Friday, March 20, 2009

How I came to REALbasic

I'm Norm Palardy. As many of you know I've been a long time user of REALbasic. In fact, I've been using it since before it was called REALbasic.

I've used it in all kinds of projects for a wide range of things.

I initially started out using REALbasic because it could generate Java Applets which, at the time, was something the project I was working on might need. It turned out we didn't need that, but Cross Basic, as it was called at the time, proved useful in other ways, so I kept using it.

Eventually I was tasked with another larger project within the same company that REALbasic proved useful for. We had a need for a system to capture SCADA data and to play it back so we could test the expert system we were creating.

My job was to create the data capture and playback system.

Since we were gathering data from another area of the company and then piping it into our application, I had to figure out the API the other team had available, and test it while I built it.

I used REALbasic to do all this work - scope out the API and sample data that was being passed. I could then put it all in a list and watch as it came in and verify that my analysis of the protocol was correct.

REALbasic proved invaluable in this evdeavor.

I eventually left this company and worked for a small start up that was creating a video jukebox. All of the code was being done in C/C++; but mock ups for screens and functionality was often done in REALbasic. And some of the system software we used was done in REAlbasic because it was dead simple to create the first prototypes. The machines were all Macintosh’s and the system updates were all written in REALbasic. We could update the OS, extensions and anything else, including the software that ran the video jukebox.

We also had a number of other tools in REALbasic for managing the configuration data, smart cards, client lists, and even some of the video encoding utilities.

Eventually I left this company as well and worked for myself.

I wrote the entire OpenBase connection kit for REALbasic in REALbasic.
This was a complete rewrite of a C/C++ based database plugin that, at the time, had gone through a few developer’s hands. The rewrite started as a proof-of-concept and now is embedded in at least one well-known product made with REALbasic.

And from there I landed a job at REAL working on the product that I've been using for so long.

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