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Issue 6.4


AppleListBox 1.06

Issue: 6.4 (May/June 2008)
Author: Brad Rhine
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,283
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 6404
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Full text of article...

AppleListBox is a subclass of the standard REALbasic listbox, with some nifty new features added. The most obvious feature is the new look: AppleListBox duplicates almost perfectly the look of the Apple library listbox (seen in applications like iTunes, Mail, and the Leopard Finder). In fact, the demonstration project shows a great implementation of the iTunes sidebar, including Library, Store, Devices, and Playlists, each hierarchical, and each with subitems that include icons and row buttons. The demo can be modified to look like Mail as well.

Another new feature is a smattering of new events that the original listbox does not implement, such as ClickedEjectButton, DraggingRow, and HoveringOverLinkButton. Other events have been replaced and take different parameters from the original events in the REALbasic listbox, such as DoubleClick.

AppleListBoxRow is another included class. This class does the heavy lifting of drawing each row, along with its associated icon or row button. The row button can be an eject button, a count indicator, an update button, or a link button. The icon can be any of the included nineteen icons, such as clock, RSS, mailbox, store, or junk. If you have other graphics you'd like to use, any 16x16 image should work just fine.

All in all, there's a lot to like about AppleListBox. It supports Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The included documentation is thorough and easy to read, walking the user through each method and event. And my experiences with the developer show him to be very responsive.

Lest I give the impression that everything about AppleListBox is perfect, allow me to list a few things that keep it from getting a perfect five cube rating. First, it requires windows to be composite on Mac OS X. Now, please note that this is not the fault of the developer, but more a result of how REALbasic does its window compositing. Still, it does limit its usefulness due to other issues with composite windows. Also, while allowing drag-reordering of AppleListBoxRows is great, it would be nice if the main rows (that contain other rows), couldn't be dragged. AppleListBox doesn't allow them to be re-arranged, but they do respond to dragging, which seems inconsistent. Finally, when AppleListBox is on a disabled window, its colors do not change, which is inconsistent with Apple's implementation. I'm sure the developer has these items on his radar, though.

None of that, however, is enough to prevent from recommending it for use in nearly any project. It looks great and it's easy to use. It also includes a really nice collection of images to use as icons and buttons. There's even a discussion forum on the developer's web site.

AppleListBox offers two purchasing options: standard, which costs $30 and includes encrypted project items, and professional, which costs $150 and includes full source code. Either way, if you need its functionality and don't want to take the time to implement it yourself, AppleListBox is a steal. And a good-looking one at that.

End of article.