Monthly Archives: March 2012

Flicker – zapped

We know that some users had a real issue with controls repainting under Win7 and causing an annoying “flicker”.  The problem was a side effect of a workaround we introduced to compensate for a change MS did for Aero support which started in Vista, and to many seemed to worsen to a large degree in Win7.  We’ve been working on it as a part of a much larger body of work for the entire window handling code (menu, MDI, SDI, et al). We recently sent out internal builds to a few users whose apps were “flickering” and giving them fits, and I’m happy to say that they’ve reported back with excellent results – one user was reportedly spontaneously dancing around the office after seeing the results on his app (and no, I won’t say who he or she is) but you’ll see it for yourself (or rather not see it :)) in the next release.

Tracking down those pesky GPFs

Coming up in the next C8 release we’ll be providing you with some help for tracking down those pesky GPFs.  We’ll be shipping two variants of the RTL; one the regular RTL, and the other RTL variant with some code added to read embedded debug info, and to decode the names of functions in the call stack and associated line number information.  The decoder-enabled RTL is a drop-in replacement, so you can just copy it over the standard RTL and that’s it.

Let’s take a look at what it gives you, here is a simple program that creates a GPF

Program code to force a GPF

On line 9 we declared a LONG with 8 dimensions, but look at line 29,it’s not hard to accidentally introduce an error like this, and a lot harder to track it down when it only fails intermittently at a customer site.  This what we get if we run this program when compiled with debug info:

GPF with debug info decoded at runtime

As you can see our LOOP causes a GPF because it attempts to access a dimension that does not exist – but with the debug info decoded at runtime we immediately see exactly which line of code caused the problem, as well as seeing the entire call stack.  For those who like to stay away from long debug sessions (and who doesn’t) this will be very handy.  Your end-user can just press the “Log info” button and send you the log text file and then it’s ball in your court. 🙂

New functionality challenges new release

The new functionality I mentioned in the previous post took a bite out of our planned release timeline.  The functionality in question is the .Net implementation of our Win32 BrowseBox Behavior implementation.  We had aimed to have the support implemented across platforms (desktop/web) and across the data access models (ADO,Linq,FileDrivers).   This is what we have for the web side:

BrowseBox Behavior for the web


as you can see its very similar to what we have on the Win32 side of things.  For ASP.Net there are some new properties that are needed.  In particular we have to account for the stateless environment – each page access occurs as if it were the first time it has ever happened.   Hence the options for where the page will get its range limit value (as shown in the dropdown – and sure to expand shortly).

The BrowseBox Behavior implementation will bring a lot of code-free functionality to your web and desktop apps.  We’ll wrap this up tomorrow and release with whatever functionality exists (check the readme for the release state).

Another area where you’ll notice a huge improvement is the processing of the T4 template registry – it is now about 90% faster!

And we also have some nice news for the upcoming Win32 release but I’ll post about that tomorrow.

upcoming releases

We’re delaying the .Net release until Monday so that we can ensure a problem with the Linq model templates is fully resolved, and to hopefully have time to introduce some very useful new functionality across all 3 models (ADO.Net, Linq, ClarionDrivers).

We also have a new Win32 release planned for next week as well as updates to all the drivers and ReportWriter.

C8 update is out

A new release of C8 (build 8973) went out today.  Around 50-60 fixes, changes and improvements.  One of the new features was to implement support for PREVIOUS() for the ASCII and BASIC drivers; that means you can now easily drop ASCII/BASIC files into a Listbox control and “Browse” your text and CSV style files.

On the IDE side a few related new productivity features;
FEATURE: When selecting an image file in the window formatter you can now type in the name of the file and if it can be found via Redirection, the file will be used
FEATURE: When opening the file dialog in the window formatter for the first time the dialog will now open to the first directory where the file type would be found via the Redirection system
FEATURE: When re-opening the file dialog in the window formatter the dialog will now open to the last directory it was previously opened in.

We’re looking at other places where can use the Redirection system to make your programming more productive – have fun with the release.

News and releases

Last Friday (March 2nd) we did a ClarionLive webinar to share the progress on the T4 templates – in particular the ASP.Net templates and the LinqToFileProvider.  Diego also showed a .Net solution that utilized the managed code IP driver to talk with a ported version if the IPExtender class.  We’ll have an update FOR .Net released this week. You can see the recorded webinar at the ClarionLive site

We had planned to release a C8 update today – but ran into a very small problem (at the very last minute), its resolved now but we’ll do the release tomorrow.