Upgrading our HTMLViewer functions for Internet Explorer


When you look with auto complete at the methods for HTMLViewer, you see a lot of MBS functions there with IE prefix. We'll cleanup the mess and deprecate all the IE methods we have for HTMLViewer control currently. Instead of we add five new classes and provide the methods there:

IEWindowMBS
IEWebBrowserMBS
IENavigatorMBS
IEHistoryMBS
IEDocumentMBS

All new functions now handle errors by raising IEExceptionMBS exceptions with error number and message set. We added over 50 new methods there to control HTMLViewer on Windows even more. Please let us know if you miss something.

An advantage of the new classes is that you can keep a reference to them in a property. Instead of us looking up the objects internally always, caching them will improve performance.

See also WKWebViewMBS, WebViewMBS, ChromiumBrowserMBS and LinuxWebViewMBS classes for other platforms. You may see the pattern, but instead of putting all methods directly on the HTMLViewer, we plan to move them all into classes and just give you a convenience method to get the instance for the given class.

Three days till year's end


The year 2019 will end in around three days. Do you need some more licenses?
  • Last chance to update licenses purchased in 2017.
  • You can order licenses for 2020 or later and have delivery plus payment done in 2019.
  • And of course you can order updates for several years in advance for all your MBS products.
  • As all Xojo plugin, LibXL and DynaPDF licenses are per developer, you should check if you got a new developer in your team this year and adjust licenses to match team size.
  • For FileMaker please check if you have enough license for the number of seats or servers you have in use.
Especially if you run on a budget and you want to spend some money in 2019, you can buy updates for several years in advance.

Xojo Plugins for EyeOne Devices


The print industry needs to have accurate colors and X-Rite Inc. has a few solutions in that direction. Those include various EyeOne devices to measure colors, quality control applications like ColorCert to make sure the color printed is the one specified and a cloud offering PantoneLIVE to make sure everyone uses the same color standards.

Xojo is a great development tool for cross platform applications for MacOS, Windows and Linux. A few Xojo developers write software to help them work with colors in various ways. This includes software to connect to EyeOne devices and measure colors. If you like to write such a software you need to get a SDK license from X-Rite, download the SDK and then ask us for the matching Xojo Plugin. Over the years we provided several plugins for the various SDKs from X-Rite to interface devices right from the Xojo: i1Pro3, I1IO3, i1iSis, i1Pro and i1iO.

You may also want to look in our LCMS Plugin classes to convert colors from one color space to another and the DynaPDF plugin to put your colors into the PDF files you pass to printers.

See also: Colorspaces in Xojo and Colorspaces in MacOS with Xojo

Merry Christmas


Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo


Franziska, Sebastian, Michael, Monika & Christian Schmitz

ChartDirector with Korean alphabet


One of our users asked whether ChartDirector can do text in Korean alphabet (Hangul). As the ChartDirector and MBS Xojo Plugins support unicode, we can answer this with a yes:



The rendering between Mac (left) and Windows (right) looks a little bit different due to different as the fonts are not identically and the platform depended parts of the drawing are not the same. But in order to use all unicode characters, please use a font containing the characters you need.

#If TargetWin32
  Call c.setLabelStyle "ArialUni.ttf"
#Else
  Call c.setLabelStyle "Arial Unicode.ttf"
#EndIf

As you see we specify here the font for the labels to be Arial Unicode as this font contains Korean characters. If you miss to specify the font, you get a default font, which may not contain the characters. The example will be included in future MBS Plugin releases. It also works with other asian characters including Chinese, Japanese and Thai.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.6pr4


New in this prerelease of the 19.6 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Using pinned certificates with our CURL plugin functions


To increase the security of the TLS connections you make with our CURL plugin functions, you can pin the certificate. That means you store a hash of the public key in the certificate and CURL checks this hash against the public key sent from the server. If the hash does not match, the connection is closed and you get back error code 90 with message "SSL: public key does not match pinned public key!".

If you like to see the certificate, you can use set cert info option to true. The plugin collects the certificate information and you can later query it. Use CURL.SetOptionCertInfo and CURL.GetCertInfo functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin for this. In our MBS Xojo CURL Plugin, please use OptionCertInfo property and GetInfoCertInfo method. The information includes the parsed certificate details as well as the PEM style certificate data.

Now in order to use pined certificate, you need the hash, but how to get it?
You could use the openssl command line instructions from the CURLOPT_PINNEDPUBLICKEY documentation page. But there is an easier way. Just put in a hash like "sha256//xxx" with OptionPinnedPublicKey in the plugin. Do your request and in the debug log you find a message like this:

public key hash: sha256//dhF0fnWyRh66b9UWMzm1TdEREOw4vkMunNGZQo0VZSE=
SSL: public key does not match pinned public key!

And now you can simply copy this hash and pass it to the option for the next connection. Don't forget the "sha256//" prefix. Once the hash matches the connection will continue.

Your code can check for the result of the CURL and inform the user if the public key changed. Now it may be good to compare the cert info output to the last one you may have saved and see if they website just renewed their certificate or whether someone tries to hack you and use a fake certificate. If the certificate was renewed with the same private key, the public key won't change.

Don't forget to use a list of acceptable root certificates and let CURL verify the certificates, too. See CAPath option and get cacert.pem from curl website.

Update Machine Learning Model on Device


For next MBS Xojo Mac64bit Plugin we add a CoreML functions to update the model on device. If you have an updatable model for CoreML, the Apple framework to use machine learning on MacOS, then you can now use our MLUpdateTaskMBS class to pass new training data to the plugin and we update the model.

You can load a model with modelWithContentsOfFile function in MLModelMBS class and you get the description with modelDescription function, you now see there a new property called trainingInputDescriptionsByName with a dictionary containing all the keys describing input parameters.

For our example model we pass a drawing parameter for the picture with 28 by 28 pixel resolution in grayscale. The other parameter is the label with the correct output for this image. We fill those parameters with the matching MLFeatureValueMBS values into a dictionary. The dictionary is then passed to a new MLDictionaryFeatureProviderMBS object.

Once you have all MLDictionaryFeatureProviderMBS objects for your training, you pass them all into a MLArrayBatchProviderMBS object. With an object from MLModelConfigurationMBS class we define whether GPU is used. Finally we pass the training data with input file to the MLUpdateTaskMBS class to run the training. We use a subclassed MLUpdateProgressHandlersMBS to catch the Progress and Completed events. And in the complete event, we can get the new model from the MLUpdateContextMBS object and write it to the new model file.

You can build solutions which come with a pre-calculated machine learning model, which is then adjusted on device (e.g. MacBook) while the user takes new data and provides correct answers. On the computer back in the office you can take a basic model to recognize some data and then adjust with all the records you have in your database.

If you are interested to use this functions, please try the 19.6pr3 release or newer. This functionality is available on MacOS 10.15 or iOS 13. Calculation happens on device using GPU if available.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.6pr3


New in this prerelease of the 19.6 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Fetch 5.8 released


For the last 20 years I have been a frequent user of the little file transfer application called Fetch from Fetch Softworks.

My first order for a license is from 2001. Later one in 2009 and as a gratitude I just ordered new licenses for the company. Continued development should be honored, even if developers don't force you to pay.

With the new version 5.8 they moved to a 64-bit architecture for compatibility with macOS 10.15 Catalina and added support for Dark Mode on macOS 10.14 Mojave and later. More in the release notes here.

This is great news as this is one of the applications we waited for to support 64-bit before using macOS Catalina (next year).

PS: I also use transmit sometimes, another great app where I also have a license.

Xojo 2019 Release 3 Now Available


Xojo 2019 Release 3 is now available with over 100 changes and improvements, focusing on iOS.

This release includes the following iOS features:
  • iOS 13 Dark Mode support
  • Color Groups for easy Dark/Light Mode drawing
  • iOSRectangle now supports Blur effects
  • Access to the over 1,500 button icons included in iOS 13
  • iOS Text Area border settings
In addition, this release includes:
  • SQLite has been updated to 3.29.0
  • ListBox iterators
  • String improvements
  • DateTime improvements
  • System.VersionData class for getting OS version information
The complete list of improvements in Xojo 2019 Release 3 can be found in the release notes. Download now!

Xojo Meeting in Netherlands


As I am traveling again to the Netherlands, I like to arrange a Xojo developer meeting.

Let's talk about Xojo, conferences, plugins and other programming topics.

Please help to decide on the extract day: Xojo Survey: Wednesday 8th January

We can reserve a table in a nice restaurant in Rotterdam near the main train station and talk an evening about Xojo. Time probably around 18 to 22 o'clock, so you can come later or leave early.

Interested people can of course make an extra appointment with me for private consulting.

PS: Looks like it will be Wednesday. We'll look for a meeting place!

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.6pr2


New in this prerelease of the 19.6 plugins:
  • Added JavaScriptEngineMBS class with DukTape JavaScript engine.
  • Added ColWidthPx and RowHeightPx to XLSheetMBS class.
  • Rewrote CURL data receiving to improve performance for POP3 and IMAP.
  • Changed default text encoding for CURL.SetInputText and CURL.AddInputText to UTF-8.
  • Changed OptionPostFields in CURLSMBS to free previous data directly instead of waiting for destructor.
  • Added LGLMBS class with SAT Solver.
  • Updated LibXL to version 3.8.8.
  • Changed SmartCardMBS.SplitValues method to mark valid UTF-8 strings to have UTF-8 encoding.
  • Disabled scale for DynaPDF graphics support as it doesn't work and may let content disappear.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Three weeks till year's end


The year 2019 will end in less than three weeks. Do you need some more licenses?
  • You can order licenses for 2020 or later and have invoice, delivery and payment done in 2019.
    This way you secure the current pricing and the possibility to keep upgradeability for older licenses.
  • And of course you can order updates for several years in advance for all your MBS products.
  • As all our Xojo and DynaPDF plugin licenses are per developer, you should check if you got a new developer in your team this year and adjust licenses to match team size.
  • For MBS FileMaker Plugin please check if you have enough license for the number of seats or servers you have in use.
    If you upgrade to unlimited seats or servers, the plugin won't need to check the usage counts.
Especially if you run on a budget and you want to spend some money in the old year, you can buy updates for several years in advance.
If you need help to decide what Xojo, FileMaker or plugin license you need, we may be able to assist you.

Our JavaScript engine for Xojo


For next MBS Xojo Plugins we add a JavaScript engine to be used within your Xojo application without a HTMLViewer control. You can execute JavaScript similar to the XojoScript control and offer it to your users as a scripting language within your solution. If you need, you can run JavaScript snippets at runtime to do calculations and even integrate your own functions to call back to Xojo.

 

Evaluate JavaScript

 

You can use JavaScriptEngineMBS class in next plugin version and instantiate a JavaScript environment. Then you can evaluate some JavaScript code and get back a result. For your convenience we convert between JavaScript data types and Xojo's variant data type.

 

Dim j As New JavaScriptEngineMBS

Dim v As Variant = j.Evaluate("2+3")

MsgBox v.StringValue

 

The variant will now contain the number 5. Alternative you can use EvaluateToString which converts result to string. If something goes wrong you may get a JavaScriptEngineExceptionMBS exception raised, so it may be good to wrap it in a try & catch block.

 

For your convenience we define a Print, Input and Yield function in JavaScript. The print command will raise the Print event and allow you to implement a print command for JavaScript to write to a log window. The Input event works similar, but passes back the result from Xojo back to JavaScript and converts the types back. Third function for yield is to give time to other Xojo threads if a you run JavaScript in a thread.

 

(more)

TraceFile option in MBS Xojo DynaPDF Plugin


If you are looking to debug a problem with your Xojo code using MBS Xojo DynaPDF Plugin, we can help with our trace feature.

Dim pdf As New MyDynapdfMBS
pdf.TraceFile = SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("dynapdf.txt")

Once you put the TraceFile assignment there, the plugin will open the file and start writing log messages until the PDF is object is done. The output may look like this:

SetLicenseKey
CreateNewPDFWfile
    file: /Users/cs/Desktop/Create PDF.pdf
    Result: true
SetDocInfoW
    DInfo: 4
    Text: "My first Xojo output"
    Result: true
SetPageCoords
    value: 1
    Result: true
Append
ClearPageGraphics
    Result: true
SetFontW
    Name: "Times"
    Style: 1
    Size: 40.000000
    Embed: true
    CP: 39
    Result: 0
WriteFTextW
    Align: 1
    Text: "My first Xojo output!"
    Result: true
EndPage
ClearPageGraphics
    Result: true
CloseFile
ClearPageGraphics
MyInitProgressProc
    ProgType: 1
    MaxCount: 1
MyProgressProc
    ActivePage: 1
    Result: 0
MyProgressProc
    ActivePage: 1
    Result: 0
    Result: true
PDFDestructor

Now you see more than you may be calling directly. You see the file path used for creating the PDF with CreateNewPDF function. Then we call SetDocInfo to set the subject field for the PDF. We set page coordinate system and append a page, which implicitly clears page graphics. Next we set a font and write something and you see all the details like the code page 39, which is unicode. We close the page, which clears page graphics again in case you used it. We close the file and save it, which invokes optionally the progress events until the destructor runs finally and ends the trace file.

If you build a complex PDF and you call thousands of DynaPDF functions, this log may help you to find the errors by looking for error messages or result codes here.

Heise Mac Dev


Today at the Heise MacDev, a Mac & iOS developer conference organized by Heise publisher.



In the last ten years I visited Macoun a couple of times. Now we may end up having two conferences in Germany for Mac & iOS developers. Let's learn new techniques, meet local developers and get new contacts.

ImageMagick 7 for Xojo


In the last weeks we worked on a bigger project for our Xojo plugins. As you may know we support both GraphicsMagick and ImageMagick libraries in our plugin. For GraphicsMagick we build the library and embed it in our plugins. For ImageMagick we do not embed the library, so you need to bring your own library file. In our Xojo plugins we used to be based on version 6.9 of ImageMagick and we have three configurations: 8, 16 and 32 bit depth. We have each class for ImageMagick three times and by using one of the classes, you pick the depth you want, e.g. IMImageQ16MBS class for 16 bit. Then you need to load at runtime in your application the right library (DLL/dylib/so) and the classes can work.

For Image Magic 7 the API changes significantly. Half of the plugin code needed an update or rewrite. As we had to rewrite, we took a bigger approach. We created a new set of classes, all with 7 in the name. As ImageMagick now supports High Dynamic Range Images in the HDRI versions of the library, we got 7 combinations of 8, 16, 32, 64 bit with and without HDRI (There is no 64bit without HDRI). For a time we had all classes compiled in 7 versions, but this was not the designed we liked. How would it be to have one class which adapts?

After a few changes to the plugin code we got exactly this. You load the library and we run a few functions to ask the library whether it supports HDRI and what the desired depth is. In our functions to fill an image with a Xojo picture, we now branch out to the right code to convert a pixel from 8 bit in Xojo per channel into the desired bit depth. Yes, we have 7 functions in C code for this and use the right one.

You can simply download the current ImageMagick libraries from the website, e.g. ImageMagick-x86_64-apple-darwin19.0.0.tar.gz for MacOS or ImageMagick-7.0.9-7-Q16-HDRI-x64-dll.exe for Windows 64-bit. On Windows with installer just install it and the path environment variable points to the right folder, so you can just load the DLL by name. For MacOS, please point to the right dylib file. This works fine for us with 16 bit color depth on Mac and 16 bit HDRI on Windows.

Please try the new ImageMagick7 classes. ImageMagick is a huge library. We have already over 200 methods there to edit images with a lot of effects. But we are not yet done. But if you see a method you miss, please contact us.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale


Our Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale continues till Tuesday evening:

First use coupon code BlackFridayMBS for our web shop to order new licenses with a 20% discount. Works for both FileMaker and Xojo plugin licenses.

If you have special needs, you can email us to get an invoice or Paypal payment link directly. We know some people need to wait till next week to order, so the offer is valid till Tuesday.

Second if you have purchased previously an individual MBS Xojo Plugin part from the Complete Set within the last two years, but not the whole set, we offer you an upgrade to the Complete set for the update price. Please consider to get the whole collection of 35 plugins instead of just one plugin.

See also Xojo Thanksgiving Sale and a xojo.io/deals for a collection of offers.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 19.6pr1


New in this prerelease of the 19.6 plugins:
  • Added new ImageMagick 7.x classes. ImageMagick7MBS and related classes. Works with 8 to 64-bit quantum depth and HDRI support.
  • Updated SQLAPI to version 5.0.2.
  • Updated CURL library to version 7.67.0.
  • Added ThreadCount parameter for TransformLineStrideMT and TransformMT in LCMS2TransformMBS class.
  • Fixed issue with CubeSQL client in SQL Plugin to allow SHOW commands to work.
  • Added LMFitStatusMBS, LMFitControlMBS and LMFitMBS classes for Levenberg-Marquardt least squares fitting algorithm.
  • Added hasDate and hasTime properties to SQLDateTimeMBS class.
  • Fixed bug with random number generator on Windows not always working very randomly on threads. Affected UUIDMBS.randomUUID function used in threads.
  • Removed erroneous deprecation for ValidationMBS class.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version 4.0.35.97.
  • Added LoadFileURL method for WKWebViewControlMBS class.
  • Fixed a few examples to compile for Xojo 2019r2.
  • Updated LibArchive to version 3.4.0.
  • Fixed crash with PDFViewControlMBS control in the Xojo IDE.
  • Improved code for ReadFile in SmartCardMBS to read in chunks of 256 bytes instead of 255 bytes.
  • Fixed crash in SubString() function in RegExMBS when called without an Execute first. Raising exceptions now in this case.
  • Changed graphics for DynaPDFMBS to not try to do transparency if you don't have Lite or higher license.
  • Optimized DynaPDF graphics support to not draw hidden vector objects.
  • Added HasLite and HasPro properties to DynaPDFMBS class.
  • Fixed reference counting problem in Commands() function in SQLDatabaseMBS and SQLConnectionMBS classes causing crashes.
  • Fixed problem in Readers function in SmartCardContextMBS class which may have cut off first character of a reader name.
  • Changed SetLineDashPattern event in DynaPDFParseInterfaceMBS class to pass double array instead of MemoryBlock and phase parameter as double.
  • Fixed crash in Commands functions in SQLDatabaseMBS and SQLConnectionMBS classes.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Top Reasons for not getting an answer email from us


Customers send support requests, purchase licenses or use our web forms, but later some complain we never answered.
Please check if you may have met one of this conditions:
  • Check if you typed your email address correctly. Copy & Paste the email used and send a test email there. Maybe you missed a letter or swapped a few and don't see it yourself.
  • Check your spam folder for an answer. Sometimes our emails end up in spam folder.
  • Contact us with another email address. If your email server blocks us, we can't easily reach you. A second email address may be handy for us to contact you.
  • Check if you can white list our email address for your mail server.
  • Check if your mailbox on the server is not full. Moving a few emails in your mail app from inbox into a local archive folder may free up space on the server.
  • Send your email again after two days. Sometimes an email just gets lost.
It is sometimes scary how angry people can get if they don't get an answer in time. Sometimes we need to lookup a phone number and call clients to inform them their email is broken.
As usual, this just works fine for 99% of all emails.

Birthday of our video page


Over twelve years ago we started created tutorial videos and today our video page has birthday. Enjoy a video and learn about our plugins.

Over the years we collected more than 80 videos. We hope you enjoy them!

Watch Xojo Videos - FileMaker Videos

Youtube channels:

We know we could make more videos. So what wishes do you have?
Please email us or post a comment here.

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