Thursday, August 27, 2020


Omegabundle Whats to come

If you buy the bundle now, you'll get these when they're ready.

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - Sam Rowlands

I ran out of time, meaning I didn't get everything completed that I wanted. I'm sharing some of these things in case you're thinking of getting the Omegabundle, so you know what to expect in the coming weeks/months.

App Wrapper 4.0

Complete product signing when debugging

The Blackbird code signing engine was designed for this: to code-sign all executables in the correct order at runtime, whilst having minimal impact to the time it takes from pressing command-r to interacting with your app.

Without harden runtime, we've clocked it as fast as 0.3 seconds (for a simple app). With harden runtime, the code sign API has to contact Apple for each every executable file in the application, so the time taken is dependent on your internet connection and how far away you are from Cupertino, CA.

Prepared for new code signing requirements with macOS Big Sur & Apple Silicon

I knew the day was coming when Apple would require this, which is part of the reason why I built the Blackbird engine. When ARM devices are here and this requirement is in place, customers using App Wrapper 4 will be ready.

Modern design language

The whole UI was redesigned around several principles.

  1. To make options easier to find.
  2. To be expandable without creating too many options.
  3. To be more informative of issues and attempt to provide solutions.
  4. To provide more control.
  5. To be consistent with current desktop UI design trends.

Text based file format and movable documents

App Wrapper 4 now uses a text based file format which should make it compatible with code sharing services. I've redesigned it's document handling so that these documents can be placed next to projects, and App Wrapper will still be able to find them.

Built-in plist editor

App Wrapper 4 finally contains it's own plist editor, enabling more control over the "Info.plist" options and signing entitlements.

New icon tools

A completely new icon designing tool, helps in the creation of document icons, folder icons, DMG icons, Big Sur app icons, it also uses our ICNSmini technology to make smaller icons files (Has reduced a 1.6MB icon file down to 369 KB, YMMV).

Console application signing

This feature is in the early stages of development. There are some things that I would like to handle better.

Ohanaware App Kit

There's a great deal more I wanted to finish up for the Ohanaware App Kit, but again, I ran out of time. This includes the following.

Stack View (now included)

Allows easy creation of scrolling interfaces with collapsable segments, while supporting Apple's elastic scrolling and true alternating row backgrounds. The above image is showing a stackview, within a stack view.

Included in version 1.1 of the Ohanaware App Kit

Grid View

Similar to the Stack View it allows for interface elements to be laid out in a grid, with auto row wrapping. Here I'm simply using it to show some clickable icons.

Yeah, I know the selection material I used for this example doesn't show well on Big Sur, I will continue to experiment.

Big Sur's Partial toolbar

Partial toolbar on macOS 11 Big Sur
Partial toolbar on macOS 10.15 Catalina

The design of this control was to allow for the creation of the new Big Sur style Toolbars with "full-height" side bar, while providing a very similar look for Catalina and below, something akin to the App Store app from 10.14 or newer. Although if you want a traditional look on Catalina or below, this allows that too.

Current the Partial Toolbar will only show once the application has been wrapped with App Wrapper 4, as the binary needs to be modified for this. This current version of the solution, also uses API that Apple have said will go away in the future. The reason I choose this API and not the "Recommended" way was because this API makes backwards compatibility a lot easier. Over the course of the next year I will investigate the alternative API to see if I can massage it to work without causing issues on older versions of the macOS.

True alternating row background color with a Xojo Listbox

The Xojo Listbox is a powerful tool, but it's UI is really outdated, no matter how hard I try, I'm not able to make it follow the same standard as native Apple controls. The Stack View class does handle this better, and I have a design/plan to bring this to the ListBox.

Big Sur Toolbar compatible Search Field

The example above show a search field in the toolbar, yes the solution I have works, but it does not auto-minimize like the Finder. The solution for this is a bit weird, needs an additional "proxy" control, but I intend to finish it up when I can.

Other minor GUI improvements to the App Kit

I have some minor improvements to other controls in OAK that are coming, some have taken a lot longer to find exactly what I needed and to work reliably.

Sub Titles

Windows in Big Sur support a sub title (currently don't have an example), I experimenting with different ideas on how to implement this, as it's not available on prior OS versions. There is code in the App Kit that would allow you to do this currently, but I'm trying to create a cross OS version solution.

The 2020 Omegabundle is now offcially over

We're sorry if you missed out on this years Omegabundle.

As well as all this other great stuff you get today.

You can learn more about Omegabundle for Xojo 2020 from the Omegabundle website. Please allow up to 3-5 business days for all components to be supplied by participating vendors. If you are ready to purchase, order now from the Paradigma Software web store.

About Omegabundle

Omegabundle is a circus tent promotion platform created by Proactive International, the international distribution company, and Paradigma Software, developers of the Valentina high performance development tools and technologies. Each promotion is for a single, vertical platform and provides extreme savings to users of professional tools. Participating vendors change from promotion to promotion and year to year.