My CSV Parser is now on github
If there are others you’d like to see on github send me an email, or comment and I’ll get them posted.
My CSV Parser is now on github
If there are others you’d like to see on github send me an email, or comment and I’ll get them posted.
When I give code away, for free, I’ve probably already invested a bit of time in it. How much time I’ve invested will vary depending on why I originally created whatever it is I’m giving away.
And often I will update the code. Sometimes to meet my own needs. Sometimes to meet a clients needs. And sometimes the code just sits for a long time without getting updated or touched.
And then I get someone saying “but you gave me this code it’s your responsibility to update it”.
Ummm ….. well my standard disclaimer is
All code is supplied on an AS IS basis.
I give it away. I don’t charge you for it or the time I’ve put into it. If its helpful then great. If not well I’m sorry for that. But that also doesnt mean I’m obliged to tweak the code to meet your requirements. Nor am I on the hook to fix any and all bugs you might find. It’s why I give full source code for you to do with it as you please.
It’s a gift. Accept it as offered.
Or hire me to tweak it to meet your needs.
At the end of June I posted about a replacement for the bevel button that I’d created.
Since then I’ve had some feedback and some updates & fixes submitted for it and a newer versions has been posted.
If you’ve used it in your projects you might want to grab the latest version.
The Xojo docs about delegates are quite sparse about what you can or cannot do with them and whether they can or cannot take certain kinds of parameters. What they do say is that
A Delegate data type is an object representing a specific method. It is a function pointer with a method signature.
I was recently asked if a delegate that did not make use of any external dynamic library could take an object parameter. The delegate definition and the code creating the delegate are all inside a single Xojo project.
Delegates are kind of esoteric but like many things, when you need one you need one and it may be the only way to do what it is you want to do.
Inside a single Xojo project “delegation” can be done in several ways. Before Delegates what you might often find that an interface would be used. This would work for code all in the same project, but could lead to a lot of interfaces with one method just to be able to declare the delegate. When you use a delegate definition and AddressOf to create the delegate the difference is negligible. In both cases you define a new type, either the interface or the delegate, and then in some way have to implement that type so you can make use of it.
One key difference is that with an interface you can’t just use it with any method that has the proper signature. It has to be implemented by a class and then you need an instance of that class. So there can be more work with an interface in this case.
But notice I wrote that both a Delegate and and Interface define a new data type. What that means is that you can use the delegate name in a DIM statement just like you would use Integer, String, Color, Text etc.
dim delegateReference as MydelegateType
And then you can assign values to it – but in the case of a delegate you need to make sure you assign values that match the signature the delegate was defined with. This is the same as if you declare a variable as an integer you can’t assign a string to it.
For instance if we had the following :
Delegate NoParamDelegate() Delegate OneIntParamDelegate(i as integer) Sub NoParamMethod() End Sub Sub OneParamMethod(i as integer) End Sub Sub InvalidOneParmMethod(s as string) End Sub dim noParam as NoParamDelegate dim oneParam as OneIntParamDelegate
We have two delegates defined – the NoParamDelegate and OneIntParamDelegate. One takes no parameters. The other takes one integer parameter.
What that means is that the NoParamDelegate can ONLY be assigned to contain the AddressOf a method that takes NO parameters. It cannot hold ANY other pointer to any other method. Given the previous definitions :
// would compile noParam = AddressOf NoParamMethod oneParam = AddressOf OneIntParamMethod // will not compile - you get a type mimatch noParam = AddressOf OneIntParamMethod oneParam = AddressOf NoParamMethod // will not compile // although this method has one param the parms do not match types noParam = AddressOf InvalidOneParmMethod oneParam = AddressOf InvalidOneParmMethod
Delegates are “fussy” – you MUST assign the addressof a method that has the EXACT SAME SIGNATURE the delegate was defined with.
But once you do this you CAN pass whatever data types you want within your own project.
If you happen to use a delegate to call EXTERNAL code, which is sometimes done in the case of interfacing with system libraries and other non-Xojo code, you often use a Ptr although you can use a delegate as well if you make sure you define the delegate with the signature that matches the external codes (this can be tricky sometimes)
If you do match up the types one thing you will run into is that Xojo objects can not be passed to external code this way. You can only pass ptr’s, structures – careful here as you need to know the specific calling conventions in use – and other simple types. Xojo will coerce many things to the correct type for you just as it does for declares.
If you’ve ever used a container control on a layout and then tried to manipulate the controls at runtime with code like
For i As Integer = 0 To Self.ControlCount - 1 Dim ctrl As Control = Self.Control(i) // now manipulate this control or call its methods Next
you’ve probably run into the EmbeddedWindowControl
Its what you get when you use a Container Control on a layout either by placing one at design time or dynamically adding one at runtime.
Note that you get an EmbeddedWindowControl – not an instance of the Container you placed there. So any code you use that tests if a control ISA specific instance will fail for your containers. You don’t get a reference to the instance you get this EmbeddedWindowControl instead. So you cant call any methods you have added to the container control or reference any properties of it.
And today, for a project I was working on, I needed this and decided to figure out how to make this possible.
The result is this little sample program with one module that extends EmbeddedWindowControl in a way you can get the container control that the embedded window control was created from.
To make use of this simply copy the EmbeddedWindowControlExtensions module into your project. Then when you iterate a set of controls on a layout you can do
For i As Integer = 0 To Self.ControlCount - 1 Dim ctrl As Control = Self.Control(i) If ctrl IsA EmbeddedWindowControl Then Dim cc As ContainerControl = EmbeddedWindowControl(ctrl).Container If cc <> Nil Then // you now have an actual reference to the container control // so you can use its methods, properties, etc // but you will need to cast it first End If End If Next
In a previous article I detailed some of the things I’d like to see the IDE do to make it so a “Universal Project” that could, from a single source code base, produce one, or more, compiled applications.
The up side to this would be that if you have a suite of related applications the code that is common between them, perhaps business specific logic, would only need to be altered in one place and could immediately be tested across all the related apps much more simply than by using external items, SVN externals, or the Git equivalent.
Currently it’s almost possible to do this on your own in a single project. Except for how the IDE behaves. If you save a Desktop project as a text project you’ll see the project manifest has one set of key value pairs. And if you save a Console project you’ll see there is a lot of commonality but they are not identical. The same is true for a Web and iOS projects. They all share a common set of key value pairs but each type has some that are unique to that type of project.
The downside here is that each project type only reads and saves those key value pairs that it recognizes, and throws away any others. This is easy to test simply by adding your own to any manifest, opening it in the IDE, altering a project setting then saving.
In order to make it so a single project could be a desktop, web, iOS, or console project ALL key value pairs across all these project types would need to be preserved, even if they are not used.
If the IDE did this it would be one step along the path to creating a Universal app.
It’s long been a desire of Xojo users to have a single project thay they can open and compile a desktop app, web app, iOS app and console apps from the same project.
This would make it so if you have a suite of related applications that all use common code sharing that common code would be easier since its all in the same project and just by selecting a different target in the build settings you could compile whichever one you selected.
This would be a really handy capability. One that I’ve used in other IDE’s like Metrowerks CodeWarrior. In there you created a new “Target” and then could designate which “files” were part of the target. Since XOjo isn’t file oriented in that way it would make sense to have some other way to designate which targets a class/module/layout was part of.
In a way this already exists.
If you wrote a module and set its “compatibility” flags either on the whole module you can designate whether that module is compatible with Desktop, Web, iOS, or Console apps. You could create it, save it and then drop it into any one of those kinds of projects and based on those compatibility flag settings it would or would not compile for whatever kind of project you were creating.
Right now the only things that can be selected as compatibility settings are Desktop, Web, iOS, and Console. Either 32 or 64 bits. And when you put a check mark next to one of those items in the Build Settings boolean flags are set (TargetMacOS, TargetWeb, TargetiOS, TargetConsole and either Target32bit or Target64bit)
What if you could add your own targets ? Instead of just desktop, web, ios and console we could create new “Targets”.
When you select “Target” this creates a new spot in the IDE under macOS, Windows, Linux where we could add build steps like we do for macOS, Windows, Linux, Web. And it can be checked or not checked like the other build targets. Then like the others, when checked, a boolean “Target<whatevername we gave it>” should also be crated like happens for macOS, Windows, Linux and others. Then in code we could write
#if TargetUserDefined #endif
exactly the same as we do with #If TargetMacOS etc.
The other thing we would need is for the compatibility flags editor to have extra rows in it, one for each of the targets we define. That way we could set the proper compatibility settings right in the IDE.
There are still a couple issues that would have to be sorted out in the IDE but this would be one step to making the “Universal Project” that has so long been desired.
If you have interest in this sign on to this case
The wonderful dog my family has had for the last 12 years passed away today. We’re all sad as hell. We will miss our Buddy greatly.
Interesting question from a dev I’ve know for a long time.
If I have a property that’s an enum, how do I tell that it’s not been set?
And this is a good question.
Because an enum is, at its core, an integer when you declare one and run its always initialized to the default value for an integer – 0.
And so if you use this fact you can actually detect that its been set or cleared.
Simply make you list of enumerated values NOT use 0 as a valid value.
Public Enum myEnum valueName1 = 1 valueName2 = 2 valueName3 = 3 End Enum
And now any time the value is 0 when your code starts to run you can tell any property that is declared to be a myEnum is or is not set by checking
Private Property someProperty as myEnum Sub Open() Handles Open If 0 = Integer(someProperty) Then break // someProperty has never been set or has been deliberately set to 0 End If End Sub
Every once in a while you run into some code that tries to present a fairly abstract API to some class / module. Maybe this is in your own code or in code you have received from some other source.
But as you work with it you find that the abstraction reveals internal implementation details that really should not be known outside the class. One way to hide these sorts of details from other portions of your code is to use an API defined in an interface.
However, even that doesnt always work.
Suppose you have some set of classes where you want to make it possible for one to contain many of the others and that the internal storage mechanism should be invisible, or at least not easily guessable, from other classes. Something like you see in the IDE where you have Folders that can contain all kinds of other items, or Modules that can also contains other items.
It would make sense for the classes that represent such a Container type to implement the Xojo.Core.Iterable interface so you could use either in a For … Next loop.
Lets start by assuming we’re going to create a set up like
Class ContainerType Implements Xojo.Core.Iterator Function MoveNext() as Boolean End Function Function Value() as Auto End Function End Class Class FolderType Inherits ContainerType End Class Class ModuleType Inherits ContainerType End Class
We’ll have a base ContainerType class and then two subclasses*. The names of the classes I’ve chosen don’t conflict with built in ones.
At this point you might think you could write
Dim f As New ContainerType For Each foo As Auto In f Next
but you can’t. In a for .. each you need an item that implements Xojo.Core.Iterator – not Xojo.Core.Iterable.
OK we need an iterator so we’ll add one like
Class ContainerTypeIterator Implements Xojo.Core.Iterator Function MoveNext() as Boolean End Function Function Value() as Auto End Function End Class
As well we need to make our initial class implement Xojo.Core.Iterable
Class ContainerType Implements Xojo.Core.Iterable Function GetIterator() as Xojo.Core.Iterator End Function End Class Class FolderType Inherits ContainerType End Class Class ModuleType Inherits ContainerType End Class
And now we can write
Dim f As New ContainerType // or new FolderType or new ModuleType For Each foo As Auto In f Next
But how do we make the Iterator itself work ? Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any Xojo code examples and the docs are kind of light on this.
The iterator isnt a “friend” of our base class so it cannot reach into its guts and grab whatever data it wants. Especially not if that data is protected or private in any way. So our Iterator needs some api to be able to get the data it needs from our ContainerType classes. So we need an API for that.
But whatever API we put on the ContainerType class is also going to be usable outside the Iterator. There’s no way straight forward simple way to restrict an API to ONLY being by one class in Xojo. (This is where “friend” classes would be handy as they could have a “special” relationship and be allowed to use some private api that no other class could – there are hacky ways to achieve this though)
And so however you implement the Iterator & its access to the individual members of each class that implements Iterable those API’s are usable by ANY other code. And so that abstraction of “iterable” and how it’s implemented leaks out to the rest of the world.
Stopping this leakage can be done – in a limited way. In a module you can have an interafce that is private to that module and then classes that are in that module can implement that interface. Only methods and other classes in that module can then use that interface.
Module Containers Private Interface PrivateContainerAccessors Function MoveNext() as boolean Function Value() as Variant End Interface Class ContainerType Implements Xojo.Core.Iterable Function GetIterator() as Xojo.Core.Iterator End Function Function MoveNext() as boolean End Function Function Value() as Variant End Function End Class Class FolderType Inherits ContainerType Function MoveNext() as boolean End Function Function Value() as Variant End Function End Class Class ModuleType Inherits ContainerType Function MoveNext() as boolean End Function Function Value() as Variant End Function End Class End Module
And now only classes IN the module can cast the classes that implement this interface in a way they can call the interface methods. This is quite handy – but it does have a drawback. Nothing outside this module can implement that interface. And that limits its usefulness to code you write and put in that module.
Friend scope would be really handy. In the mean time this is as close as you get and can stop your Iterable abstraction and the implementation from leaking out into the rest of your code.
*This really is JUST an example and not actual Xojo IDE code for those of you who might be suspiciously minded – I can assure you the IDE is vastly different than this – this is JUST an example that you can relate to from using the IDE