REALbasic 3.5 Released — REAL Software, Inc., has released version 3.5 of REALbasic, their easy-to-use visual object-oriented development environment that many consider the true heir of HyperCard. Welcome new features abound, including support for regular expressions, Microsoft Office automation, and 3-D graphics tools, although other additions (such as DataControl for navigating databases and the RBScript expression parser) aren’t as successful. REAL Software has also fixed many bugs, and while others still remain, REALbasic 3.5 is the best overall version since 2.1.2. Most impressive is its support for different operating systems – it runs on Mac OS 7.6.1 or later, and natively under Mac OS X, and can compile applications for Mac OS 8 or later (68K or PowerPC), for Mac OS X, and (less well) for Windows. REALbasic remains a great introduction to programming, a tool to make tools and build custom solutions, and even a source of commercial software. It costs $100 for the Standard version, or $300 for the Professional version that adds Windows compilation and database capabilities (a package that includes a CD and printed documentation adds another $50) Academic discounts are available ($60 for Standard; $180 for Professional) as is a time-limited feature-restricted demo. The second edition of Contributing Editor Matt Neuburg’s book on REALbasic from O’Reilly will be out next month. [ACE]
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