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Issue 7.4


Picture Button

Issue: 7.4 (May/June 2009)
Author: Brad Rhine
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,061
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 7407
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Full text of article...

Many REALbasic users are familiar with, if not users of, the Einhugur suite of plugins. Providing a slew of new controls and alternatives to existing controls, the Einhugur collection is a must have for many developers. One of the great things about the suite is that buying one component gets you access to everything, so when new plugins are added, they're yours automatically.

The lateset addition to the set is Picture Button, which eliminates a long standing source of frustration for many REALbasic developers: masked images on BevelButtons. While I'm usually one to jump in and defend REALbasic, I have to admit that that this issue has been around a lot longer than it should have been, and it's nice to see someone stepping up to the plate to address it.

Working with Picture Button in the IDE is pretty seamless. I dragged a BevelButton and a Picture Button next to each other on a window and noticed right away that they're nearly identical from the developer's perspective. In a nutshell, Picture Button provides a drop-in replacement for REALbasic's existing BevelButton control. It provides access to all of the same events as the BevelButton, making it incredibly simple to switch to using this control. Picture Button also provides a similar set of properties, including the bevel type, caption alignment, button type, and menu position. It adds a very handy MenuAction event to make responding to your users' menu choices even easier. As a bonus, Picture Button even handles text alignment and positioning better than BevelButton when the button includes an icon.

From the end users' perspective, things really improve. Gone are the funky alignment and text issues on non-Mac platforms. Gone are the irritating halos and blocky outlines associated with improper masking. Gone are the weird issues that showed up when Full Keyboard Access was turned enabled on the Mac. This is the way the BevelButton should have been from the beginning. Major kudos to Einhugur for getting this right and sharing it with all of us.

Einhugur also deserves praise for persistence. Version 1.0 of Picture Button came out just a short while ago, but it's already been updated several times and currently stands at version 1.04. All of the updates so far have been bug fixes, and I applaud the folks at Einhugur for demonstrating a commitment to excellence and being so quick with fixes. Not only is this how BevelButtons should be, but this is how software development in general should be.

Finally, let me just say that if you're not using the Einhugur suite of plugins, you're doing yourself and your end users a disservice. For a very low fee, you get access to a tremendous library of controls and classes, from time and date controls to picture effects to the much-lauded StyleGrid and DataGrid. Picture Button and its brethren are well worth the investment and Einhugur is a developer worth supporting in the REALbasic ecosystem.

End of article.