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June 28, 2004

Slashdot Viewer for Mac OS

To learn REALbasic, the software used at MatterForm where I hopefully will be working, I downloaded the demo version and implemented the famous Slashdot Story viewer. The result is available here though you will need REALbasic to use it, which means you either need a Mac or Windows copy of the compiler. I may compile it and distribute a nicer version of it later on as I'm getting to know REALbasic, we shall see.

Linguistically, there isn't much special about REALbasic. It's a strongly-typed, single-inheritance OO language. It has both builtin types and objects. The builtin types are Integer, String, Float, Object, and Color, but I might be leaving out a few numeric types. I think having color as a builtin is interesting, but only something a GUI-oriented language would do. I find it strange to have to declare all my variables in BASIC, too. Apart from that, the API seems well-designed though I wish documentation came in a better format than some kind of huge PDF. HTML would be nice. I have been spoiled by Python's nice documentation, particularly the Library Reference. The compiler apparently targets Windows, Mac OS 9/X and Linux though there is no version of the software for Linux (leading me to believe it isn't self-hosting ;). Oh, and it has the g-d-forsaken “New” operator.

I had intended to also write this program in Apple's XCode IDE in Objective-C, a sensible if disgusting language which should be preferred over C++ by all right-thinking people. Unfortunately, I simply didn't have enough time this weekend to do them both; rest assured it is also on the platter. So enjoy this version if you can, I may provide a binary if I get to install REALbasic on my laptop because of my job, we shall see.

Posted by FusionGyro at June 28, 2004 07:29 AM