Archive for the ‘IDE Experts’ Category.

Introducing Demo Browser… (from the pile of never to be released…)

It is interesting what you find in your drafts folder. From January 20, 2012! I guess my interests got consumed elsewhere. Still think the idea has merit.

I’m sure everyone has a stack of ideas that never really get off the ground for one reason or another. This is just one of plenty for me!

NOTE: This was used for the JSDialog Pack demos way back when so it kind of got released for in-house use.


The Demo Browser is an application that allows component vendors to showcase the demos that come with their products.

One of the main issues developers face is how to make “my application” do what is being done in a screen shot shown on the particular vendors site. I know this because I am also a consumer of third party products and trying to work out how a component works can be time consuming. The aim of Demo Browser is two fold, firstly allow a products demos to be located in a common front end and secondly to help spotlight important features within those demos.

The idea originally came about when seeing a number of questions about Delphi specific features that were covered by sample applications that shipped with the product. It is fine to tell them to go and search through a bunch of directories (some Delphi versions he “hide” the demo folder is some obscure location – it has since become more obvious where the demos are, but I digress).

So a central location for demos is what Demo Browser is.

Some History

Like most things I develop I usually mention it to a number of people I consider my sounding board. They seem to be very good at determining what might be a good thing and what may not (even though we don’t always see eye to eye – which is a good thing). I first bounced the Demo Browser idea off a former Borland (yes a while ago now) employee whom I had coffee and social chats with on a regular basis. So the first Demo Browser prototype was dynamic. It could read in the demos folder of your Delphi installation and process the information into a nice central view. Here are some of the initial screen captures (these were created August 3, 2007).

Demo Browser prototype

Demo Browser: summary

Demo Browser: readme

Demo Browser prototype

Demo Browser: screen capture

Demo Browser: filtering

Demo Browser prototype

Demo Browser: filter view

Demo Browser: video

XE Plus Pack – Release 17

After a much longer testing phase than expected, the newest release of XE Plus Pack for Delphi XE6 and Delphi XE7 is now available for download.

XE6 Plus Pack – Download for XE6
XE7 Plus Pack – Download for XE7

The main new feature for Release 17 is the ability to quickly generate and apply all of the required icon and splash images required for a mobile (iPhone or Android) application.

Image Generator

This new feature is called Image Generator and is accessible from the Project menu in the IDE. It is only available when a FireMonkey project is loaded within the IDE.

Image Generator - Design

You have the ability to add use three elements to compose your splash images.

  1. App Icon
  2. Backgroun
  3. Company Logo

Image Generator - Output

Once the images have been generated, you can review the final creations before applying the images to the correct elements in the active project. The images are applied for All Configurations. It does not support selecting whether to apply the images to Debug and/or Release. An enhancement for the next release – if deemed necessary.

The details of the design can be save to an “xeppsettings” file in the same folder as the project. Currently this is a binary file, however it will be changed to an XML or text readable file for easier use with source control.

More information about the Image Generator expert will be available soon.

View Units Dialog

An enhancement has been made to the View Units dialog which is updated due to the Visual Forms feature. This new dialog now gives the option of viewing either the selected files thumbnail (if available) or all available thumbnails. Additional options will be added to the View Units dialog in future releases.

View Units - Single View

To toggle the thumbnail view mode, use F8.

View Units - Thumbnail View

Did you purchased XE Plus Pack?

If you previously purchased XE Plus Pack and have moved onto Delphi XE2 or above, please contact me for you free upgrade license details.

Clarification

XE Plus Pack ONLY works with Delphi XE.

The XE2 Plus Pack and above (the name changes for the supported IDE) is not free.

I have no plans to make it free. However, a license purchased for XE2 Plus Pack (or above) will work with any Embarcadero released IDE from Delphi XE2. So the same key will work with XE3, XE4, XE5, XE6, XE7 (see below) and even XE8 if that is what the next release will be called…

XE7 Plus Pack

The Delphi XE7 Plus Pack is currently in beta and was held back due to Update 1. It should be available to trial in a week or so.

Existing users can contact me for access to the beta.

 

XE Plus Pack – Free License details

Grab your free license details for Delphi XE Plus Pack.

http://www.jed-software.com/xepp.htm

 

License Details

Name: XE Plus Pack - Free License
Key: 02B537-8A808F-EFE83C-00E6EE-8BA946-3076F6-052F5F-CFC103-022F85-A28C71-006084

 

How to register

Download the trial version: http://www.jed-software.com/files/XEPlusPackTrial.zip

Use the Help | Register XE{x} Plus Pack… menu item to register.

 

Further install and help is available from http://www.jed-software.com/xepp_support.htm or email, support@jed-software.com.

 

Important info

  1. Only works for Delphi XE version.

 

XE Plus Pack – Release 14

Release 14 is now available to all existing XE Plus Pack users. Release 14 also brings support for Delphi XE5.

The reason why the XE5 release was delayed was that the addition on iOS 7 support and a couple of changes to internal IDE component names (which made no sense to change) broke two of my experts. Needless to say, I was waiting for Update 1 to be released before making the XE5 version available.

NOTE: The XE5 release works with or without update 1 and with or without iOS 7 support.

Introducing Debug Visualizer Wizard

This expert is a repository wizard to help made Debug Visualizers without needing to go into much detail about their implementation. It allows you to concentrate on creating custom visualizers which is perhaps one of the most unappreciated IDE features.

Those paying attention will know that this wizard is based off the Blaise Pascal Magazine article written back in the days of Delphi 2010. The code was upgraded and the templates improved and now available from Delphi XE thought to Delphi XE5.

Debug Visualizer Wizard (release 14)

Fixes

There have also been a number of fixes under the hood, however two that will be noticeable are:

  1. Support for adding bookmarks with the bookmark guide when the editor is not docked.
  2. Improved tracing output.

Pricing

XE Plus Pack still costs just 40 Euros and can be purchased cheaper if ordering four or more licenses (contact us for quotes).

  • Purchase XE Plus Pack and get the Delphi XE version.
  • Purchase XE2 Plus Pack and get support for Delphi XE2 -> Delphi XE5.

http://jed-software.com/xepp_purchase.htm

Download

Download your required version from the download page.

To try XE5 Plus Pack download the trial version.

XE3 Plus Pack

XE3 Plus Pack is now available for download.

 

This version supports XE3 and includes a new expert (detailed below), some minor enhancements plus some fixes.

– New expert called Watch Property Groups.

– The Bookmark Guide expert now defaults to suppressing editor bookmarks and aligning to the left of the editor.

– When displaying Options, the Visual Forms window is no longer displayed when not visible.

– When returning from viewing a form as text and there are errors treaming in the form an exception dialog would display repeatedly.

– Support Visual Forms captures for FireMonkey projects (the underlying structure of the form designer changed between XE2 and XE3).

– Logging Visual Forms messages would raise an exception on shutdown when the message view was not visible.

– Fix issue with Bookmark Guide not displaying when loading the IDE with no project.

– New command to automatically jump to the Library Paths options page. Add it to the IDE by customizing a toolbar.

 

Download

Download the 30 day trial – XE3 Plus Pack Trial Download

 

XE2 Plus Pack users

XE2 Plus Pack registration details also work with XE3 Plus Pack. Therefore there is no need to purchase XE3 Plus Pack if you are an existing XE2 Plus Pack customer.

 

Pricing change

The price for XE3 Plus Pack is still only 40 Euros and now includes a lifetime license. This change also applies to existing XE and XE2 Plus Pack holders.

 

Watch Property Groups

The Watch Property Group expert allows you to group a number of properties you generally watch for a specific object type and adds them all to the Watch List with a click of a button.

Watch Property Group

Steps Involved

  1. Define your property group
  2. Highlight the object instance in the code editor and display the Watch Property Group window. The default shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+W.
  3. Highlight the desired watch group to use and press enter (or the first toolbar button) in the Watch Property Group dialog to add a watch for each property in the defined group.

The Watch Property Group window can be docked in the IDE and saved to your debug layout so it is always where you want it.

Additional Information available in the online help guide: http://www.jed-software.com/help/WatchPropertyGroup/WatchPropertyGroup.html

 

XE Plus Pack – Release 8 (XE and XE2 versions)

A new release of XE Plus Pack is now available to download.

 

For Delphi XE – http://www.jed-software.com/files/XEPlusPackTrial.zip

For Delphi XE2 – http://www.jed-software.com/files/XE2PlusPackTrial.zip

NOTE: Update 4 must be installed for the Delphi XE2 version.

 

Available Experts

XE Plus Pack is a collection of IDE Experts, component editors and property editors available for either Delphi XE or Delphi XE2.

Currently XE Plus Pack consists of eight experts:

  1. Visual Forms (previously available as a separate product)
  2. Activate Project
  3. File Actions
  4. Remember IDE Tree Options
  5. Find Bar Alignment
  6. New Code Template
  7. Bookmark Guide (new in Release 6)
  8. Resolution Selector (new in Release 6)
  9. Mouse Scroll Form Designer (new in Release 8 )
  10. Structure Pane Enhancements (new in Release 8 )
  11. Help Shutdown (shutdown DExplorer.exe on IDE shutdown) (new in Release 8 )

 

Mouse Scroll Form Designer Image Mouse Scroll Form Designer

When the designed form gets too large to fit within the bounds of the embedded form designer, simply use the mouse wheel to scroll the hidden portion of the form into view.

  • This feature supports vertical and horizontal scrolling.
  • Hold down the control key to scroll horizontally if your mouse only supports vertical scrolling.

NOTE: In XE2, this expert doesn’t always work correctly with the FireMonkey designer. The FireMonkey designer doesn’t play very nice with the IDE and has a number of quirks and inconsistencies. I will continue to investigate making this work nicely in future releases.

 

Structure Pane Enhancements Structure Pane Enhancements

This expert has been totally driven by an XE Plus Pack user and would prove especially helpful for other users that use the Floating Form designer layout. This experts helps fix a number of deficencies when dealing with using the structure pane with the floating form designer.

  • Add an editor shortcut key combination to collapse the content of the structure pane.
  • Optionally make the structure pane the active window after the collapse has occurred.
  • Collapse the structure pane when navigating between source code editors.
  • (IDE BUG FIX) When using the floating form designer, make sure the source editor structure view is available when moving between the designed form and the source editor for the form.

 

Structure Pane Enhancements Help Shutdown

Makes sure the help system is shutdown when the IDE is closed. All instances of “dexplore.exe” are terminated.

 

What’s coming up

Release 9

  1. Options Import/Export utility.
  2. Path property editor for FireMonkey

Expected release date – July/August 2012

Release 10

Two new experts will be introduced.

  1. Smart Desktops
  2. Watch Property Groups

Expected release date – August/September 2012.

Disclaimer: Dates and features mentioned for upcoming versions may change.

XE Plus Pack – Release 6 (XE and XE2 versions)

A new release of XE Plus Pack is now available to download.

 

For Delphi XE – http://www.jed-software.com/files/XEPlusPackTrial.zip

For Delphi XE2 – http://www.jed-software.com/files/XE2PlusPackTrial.zip

NOTE: Update 3 must be installed for the Delphi XE2 version.

 

XE Plus Pack is a collection of IDE Experts, component editors and property editors available for either Delphi XE or Delphi XE2.

Currently XE Plus Pack consists of eight experts:

  1. Visual Forms (previously available as a separate product)
  2. Activate Project
  3. File Actions
  4. Remember IDE Tree Options
  5. Find Bar Alignment
  6. New Code Template
  7. Bookmark Guide (new in Release 6)
  8. Resolution Selector (new in Release 6)

The registered version costs 40 Euro (for one year and 20 Euro each year after that).

The XE trial lasts for 15 days, the XE2 trial lasts for 30 days.

 

The Bookmark Guide is a replacement for the existing bookmark system.

 

Resolution Selector adds resolution guidelines to the form designer. Also added is a combobox to the toolbar to allow switching the currently designed form between different resolutions.

 

 

XEPP: Release 2 now available

XEPP Release 2 is now available. Refer to the previous blog post for the included features – http://www.jed-software.com/blog/?p=447

Download the trial version – http://www.jed-software.com/files/XEPlusPackTrial.zip

 

Existing users can just install the new trial version to get the new features. You don’t have to register again.

XEPP: Preview of Release 2 and an upcoming addition…

A minor update to XE Plus Pack is currently being tested.

This update includes the following:

  • [Update] Adds the Execute and Execute as Admin commands to the File Actions Project Manager context menu. Handy for those batch files included in your projects.
  • [NEW] Ability to save the Options treeview state between executions and IDE sessions. By default, only the Environment node is expanded.
  • Some internal tweaks to better support upcoming features.

When the trial is ready for downloading, you’ll hear it first!

 

What’s coming up

Export / Import and Reset IDE Options

Looking something like this at the moment (screens may change before release).

Export Settings Introduction screen

Select which options to export

Options for saving the exported settings file

Third Parties

If you like to have you options exportable, please contact me.

The exporting isn’t limited to just registry settings, but can include specific files (or file sets) as well as entire folders. Files and Folders can be dynamically located.