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Author Topic: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch  (Read 3738 times)

Michael Stefanik

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2009, 09:19:54 AM »

I'm saving myself for fighting off any (we all know they will come) ezAttacks™ on FF.

ROFL. Chris can get a bit aggressive in his promotion of his tools. IMO, one of the big downsides to EZGUI is there's no evaluation available for it. There are a fair number of screenshots available, but that really doesn't tell you much about actual usability. I also personally find his IDE to be rather "busy".
 
As for the other designers out there, I'm not sure Phoenix is even being developed any longer. The last version I can find was from 3.5 years ago. I think Edwin is still working on PwrDev, and he seems to have focused a lot on .NET integration, but again, apparently no evaluation download.
 
Many moons ago, there was a thread on the PowerBasic forums about the various products out there:
 
http://www.powerbasic.com/support/pbforums/showthread.php?t=28229
 
Unfortunately, it looks like the comparison chart that Ken Meyers made isn't available anymore.
 
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Mike Stefanik
sockettools.com

Paul Squires

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 10:32:48 AM »

Myself and Chris have had a few run ins in the past. I try to look past some of the petty bickering that we do but sometimes it just overwhelms me a bit. I'm sure he is a good guy but sometimes his passion for his product seems to rub me the wrong way. There are many extraordinary PB programmers out there and when I see him taking shots at guys like Patrice then I have to sit back and wonder.

My goal is to make FireFly the best that it can be. By concentrating on the product and the hopefully not over-hyping the marketing, FireFly will eventually position itself where it should be.

Dominic's Phoenix is an amazing product. It has a degree of complexity that may scare off a lot of less experienced PB'ers but the level of detail in that designer is incredible. If you look at some of the stuff Dominic has posted in his forum regarding Version 3 you will see just what he has coming. No doubt it will be amazing - just look at the screenshots for the code editor with the code completion stuff. You just don't hear much from Dominic. Just building a better mousetrap does not guarantee more customers unfortunately. I have always respected Dominic's programming ability. I have learned so much from his posts in the PB forums.

Edwin seems to go in cycles with PwrDev. A couple of years ago I thought that he was going to throw in the towel and stop development altogether. I am not a .Net person so I can not fully appreciate all of the technology that he is making available via his designer.

.... I just hope that Jose never decides to build a visual designer.....  :)
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Paul Squires
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José Roca

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 11:48:47 AM »

 
You are safe... for now :) In fact, my favorite way of coding is by hand! Must be because I never have used VB.

Gary Stout

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2009, 12:21:18 PM »

I have been a long time EZ user and my biggest complaint is the visual designer. It lacks basic features. If he would focus some energy on the VD and forget about sprite engines and everything else and lower the price about $150, he would have a more desirable product. There is no comparison to the EZ desginer when compared to FF. FF3's designer is a professional product with standard windows operations (copy,cut,paste,etc) (As Paul's products always have been...I wouldn't trade nothing for JPro editor...been using it for years and no desire to use anything else). I have to admit the EZ wrapper approach has been alot, well, EZ'r for me to grasp but after seeing the professional appearance and operation of FF3, I am willing to try and learn something new....at least a new programming style. Because of the ease of FF3's designer, it is worth my time to make it my GUI programming environment of choice. It may take a little hand holding to get me up to speed, but that has never been an issue here on the forums. The FF community has always been VERY willingly to offer a helping hand. That is another support feature that makes FF a huge success.

I have to admit I do get a little turned off by the EZ marketing approach, but it does make for a good read sometimes  ;D

Paul, I wish you much success with the  new release!

Thanks,
Gary
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Ivan Iraola

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2009, 12:36:53 PM »

BTW; Anyone having some experience with the competition — more than just "messing about and checking it out"?

Yes I have.

First of all, a little bit about myself, to give you an idea about how a "novice" or a "hobbist" or an "in transition" programmer might look at these tools.

I used to be a full time VB programmer long time ago in a galaxy far...far away, but I decided to "retire", I still right code, but not for a living, I don't consider myself an "expert" either, I discovered PB and fell in love (I have several DOS and Windows version of the compilers, except PBCC), however, the lack of a visual designer made my life a little difficult, so I started researching for a Visual Designer, then I found EZGUI (I own versions 1.0 thru 4.0) and now a proud owner of FireFly3 (I love having tools and stuff), so I can give my opinion about these 2 designers.

One of the strenghts in my opinion that EZGUI have is the set of functions available, you can find an EZ function for almost anything, from something basic such as loading a ComboBox to changing the Application icon, to changing the dialog background (color or graphic), all by just calling an EZ function, other designers let you to do most things via API or other means, so, a beginner or a "DOS" guy will find that very frustrating, the weakness of EZGUI is the lack of flexibility after creating your application, if you add code to the resulting source and you add/remove a control you basically end up with a clean slate, since the designer will regenerate the code, so you will have to copy/paste what you have done, of course, you get used to this, but if you have a large application, it gets a little bit out of hand, not a bad product, and the support is good, which is via a forum.

FireFly3 is more logical, you create a dialog, and you can add code to the controls, if you add or remove controls, no problem, just like VB, I'm not saying VB is "the way it should be" just making clear that the functionality and flexibility of FF is what, in my case, appreciate tremendously, however, beginners, or "rusty" programmers might find a little bit of difficulty when something is needed, which is not bad, since in my case is giving me the chance to dust off all those old books about WinAPI programming, in my opinion, a set of simple applications showing the use of the most basic controls might be helpful (I'm thinking on writing those examples and post them on the forums) as an introduction to PB, FF and WinAPI, regarding support, it's good, you find a lot of talented and experienced programmers in the forums.

Sorry about the long post, I hope you are still awake.  ;D
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 12:44:24 PM by Ivan Iraola »
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Haakon Birkeland

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2009, 01:04:46 PM »

Definitely, not having something to try out is for sure often a showstopper — for me at least. And when one uses the word designer and/or visual in the same sentence as a link to screen-shots that look like ____, (FOUR underscores!) I'm a bit lost. Not that all of the screen-shots I have seen are embarrassing, but some really are when the argument is how fantastic user-interfaces the library can help build.

People need and want (visual) inspiration that shoot far over their heads so they can get the impression that the sky is the limit, even for them. Showing them a 2'' jump and saying you can fly, just ain't gonna cut it — at least for me.
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Haakon 8o)

Haakon Birkeland

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2009, 01:19:32 PM »

Quote
... find an EZ function for almost anything, from something basic such as loading a ComboBox to changing the Application icon, to changing the dialog background (color or graphic), all by just calling an EZ function,

The biggest drawback there seems to me to be that the API always has been somewhat "unreachable" for most people with a VB/Basic background.

One reason being, as pointed out in another thread, that people don't know which prerequisites needs to be fulfilled to have a function do it stuff.

Another reason has been that the documentation basically has been a bit to C-oriented for most of us, thus often confusing for basic'ers to grasp.

The latter, Jose deserves a lot of credit for doing something about, both with the API-includes and the documentation on his web-pages. The gap that have made some of ezGUI’s functionality a marketable product , is slowly filling as I see it …
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Haakon 8o)

Michael Stefanik

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2009, 02:25:50 PM »

And when one uses the word designer and/or visual in the same sentence as a link to screen-shots that look like ____, (FOUR underscores!) I'm a bit lost. Not that all of the screen-shots I have seen are embarrassing, but some really are when the argument is how fantastic user-interfaces the library can help build.

He really does need to yank those screenshots of the application built with EZGUI that's bright neon green and replace them with something a bit more current (and conforms to standard Windows UI guidelines). I'm sure that's not helping him.
 
There are some folks who really swear by his stuff. The designer UI and the lack of support for ActiveX is why I personally wouldn't feel comfortable recommending it, but everyone's needs are different.
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Mike Stefanik
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Haakon Birkeland

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2009, 02:36:04 PM »

Quote
... but everyone's needs are different.

You're not allowed to use such statement here, it can taken and used out of context — we all need FF (here). It is to my knowledge the only tool that can take us to world domination! 8o)
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Haakon 8o)

Paul Squires

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Re: Big FF3 Trial Version Launch
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2009, 02:58:20 PM »

:D

(I think I need t-shirts made with "FireFly3 World Domination Tour 2009")

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Paul Squires
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