REAL Software has released version 5.0 of REALbasic, its flagship programming environment for making Classic, Mac OS X, and Windows applications. This promises to be an significant revision – more so, perhaps, than any since version 2 (see "REALbasic Gets Real" in TidBITS 493). The compiler has been rewritten from the ground up, allowing some much-needed rationalization of the language itself, along with improvements such as far more convenient, natural syntax, and some elegant new object-oriented constructs (such as operator overloading and custom coercion functions). Sockets, too, have been completely rewritten, including a long-desired ServerSocket class that implements listeners through a pool-and-dispatcher architecture. Other major improvements include support for brushed-metal windows, drawers, toolbars, and dynamic menus. REALbasic runs natively on System 8.1 or later and Mac OS X; a version that runs natively on Windows is currently in development. REALbasic is $100, or $300 for the Pro version, which includes ServerSockets, database access, and compilation for Windows; upgrades from pre-4.5 versions are half those prices.
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