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Issue 9.3


The Best of REAL Studio Developer

Ten articles you need to read

Issue: 9.3 (March/April 2011)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 12,814
Starting Page Number: 20
Article Number: 9306
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If you purchased the 2011 Omega Bundle for REAL Studio, you received the full collection of published issues of REAL Studio Developer magazine. That's 50 issues of the magazine, which is undoubtedly overwhelming. As it may take you a while to get through those 2,500+ pages, here's a quick summary of ten* terrific articles you should read.

* Okay, on some of these I've cheated and pointed you to two or more related articles or a series, so this list is really more than ten.

Ten Must-Read Articles

Selecting ten great articles out of several hundred is no mean feat. We've published features on a wide variety of topics over the years, from 3D game development to complex mathematics. Every developer has his or her weak points of knowledge and what's advanced for one is child's play for another. Without knowing your unique combination of skill level, needs, and interests, it's tough for me to choose ten articles that will benefit you.

However, I decided to try my best. I used the following criteria:

Relevancy. How relevant is the topic? Have improvements to REAL Studio made an older article less important?

Breadth. Not everyone cares about esoteric physics algorithms or how to make a Zombie game, but most of us can use an article about proper undo techniques or basic algorithms that work with any programming environment.

Depth. I wanted longer, more in-depth articles instead of brief overviews or short columns. Occasionally I selected multi-part articles or column series and counted it as one long article.

Variety. I've tried to select different kinds of articles on a number of different topics.

Note that these are simply listed in chronological order and aren't any indication of quality. The same goes for the many wonderful articles that aren't on this list: that doesn't mean they aren't worth reading! Think of this list merely as a "getting started" guide.

Issue 1.2: Undo

Title: One, Two, Undo: Adding the Undo command to your REALbasic project

Author: Scott Forbes

Issue: 1.2 (October/November 2002)

RSD Number: 1110 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/1.2/1110/)

In this in-depth article, Scott demonstrates a complete, extensible undo system that can form the basis for your own applications. If you've ever attempted to tack on undo support later on in a project and discovered what a nightmare that can be, read this article for learning how to do it right from the beginning.

Issue 1.4: The Business of Software

Title: Software Marketing for Independent Developers

Author: Dave Wooldridge

Issue: 1.4 (February/March 2003)

RSD Number: 1410 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/1.4/1410/)

If you're wanting to sell software, definitely read Dave's excellent guide to marketing. Though it predates some modern social-networking techniques, it's still a valuable read.

Related Articles: Also check out Dana Chaffin's "Creating A Registration Algorithm" (3.5, May/June 2005, http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/3.5/3511/) and Christian Schmitz's "Trial Versions" (4.6, July/August 2006, http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.6/4611/).

Issues 3.6-4.2: Networking

Title: Networking 101, Networking 201, Networking 301, Networking 401

Author: Aaron Ballman

Issues: 3.6 (July/August 2005), 4.1 (September/October 2005), 4.2 (November/December 2005), http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.3/4311/

RSD Numbers: 3612 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/3.6/3612/)

4112 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.1/4112/)

4212 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.2/4212/)

4311 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.3/4311/)

When these articles first appeared I thought of networking stuff as being something I didn't need to know. But in today's mobile, networked world, it's more important than ever, and this series by Aaron is a critical read for getting a basic understanding of various networking protocols.

Issues 4.4-4.6: Basic Data Structures

Title: Beginner's Corner

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 4.4 (March/April 2006), 4.5 (May/June 2006), 4.6 (July/August 2006)

RSD Number: 4413 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.4/4413/)

4511 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.5/4511/)

4612 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.6/4612/)

In this series targeted at beginners, I explain the basics of different types of data structures, such as arrays, dictionaries, memoryblocks, and more. Though published several years ago, I still get emails thanking me as this basic material is often not taught.

Issues 4.6 and 7.2: XML

Title: XML 101

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 4.6 (July/August 2006)

RSD Number: 4609 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/4.6/4609/)

Title: XML For REAL: The Basics

Author: JC Cruz

Issue: 7.2 (January/February 2009)

RSD Number: 7211 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/7.2/7211/)

XML is an extremely powerful and elegant way to store cross-platform data. If you're not sure what it is or how to use it, these two articles will get you going in the right direction.

Issues 6.2 and 7.2: Simple Coding Techniques

Title: Crystal-Clear Code

Author: Jens Bendig and Christian Frobel

Issue: 6.2 (January/February 2008)

RSD Number: 6209 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/6.2/6209/)

Title: KISS

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 6.2 (January/February 2008)

RSD Number: 6208 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/6.2/6208/)

Title: Comments on Comments

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 7.2 (January/February 2009)

RSD Number: 7209 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/7.2/7209/)

While these articles aren't directly related, they all deal with the importance of clear, simple, understandable code.

Issue 7.1: RBScript

Title: Scripting for Fun and Profit

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 7.1 (November/December 2008)

RSD Number: 7112 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/7.1/7112/)

Title: Using RBScripts as Plugins

Author: Thomas Tempelmann

Issue: 7.5 (July/August 2009)

RSD Number: 7511 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/7.5/7511/)

RBScripts are one of REAL Studio's best and least-used features. I couldn't get along without them. You need to use them.

Related Articles: You should also read my "Beginner's Corner" series on RBScripts "Dynamic RB, Part 1" (5.5, July/August 2007, http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/5.5/5511/) and "Dynamic RB, Part 2" (5.6, September/October 2007, http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/5.6/5612/).

Issue 7.6: Platform Building

Title: Think Big by Thinking Small

Author: Marc Zeedar

Issue: 7.6 (September/October 2009)

RSD Number: 7609 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/7.6/7609/)

If you think of your project as a platform instead of an application, you'll have better long-term results and much easier code updating.

Issue 8.2: Software Failures

Title: Why We Fail

Author: Jens Bendig

Issue: 8.2 (January/February 2010)

RSD Number: 8208 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/8.2/8208/)

Have you ever wondered why software project die? Jens has some excellent suggestions on preventing programming problems that kill projects.

Issue 8.6: Error Handling

Title: Trapping for Errors

Author: JC Cruz

Issue: 8.6 (September/October 2010)

RSD Number: 8609 (http://www.rsdeveloper.com/browse/8.6/8609/)

We all make mistakes—the question is, how do you handle them? If you're not a traditionally trained programmer (like me), error handling can be a confusing business. Read this to, uh, get a handle on the problem.


This is by no means an exhaustible list of must-read RSD articles—I left out many important ones, such as the Algorithms column, 3D graphics, printing, writing a spelling checker, and many more—but this should give you a good place to start. See the "How to Find Articles" sidebar for tips on how to find other articles. More importantly, have fun!

End of article.