REALbasic 2009r1 is one of my favorite releases, and it should be yours too. This release adds a handful of useful new features, and it's also the first release I've directly contributed code to.

PNG Support

Oh boy! This is one of the things I've been wanting for a very long time. For a few releases, REALbasic has supported PNG files, but would render them on a backdrop, rendering their translucency useless. That's changed, so you can now drop PNG images on your project and use them without any special care.

(Picture the Ewok party at the end of Return of the Jedi. If I had an army of Ewoks, I'd be doing the exact same thing.)

Double-Buffering Canvas

Whoa, this too?! With just two features, this release has become a UI designer's paradise. Now we can answer the ever-common "Why does my app have seizures on Windows?" question with a very simple solution: turn on double-buffering. While this nukes your translucency, it's only an issue on layered controls and with some clever work can be worked around. It's not perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction. The rest of the issue is Windows, and I'm not sure there's much we'll be able to do to completely solve the issue. Also, to make this work, turn off EraseBackground. EraseBackground adds the extra step of erasing the previous contents which will still cause flickering. Since double-buffering will overwrite everything on the canvas anyway, the EraseBackground setting becomes nothing more than hinderance when DoubleBuffer is enabled.

Simple Trial Editions

With the new website, we made it quick and simple to get a trial edition key. Maybe a little too simple. So we've gone back to having REALbasic download its keys directly from our server. REALbasic did this a while ago, and stopped for a variety of reasons. But we came up with solutions to all the issues, and now anybody can download REALbasic and just use it.


This new window shown at launch makes it simple for new users to get started with REALbasic. I think it's pretty neat, and hopefully we'll add stuff to it in future versions to be more useful to veteran users.