Tag Archives: plugins

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 The closest thing was FGSourceList, a now outdated look.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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