rbrw first release on Google Code

Due to many distractions, it has taken a while for the port of OOFILE’s report-writer to REALbasic to achieve some usable state. I’ve just committed the first version which includes printing and crude preview to the rbrw-core repository. The directory layout may look a bit weird, with many empty directories. That is because most files are external XML format (under the top rbrw directory) but the VCP format used for the sample creates a hierarchy of empty directories.

I will be adding more documentation over the next few months explaining how to use the library and how it works (the latter proving more challenging than I realised – it’s been nearly 10 years since I did more than trivial extensions). In a bitter lesson about using digital documentation, the inches of paper-based design documents for the original product have been mislaid/filed in one of my house moves of the last decade.

This initial release does include a fairly comprehensive sample program showing how to create reports of various styles. Continue reading

Is DOT too hard for Normal Users?

I’ve been a huge fan of AT&T’s GraphViz graph-generating language for years.  I use it Doxygen with the automatically-generated class and collaboration diagrams as well as many casual diagrams I specify for workflow. I love the way I can quickly enter some text and have a diagram appear with automatic layout as I change the content. The plain text of DOT files also works very well with version-control, allowing me to very easily see what changed on complex diagrams from between releases, instead of eyeballing binary pictures.

In a discussion on the Instaviz (GraphViz for iPhone) users list, a question came up about similar usability for desktop users.

Continue reading