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Category: Tips

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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Auto-Launch Raspberry Pi Apps

For XDC 2016 I needed a way to demonstrate a Raspberry Pi app that used the GPIO and updated an LCD character display. But I didn’t really have access to a screen that I could use to show the desktop so that I could run the app. And I could not remotely connect to the Pi because I did not have a good way to get it on the wifi network in the first place.

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SoundEx Algorithm

Soundex is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English. It is commonly used with databases to help with searching and is built-in to many database engines such as PostgreSQL and MySQL. SoundEx is not included with SQLite by default and there may be situations when you want to use it when searching.

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The Ultimate Password Solution

World Password Day brings attention to some simple steps everyone can take to secure their digital life: 1. Create Strong Passwords, 2. Use a different password for each account, and 3. Get a password manager, no, not a post-it note in your desk drawer!

The best password is one that is diffcult to guess. But difficult to guess takes on a new meaning when hackers use computers to do the guessing. Hence, the best password becomes one that would take a computer so long to guess that it’s not practical to do so. That means a long series of random characters and the longer and more random, the better, and a different password for every site you use.

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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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Guest Post: Taking Your App From In-House to Commercial

Server Ranger started life as a small in-house Xojo console project that I used to monitor servers for several clients. Rather than getting paged (in the very early days) or getting angry phonecalls from clients, it was much more pleasant to have my app play an alert on my Mac and send me an email to notify me of a server issue. With this heads-up, it was often possible to have the issue resolved before a client even realised there had been an issue.

Like many in-house solutions, the demand on Server Ranger increased over time and it became a more vital part of my business.

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