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Issue 1.2


Down to Business

Thoughts from the Publisher

Issue: 1.2 (October/November 2002)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: When RBD publisher Marc Zeedar was a kid he used to create magazines just for fun. Now he's doing it for a living! You may contact him at editor@rbdeveloper.com.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 5,799
Starting Page Number: 5
Article Number: 1100
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Full text of article...

Welcome to the second issue of REALbasic Developer! I can scarcely believe it myself, but this is really happening. After years of dreaming and months of preparation, the magazine is publishing. I deeply appreciate the support of all the great contributors, editors, subscribers, advertisers, and the folks at REAL Software -- this effort could not be done without you.

The early feedback of the premiere issue has been amazing -- but of course we're not done. This is just the beginning. That first issue set the standard, and now we've got to improve upon that. I want to make REALbasic Developer the best programming magazine possible.

While the initial vision of RBD was mine, this is your magazine: let me know what you'd like to see us cover.

Would you like more articles on using exotic features of REALbasic (such as the Microsoft Office extensions) or should we focus on general programming techniques (algorithms, program design, etc.)? Are you more interested in step-by-step tutorials or code snippets you can use in your own programs?

What are the problems and challenges you experience while using REALbasic? Are you befuddled by OOP? Does event-based programming confuse you? Do you need more help with basic programming or would you like us to cover more advanced features?

What kinds of applications are you developing? Database apps? Games? Utilities? Graphical programs?

Let me know so we can gear REALbasic Developer to best suit your needs! Send your feedback to feedback@rbdeveloper.com.

A Busy Summer

This summer disappeared in a wink. Where did the time go? In June I was finalizing the first issue of REALbasic Developer and leaving my day job of ten years. In July I traveled to New York City (my first visit) for Macworld Expo where I unveiled the premiere issue and helped the REAL Software gang at their booth. Then in August it was back to work, mailing out the first issue and beginning work on the second.

New York City and Macworld Expo was an exciting experience. I loved handing out a copy of the magazine and watching someone's eyes light up in delight and astonishment. A real REALbasic magazine? Wow!

It was great to meet hundreds and hundreds of real REALbasic users in person, chat them up, and discover the things they've created with RB and what things they'd like to do with it. I gave demos of REALbasic and learned a great deal about what impresses people. I was surprised at the sophistication expected by much of the audience. One guy wanted an HTML parser, right then, right there. Impressively, REAL Software President Geoff Perlman wrote him one, right then, right there. It was basic, but boy was the guy impressed!

That was an important experience for me: after years of REALbasic and programming experience, I have a decent understanding of what's easy and what's difficult, and I generally shy away from the difficult. For instance, one man wanted a "hot folder" system: an RB program that would watch for new documents deposited in a folder, grab them and process them, and move them to an output folder when finished. Simple in concept, but tricky to implement, especially in five minutes with an audience watching over your shoulder!

Let me tell you, you learn a lot about coding when someone's breathing down your neck. A good lesson for every one of us.

Through this process I realized that these people weren't asking for the moon and the stars, or being greedy or mean -- they just wanted practical solutions for their real-life problems, not flashy demos that told them nothing realistic about programming in REALbasic. By coding something difficult and showing them that yes, in ten or thirty minutes, 90% of the solution was there (minus some error-checking and polish), they realized the true power of REALbasic.

In This Issue

Those lessons from Macworld Expo reinforce for me that REALbasic Developer be about practical applications. Not snazzy demos that look cool but are without a soul, but real stuff anyone can use in their programs.

In that vein, in this issue we've got a wonderfully detailed article from Scott Forbes on adding a full-featured, OOP-based undo system to your program. The system's reusable, so once you've created the basic "undoable" class elements you can use them in multiple programs.

Joe Strout's back again, this time with a -- yikes! -- article explaining three-dimensional mathematics.

Have you ever wondered how to create Mac OS X "bundle" applications (where multiple files appear as a single app)? Did you know you can bundle your own REALbasic programs? Check out Thomas Reed's Advanced Techniques column for the details.

We're also debuting a new column on databases. Databases were one of the most requested topics at Macworld Expo, so this column should help everyone get up to speed on the nuances of database usage.

Matt Neuburg covers the bubble sort algorithm, Didier demonstrates using the UNIX Shell via REALbasic, and much more.

End of article.