Will apps created with RealBasic 2008 run on a modern Mac?

I’m looking for information about problems I’m likely to encounter in upgrading our machines from 10.5.8 to more modern OSX systems.

I’ve been using 10.5.8 for many years, and developed a number of ‘in house’ apps for our business using RealBasic 2008. Our iMacs (dating from 2007) are beginning to show their age, and the time is approaching when we will need to replace them with new ones, which will presumably come with 10.9 installed.

  1. Will my RealBasic 2008 still operate in that environment?

  2. Will the apps that I created with it run?

  3. Those apps are also showing their age, and we have a ‘wish list’ for updating them with new features. If I obtain the latest version of the (renamed) RealBasic software, will it read/compile my old code, or will that be broken beyond repair?

I know that you have no way to know just what features of the language I used when creating them, but I wrote pretty basic vanilla code, without using plug-ins, and stayed with the ‘core’ of the language. The apps do not access any formal databases (our data structures are built on a collection of flat files), but they do send mail and also ‘post’ to some web-based php scripts on our website. We have no need for any cross-platform functions, nor do we distribute our apps - they run only on our own Macs (all two of them).

Thanks in advance for any advice on this …

Dave Bull
woodblock.com

The easiest way to get a handle on this is to grab the free download & load them in & see what runs / breaks / doesn’t compile

There’s been a lot of changes since 2008

No can do. The System Requirements page says that 10.6 is required. As I mentioned, we’re on 10.5.8. This is why I came here to ask, as perhaps others have made a similar transition.

This software seems to have morphed through so many incarnations:: RealBasic - Studio - Xojo … that I rather suspect I may be in for a rough ride.

Perhaps set up a machine with an external drive to boot from & load something newer onto that ?
I do that with a few Macs to test things out on different OS’es on real hardware.

But I think there will be a couple bumps but likely not any huge failures.

What you WILL have to watch for is the things that have subtly changed like GetFolderItem if you’ve used old style absolute paths etc.

A new external drive isn’t free (but it’s not expensive), but Mavericks (10.9) IS free and downloadable, so that’s a nice thing.

REAL/Xojo has been your friend as far as compatibility goes, they’ve been very contentious about what they deprecate. The worst thing I ever have encountered is the StaticText->Label and the EditField/TextField changes. Even then that’s easy, since the Find-Replace feature in REAL is so easy.

The learning curve in Xojo can be a bit of a shock though.

What’s different? Is this not just the same software with a different name? Am I going to have to re-code everything?

No you will NOT have to recode everything… but there have been a few changes since 2008…
Editfields have been replaced with TextFields, StaticText with Label as mentioned above.
other minor things… like NEWPICTURE is gone… but has been replaced with “NEW PICTURE” [yeah…add a space]

The nice thing is… when you load an older project into the more recent version of Xojo (or even a later version of RS)… it will tell you what needs to be resolved, and in most cases resolves 90% of it for you with the click of a mouse

I just tried Realbasic 2008 on OS X 10.8.5 and it ran fine. However, I do not recommend using such an old version on current versions of OS X.[quote=41979:@Dave Bull]2) Will the apps that I created with it run?[/quote]
Maybe, but you’d have to test to know for sure. I know we’ve had to make tweaks to stuff over the years to ensure good compatibility with OS X updates.

You can certainly move your projects over to Xojo. How difficult that will be depends on how you originally wrote them. There have been changes and updates to the framework in the past 5 years, but the language itself has not changed much.

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can use the “Find a Developer” form to get in touch with Xojo consultants that do this sort of thing: http://www.xojo.com/support/consultants.php

Your code changes should be relatively minor…

BUT the IDE Is a total rewrite with a VERY VERY different design and workflow… which is definitely an acquired taste and opinions on it vary lot…

And since it is a rewrite there are number of bug annoyances

You do point up an important point about Macs in the workplace… while the consumer market changes quickly, Macs in businesses are not replaced until absolutely necessary… and while new packaged software is not bought for them as they age… but new in-house apps do get continue to created… So loss of backward compatibility hits in house developers harder.

Another thing about this Xojo incarnation of RealBasic is confusing - in the ‘Introduction to Programming’ book that is downloadable from the website, I read this: “Xojo is free to download, install, and run - you only need to pay if you need to compile your apps so that they can run on other people’s computers.”

So in our case - where we are only using my apps on our own system - I would be using the software free? That doesn’t seem right … but $300 (more than three times what I paid for what seems to be pretty much the same program last time around) seems excessive just to maintain my ‘status quo’ …

The main reason I stopped upgrading and using the software for new projects was the bugginess; RealBasic at that time had a huge bug in the way that it handled Styled Text - styling was ‘moved’ if non-ascii characters were present in the text, and we use Japanese extensively. This made the program next to useless for us. But in reading these forums yesterday (at least during the time when they weren’t ‘down’) I hear that the same bug is still present! Seriously? Since 2008?!! This doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that I should stick with this framework …

“doesn’t seem right”… Remember… you MUST load the IDE and run it from there… you cannot compile it to a .APP or .EXE file where it could be launched by clicking a single icon. for THAT you must get a license.

Also… I believe… if you ever had a license for RealStudio… you are still eligible to UPGRADE… so it would be $150 (but don’t take my word, I’d confirm this with Customer Service first)

[quote=42132:@Dave Bull]Another thing about this Xojo incarnation of RealBasic is confusing - in the ‘Introduction to Programming’ book that is downloadable from the website, I read this: “Xojo is free to download, install, and run - you only need to pay if you need to compile your apps so that they can run on other people’s computers.”
[/quote]
As mentioned yes that is free but that means to run your application you have to open Xojo, load the application then run it - but that is indeed FREE - a surprising number of users do exactly this.

[quote=42132:@Dave Bull]
The main reason I stopped upgrading and using the software for new projects was the bugginess; RealBasic at that time had a huge bug in the way that it handled Styled Text - styling was ‘moved’ if non-ascii characters were present in the text, and we use Japanese extensively. This made the program next to useless for us. But in reading these forums yesterday (at least during the time when they weren’t ‘down’) I hear that the same bug is still present! Seriously? Since 2008?!! This doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that I should stick with this framework …[/quote]
If I recall the styled text relied on the old Apple Styled Text system which was text + style resources.
They’ve had few if any updates in OS X . So it’s not inconceivable that the same bug exists all this time as if its in Apple’s code we’re at their mercy and they have more or less stopped fixing anything at all in Carbon.
But Joe would know that better than I would and what its changed to in the Cocoa framework as I’m pretty sure its no longer the same old styled text system.