
August 23 - Conference: $999

XDC will take place at the lovely boutique Hotel Derek in the Galleria area of Houston. It's right in the middle of two airports, giving you plenty of options (and time) to find a great flight! We have negotiated a hotel room rate of $164 a night. Rooms can be reserved here.

If you have any questions about XDC, feel free to email Dana Brown.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.4pr2

Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 7:47 pm
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
  • Fixed ArchiveWriterMBS.WriteHeader function.
  • Updated to DynaPDF
  • Added WVWebViewControlMBS control. Uses WebKit 2 for 64-bit, but fails back to older WebKit for 32-bit.
  • Added memory storage class to store data outside of app memory.
  • Fixed bug where volume reference number is returned wrong and volume size is not detected correctly.
  • Updated LCMS library to version 2.8.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Xojo Meeting in Atlanta

Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 5:26 pm
On Monday we had a nice Xojo developer meeting in Atlanta, Georgia:

Topics included Xojo 2016r2, the ongoing sales, new third party components and of course MBS Plugins.
Thanks everyone for coming and the Palmas for the great mexican food!

LCMS 2.8 released

Monday 25 July 2016 at 12:29 am
We just got notice about the release of a new LCMS version:

I am glad to the announce the release 2.8 of the Little CMS open source color engine.

This release has been sponsored by Alien Skin software

Version 2.8 is a featured release. It introduces alpha channel transportation and a new type of plug-in for enhancing performance, among bug fixes and other enhancements. XCode and Visual Studio 2015 are supported in this release.

Many thanks to Alien Skin software and also to all users that have tested this code.

Little CMS intends to be a small-footprint color management engine, with special focus on accuracy and performance. It uses the International Color Consortium standard (ICC), which is the modern standard when regarding to color management.

The ICC specification is widely used and is referred to in many International and other de-facto standards.

For more information, please take a look on:

Main site: littlecms.com
Downloads: littlecms.com/download.html

Best regards,
Marti Maria
The Little CMS project

Thanks to Marti for keeping this project running for years.
As usual we will include the new version of LCMS in the next prerelease of our plugins.

Xojo Meeting in Las Vegas

Saturday 23 July 2016 at 4:05 pm
Yesterday we met with a few Xojo developers in Las Vegas. While I invited 10 people for a meeting, only 2 showed up:

Still we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the FireFly restaurant, a bit off the strip.
This was the first meting since 2 years ago the Xojo developer conference took place in Las Vegas.

PS: Monday we meet in Atlanta.

Tip of the day: AppleScript with Properties to pass file path

Thursday 21 July 2016 at 11:57 pm
Today we discussed on how to best get the file path into an AppleScript. We'd like to pass it as POSIX path and no the old Mac path format. And we prefer to use properties to pass values into the script. The advantage is that we can compile once and run several times with different values. Finally putting values in properties avoids any escaping problems when putting a text into a script directly. So here is the final code:

// we have some FolderItem dim f as FolderItem = SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.key") // and build a script dim lines() as string // here we declare a property for the script: lines.Append "property filePath : """"" // and convert path from posix file path to AppleScript path lines.Append "tell application ""Finder""" lines.Append " set f to filePath as POSIX file" lines.Append "end tell" // and use path for Keynote lines.Append "tell application ""Keynote""" lines.Append " activate" lines.Append " set mydoc to open file f" lines.Append "end tell" // compile the script dim s as String = Join(lines, EndOfLine.Macintosh) dim a as new AppleScriptMBS a.Compile s if a.Lasterror <> 0 then MsgBox str(a.Lasterror)+" "+a.Error.BriefMessage end if // fill the property a.ScriptPropertyValue("filePath") = f.NativePath // run it a.Execute if a.Lasterror <> 0 then MsgBox str(a.Lasterror)+" "+a.Error.BriefMessage end if

Atl Xojo Users Group - Mon, Jul 25th, 2016

Wednesday 20 July 2016 at 11:04 pm
Kevin Cully sent the invitation for the next meeting in Atlanta:

Hello Xojo enthusiasts!

Please join us for this Xojo monthly meeting! We promise that you'll learn something new at each meeting!

Who: Everyone interested in developing in Xojo!
What: Monthly Meeting
Where: Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, 2210 Holly Springs Pkwy, Holly Springs, GA
When: Monday, July 25th, 2015 - 6pm to 9pm
Monkey Bread Software is one of the most prolific creators of plugins for Xojo. Literally hundreds of useful plugins that help you look and work like a pro. Christian Schmitz is coming all the way from Germany to talk all things Xojo, plugins and productivity. We hope that you can join us this next Monday.

We've also got the latest Xojo news, reviews and announcements.

See you there!

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.4pr1

Wednesday 20 July 2016 at 01:41 am
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
  • Added Raspberry Pi cameras classes.
  • Updated to DynaPDF
  • Fixed a bug for Japanese with Set Variable checking.
  • Improved DynaPDFOptimizeParamsMBS class for newer DynaPDF version.
  • Changed CIImageMBS.RenderPicture methods. If extend of image is infinite, we use the width and height you provide.
  • Fixed bug with ICDeviceBrowserMBS destructor.
  • Added GetStringsFromDataMBS function.
  • Fixed some issues with new Contacts classes.
  • Added new constructors for WindowsListMBS class to list child windows.
Download: macsw.de/plugin/Prerelease. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

DynaPDF Optimize Command

Sunday 17 July 2016 at 10:54 am
With the next prerelease of our FileMaker, Xojo and Real Studio plugins we will include DynaPDF and the Optimize command has two big changes: First, it now can now scale down images and reduce the size of PDF files significantly. Second, the license changes and the Optimize command is now included in the Pro license.

For optimize you can specify a few parameters. For each image in the PDF, DynaPDF will check the display resolution of the image. That is not the resolution stored in some metadata with the image, but the actual size the image will be displayed. You can specify the minimum resolution for images to be checked independently for Color, grayscale and 1 bit images. Next you define the resolution you want as maximum for the output images. For example you want to scale down all images with more than 100 dpi and reduce them to maximum 150 dpi. For the filter parameter you can specify the compression you want, e.g. JPEG. Converting images from Flate compression to JPEG with same or lower resolution will of course reduce the file size.

When optimizing PDFs, we can remove private data, invisible paths and create new link names. This further reduces size down and rebuilds the structure of the PDF. While doing the optimize we fix problems in PDF files automatically. Some PDFs which showed error messages when opening in Adobe Reader now open without errors.

Here an example:

The test PDF optimize-before.pdf is created with FileMaker 15 from the product catalog example with a few pictures. Than printed to PDF in FileMaker. Of course you can use whatever test PDFs you like for your own tests. Now we run through and let DynaPDF limit image resolution to 150 dpi. The new PDF optimize-after.pdf is much smaller. From 686 KB down to 89 KB (87% saved).

See yourself:
before vs. after

or when we scale them up at 200%:
before vs. after

We can extract the images and see that FileMaker placed a 816x612 Pixel big JPEG file (optimize-image-before.jpg) there. DynaPDF replaced that with a 206x154 Pixel big (optimize-image-after.jpg). I don't think you see the difference at the target size in the PDF. And 150 dpi is quite good for reading on screen and sending via email. FileMaker probably uses 600 dpi here to make sure it looks good when printing.

If you join FileMaker DevCon in Las Vegas, please visit our booth to try compression on your test PDFs!

Use Raspberry Pi Camera in Xojo

Thursday 14 July 2016 at 3:23 pm
As you may know I have a Raspberry Pi and play with it from time to time. One of my hobby projects got to a state where I can show it to you:

For upcoming 16.4 MBS Xojo plugins, we now have a few classes to work with the camera on a Raspberry Pi. You can query available formats, select one and take pictures. We support both picture objects and directly capturing JPEG data. This way you can request image in right size and compressed and your application doesn't need to do this.
If you like to try, please email me soon.

Older blog entries:

2016-07-13 Tip of day: Gradients with CoreImage Filter
2016-07-13 Loaded Plugins in Xojo
2016-07-12 Xojo 2016 Release 2 Now Available
2016-07-12 MBS Xojo / Real Studio plug-ins in version 16.3
2016-07-10 Alternativer Wolf- und Bärenpark Schwarzwald
2016-07-09 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr6
2016-07-06 XDC in 3 months
2016-07-05 National BKeeney...er...Bikini Day
2016-07-05 xDev Magazine Issue 14.4
2016-07-05 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr5
2016-07-02 SQLite 3.13 with ICU
2016-06-28 Xojo Meeting in Atlanta
2016-06-25 Xojo Stammtisch in Hanau
2016-06-25 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr4
2016-06-22 Survey about European MBS Xojo Conferences 2017
2016-06-21 XDC sessions
2016-06-19 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr3
2016-06-18 Faster String handling
2016-06-10 MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 16.3pr2
2016-06-08 xDev Magazine Launches xDevLibrary


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