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Thread Looking Beyond 2.06
Mon, Apr 3 2017 12:09 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

I'm getting 2.06 ready for final release right now.  I was able to add some final improvements "just under the wire":

- The IDE now includes a Find Declaration option on the context menu for the code editor. When the cursor is positioned on an identifier in the code editor, this context menu option will find the identifier's declaration (if possible). If there are compilation errors in the source code, using this feature may result in an error message appearing in the Messages view in the IDE indicating that the find declaration operation failed.

- There is a new TDataSetController component that allows the developer to attach to a TDataSet component for the purpose of defining event handlers for capturing when the dataset's current state, row, or sort changes. Previously, the developer would have to manually attach event handlers in code.

- The TMapLocation class now includes a new Icon property that allows you to specify a custom icon for the location marker.

- The TMapLocation class now includes a new OnClick event that will be triggered whenever the location's marker is clicked.

Going forward, I wanted to start a new thread to start capturing some ideas on smaller improvements that are still missing in the product.  These are already planned, so need to include them:

- SSL/GZip, multiple domain support in the web server

- Run-time execution of EWB Object Pascal code in the web server (including framework for session, user, file, database, and route management)

- Echo of generated row values during transaction commits

- Pagination, filtering, relations for datasets

- Color scheme support

- Treeview control

- HTML Editor

- Charting

- Code completion

- Code formatting/re-factoring

So, what I'm looking for are any small things that need to be addressed.  Things like auto-indent in the code editor, etc.  I've already got a list, so I might have many of these already, but I'm trying to get a sense of priority for each item.  Items that require configuration settings for the project/environment options dialogs in the IDE are especially important.  The IDE is getting a facelift soon, so the manual screen shots, etc. are going to need to be re-done, so I would like to get any new configuration settings in there at the same time.

Thanks,

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Mon, Apr 3 2017 12:56 PMPermanent Link

Trinione

Tim:
1 - EWB Web Server enhancements. Very important to an all round EWB package. With the new EWB WS, have it the developer's code / datasets etc secured. Bear in mind that as developers our code/methods etc can be 'trade secrets' and need to be protected. This is a significant factor on top of the technical benefits EWB/ EWB WS/EDB provides.

2 - Echo of generated row values during transaction commits

3 - Pagination, filtering, relations for datasets

4 - Layout engine changes you mentioned elsewhere

5 - Treeview control.

6 - HTML Editor

7 - Charting

8 - Color scheme support

HOWEVER, I would say the layout engine enhancements you mentioned elsewhere may be a factor before item 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Code formatting is a nice to have. I thought it was important initially, but forgot about it after 2 minutes of using EWB. Smile

Here is what you said in Oct-2016.
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http://bit.ly/2n4IzTe

EWB isn't really targeted at building web *sites*.  It's more for web *applications* that sit behind a login: support portals, LOB applications, etc.  These types of applications act more like traditional desktop applications than multi-page web sites.

Our goal is to make EWB capable of producing web sites *also*, but that's still in the works.  What you would end up with is a back-end in Object Pascal script that could handle processing/data/content for the front-end, and the front-end would be coded similarly to what EWB does today, but only at a UI element level (like HTML is normally handled).  In other words, you wouldn't have controls/components like you do now, just elements.  It would be similar to how the control interface editor works.  In addition, EWB could "wrap" existing HTML pages on the client so that you could "take control" of a page with more sane layout management functionality than what CSS offers. This type of design would keep the client-side JS size down considerably (~150-200k for the entire site) while still allowing for the type of functionality one would want in a web site.

<< What other tools can be used along side EWB to end up with the types of websites you see everywhere these days? In particular for interface design, color schemes etc. >>

To modify the way that EWB looks, you simply need to modify the control interfaces that are provided with EWB.  It's really that simple.
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Mon, Apr 3 2017 1:04 PMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com


<< HOWEVER, I would say the layout engine enhancements you mentioned elsewhere may be a factor before item 4, 5, 6, and 7. >>

The final layout enhancements were added in 2.06 (auto-sizing, better performance).  If you're referring to generated page-oriented web sites, that is something that will occur along with the run-time engine in the web server.  The two go hand-in-hand because you need the back-end to be able to generate dynamic pages.  The front end then becomes a very minimal JS wrapper around the HTML pages.  This also means that the controls/components in EWB are no longer present.  You would simply have UI elements in a tree, just like a typical web page (or pages).

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
Mon, Apr 3 2017 9:11 PMPermanent Link

Rick

On 04/04/17 02:09, Tim Young [Elevate Software] wrote:
> Going forward, I wanted to start a new thread to start capturing some ideas on smaller improvements that are still missing in the product.
>
> So, what I'm looking for are any small things that need to be addressed.
>

Tim, I'd like to see both fixed columns and rows capability added to the
TGrid component. Would be great if this feature could be Delphi like and
support a settable number of cols/rows that can be fixed.

I'd also like better mouse resize capability added to TDialog and
TPanel. I know there is the TSizer control but I would like to be able
to click on any corner or border and resize that way. Probably not very
fashionable because of focus on mobile but desktop environments are
still important for enterprise users.

I would also like to comment on the web server enhancements. I
understand that the EWS is an important element of the EWB environment
but most of my development works with linux and z/OS servers where EWS
won't run (I assume). Consequently it's the SPA capability of EWB that
is important to me. Yes, I get that I'm not your only customer but I
just wanted to say that continued development of EWB itself (lots of new
components, better debugging, IDE enhancements, improved performance,
improved file sizes, improved interface handling, etc.) is of most value
to me.

One last thing, which isn't EWB related, but could the Incident Reports
page on the Elevate web site be improved to allow searching on all
reports that I have opened? Maybe there is already a way to search for
reports created by a specific user but I can't see it. I know that I
have created reports in the past that may have included enhancements
that I've forgotten about. Would like to see what they are.

Thanks for your excellent work with EWB, it really is a great product.

--
Rick
Tue, Apr 4 2017 2:07 AMPermanent Link

Frederick Chin

Tim,

/*
So, what I'm looking for are any small things that need to be addressed.  Things like auto-indent in the code editor, etc.
*/

I would like to see a lot of improvements in the code editor:-

- Block selection, copy, move, delete
- Load from file
- Save block to file
- Search/replace across multiple files
- Split windows
- Key definition

Once the design phase is over, the coding part will take the most time and there is nothing more productive than a feature-rich editor.

-- Frederick
Tue, Apr 4 2017 4:33 AMPermanent Link

Matthew Jones

Tim Young [Elevate Software] wrote:

> So, what I'm looking for are any small things that need to be addressed.

Here's what I was putting together:

Type full file in project manager to select it (or type part of it). Not just the current single letter which is not too handy

Ctrl-Click to go to class definition (looks like that is in!)

Keep the layout and other items open in the object inspector when I move from component to component. Perhaps optional, but too much time is spent digging into the multi-level properties. Layout, font, margins, forever opening them. Particularly when editing themes, and you want to change the borders, and you click on something and it closes, so now you have to click a hundred times to open them up again (I exaggerate only slightly). Leave them how I left them. Perhaps a button to close all or something. Big productivity gain!

But I also agree that theme colouring would be good. Some way to either pre-process or define a set of colours for borders, primary text, secondary text, and perhaps border effects too but less important than colours. Most of my theme changes are applying a colour to the borders and panel headers for consistency. If we could use clThemeText and clThemeBorder and clThemeBackground that would be very nice.

--

Matthew Jones
Tue, Apr 4 2017 4:35 AMPermanent Link

Matthew Jones

Trinione wrote:

> 6 - HTML Editor
>
> 7 - Charting

These are easily applied already with external modules FWIW. I've used both HTML editor and charting using the method in the EWB book.

--

Matthew Jones
Tue, Apr 4 2017 4:40 AMPermanent Link

Matthew Jones

Frederick Chin wrote:

> I would like to see a lot of improvements in the code editor:-

I'd really like bookmarks like Delphi has, but even if only one that would be good. Ctrl-K + Number to set, Ctrl-Number to jump. I use Ctrl-0 a lot in Delphi to mark where I am in something, and then jump back. Could be within a file or whole IDE (probably better option). I often am doing something when I need to go look it up. Drop bookmark, go find, then return. Right now my "drop bookmark" is the letter 'd'. Put one of those in the code, and go find what I want, then Ctrl-F9 to return to where I was (compiler error, thanks!).

--

Matthew Jones
Tue, Apr 4 2017 7:56 AMPermanent Link

Matthew Jones

Just had a thought - string obfuscation. It might be nice to have a mode where all plain text strings are obfuscated too, not just functions. It would not be fancy, just an xor with a GUID or something generated at compile time. That way you can't see "My secret text here" but "aklsdj&YOIAYijdsj". Perhaps optional, or a specific ObscureString type, but it needs to work for constants.

Thinking further, the ideal would probably be a const section or resstrings or something:

obscurestrings
 MY_SECRET = 'This should be obfuscated';
 DEBUG_INFO = 'goodness me';

begin
 ShowDialog(MY_SECRET);
end;

Which would end up as
ShowDialog(RestoreString(MY_SECRET));

The implementation would

What prompted this was me putting in debug strings, which gives a big clue as to operation. Defeats the obfuscation a little! So they would be string constants in normal code. But if that would be too much burden on the runtime, it would still be handy to have key strings. And of course not totally secure or anything, but just not a plain string in the downloadable file.

Just a thought...

--

Matthew Jones
Tue, Apr 4 2017 9:48 AMPermanent Link

Tim Young [Elevate Software]

Elevate Software, Inc.

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Email timyoung@elevatesoft.com

Rick,

I've got the fixed rows/columns and dialog resizing on the list, thanks.

<< I would also like to comment on the web server enhancements. I understand that the EWS is an important element of the EWB environment but most of my development works with linux and z/OS servers where EWS
won't run (I assume). >>

It will run on Linux soon, although it will be x86/x64-only.

<< One last thing, which isn't EWB related, but could the Incident Reports page on the Elevate web site be improved to allow searching on all reports that I have opened? >>

Once the web site is revamped (using the new back-end web server capabilities), it will include more personalized access for incident reports.

<< Thanks for your excellent work with EWB, it really is a great product. >>

You're quite welcome, and thank you.

Tim Young
Elevate Software
www.elevatesoft.com
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