Dozens of REALbasic developers who gathered at Real Software’s inaugural
Real World conference
got a sneak peek at a major update to the REALbasic development environment that features an interface overhaul and numerous productivity-boosting features, as well as enhanced Linux support.
In a keynote address kicking off this three-day gathering of REALbasic developers, Real Software president and CEO Geoff Perlman introduced several new features that will highlight the release of REALbasic 6, including a completely overhauled user interface geared toward improving the productivity of REALbasic users.
Perlman emphasized that the features he presented were “very early in development,” and would only say that REALbasic 6 would ship “probably [by] the end of this year.”
By default, developers using REALbasic 6 will work in a single, multipaned window. The window will include several features inspired by Web browsers, including a search box, forward and back buttons, bookmarks (both for within a single project and across all projects), and tabs that represent various views. Perlman said that users who prefer REALbasic’s current multi-windowed approach would be able to replicate that approach in the new interface.
“This is more than just a cosmetic change,” Perlman said. “This is a real, fundamental change in the REALbasic interface.” Perlman said the changes came about not only because Real Software became concerned that REALbasic was hard for beginners to learn, but that even experienced developers were not as efficient in using the product as they could be.
A forthcoming feature that drew enthusiastic applause from the audience of developers was the ability to open multiple projects at once; currently developers tend to launch multiple duplicate copies of the REALbasic application in order to have more than one project open at a time.
Other new and improved features in version 6 include: an improved system of undo and redo; a scrollable window design area with pasteboard, helpful for designing large windows or dragging items off a window temporarily; a less modal code editor with improved feedback on loops and conditionals; the ability to quickly create superclasses and copy and paste properties between different classes; an icon view for projects that doubles as a tree diagram of classes and sublasses; quick search features and support for regular expressions in both find and replace; and a “location box” that lets you get to any location in a project by typing its name just as you would a URL in a web browser.
The current version of the product, REALbasic 5.5, runs on the Mac OS and on Windows, and can compile applications that run on the Mac OS, Windows or Linux. Perlman announced Wednesday that the REALbasic 6 environment itself will also run on Linux.
Perlman also received strong applause for his announcement that, beginning with REALbasic 6, REALbasic will be written entirely in REALbasic itself — a fact that has already led to bug fixes and improvements in the framework of REALbasic 5.5.
The Real World conference, featuring 33 different sessions on REALbasic related topics, continues through Friday at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.