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Issue 3.4


Cross-Platform Issues

ActiveX and Conditional Compiling (plus the Project Converter)

Issue: 3.4 (March/April 2005)
Author: Owen Yamauchi
Author Bio: Owen Yamauchi is a freelance programmer who has been programming REALbasic since version F4. He is the Lead Programmer for Domain Softworx, a company that produces developer tools for REALbasic.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,770
Starting Page Number: 36
Article Number: 3416
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

So far in this column, I haven't spoken of the VB Project Converter. This is an application offered by REAL Software as a free utility for converting Visual Basic (VB) projects to REALbasic (RB).

The reason I haven't mentioned it so far is because I think it's better for users to know how to convert code manually if for some reason the Project Converter isn't available, or isn't capable of doing the job. However, if that isn't the case, the Project Converter can be a very useful tool. It does the dirty work of changing syntax from VB to RB (changing data types like Long, among other syntax changes) and making sure interface elements are correctly converted. Project Converter will also make sure that all global properties get ported properly. All in all, it will do a better job of converting VB code than RB itself will do.

Truthfully, Project Converter is useful, but you should not rely entirely on it. Some things do slip through, and you still have to examine your code to catch these things. Project Converter saves time, since it does the grunt work for you. Don't forget, though, that it is no substitute for a human coder.

In this column, I will address a topic that the Project Converter has no power over: ActiveX controls, technically known as Component Object Models. These are Windows-specific add-ins, which can be used in any software application. For a VB or RB user's purposes, they are similar to plugins in RB.

RB, being a good cross-platform application, supports ActiveX controls in Windows builds. If you're using RB on Windows, compiling exclusively for Windows, you have nothing to worry about with ActiveX. However, compiling for other platforms presents more of a problem. You'll need to duplicate the functionality of the ActiveX control somehow.

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