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  • Firefly Designer

    A couple weeks ago I downloaded Firefly and took it for a trial spin

    Holy Cow! I didn't realize that I had spent all this time programing in PB/Win with one arm tied behind my back. PBForms is good, but this is the next level.

    Registered it today. I don't know all the features yet, and I hope the next iteration inherits JellyFish's ability to add to the code tips file by scanning a source file, but so far it is very, very cool.
    Real programmers use a magnetized needle and a steady hand

  • #2
    Hi Bud,

    Thanks for the very kind words - you certainly put a huge smile on my face today!
    Paul Squires
    FireFly Visual Designer (for PowerBASIC Windows 10+)
    Version 3 now available.
    http://www.planetsquires.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Certainly! Whenever i need to design a window, thinking of hand coding it (having to compile and see how it looks every time until it looks good),
      makes me... Ugh.

      Firefly Rocks. :rockwoot:

      Comment


      • #4
        Big ones too

        If you are worried about big programs with FireFly have NO FEAR!

        I have built a very large application with tabs nested on tabs with hundreds of text boxes and it works great.

        Thanks to the new 32 bit PBWin I can compile 400k lines of code in about 12 seconds.

        PB, FireFly, and all of the great tools get "First Place" with me :goldcup:
        Mark Strickland, CISSP, CEH
        SimplyBASICsecurity.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Beside the obvious result of getting work done with Firefly, I like to look at the code that it generates. I am always learning something new about SDK programming when looking at the code the Firefly generates.

          Comment


          • #6
            I spent most of the afternoon re-writing a small app at work to have a tabbed interface instead of several dialogs. It took almost no time to become comfortable in the environment. I discovered that I could copy codetips.usr from JellyFish to FireFly and get the hints I needed. I use DDOC, and a couple locally developed libraries, and like having code tips for them.
            Real programmers use a magnetized needle and a steady hand

            Comment


            • #7
              ..
              Last edited by Brice Manuel; 18 Dec 2007, 08:42 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Firefly vs EZ GUI

                I understand the expense of having both EZGUI and or Firefly, they are both exceptional applications and I'm sorry you feel you made the wrong choice in buying EZ GUI instead of FireFly.
                I have both, and feel that each app has it strengths and although I don't work exclusively with either one I want to be sure that there is no negative bias that may be perceived due to a misconception.

                I like both apps equally well, and feel the bigest differences is that EZGUI has quite a lot of user interface power built in so that it is quite easy to manipulate your GUI functions using EZ GUI commands.

                Firefly is lean mean and more VB like in writing you app that is much closer to direct SDK programming.

                So I understand why you say in not so many words that if I had it to do over you would pick Firefly.

                I think of them kind of like having an HP RPN calculator.. a standard calculator you entered the number then an operation then the 2nd nt" cr then enter to get the answer. The HP RPN calc you entered the first number, the second number then the operation. Both do the same thing, only differently. I like them both equally well and the only thing I can think of that would make be choose one over the other would be EZGUI's large toolset to modify GUI and graphics interface issues.

                So I would advise you to capitalize on the features of EZGUI that make it special so you can get the best bang for your buck.

                Both of these apps are first rate and you can not go wrong in purchasing either one.
                Warped by the rain, Driven by the snow...

                jimatluv2rescue.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I...
                  Last edited by Brice Manuel; 17 Dec 2007, 08:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am in a situation where I must concentrate on speed and size.

                    Although EZGUI is feature-rich, it comes with a price. The runtime DLL is large, and even a simple "hello world" program will take up a lot of unnecessary memory just because of the DLL being loaded.
                    Loading a DLL requires four (4) bytes of your user memory.

                    The rest of your program must be pretty big to use up the other 2,000,000,000 bytes available.

                    MCM
                    Michael Mattias
                    Tal Systems Inc. (retired)
                    Racine WI USA
                    [email protected]
                    http://www.talsystems.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ...
                      Last edited by Brice Manuel; 17 Dec 2007, 08:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Brice have you tried using one of those compression programs that binds the DLL to the EXE and compresses it ?

                        The runtimes do compress well. UPX compresses it down to 158 KB.
                        Last edited by Chris Boss; 17 Dec 2007, 05:20 PM.
                        Chris Boss
                        Computer Workshop
                        Developer of "EZGUI"
                        http://cwsof.com
                        http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Brice,

                          Simple DDT programs use about 2 meg memory.

                          A simple hello world (just a messagebox in PBMain) uses 1.5 meg memory.

                          The simplest PowerBasic program (hello world) loads the following operating system DLLs (on XP) (and of course their dependencies):

                          - kernal32.dll
                          - ole32.dll
                          - oleaut32.dll
                          - user32.dll

                          My runtime loads the following operating system DLL's besides the above:

                          - advapi32.dll
                          - gdi32.dll
                          - shell32.dll
                          - comctl32.dll
                          - comdlg32.dll

                          Of course this will increase its memory imprint.

                          A memory footprint of a couple meg on todays computers (with a minmum of 128 meg RAM, most with 256 meg) is really nothing.

                          Its not like DOS applications where memory is at premium and every byte counts.
                          Last edited by Chris Boss; 17 Dec 2007, 05:20 PM.
                          Chris Boss
                          Computer Workshop
                          Developer of "EZGUI"
                          http://cwsof.com
                          http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brice Manuel View Post
                            In retrospect I really wish I would have bought Firefly instead of EZGUI
                            I have both EZGui and FireFly. I've not completely set it aside, but I do find myself using FF more than EZGui. I have two upcoming projects that I will probably do in EZGui because I need the more flexible interface tools (i.e., these projects have a greater emphasis on "pretty", although that's not the best way to say it)

                            My EZGui wish list:
                            • I wish EZGui let me move multiple controls at one time
                            • I wish EZGui let me compile the exe to whatever folder I want
                            • I'd rather it worked more like PBForms with regard to generated code. Put EZGui generated code inside commented blocks, let me put other stuff where I dang well please, and quit moving things that I put in '<<SAVE>>/<<END>> blocks


                            My FireFly wish list
                            • Add code tip builder from JellyFish
                            • If there's an error when I compile, please display the line number where the error happened



                            Both are good tools, it's a matter of picking the one that suits the project and your programming style.
                            Real programmers use a magnetized needle and a steady hand

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              >simplest example that ships with EZGUI uses 3MB of memory..

                              You did notice I carefully qualified my statement to say four bytes of user memory, right?
                              Michael Mattias
                              Tal Systems Inc. (retired)
                              Racine WI USA
                              [email protected]
                              http://www.talsystems.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                ....
                                Last edited by Brice Manuel; 17 Dec 2007, 08:30 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Hi Brice,

                                  Could you please email me at [email protected] ? I can not send you a private message via this board.
                                  Paul Squires
                                  FireFly Visual Designer (for PowerBASIC Windows 10+)
                                  Version 3 now available.
                                  http://www.planetsquires.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    ...
                                    Last edited by Brice Manuel; 17 Dec 2007, 08:31 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Brice,

                                      I am not saying that it doesn't matter what size an application is or how much memory it uses.

                                      What I am saying is that because of the design of Windows itself, the memory imprint of applications is much larger than DOS. This has nothing to do with the designer tool used. It has to do with how Windows itself actually works.

                                      When an application is loaded into memory (a process) Windows allocates a predefined amount of memory just to run the app. A small utility application which is only 20 KB in size could end up requiring 1.5 meg of memory just to run. Thats just the way Windows works.

                                      While I don't know all the "ins and outs" of what a compiler can do to decrease this memory imprint, you will likely find that most compilers will create applications that require a minimum of 1.5 meg ram, no matter how small the applications file size is.

                                      Second, is the Windows API itself!

                                      One way to see what I mean is to use the MS Depends utility program that comes with the Windows SDK. Depends can load an EXE or DLL and display its true dependencies. In Windows there is no such thing as an application with no dependencies. The application will be dependent upon any OS DLL which holds an API function it calls. With each version of Windows the dependency list increases significantly. Windows 95 loaded a lot less DLL's when an application is run, than does Windows XP or Vista.

                                      An application is not just dependent upon the DLL's it calls, but on any DLL's those DLL's call.

                                      While Windows can load just one copy of an OS DLL and share it among applications (which is efficient), each instance of an OS DLL will require memory for other stuff. How much each DLL requires I don't know, but it can add up.

                                      The point is that, one must accept a minimum memory imprint for applications realizing this is just the way it is.

                                      With Windows, one does not try to make applications that run on say just a few KB of memory. The key is to try to control memory usage beyond the minimum required to run an application.
                                      Last edited by Chris Boss; 17 Dec 2007, 05:22 PM.
                                      Chris Boss
                                      Computer Workshop
                                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                                      http://cwsof.com
                                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ...
                                        Last edited by Brice Manuel; 17 Dec 2007, 08:31 PM.

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