AppStudio 8.0.3 released!

We’re pleased to announce that 8.0.3 has been released.

This release fixes a couple of problems and tidies up a few things.

Here’s what is new and fixed in the new release:

  1. PWA: ‘disablePWA’ is now called ‘Make PWA?’
  2. PWA: Test new variable NSB.PWA if see if running as a PWA.
  3. PWA: If not running as a PWA, don’t initialize PWA.
  4. esLint: Handles Windows line ending properly.
  5. Design Screen: Problem with deleting controls which have been cut and pasted fixed.
  6. Samples: Fix JavaScript version of Camera sample.
  7. BS4 themes: Fix spelling of Lumen.
  8. BS4 themes: Paper and Readable shouldn’t have been listed.
  9. BS4 themes: Litera and Sketchy added.
  10. Libraries: Updates to Python, Node, obfuscater, eslint and more.

The easiest way to get the update is on the Help menu – “Check for Updates…”

AppStudio 8.0.2 released!

We’re pleased to announce that 8.0.2 has been released.

This releases fixes most of the issues that remaining. If you’re using 8.0.1, you should definitely upgrade. If you’re not on Version 8 yet, give it a try!

Here’s what is new and fixed in the new release:

  1. Bootstrap 4: bootstrap-enhanced.css removed – obsolete.
  2. Controls: Emoji in text fields now display properly.
  3. Deploy: obsolete code for removed.
  4. Images: Do not delete image file when control referencing it is deleted.
  5. Properties Grid: Duplicate ID numbers checked.
  6. Samples: Dark Mode sample improved.
  7. Windows: File Version fixed in Windows’ Properties.
  8. Windows: Signing certificate updated.

The easiest way to get the update is on the Help menu – “Check for Updates…”

AppStudio 8: Dark Mode

AppStudio 8 brings Dark Mode support to your apps. To enable it, go into Project Properties and set backgroundColor to inherit

Dark Mode makes software easier on your eyes at night, according to some. It certainly makes it easier for other people in the room who are trying to sleep.

Here’s how to turn on Dark Mode on Windows and on MacOS.
For Android, the setting is in Chrome menu, settings, themes, dark. (Thanks, Gary!)

Dark Mode is a fairly new feature for both Windows and MacOS. Not all frameworks, utilities and apps are ready for it.

Dark Mode in AppStudio

Dark Mode is only partially supported in AppStudio 8.0. The Design Screen will show the app you are creating in Dark Mode (if your computer is set to Dark Mode). However, not all features in AppStudio itself support Dark Mode yet.

AppStudio 8 is built using wxPython 4.0, which is a wrapper for wxWidgets. The developers of wxPython expect to have support for Dark Mode in wxPython 4.1, which is under development. We expect to adopt that as soon as it is released.

AppStudio 8: What’s new with PhoneGap?

AppStudio 8 brings a number of improvements to PhoneGap Build.

Two factors made these changes important. First, as of November 1, 2019, Google Play toughened up its requirements for apps. Second, as the number of device screen sizes proliferated, dozens of sizes of icons and splash screens had to be supplied, along with modifications to the config.xml.

We made things much simpler for our users. Just supply a 1024×1024 icon and a 2732×2732 splash screen, and AppStudio will automatically generate all the required images and update the config.xml file.
Continue reading “AppStudio 8: What’s new with PhoneGap?”

AppStudio 8.0.1 released!

We’re pleased to announce that 8.0.1 has been released.

As the first point release to 8.0.0, it fixes most of the issues that have been encountered so far. If you’re using 8.0.0, you should definitely upgrade. If you’re not on Version 8 yet, give it a try!

Here’s what is new and fixed in the new release:

  1. About: Display serial number
  2. Bootstrap: Make themes easier to see and preview.
  3. Electron: IScroll now loads properly.
  4. Code Window: Remembers position when switching forms.
  5. IDE: Copyright dates changed to 2020.
  6. IDE: Fix error on startup – deploy_deploymode not initialized
  7. MacOS: Builds are notarized, so they should work with Catalina’s security.
  8. MacOS: Minimum version is now 10.13 (High Sierra).
  9. PWA: Duplicate filenames are handled properly.
  10. PWA: Filenames with spaces work properly.
  11. PWA: Fix missing function in PWA.js
  12. PWA: new onPWAReload() event gets called when new version detected. Can be used to override default behaviour.
  13. Translations: Add full Chinese Traditional
  14. Updates: URLs are no longer hard coded.
  15. Validation: Library updated to 1.19.1.
  16. Wiki: Offline edition’s Search feature fixed.

The easiest way to get the update is on the Help menu – “Check for Updates…”

AppStudio 8: What’s new with Electron?

Electron is a tool which lets you build Windows and MacOS apps. Furthermore, it allows you to include Node libraries in your app. There are more than a million of them, adding all sorts of features.

AppStudio 8 makes it much easier to use Electron in your project. Add the libraries you need (if any), then choose Electron from the Run menu to build your project.

Specific changes in Version 8 are:

  • ‘Make Desktop App using Electron’ added to Run menu
  • ‘Make Desktop App for Distribution’ added to Run menu
  • Electron build now uses the Electron-build library.
  • ElectronWeather sample updated to use electron-build.
  • Electron Wiki article updated to show how to use electron-build manually.

There is no need to used the command line or enter npm commands with AppStudio 8.

There is a tutorial which takes you through creating your first Electron app. You can try here: Using Node and Electron to build Desktop Apps

Also check out the electronWeather sample, which uses the weather-js Node library to get weather information from the MSN Weather API. You could access the API directly, but the library makes this much, much easier.

AppStudio 8 – upgrades

Free Upgrades

If you have a current AppStudio Subscription or purchased after September 1, 2019, you are entitled to AppStudio 8 for no charge. We’ve sent emails to everyone. You have been updated in our database, so you should be ready to go.

Discounted Upgrades

If you’re not on the list for a free upgrade, you can still get a discount. From the About screen in AppStudio, click on the upgrade button. You’ll be taken to the order form, where you can order the upgrade for $69.95 (a new copy is $199.95). It includes 4 months of AppStudio subscription: after that, you’ll have a discounted subscription of $9.95 per month. (regularly $15.00).

You can also order it here:

Questions? Let us know:

AppStudio 8 Released!

We’re thrilled to announce AppStudio 8 is ready.

The new release concentrates on making your workflow better. PhoneGap and Electron are both much easier to use. There are lot of smaller improvements as well.

We also updated many of the underlying libraries and paid off a lot of technical debt. This gets rid of a number of bugs and increases the stability of the product.

Here are some of the main new features. The complete list is here. We will be adding articles to our Blog and Wiki explaining how to use these features.

  1. PhoneGap: Auto generation of images makes it much easier to deploy to all the different device sizes. More than over a dozen other changes streamline and simplify.
  2. Electron: New menu items make Electron builds for Windows and MacOS completely automatic.
  3. Hot Reload: Restarting your app in the Chrome reuses the current tab instead of opening a new one.
  4. Better GitHub Integration: Go directly to your project in or GitHub Desktop.
  5. Python 3: AppStudio used to be in Python 2. Now we’re up to date.
  6. wxPython 4: The UI AppStudio uses is now also up to to date.
  7. Important! Windows 64 is now required. (MacOS already required 64 bit)
  8. Over 75 improvements in all!

Download Links

Use the link on our Downloads page.

To go back to Version 7:

Mac: Download for MacOS
Win: Download for Windows

Please open new topics on our Web Board for any questions you have – it will make it easier to keep track of the discussions.

The Future of SQLite (Updated)

Apple has announced that the next version of Safari will no longer support SQLite. This has been confirmed in the beta of iOS 13 – it’s gone. Update: It can be turned back on. See “Update” below.

There’s no need to panic. There are workarounds, which I’ll get to later in this post. Also, there are no indications that Google will do the same with Chrome.

Some History

SQLite was introduced into browsers many years ago as WebSQL. It was a great idea: SQLite is small, powerful and solid. You can make great apps with it. The problem came from the standards committee. W3C prefers a clear standard with alternative implementations: saying “Just use SQLite” isn’t good enough. They decided, in 2009, to deprecate WebSQL and replace it with IndexedDB.

(Behind the scenes, I hear there were some heavy politics going on. Microsoft and Oracle were both very unhappy with WebSQL using SQLite – they each had their own established database software and did not want an upstart competitor to become standard.)

Regardless, Safari and Google continued to include WebSQL in their browsers. FireFox and IE did not.

The suggested replacement, IndexedDB, is not an SQL database. It’s more of an indexed file system. It’s been criticized for being slow, clumsy and inconsistently implemented. For more information, see this article:

Continue reading “The Future of SQLite (Updated)”