Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Web 3.0

When my dad first started programming, he programmed in binary by flipping 8 switches on the front of a computer then pressing a button to enter that single byte. He was quite literally flipping bits. This was considered first generation programming. Then assembler came along which was a lot easier than binary machine code. This was second generation programming. Finally, someone realized that for real productivity, languages needed to be English-like (since almost all programming at that time was happening in English-speaking countries). Languages like BASIC, Pascal and C appeared. This made programming far easier and more accessible because it was not only English-like but programs were finally abstracted from the details of the computer processor itself.

When the web came along we first had HTML, JavaScript and PHP. What you could do with these languages was so primitive, they weren't even called web applications. You could create forms and when a submit button was pressed, all the data was sent to the server where a program written in an entirely different language would process the results, recreate the page (or a new page) and send the entire thing back to the browser. This was web 1.0. AJAX brought an incremental improvement to this process where pages could be updated rather than replaced. Web applications became more responsive. This was called Web 2.0.

But web 2.0 applications are just a mishmash of files and languages. Because there are so many technologies, learning all of them is difficult and building applications with them is time-consuming and expensive. A web developer told me yesterday that it's very difficult for them to find developers. Candidates might know two of these five languages/technologies needed but rarely do they know all five (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP or Java and AJAX).

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.

You can learn more about our new web platform here.

Announcing REAL Studio Web Edition

Monday, August 30, 2010

Adding private information to Feedback cases

Did you know that you can add private information (including attachments) to public cases in Feedback? There are times when you want to provide us with information and perhaps even projects that show off a particular bug but don't want that information shared publicly. If you create a new case and mark it as private by clicking the "Keep This Information Private" checkbox, only REAL Software can see it. However, there are times when you want to share the bug itself with the rest of the community but you might also need to keep some of the information private. You can do this by creating a public case, saving it, then going back and adding additional information afterwards and clicking the "Keep This Information Private" checkbox when making those additional entries. And of course, this same technique works with public cases created by others as well.

Reporting cases via Feedback is the best way to get information about bugs and feature requests to us. For bug reports, including a simple project that does nothing more than demonstrate the bug will help get your bug fixed faster.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just a couple of quick reminders...

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

Future support for PowerPC

Apple's switch from the 68000 series processor to the PowerPC was a bold move. The fact that they made that transition so smoothly is nearly miraculous. The switch to using the Intel processor was another bold move though having gone through a processor switch already, it was certainly easier.

It's been four years since Apple announced the transition from PowerPC to Intel. With such a small percentage (about 5% to 7%) of Mac users using PowerPC, we have decided to phase out our support for PowerPC.

Beginning with REAL Studio 2010 Release 4, PowerPC support will no longer be actively supported. This means that it will still be a build option but we will no longer be testing or adding features to our PowerPC-based Mac framework. We will fix bugs but only the most problematic. Having said that, we rarely get bugs that are PowerPC-specific. Our Cocoa-based framework will be supported for Intel only. We will continue to provide PowerPC as a build option for another year or two.

Phasing out support for PowerPC allows us to focus our efforts on the platforms that the vast majority of our users care most about. Ending support for a computing platform is rarely an easy thing for anyone but to best serve the majority of you, our customers, we need to put our resources to the best possible use.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Documentation ch-ch-changes

Last year we began a process of changing the way we manage our documentation. Since 1998 we had used Adobe Framemaker to produce the documentation. This was limiting because it basically only allowed one person to make changes. After evaluating many possible solutions we decided that using a wiki made the most sense.

One advantage to using a wiki is that it tracks every change we make. If you'd like to keep up with those changes, you can do so by visiting the Recent Changes page on the wiki. On that page you can also get the RSS and Atom links if you want to subscribe to a feed of the changes.

Should you find anything that you believe is an error or omission in the documentation, the best way to let us know is to file a case using Feedback.