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PocketBuilder 2.5 Features
by Reed Shilts
from http://reedshilts.pbdjmagazine.com/

I've been gabbing about feature "foo" and capability "bar" in PocketBuilder 2.5 for some time now. However, we've never listed out what is coming (and for free) in the rapidly approaching update... The feature list for PocketBuilder 2.5 includes:

  • Large DLLs broken into smaller DLLs. This means that the single large PKVM.DLL (at 4MB) is now split into multiple (smaller) DLLs along major feature boundaries.
    The effects are twofold...
    - A single huge DLL, even though it is more efficient from many aspects it has the unfortunate effect that it may not be able to load in some memory-constrained situations. The memory manager in WinCE is much more primitive than desktop Windows and memory fragmentation can be a real issue. Smaller DLLs have more flexibility in placement in memory.
    - When packaging your application for delivery, if you never use certain functionality, you don't have to include the DLLs that provide that support.
    IOW - if you never use the phone or SMS features, don't bother including the PKPHN25.DLL. Or if you don't use the special hardware (barcode, biometric, etc,), then don't include PKHDW25.DLL either.

  • Multiple Orientation Painter (MOP) is stored as syntax. This means that the MOP positions are properly persisted by the source-code-control system.
  • "Bitwise" functions to set/get/and/or/xor, etc., specific bits and bit-masks. This is handy for some of the more esoteric uses of PocketBuilder.

    When coupled with the barely documented hex string capabilities, it makes writing adapters to unusual hardware or window classes easier.

    BTW - the hex string conversion features are better documented in PK 2.5

  • The IDE has inherited the modern look and icons from PB 10.5 and PB 11.

  • The IDE and the Runtime have the concept of replaceable "standard" icon files. This is for the "standard" icons from PocketBuilder that you can use in your applications. With the new "look" from PB 11, we also got the new icon images.

    However, if your application is using the old icon image (and your users are expecting the old icon image), you can simply swap out one DLL that contains only a catalog of icon images.

    In addition, since this DLL is a "resource-only" DLL, we have a lot of flexibility in its placement in memory (related to the DLL repackaging above).

  • Vista Support - we have made some changes in the IDE specifically for Vista.
    I have been running the IDE as a "regular" user for quite some time.

  • Source Code Control (SCC) enhancements - PocketBuilder has all the enhancements made to PowerBuilder 11.1.

  • Power event on the application object. This answers the user requests to be notified when the end user shuts off (or wakes up) the device.

  • Environment object has information about the battery level and available memory.

  • A picture "name" can now be not just the GIF/BMP filename, but can be a resource identifier in a DLL or EXE file. Hence, something like:

    pb_1.DisabledName = "\program files\iconfile.DLL;12"

    is allowed.

We had this in a recent EBF, but I don't know if we ever publicly documented the feature.

The MOP and the DLL breakup are the major enhancements for this release. They both force a migration of your application when brought into the PocketBuilder 2.5 world.

Fortunately, PocketBuilder 2.5 can exist (without interference) beside PocketBuilder 2.0 or 2.1.

PowerBuilder's Future
By Terry Voth
from www.techno-kitten.com/

Warning: any company talking about the future should be taken as speculating, not committing. Sybase is no different. If they announce a feature and circumstances change to make it unprofitable or no longer beneficial to the overall community, hopefully they'll have the common sense to drop the plan. So, remember that none of what follows is written in stone! The same applies to predicted schedules. Hopefully, Sybase will be releasing anything based on when the functionality is ready, as opposed to being driven by what announcements had been made.

Any opinion (and some speculation) in these pages are my own. Since I'm not a Sybase employee, it's safe to assume that these opinions do not reflect those of Sybase.

The best place to find out about PowerBuilder futures are:

In the meantime, I'll try to collect some summary information here. The following is in no particular order. My expectation is that this information can become quickly outdated, so, again, take everything with a grain of salt (in other words, not too seriously).

More Stories By PowerBuilder News Desk

PBDJ News Desk monitors the world of PowerBuilder to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the PowerBuilder and i-technology space.

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