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Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 16 Sep 2022 13:30 #23885

  • WillNitschke
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  • Hello my name is Will Nitschke. I've been a dBase II, III, Foxbase, Clipper and XHarbour developer of commercial business management software since the 1980's. I am still maintaining and updating our software to this day, which as you can work out, started life in the 1980's. I started young, so I'm "only" 55.

    In my opinion our products are right up there in terms of quality and functionality although we are not well known. The company website is:

    www.capitaloffice.com.au

    Anyway, I am contemplating a transition from our XHarbour base system to X#. For this we are going to need:

    1. A mostly XHarbour compatible language.
    2. A DBF/CDX RDD and also connectivity to ACE / Advantage Server for same.
    3. A good GUI framework.
    4. Something that can render PDF files and Excel spreadsheets.
    5. A charting library
    6. A barcoding library.
    7. Some kind of 'word processor' control.
    8. A SQLRDD

    I presume X# covers 1-2. And I can acquire suitable .NET packages for 3-7.

    The elephant in the room is the SQLRDD. I've observed XBase++ have a PostGreSQL RDD that they claim is 100% compatible with DBF navigational syntax and offers reasonable performance. I'm not keen on migrating to XBase++ however as that basically takes us mostly to where we are already.

    I also suspect a generic SQLRDD that supports "all" (or many) SQL engines out there would likely offer poor performance and not be commercially acceptable... The need for a SQLRDD here would be as a 'bridge' until we could fully migrate to SQL 'proper' code. If we could find a reasonably compatible SQLRDD with reasonable performance, we could always re-write the sections of our app where the compatibility and/or performance was not of an acceptable level. But that's not practical for us to do right away with hundreds of thousands of lines of code to deal with.

    I suppose the tricky part for us is it's not practical to disappear for 2 years and then release a native SQL app... We still need to release updates and minor features as we transition.

    Anyone's thoughts on all this would be welcome. Thanks!

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 21 Sep 2022 07:50 #23940

    • robert
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  • Will,
    Your message was overlooked, but has now been approved.

    Robert
    XSharp Development Team
    The Netherlands

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 21 Sep 2022 08:32 #23941

    • wriedmann
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  • Hi Will,
    welcome here!
    Although I'm not a XHarbour developer, but long time Clipper/VO/X# programmer, I will try to answer your questions I feel I can answer.

    1. A mostly XHarbour compatible language.
    2. A DBF/CDX RDD and also connectivity to ACE / Advantage Server for same.

    of course X# can do that for you, and AFAIK the compatibility to XHarbour should be high. The preprocessor han help you a lot, and AFAIK Robert and Chris have done some Harbour migration, and they are very helpful.
    If you see that X# is a viable alternative for you, consider to join the FoX program to support the development and to have ever better support from the team.

    3. A good GUI framework.

    if we leave alone the GUI that comes from VO, in .NET you have basically two choices: Windows Forms or WPF (ok, there is also WinUI 3, but currently I don't would like to consider it to be maintained as long as WPF or Windows Forms).

    4. Something that can render PDF files and Excel spreadsheets.
    5. A charting library
    6. A barcoding library.
    7. Some kind of 'word processor' control.

    personally I would look at the Syncfusion tools. I'm using there RTF control and their Word library, and I'm really happy with their support.

    8. A SQLRDD

    this is something that is planned for X# by the development team, and the plan is to have some prerelease running for the end of the year.
    You may find some details on this page (published about a year ago): www.xsharp.eu/articles/what-s-cooking
    If you have question, feel free to ask!
    Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Riedmann
    Meran, South Tyrol, Italy

    www.riedmann.it - docs.xsharp.it

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    Last edit: by wriedmann.

    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 21 Sep 2022 10:30 #23942

    • moeller.os
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  • Hi Will,
    We have had very good experiences with devexpress universal subscription. Nice PDF Rendering, Wordprocessing, Excel, Charting an so on.
    We use the Devart component as the database driver for PostgreSQL. Very comfortable!
    Here is our story:
    www.xsharp.eu/links/examples/eurekafach-net

    Best regards.
    Uwe

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 22 Sep 2022 10:28 #23965

    • WillNitschke
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  • Wolfgang, Uwe,

    Thank you very much for your detailed replies. I'm going to have to read Uwe's "our story" several times at least.

    At this stage I am firmly in the tyre kicker camp. I began working with Visual Studio Code for the first time today, just to get used to the editor tool. There are some frustrations here but also some cool innovations. I will gradually experiment with VS and X# as time permits. Mainly as a curiosity thing for now. I would definitely sign up for the FoX program if I got serious. I have a scheduling type application which ships with the ERP applications and that would be the most straightforward to convert to .NET if I moved forward, as it would serve as a proof of concept for me. I'm not going to put pressure on myself at this stage. I'm going to look at this strictly as a "hobby" project for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 22 Sep 2022 10:36 #23966

    • wriedmann
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  • Hi WIll,
    maybe you can look at XIDE instead of Visual Studio - that should make it easier to start.
    Later, when you are sure about what you are doing you can always switch.
    Wolfgang
    P.S. I'm doing mainly WPF development, but exclusively with XIDE and code based, not XAML based
    Wolfgang Riedmann
    Meran, South Tyrol, Italy

    www.riedmann.it - docs.xsharp.it

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 22 Sep 2022 11:22 #23967

    • robert
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  • Will,

    At this stage I am firmly in the tyre kicker camp. I began working with Visual Studio Code for the first time today, just to get used to the editor tool. There are some frustrations here but also some cool innovations. I will gradually experiment with VS and X# as time permits. Mainly as a curiosity thing for now. I would definitely sign up for the FoX program if I got serious. I have a scheduling type application which ships with the ERP applications and that would be the most straightforward to convert to .NET if I moved forward, as it would serve as a proof of concept for me. I'm not going to put pressure on myself at this stage. I'm going to look at this strictly as a "hobby" project for the foreseeable future.
    Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio are different products.
    The oldest of the two is Visual Studio, and X# provides full integration in this environment.
    VS Code is a newer tool, and is platform independent. It is basically an advanced editor that can be configured (with extensions) to support various languages. We do not have X# integration for VS code (yet).

    Robert
    XSharp Development Team
    The Netherlands

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 22 Sep 2022 17:24 #23976

    • VR
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  • Hi Will,

    quick side note to Roberts comment about Visual Studio Code (aka VSCode). There is a VSCode Extension that adds a simple syntax highlighting for X# to VSCode. So you can use VSCode to look at X# code and do some quick editing (but no code completion, compiling, ...).

    marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemN...omindsAG.xsharp-lang

    Volkmar

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 00:07 #23982

    • WillNitschke
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  • Thanks Robert, I'm aware of that. I assumed, however, given that the on-line doc's frequently reference VS and VS Code simultaneously, that there is some overlap in terms of functionality. (Maybe I'm wrong.) Even though I'm a Clipper/xHarbour developer with over 30 years of development experience, learning a new platform is going to involve a lot of baby steps for me at the start...

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 00:11 #23983

    • WillNitschke
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  • Thanks for that Volkmar. I wasn't aware there was an X# extension but to be honest I didn't look. I did look for an xHarbour extension and found one, and have been playing with that. The syntax highlighting for that looks very good. I am assuming that there would be a lot of overlap with X# here. But if I started to seriously play around with X# I think I would try to work with it from within VS proper. I would hope these extensions work both in the VS IDE and in VS Code. But I have not checked yet.

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 00:15 #23984

    • WillNitschke
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  • Sorry Wolfgang for the (all) newbie questions. I assume XIDE is some kind of alternate editor which I can still use to compile X# code?

    If I wanted to get my head around the VS IDE as my primary objective, should I bite the bullet and dive into VS or can I achieve same or similar with XIDE which might be less of a hurdle to get my head around?

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 05:25 #23985

    • wriedmann
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  • Hi Will,
    XIDE is a complete IDE to write and compile X# code, and the best: it is written entirely in X# by Chris Pyrgas, a member of the X# development team (and yes, it is Chris, wo does most of the support here).
    Personally I like XIDE because I fell much more productive with it. It also comes with some samples (a few of them contributed by myself), and despite the fact that it does not supports XAML, I'm writing all my WPF programs with it (using a code approach).
    Chris has done a really great job with it, and continues to develop it further on users request.
    Another important thing: I'm a bit older than you (59), and it was very hard for me to get started in .NET (Vulcan.NET first and X# later), simply because I felt an expert in VO, but then a complete newbie in .NET. IMHO the main problem for an experienced developer to learn a new platform is that we cannot accept to write and copy code without understanding whats going on like not experienced developers do, but we need time to understand. It may sound hard, but it has taken several years and a lot of frustations until I was finally able to understand what I'm writing and how to earn the advantages of .NET over VO.
    Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Riedmann
    Meran, South Tyrol, Italy

    www.riedmann.it - docs.xsharp.it

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 07:49 #23988

    • WillNitschke
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  • Thanks again for the information Wolfgang. Would you have a link to XIDE as a Neeva search produced lots of hits for XIDE Chris Pyrgas, but not what I was looking for...? It sounds like it is definitely worth looking into, especially if I can compile and run code straight from the editor.

    I think the challenge for a developer to switch platforms is you get set in your ways when it comes to doing certain things you don't even really think about any more, such as navigating your source code editor. Compiler switches were set-up years ago and long since forgotten about, and so on. The thing I find potentially exciting about .NET is that with XHarbour there are so many barriers to connecting to the rest of the ecosystem. (Connecting a DLL library to an XHarbour app is a non-trivial project in itself.) Even though XHarbour has an amazing compiler and set of libraries, there is so much you can't do easily without having to build everything you need from the ground up.

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 08:06 #23989

    • Chris
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  • Hi Will,

    It's in your X# installation folder :)

    Btw, many years ago, another xHarbour developer had asked me to add some specific language support, so he could use it for his xHarbour development, too. I don't know how well it is really suited for this (I wouldn't expect it to be sufficient, but he was actually pleased with it), but you could have a look if you'd like, just create a new project, then create a new app in the project, open the application properties and in the General page, set the "Compiler Language" option to "Harbour". This should enable language specific colorization and also provide some limited intellisense.

    .
    XSharp Development Team
    chris(at)xsharp.eu

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    Last edit: by Chris.

    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 08:51 #23991

    • KeesIC2
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  • Sorry Wolfgang for the (all) newbie questions. I assume XIDE is some kind of alternate editor which I can still use to compile X# code?
    If I wanted to get my head around the VS IDE as my primary objective, should I bite the bullet and dive into VS or can I achieve same or similar with XIDE which might be less of a hurdle to get my head around?

    Please be aware that VS only has a very basic search option. You can't even see in which function or method the text is found.

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 08:55 #23992

    • FFF
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  • You could have added, that XIDE does search very good...
    Regards
    Karl (X# 2.13.0.6; Xide 1.32; W8.1/64 German)

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 09:12 #23993

    • wriedmann
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  • Hi,
    this is the extended search window:

    and this the (resizeable) result window:

    Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Riedmann
    Meran, South Tyrol, Italy

    www.riedmann.it - docs.xsharp.it
    Attachments:

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 11:45 #23997

    • ic2
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  • Hello Wolfgang, Will,

    Your search overview shows much more info than in VS. If I see it correctly, also XIDE doesn't show which method or function the search result was in. I think this is crucial information. Lately I had >100 search results and I wanted to count how many functions had the search result in it (most results where in methods). Without the method/function name I have to open >100 search results. In VO I can count that in 10 seconds.

    @Will: apart from that there's only 1 reason we don't use XIDE: we have multiple programs with WPF forms. You can use that (xaml) in Xide as well but there is no design view available, which we also consider crucial. If it were possible to open solution either in Xide or VS, we would most likely only work in VS when working on WPF forms. But now that it is not possible, we use VS which I personally hate.

    If you don't have plans to use WPF, I think XIDE will be the best choice.

    Dick

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 11:48 #23998

    • Chris
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  • Dick,

    Please don't turn this into another VS bashing thread though...
    XSharp Development Team
    chris(at)xsharp.eu

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    Introduction - CAPITAL Software (XHarbour) 23 Sep 2022 11:53 #24000

    • wriedmann
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  • Hi Dick,
    XIDE shows the method in the column "Entity".
    Wolfgang
    P.S. I don't consider XIDE a tool that is superior to VS, it fits only my needs much better, and I like it more.
    Wolfgang Riedmann
    Meran, South Tyrol, Italy

    www.riedmann.it - docs.xsharp.it

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