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Category: Learning

Making a Mac App: Comparing Xojo and Visual Studio for Mac

At the recent Build conference, Microsoft released the final version of Visual Studio for Mac. As a former Visual Studio developer who left that world for the fun, fast development that is Xojo, I had to check it out to see how it compares to Xojo.

First, if you’ve ever used Visual Studio on Windows before, be aware that Visual Studio for Mac is not the same thing. Essentially Visual Studio for Mac is new branding for Xamarin Studio (Microsoft bought Xamarin in 2016), so Visual Studio for Mac looks and works nothing like Visual Studio for Windows.

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Using a Property as a Constant

Wikipedia says:

In computer programming, a constant is a value that cannot be altered by the program during normal execution, i.e., the value is constant.

In Xojo we have constants that can be defined in code or added to modules, classes, etc. What you’ll notice about Wikipedia’s definition of “constant” is that it’s a behavior, not a specific type.

There is another way to define a “constant” or “a value that doesn’t change throughout the run of your application”.

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Tip: Pass Values Between Windows with an API

A question on the Xojo Forum got me thinking that it may not be obvious how to avoid having to reach inside another window (or dialog etc.) to access its controls to get and set values. I’m sure we all have done this at one time or another but it really is something you should avoid. Here’s a small app to demo how to make an API instead:

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ContainerControl: Making a Multiplatform Search Field

The ContainerControl is one of the most versatile control classes included in the Xojo framework both for Desktop and Web apps. In fact, it paves the way to complex UI controls creation with the same simplicity you are used to while designing your window layouts. Even better, once you create your complex UI controls using the ContainerControl, you will be able to add them to your Window layouts as if they were regular controls. Plus, you will enjoy the fruits of better OOP encapsulation and the fact that you can create and use the controls dynamically at run time. Want to see this in action? Follow this tutorial and video to create the basis of a multiplatform search field based on the ContainerControl class. Continue reading ContainerControl: Making a Multiplatform Search Field

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Working with Files: FolderItem

Sooner or later your app will need to work with files, maybe to save the data generated with the app itself, to open the files created with other apps or because is the main purpose of the utility you are working on. Xojo gives you the class FolderItem fully loaded with a useful bunch of properties that allow you to examine the attributes of any file; for example, the creation or modification of dates, the file path (in several formats), if the file is an alias, etc. The FolderItem class also gives you the methods to do a lot of file operations without effort. Continue reading Working with Files: FolderItem

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