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Category: Cross-Platform

XDC 2019 Keynote Recap

Geoff just wrapped up the keynote here in sunny, windy Miami, Florida.

After a brief introduction welcoming attendees from 11 different countries, Geoff began the keynote by sharing some graphs showing how the Xojo community has been changing.

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Canvas: How to Create Custom UI Controls

Xojo includes a good amount of UI controls available from the Library for Desktop, Web, iOS and Raspberry Pi targets. These are the pieces that allow you to layout the user interface of your apps: properties, methods and events that, when combined, define the specific behavior of the project at hand.

Sometimes, subclassing the available controls is the answer to add specific behaviors you need. But what happen when none of the controls offer what you need, whether visually or functionally? The answer is the Canvas class (for Desktop projects), WebCanvas class (for Web projects) and iOSCanvas class for iPhone and iPad devices. But how do you create your own UI controls from scratch? Read on to learn…

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Speeding up the Layout Editor

For more years than I’d like to admit, the Layout Editor has been slow in terms of dragging controls around. As you add more controls, it gets worse. For web layouts, it’s been even worse. That’s primarily because we have to draw everything for a web layout whereas for a desktop layout, the OS draws the controls for us.

In an engineering meeting, I mentioned a discussion I had with a user about the speed of the Layout Editor and Travis said he had recently been reminded of how slow it was too. While most of the time issues in Xojo are carefully calculated and prioritized for maximum bang for the buck (as we say around here), that’s not always how it happens. After the meeting, Travis decided to dive into the Layout Editor code and see what could be done to speed it up.

The results are pretty remarkable.

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How To Speed Timers in Windows

The Timer and Xojo.Core.Timer classes gives us a resolution that is more than enough for most of the cases where we need to use them. In fact, under macOS we don’t find any kind of limitation when using the classes provided by the Xojo Framework: we can achieve a maximum resolution of 1 ms on any of the most recent computers.

But when working with Windows OS this is not so straightforward . It doesn’t matter if we try to set the Timer Period property to a minimum value of 1 ms; Windows imposes a minimum resolution of 16 ms, insufficient when we demand the maximum precision for a critical task (period interval between Timer firings).

Of course Xojo has a solution for this, you can resort to a third-party plug-in that works extremely well … or you might find the following technique useful for all kinds of projects.

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Web: Create Sliding-Animated Menus

Sometime ago a Xojo user asked if it is possible to use Xojo Web to create the kind of animated menus seen in several regular websites. After some investigation (and the invaluable help of Greg O’Lone), the answer is: yes, you can do that! If you are interested in seeing how to achieve this, continue reading!

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Microsoft Ending Windows 7 Support in 1 Year

Here’s your first reminder: On January 14, 2020 Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7. We went through this a while ago when Windows XP reached end-of-life (no one really cared when Windows Vista reached end-of-life). Windows 7 was a very popular release as it was much better than Vista. It also didn’t help that Windows 8 was not liked at all with its many UI changes.

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Loading 3rd Party Frameworks in Xojo iOS

Did you know that it’s possible to load and use 3rd Party Frameworks in your Xojo iOS projects? There’s quite a number of good projects out there, many of which are on sites like GitHub and freely available for use in your projects. If you’re familiar with Declares in iOS, loading a 3rd Party framework requires just a couple of extra lines of code and a CopyFilesStep.

Last year at XDC 2018, Jérémie Leroy talked about making sure your screenshots mimicked the Apple method so that the date was always Jun 9th, the time was always 9:41 AM, the battery always shows as full and the WiFi strength always shows full. It got me thinking that it might be handy to be able to make the simulator always show those values when you do a debug run so that you don’t need to think about it when you are ready to start taking screenshots and movies of your app. One way to do that is to build & run project like SimulatorStatusMagic on the simulator before running your project, but it would be more useful if it was automatic.

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The Two-Finger Tap: Undo Gesture for iOS Apps

The only built-in gesture for undo on iOS at the moment is to shake the device. This is not very intuitive to me and I’ve certainly done it by accident many times. The makers of Procreate chose a two-finger tap and have found that their users adapted to it nicely. This gesture is being adopted by more and more iOS developers. Here’s all the code you need to implement the two-finger tap for undo in your Xojo iOS apps.

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