Cyber Weekend 2020

Cyber Weekend deals have returned! I can’t wait to snag some of my favorite gems. I am maintaining a list of Xojo and development related deals at https://xojo.io

Strawberry Software will also be participating in the fun. From now until Monday November 30, 2020 at 23:59 there is a 25% discount offer on ARGen, ExeWrapper, and TP_WebKit. No coupon code is needed!

Yes, this offer applies to ARGen license extensions and renewals! To extend your ARGen license select “License” from the “Help” menu and click the “Extend” button. Lifeboat is brand new (in fact, still working out some final bugs) so unfortunately it will not be part of this offer.

You can check out the whole Strawberry Software collection here: https://devtimi.onfastspring.com/

The Secret of the ARGen Sidebar

The interfacelift for ARGen had been in the works for a few months prior to the announcement of the transfer. I had mentioned to Bob that I wanted to make ARGen simpler if we had the time. I knew I wanted to change the PopupMenu / Step design, but hadn’t solidified any mockup designs then.

As time progressed the idea grew to having the steps on the side of the window, akin to an Installer Package. This would give users an overview of every step (which was important to me), but it introduced a new challenge. The installer paradigm was designed for navigation sequentially – or one step at a time – and users would have to click next continually.

I didn’t need to build that design to know it was going to be a poor user experience. It was obvious the user would need to be able to navigate the steps in any order using the control. Naturally I thought I’d go for the source list approach. However there wasn’t any up-to-date source list available for Xojo. The closest thing was FGSourceList, a now outdated look.

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Appception: Helper Apps

The Plot

Very recently I needed to improve the generation tens of thousands of images with a Xojo Desktop project. The image generation code had already been written, and takes advantage of several desktop specific features (custom font activation with MBS most specifically).

The process took minutes originally. It was so bad that the initial author of the code stuck a confirmation dialog to the user prior to running the batch. Now, because of the world events, the batches were larger than ever. On a whole it had to be improved.

Obviously the best way to speed this up was to split the batch into chunks for helper processes. This was going to be a new adventure in Xojo for me, and I was ready to take a bite.

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Announcing Strawberry Software, Adopting ARGen

I write software. A lot. Like, for a living. I find it enthralling to write a set of instructions and watch them execute. I have no idea why. So to help make my life easier, I write software to help me write software. A lot.

Counting the number of dev tools I currently maintain takes more than one hand. Some are still being built, but I promise you that when they are ready it will have been worth the wait. These apps need a home, somewhere to be found. Plus, buying domains for each one isn’t cheap.

Strawberries have long been a part of my software development since before Answers. A younger me preferred strawberry flavored drinks. Now I prefer fresh strawberries instead. Some time ago, I grabbed the name Strawberry Software as a possible home for my independent releases.

Finally in need of a central location for my developer tools, I think the time is right to announce Strawberry Software. I still operate as Tim Parnell; the Strawberry Software website is just a home for my children. You will see the tools update and move over slowly as I have time.

However, Strawberry Software will be the new home for ARGen as I have adopted ARGen from BKeeney Software! I am quite familiar with the project and have plans, a roadmap even, for its future.

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Xojo Web: What to Do After You Click Build

Deploying a standalone Xojo Web app for the first time may look unfamiliar or confusing. One might look at the built product and wonder where the files are. None of this ends in .asp, .cgi, or .php; and where is index.html?

I promise, this whole package makes things easier for developers. With a Xojo Web app, the built product is the web server. Once it’s running, the web app handles everything for us.

So how does a Xojo Web app get running? There are a few “easy button” solutions. One is, of course, Xojo Cloud the built in service. Additionally, there is at least one third party hosting service dedicated to Xojo Web apps. These tools can simplify deployment, but require that a developer relies on customer service when there’s a problem.

For mission critical applications, DIY-ers, and cost conscious developers the option to deploy to a Linux server might be a more appealing choice.

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