Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Since the release of REAL Studio 2010r5, we've been receiving lots of questions regarding deploying Web applications. They have come from the forums, our mailing lists, sent to our customer service and tech support contacts, as well as directly to my inbox. So here is a kind of status update regarding Web Edition, as well as some background information, and possibly assistance with getting your application deployed once we have made r5.1 available.
I see two main deployment issues:
A few days before we shipped, it was discovered that apps deployed as FastCGIs could take up 100% of the CPU. Obviously, that's not going to work.
- Some/many shared hosts are not able to support this yet. Some do though, and we expect more to over time. Currently, the most cost-effective way to deploy is using a VPS, unless you've found a shared hosting package that works for you.
- FastCGI has a few bugs.
From past experiences with Cocoa, delaying the release was not an option. If we delayed, users would be upset anyway. A "damned if you do, damned if you don't situation." We decided to get this into our users hands and do a r5.1 release.
The good news is that FastCGI is much improved in r5.1. We ran an internal test of the Chat example last night on a CentOS 5 + Apache server using Dynamic FastCGI. Aside from a couple minor issues that need looking into, it performed wonderfully. Average CPU was 0%, RAM at 8MB. The app did not crash, it handled all requests perfectly. We were very pleased.
This test also revealed another configuration requirement though. By default, the FastCGI process manager will spawn additional instances of your application at its will. This is a problem for our applications, as state information is stored in memory. When this happened, although the apps were functioning, the client-side experience fell apart terribly. To prevent this, here's what I added to our Apache config file:
Basically, this line tells the process manager that it is allowed to have no app running (for when no users are connected and the app is not needed) and is allowed to run only one instance of each app.
We intend to have a r5.1 beta available to the beta program in time for the holidays. We'll be collecting feedback over the holiday break, and intend to have a r5.1 release in January. As with all point releases, r5.1 will be available to anybody eligible for r5.
The new config options will be added to the wiki at some point, and we intend to setup demo apps on our website. However, these things may not happen until after the holidays. In the mean time, here's everything I did to get an app deployed.
- Purchased a new dedicated server from InMotion Hosting. A VPS would work just as well once this is stable, but for our testing, we want a dedicated box where we can control every variable, and not cause problems for other users on the same server should our app eat up all resources or something. It is a CentOS server with cPanel installed, very similar if not identical to the average hosting package.
- Downloaded and installed mod_fastcgi. This requires root access, so either get root access or ask Tech Support for assistance. For me, it was very easy, but not everybody is as comfortable with the command line.
- I modified /usr/local/apache/conf/includes/pre_main_global.conf. This can be done via command line, or through WHM. I added two lines:
- Restarted Apache
- Uploaded an app using FTP as if it were any other file.
- Set the app as executable. This can be done with any good FTP client.
- Added an .htaccess file to the directory containing my app:
- Visited the URL for my app to test. The URL will be dictated by the directory structure you uploaded your app to.
One last bit of information this test unveiled is that default installations of cPanel will relaunch Apache every 2 hours. When this happens, your application will be stopped as well, and your users disconnected. We are investigating a solution to this issue, but that solution will NOT make it into r5.1. In the mean time, the only solution we can offer is to disable log processing, or at least slow down the rate at which logs are processed. This can be done using WHM, under the "Server Configuration" section, look for the "Statics Software Configuration" option. There is a thread on the cPanel forums about this issue at http://forums.cpanel.net/f5/11-25-current-apache-restarting-every-hour-134281.html for those interested.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The complexity of coding web applications has prevented many developers as well as hobbyists from attempting to create innovative new web-based applications. REAL Studio Web Edition uses a single, high-level, object-oriented language that is tightly integrated with the REAL Studio web framework. This allows developers to focus on what makes their application unique. Because of its unique interface, almost any app built for the desktop can now be created for the web with ease, without the need to learn five different web technologies.
Web Edition’s visual interface builder allows the user to create an interface via “drag and drop” rather than hand-coding it in HTML. Behind-the-scenes, the web framework translates the user interface on the fly into the appropriate web technologies required by the browser, thus eliminating the need for the user to know the above mentioned web languages and technologies. The integrated debugger makes tracking down bugs far easier than traditional web development tools. Additionally, the interface controls are supported on all browsers, which eliminates testing on each browser which is required with other techniques.
REAL Software applications are uniquely compiled to machine code for fast execution, allowing developers to sell their software with the knowledge that their intellectual property is safe and secure
“More and more users want applications delivered via their browser, but the complexity of doing so made it out of the reach of most people. Now ordinary people and software programmers alike, who once thought the learning curve was too steep, can build web applications easily and quickly,” said Geoff Perlman, REAL Software founder and CEO. “We currently have a seven-year-old creating an application using this new tool and if a child can learn REAL Studio, anyone can.”
REAL Studio Web Edition is available today for $599. It is included in REAL Studio Enterprise Edition, which also allows developers to create high quality applications for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. REAL Studio Enterprise Edition is priced at $995. REAL Studio is available in a 30-day trial and also includes a 90-day money back guarantee.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
If you are interested in getting REAL Studio Enterprise edition in anticipation of REAL Studio Web Edition, this is a great opportunity to get 30% off!
REAL Studio is a desktop, console and web development tool. Using REAL Studio developers can create powerful cross-platform applications for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux ranging from utilities to full-featured enterprise applications and everything in between. Creating web applications for REAL Studio will be available soon as a feature of the Enterprise Edition. REAL Studio is great for both those who are new or want to learn programming and professional, full-time developers.
REAL Studio is available in three editions: Personal, Professional and Enterprise. REAL Studio Personal Edition, priced at $99, is ideal for students and hobbyists and those making software for themselves. REAL Studio Professional Edition for $299 is geared for the more advanced user and includes the ability to compile for all three platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux). REAL Studio Enterprise Edition is fully-charged for the professional, full-time software developer and allows developers to develop and deploy on all three platforms. The upcoming Web Edition will be included in Enterprise Edition. REAL Studio Enterprise Edition is priced at $995.
REAL Software offers a 90-day money back guarantee on new licenses, so developers can purchase their license at the discounted price during this one-day Black Friday sale and get a full refund within 90 days if they are not fully satisfied.
To take advantage of this sale visit http://www.realsoftware.com on Friday, November 26th and the discount will be applied in the store.
REAL Software is currently shipping REAL Studio 2010 Release 4.1 and all versions are available for download now at http://www.realsoftware.com. REAL Studio is available in 30-day free trial editions.
Friday, November 5, 2010
If you are wondering why you are being prompted for this code you can read more about it here. If you have not registered your account or don't see your keys in your account when you log in, you can find tips here or you can contact Customer Service.
We appreciate your patience with this process. We have plans to make this easier for our users in the future and look forward to implementing those changes. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments please contact Customer Service.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Fabrice Garcia, a REAL Studio user, pointed out that if you can compile to a memory-based storage device, compilation is much, much faster. For Windows 7 users, you need an SD card and use the Windows "ready boost" feature in Windows 7.
For Mac users, there may be SD card options but the new MacBook Air uses only memory-based storage. So if you are thinking about a Mac laptop, that might be a consideration.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Renewal - A 12 month Renewal gives you access to the current REAL Studio release and all releases for the following 12 months. You can Renew any "Modern" REALbasic/REAL Studio license key anytime, before or after its expiration date. Pre-2005 license keys must be Upgraded to the "Modern" edition before they can be Renewed.
Upgrade - You can Upgrade any existing REAL Studio license key to any edition up the line. For example, you can Upgrade your Personal license key to Professional or Upgrade your Professional license key to Enterprise. You can even Upgrade your Personal license key to an Enterprise license key, it will always save you money to Upgrade an existing license key. Upgrading a license key adds 6 months to the existing expiration date.
Update - You can "update" your license key by purchasing a Renewal. This will give you access to the current REAL Studio Release and all releases for the following 12 months.
Bears - We don't sell bears.
Your REAL Studio license key belongs to you and you are never required to Renew or Upgrade. I hope this answered your questions about REAL Studio license keys and subscription plans. We try and keep it simple here. Have you seen the REAL Studio License Terms? You can read the whole thing in under 5 minutes!
Remember, if you are developing professional applications it will always benefit you to keep your license key current. REAL Studio code maintenance should be an ongoing process not a quantum leap!
As always, if you have any questions about Upgrades, Renewals or REAL Studio please email Customer Service.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The point is to focus your attention on solving the problem and to avoid getting distracted by the semantics of the language itself. REALbasic, as a language, is every bit as powerful and object-oriented as C#, Objective-C, Java or C++. But it was designed to be much more approachable than these languages especially when combined with the REAL Studio IDE. I've had many users tell me that they tried for a long time to get a friend or co-worker to look at REALbasic but they wouldn't because of the word "basic" in the name. But in all cases, when they finally agreed to look at it, they found they really, really liked it. They were converted.
Now you could say that I'm just making an argument for changing the name or perhaps ust dropping the word "basic". Perhaps we just called the language "RB". PHP for example, is an acronym but it no longer means that anymore. It's just PHP. This is a discussion for another blog post.
So the next time you meet someone that looks down on REALbasic because of the word "basic", tell them that it's a misnomer and that REALbasic is a very powerful, object-oriented language that compiles to machine code and shares only the few good parts of the original BASIC. Convince them that they really should look deeper. You'll be doing them a favor. And you'll be doing the community a favor by growing it by yet another member.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Web 3.0 is supposed to bring real applications to the web. REAL Studio Web Edition provides a level of abstraction that allows developers to build apps quickly and easily, concentrating their efforts on what makes their applications unique. REAL Studio Web Edition really is web 3.0. It is finally here.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Do you follow us on Twitter? If not... you should! @realsoftware
If you are on Facebook, join our Facebook group! http://www.facebook.com/pages/REALbasic/35750265881
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas, USA (July 27, 2010) — Software development tools company REAL Software today announced the availability of REAL Studio 2010 Release 3. REAL Studio is a cross-platform software development tool that enables developers to create high-quality, native applications for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Along with increased productivity, developers who use REAL Studio also report an increase in revenue for commercial applications, since they are able to get their product to market faster and expand their offering to multiple platforms. REAL Studio has a low learning curve, making it the perfect development tool for both those who are new to programming and professional software developers.
REAL Studio 2010 Release 3 includes 81 improvements and 25 new features. The new functionality includes:
- LLVM for RBScript: RBScripts now run up to 17 times faster than in previous releases. Using LLVM for RBScript is the first step towards the adoption of LLVM for building applications in REAL Studio.
- Cocoa (Beta): The option to build for Cocoa is now available, but is at the beta stage. There are some new features for Cocoa builds, such as Pushbutton now has a ButtonStyle property that gives access to nine new styles of pushbuttons.
- Documentation: The REAL Studio documentation is now locally stored and the user can choose between viewing the local version or the online documentation,http://docs.realsoftware.com.
- Reporting Improvements: To make reporting easier, reports can now take a RecordSet directly to report upon.
- Database Improvements: ODBC and REALSQLDatabase queries and updates no longer block the other threads while they are executing. This allows users to make their user interface more responsive.
- Graphics Improvements: All of the graphics classes are now supported in Console applications. Also, pictures can now be copied to and from MemoryBlocks using a variety of picture file formats. Since memoryblocks can be transformed into strings, this allows the user to store pictures without having to write them to the disk first.
“Over the next few releases of REAL Studio we will be transitioning to LLVM. LLVM for RBScript is the first step in this transition,” commented Geoff Perlman. “In this release developers will see a marked increase in their RBScripts and will see an up to 10x speed improvement once we move the main compiler to LLVM.”
The complete list of improvements and new features in REAL Studio 2010 Release 3 can be found in the release notes in the product download section, http://www.realsoftware.com/download.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
If you are not there are a few different reasons you may be prompted for an 8 digit code when validating your REAL Studio license key.
1. You are working offline.
2. You are working behind a proxy server or firewall. In most cases this happens to users trying to validate from schools, universities and secure work environments and your REAL Studio is unable to communicate fast enough with our system.
3. You are using a version released prior to REAL Studio 2010r2. For more details on this visit Geoff's earlier post.
So how to do you get an 8 digit code?
Email Customer Service. Make sure to include the license key you are validating.
You have an 8 digit code but get an error when you try and use it.
As a security measure we have implemented a 2 minute wait time between when REAL Studio prompts you for the 8 digit code and when you click Continue. You must wait at least 2 minutes at the screen requesting the 8 digit code or you will receive an error message when you click Continue. If you do receive this error message simply click Back, wait the 2 minutes and click Continue again.
Once you have validated with the 8 digit code your usage should not be interrupted again on that machine. Revalidation will not prevent usage if you do not have an internet connection or are using an older release, it will simply be delayed until later.
We appreciate your patience with this process. We have plans to make this easier to our users in the future and look forward to implementing those changes. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments please contact Customer Service.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas, USA (July 15, 2010) — Software development tools company REAL Software announced today that their rapid application development tool, REAL Studio, will include the option to compile a Cocoa application in the upcoming 2010 Release 3. REAL Software has been working on the development of the Cocoa framework for a long time and though it is not yet complete, it is far enough along that it will be made available as a beta to all REAL Studio users.
On Mac OS X there are two ways for applications to communicate with the operating system: Carbon and Cocoa. Carbon was designed to allow applications from Classic Mac OS, like REAL Studio, to run natively on Mac OS X. Cocoa is the method that has been part of Mac OS X since its introduction and all applications must move to Cocoa to continue to be modern.
Unlike when other companies have gone through the conversion, REAL Software is trying to minimize the impact on their users. One of the many benefits of using REAL Studio is that developers are mostly abstracted from having to deal specifically with platform details. REAL Software has developed this new Cocoa framework in such a way that REAL Studio users will only have to recompile their applications to get a Cocoa version. When recompiled most applications should simply work. In some cases minor changes might need to be made such as if users want to take advantage of new features, like additional button types.
“Our primary goal with the transition to Cocoa is compatibility for people’s projects; we want them to just work,” commented Geoff Perlman, REAL Software Founder and CEO. “Had our users been developing their apps in C or C++, they would have had to go through the enormous task of transitioning from Carbon to Cocoa themselves, but we’ve saved them the trouble since they are using REAL Studio.”
“Even some of the biggest software companies on the Mac have struggled to make the conversion and many have had false starts," added Perlman. "We are excited to be nearly complete with the transition.”
For more information about REAL Studio or to download the latest version, visit http://www.realsoftware.com.
Friday, June 25, 2010
In the next REAL Studio 2010 r3 build that beta testers will soon receive, we've added support for RTF (Rich Text Format) to the TextArea control in Cocoa. The Carbon TextArea control of course already supports RTF so this is really just for compatibility.
I tested the RTF support and what I found interesting was how the text rendering differed from Carbon to Cocoa. Consider the following two examples:
This is RTF rendered in Carbon:
You can see they are very different. The Cocoa rendered text is more condensed and harder to read. At first, I thought this was a bug. I opened the RTF file using TextEdit (which is a Cocoa application) and discovered that it's not a Cocoa bug, but a Carbon bug! Or to put it another way, the Carbon framework on Mac OS X appears to simply render RTF differently. In my case, I just chose a different font and now it looks great when I run my app under Cocoa.
By the way, the app I'm testing with is the same app I mentioned in the newsletter this month. With RTF now working, there is only one bug that would keep the app from shipping and two minor bugs that would be nice to see fixed before I ship it as a Cocoa app:
- The app prints a report and while it does print, the Print dialog doesn't close when it should.
- The about box doesn't display. Instead you get a generic Cocoa-created about box. (minor)
- The StaticText control renders its text 1 pixel too high (minor - for this app anyway).
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This is really getting old. Every few months I write to you with an update on our progress moving our Mac OS X framework to Cocoa. I'm always conflicted when I write these updates because I'm sure you are interested in hearing about our progress but at the same time, I'm also sure that waiting for us to ship Cocoa support is as frustrating for you as it is for us.
There is a rule that is often true in software development that the last 20% takes 80% of the time. It sure feels like that's the case here. We do continue to work on it every day. For the most part, we are only fixing bugs at this point. Many of our beta testers tell us that their projects work now with few or no problems at all. For example, here's a screenshot from a project I personally wrote for a friend of mine. The Carbon version is on the left and the Cocoa version is on the right. They are nearly identical.
We are also hard at work on the Cocoa version of the REAL Studio IDE because of course the REAL Studio IDE is written in REAL Studio. It's coming along and we are seeing improvements in it each day.
And while our primary focus is on making sure that your existing projects will work with few if any changes when recompiled for Cocoa, we occasionally find opportunities to introduce some new Cocoa-specific features. For example, the Pushbutton class now has a ButtonStyle property that allows you to choose from nine additional types of pushbuttons:
|When using drag and drop, you now get a ghosted image rather than a simple rectangle. View Carbon example movie. View Cocoa example movie.|
For those of you that need to access Cocoa APIs for things that are not built-in to our framework, we have also added a new CocoaObject class to make it easier to use Cocoa APIs.
So progress continues. We know how important Cocoa support is for you and want it to be in great shape before we ship it. As always, if you want to follow our progress more closely and check your projects, please join the beta program.
Your patience is greatly appreciated,
Founder and CEO
REAL Software, Inc.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The complete list of improvements and new features in REAL Studio 2010 Release 2 can be found in the release notes in the product download section, http://www.realsoftware.com/download.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
New licenses. 30% off. Tomorrow. Be there!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Based upon what I've seen recently, I've put together a list of how to improve your press releases.
1. Avoid jargon. If you are talking about something really technical it might make sense to explain it because not everyone will know what you are talking about. This is especially important for the members of the press since they might not be well versed in your product.
2. Use full and complete sentences.
3. Don't use abbreviations (i.e. RB or RS instead of REAL Studio). Some people might not be familiar with the abbreviation, so better play it safe and use the full word.
4. Make sure that somewhere in your press release you explain why the reader should care. In other words, what is the significance of your announcement. For example, if you are talking about a new feature don't just list it - elaborate.
5. Don't ask a question and then answer it in the same paragraph or start a sentence with "and." This is a place for more formal writing.
6. Make sure the date on your press release is correct. I've seen some recently that have the wrong year. You want your readers to know your press release is current.
7. Avoid puns and double meanings.
8. Stick to the facts. This is not the time to try to make a joke or tell a personal story.
9. Always remember to have someone proofread your press release. Sometimes you are too close to the draft to catch errors, so it's always best to have someone review it once just for good measure.
10. Avoid using the passive voice, use active voice. For example, don't say "An email was sent by me." Say "I sent an email."
One final recommendation is to not be shy about soliciting reviews. Reach out to bloggers and various media publications, give them free copies of your application and encourage them to write a review. Make sure to add them and anyone you want to write about you to your announcements list so they receive your press release.
If you have any questions about press releases feel free to ask. If you want to have your press release posted to the Announcements section of the REAL Software Forum, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Like Steve's legs, the compiler is what makes your apps go. And like Steve, we are working on making the compiler better, strong and faster.
While you don't see REAL Studio's compiler or even interact with it much (except when there are errors in your code), it's at the core of REAL Studio. It's what turns your REALbasic code into code your computer can execute. The compiler has two parts: a front end and a back end. The front end parses your code and transforms it into a sort of meta assembly language. Think of this as processor-independent assembly (even though regular assembly is actually highly processor dependent). For each processor type we support there is a different back end to the compiler. The back ends take the meta assembly language from the front end and translates it to the assembly for the processor for which you are building your app. That means PowerPC or x86 today.
We are working on a big change to the back end of our compiler. We are going to be replacing it with an open-source compiler back end called LLVM. It's becoming increasingly popular. If you really want to geek-out, check out LLVM.org. We are moving to LLVM because there is a team of people working on LLVM and by switching to it, we get the benefit of their work. For example, it supports all the processors we support or would likely want to support including the ARM processor which is used by most smartphones including the iPhone. Unlike the current REAL Studio compiler, LLVM is an optimizing compiler which means it will make code optimizations that will make your code run faster. How much faster depends on what your code is doing but we have seen speed improvements of up to 10 times faster. LLVM does something called "dead-code stripping" which means that it will strip out the portions of the REAL Studio framework that your application is not using. This will result in smaller applications that use less memory. And for those that deploy on Windows and Linux, LLVM will eventually bring about the return of the single-file executable. And of course the more improvements that are made to LLVM in the future, the more we will benefit.
Today, we are working on getting LLVM supported for RBScript. That is nearly complete. Beta testers have been testing it for several weeks now. Once done, we will then move on to supporting LLVM for the main compiler. Considering how important the compiler is to REAL Studio, you may be wondering what sort of transition will be required to move from a version of REAL Studio that uses our current compiler to a future release that uses LLVM. If you were around for the last major compiler transition, you are probably especially curious. The good news is that because we are changing the back end and not the front end, the transition should be extremely smooth. We expect the vast majority of you to recompile and only notice that yours apps are smaller and faster. There won't be anything new you need to do. That's the beauty of the compiler. It does a lot without requiring much attention.
The move to LLVM is going to be an important step forward for us. And even if you don't use RBScript, you will be able to start experimenting with it via RBScript in the coming months. Eventually, your applications will get better, stronger and faster as well as the REAL Studio IDE since it is created with itself.