Archive for the ‘Open Tools’ 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

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.

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.

Sneak Peak: XE Plus Pack

I’m getting very close to releasing a new product called XE Plus Pack.

This product will include a number of experts that I’ve been personally using. Some for a number of years and some very new. Ultimately the idea behind the XE Plus Pack is that it will continue to grow over time to include new Experts, Property Editors, Component Editors and Utilities for newer IDE versions.

The first release will cover Delphi XE.

While the sneak peak shows five experts listed in the new JED Software Third Party Options section, only four will be released initially. The fifth (Bookmark Guide) still needs to bake a little bit before being released.

 

XE Plus Pack will sell for 40 Euros (50% discount for JSDialog Pack users and Free for current Visual Forms users). Yearly renewal of 20 Euros applies for updates and to receive newer experts. Users will have the opportunity to vote for which expert gets released next (I have an extensive list earmarked for the product).

 

Initially XE Plus Pack will include:

  • Visual Forms
  • Activate Project
  • File Actions
  • Code Template Wizard

 

Upcoming items that will be included with this product:

  • (Expert) Bookmark Guide
  • (Expert/Utility) Revamped Delphi Configuration Manager
  • (Utility) Enhanced Configuration Launcher
  • (Utility/Expert) Extensive IDE Options import/export application that can run from removable media
  • (Utility) Client DataSet Editor – developed while creating QC Plus

NOTE: Some utilities won’t be limited to Delphi XE IDE versions.

 

I will be doing some videos to introduce the collection and specific functionality.

XE Plus Pack - Options Integration

XE Plus Pack - Options Integration

New Article on CDN (with cool example)

A new article by me has been posted on the CDN site.

http://dn.codegear.com/article/33978

Extending the Project Manager Context menu

The article shows you how to create your own context menu items for use in the Project Manager.

The main sample addin adds a “Windows Explorer” context menu that has 4 submenus.
These are:

  1. Copy Filename to clipboard (obvious)
  2. Copy File Path to clipboard (obvious)
  3. Command Line Here (opens a command prompt at the folder of the item selected)
  4. Explorer Here (opens a explorer at the folder of the item selected)

Please read the article, post questions and rate it.

The CodeCentral download includes full source code as well as binaries (BDS 2006) for the add in. The binaries also work in Delphi 2007 with recompiling.

I’ve been using this in my own IDE version for about 5 months now and can’t live without it. Hope you find it useful as well.

Enjoy!

IDE AddIn – Putting focus in the Code Editor by using a keyboard shortcut

One of the most annoying things that happened when Borland Developer Studio first shipped was that when returning from a debugging session the Code Editor didn’t have focus.

This was rectified in Update 2 although reseting your running application (Ctrl+F2) still doesn’t reset focus back to the Code Editor.

I have always wished for a shortcut to set focus to the Code Editor (as much as I like the F12 and F11 dance) and because of the oversight with the initial BDS 2006 release I decided to do something about it. Using some code from my Bookmark Viewer Add In (its on CodeCentral for those interested – with source) I’ve created an IDE Add In that sets the focus to the Code Editor when I press Ctrl+ALT+E.

Source is included so you can modify the shortcut used if you want.

You can download this Add In with source from here. Please adhere to the license conditions.

If the Welcome Page is active then pressing the shortcut does nothing. A unit must be selected for the Units code editor to receive focus.