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Issue 2.6



Breaking the Code to Successful Commercial Software with REALbasic

Issue: 2.6 (July/August 2004)
Author: David Merryweather
Author Bio: David Merryweather is the Vice President of Information Technologies and CIO at Creative Education Institute, Inc (CEI). CEI is an educational software company with a national focuses on the education of students of all ages with special needs.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 23,698
Starting Page Number: 13
Article Number: 2609
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Excerpt of article text...

In early October 2000, I asked my staff programmers a very important question, one that could possibly change the face of our development efforts forever. "Is it possible to write commercial software with REALbasic?"

The answer came with great difficulty; remember, this was before the developers program, before the remote debugger, and before the Windows IDE. In addition, we were a C++ shop, and we had written all our previous product releases in Visual C++, Borland C++Builder and CodeWarrior. It took almost a year of study, several surveys of the REALbasic community, and three hours across the table from Matt Quagliana, David Grogono, and a very ill Geoff Perlman (who had a stomach bug the day of the meeting and had to leave before lunch) to convince us to take a chance. Read on to see how it all worked out.


For 16 years, Creative Education Institute's (CEI) core competency has been the development of learning, language, speech and math products that target students with special needs. For special needs learners with dyslexia, mental retardation, visual processing deficiencies and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developers must create a UI that generates as few extraneous distractions as possible. Some might say our interfaces are plain or boring, but we've gone to great lengths to research and test the best possible colors, shapes and fonts to make them look as plain as they do.

The CODEBREAKER product took us in a very different market direction because it needed to appeal to a very different user than our other products did. Unlike Essential Learning Systems or Sound Therapy (two of our other language learning intervention packages), CODEBREAKER was intended for every prekindergarten through fourth grade classroom in America. Instead of assisting students with mild to severe learning difficulties, CODEBREAKER would accommodate the mainstream, soda drinking, Internet using, cell phone carrying, video game playing, grade school kid of the twenty-first century. For these students, the program's appearance is as important to the learning process as the teaching methods themselves.


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