CIDC 2017 Keynote Address with Robert Zaunere, President of SoftVelocity


#1

In case you’re not aware, the CIDC 2017 streaming can be found at the URL below.

There is some content available for everyone such as Zaunere’s Keynote tomorrow

Full list - https://www.cidc2017.com/Streaming

All times are US Eastern Time Zone

1 OCT 2017 - 08:30


#2

Having only watched the stream, my impression might certainly be wrong, but Z’s Keynote did not seem to elicit a lot of excitement from CIDC attendees.

Might anyone like to offer thoughts here regarding the Soft Velocity development plans?
Especially interesting would be to hear about the after presentation discussion at CIDC.

Douglas Johnson


#3

I grabbed some screenshots and did some quick OCR!

#Looking Toward The Future With Clarion!

Clarion 10

  • New build out this week or early next week
  • 150+ changes/fixes/features including:
    • FEATURE: TopScan: Added the option to see the Owner field as plain text. men Owner is visible text Copy/Paste is available. (Password icon toggles ON/OFF)
    • FEATURE: TopScan: Added option to Export to 'SON, to left align numbers, and to quote numbers

Clarion 10

  • FEATURE: You can now add the -au switch to ClarionCl to get txa export and generate commands to automatically upgrade app and dct files to the current version. Without this switch ClarionCl will fail when trying to upgrade the app and you will have to manually press the OK button to upgrade dct files.
  • FEATURE: IDE: Added new option to Attach the Clarion debugger to a running process: Main Menu->Debug->“Attach Clarion Debugger to Process”(it uses the Cladbne.exe)

H5 — Bootstrap

  • H5 is code-complete except for bug fixes
  • Simplest path to deploy to mobile/tablets
  • Mobile/Tablet ready instantly
  • Re-use all your business logic
  • Customize using CSS themes
  • And if you leam just a little JS you open your app to all kinds of new possibilities

Clarion.Net 4

  • Has been in use within the Clarion IDE since C10
  • General release before the year end
  • New feature: during the compilation phase will generate C# code with exact same functionality as the Clarion code
  • Providing the option to use the VS WPF designer instead of our WinForm designer
  • No new templates for now

Clarion 11

  • The changes in the C11 RTL are the most Comprehensive and Important, since the transition of Clarion for DOS to Clarion for Windows

  • Most changes are internal classes implementing low-level support, some examples are:

    • Support of Unicode STRINGS
    • Support for 64-bit Integers
    • Transition to EMF format for REPORTs

Clarion 11

  • Most changes are internal classes implementing low-level support, some examples are:
    • Support of Unicode STRINGS
    • Support for 64-bit Integers
    • Transition to EMF format for REPORTs

Clarion 11

  • The new classes combined with all of the work in the Scanner/Compiler/Linker are the base for the evolution of Clarion for many years ahead.

Clarion 11

  • We’ll take a deep look into C11 details in the Friday session.

Where do we go Next?

(we need your feedback)

  • Clarion Win64
    • Road becomes easer if we drop support for ISAM files
    • Or if we built a WINDOW structure to WPF converter (and dropped ISAM file support)
    • You can use Clarion.Net to make 64-bit .Net applications today

Where do we go Next?

(we need your feedback)

  • What do you need to meet the demands of your market?
    • We need your input to direct our development resources

Outside the back office — what we’re aiming for

  • Provide a (scalable) solution to deploy to mobile/tablets
  • Re-use unique Clarion knowledge/skills
  • Provide access to your database to any modern client app (Mobile/web)
  • Deliver real-time data updates for both the client-side and the back office (your Clarion win32 app(s))

Mobile client options

  • Over the last several years we’ve researched and tested most of the available options for mobile dev. And one of the problems we found is that there are too many possibilities, with new ones popping up all the time.

Mobile client options

  • You can opt to develop for iOS using native code
    • Learn either Objective C or Swift
    • Learn Apple’s Xcode IDE
    • Buy a Mac or rent a “Cloud” Mac

Mobile client options

  • You can opt to develop for Android using native code
    • Learn Java or Kotlin
    • Learn Android Studio or just use an Editor with plugins for the language support
    • You can develop on Windows, Mac or Linux

Mobile client options

  • For using a single language (for both platforms) you can build a hybrid mobile app using JavaScript
    • You can achieve a very nice HTML UI
    • But not a native look and feel
    • Performance issues are likely

Mobile client options

  • All of the approaches mentioned so far have a few things in common:
    • You need to learn either a platform specific language (or two languages if you develop for iOS and Android) or a specific framework and its tools (Ionic, Cordova, etc.)
    • You need to write a LOT of code

Mobile client options

  • React-Native

React Native is the next generation of React - a Javascript code library developed by Facebook and Instagram, which was released on Github in 2013.

Mobile client options

  • React-Native

With React Native, you don’t build a “mobile web app”, an “HTML5 app”, or a “hybrid app”. You build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. React Native uses the same platform level UI building blocks as native iOS and Android apps. You just put those building blocks together using JavaScript and React.

Mobile client options

  • Use React-Native

Benefits:

  • You write JavaScript with React Native but the components/controls are rendered as native platform widgets
  • Performance is nearly identical to native code apps

Mobile client options

  • React-Native

Benefits:

  • Share the majority of your code between both platforms (iOS and Android)
  • You get the benefits of the entire JS ecosystem
  • Code sharing with Web app (almost there now)

Mobile client options

  • React-Native

Benefits:

  • Opens the possibility to develop for Microsoft UWP (Universal Windows Platform)
  • UWP is the app platform for Windows 10
  • UWP apps can run on all VMn 10 devices — PC, Tablet, Phone, Xbox, HoloLens and (supposedly) more

Mobile client options

  • React-Native

Benefits:

  • Its component based, you customize and style Base components, and they are re-usable in all your apps
  • We’re developing components that reflect the typical Clarion database developers’ expectations

Customized FlatList component

Who uses React Native

  • Facebook, Instagram, F8, Airbnb
  • Skype, Tesla, Walmart, CBS Fantasy football,
  • And many other fortune 500 companies
  • And many thousands of small shops and solo developers

What about the database?

If we can generate a nice looking, fully functional mobile client, how do synchronize data between the Clarion back office applications and the mobile client apps?

Clarion REST server

  • Real-time data updates for both the client-side and the back office (your Clarion win32 app(s))
  • 100% Template driven
  • Re-uses your Clarion skills and knowledge to create a custom REST server without writing any code
  • Securely open up your database to any modem client app that can consume JSON data


#4

Thanks for the post. My feelings exactly. In my view, the presentation was badly planned and badly executed with no real info.


#5

My feelings are exactly the same…


#6

I wonder why Xamarin is not mentioned or is that too much of a competitor?


#7

Now they have mentioned about React-Native, the little whatever resources they have right now will be directed towards that and we will end up again with something like H5 Template. It almost looked like they have very limited to boast about C11.

With the unicode support and the major RTL changes in C11, it might take several several versions for it to become stable. And since there are major RTL changes, I am not confident of compiling my existing C10 solution in C11 and roll out to customers.


#8

Thank you for share @brahn.


#9

While only SV knows for sure, my simple impression on the H5 templates is little use despite a significant investment of resources. Meanwhile, the SQL/ODBC issues discussed here on another thread remain for several years. With React-Native now apparently being Z’s favorite, one does wonder if it is a path with real SV market potential or just another hot fade side trip. I haven’t a clue about the answer, but am certainly interested to hear what others are willing to offer.

Douglas


#10

My view on H5: Once again too little too late. With products like TSPlus and ThinNet, why do you need H5 to convert windows apps to web apps?

Personally, I would rather use NetTalk for new web apps than using H5. With Nettalk there is a good track record regarding releases, documentation, and support but if we look at Softvelocity’s track record, I would not like to depend on them to fix stuff, document stuff or support me with problems.


#11

#12

Microsoft’s ReactXP uses one codebase for IOS, Android, WindowsPhone and Windows, so if they can come up with an app generator that uses that (for example) then that is the future of Clarion in a nutshell.

I agree with Z that mobile development has been a nightmare in choosing the right platform because there is something new every week. The problem with React Native is that there are still too many options with libraries, UI and plugin options etc to choose from, so choosing the right combination still won’t be easy.

Nativescript seems similar to ReactNative but with a more singular focus, ditto with Ionic which has very good documentation and support, but is a hybrid development tool rather than a “native” app generator. (ReactNative and Nativescript don’t actually generate “native” code, they generate js applications that are served to a native device via a bridge that can be a bottleneck to “native” performance)

I’m sure H5 has been a good learning experience for Diego, but the commercial opportunities for Clarion are much greater if they can come up with an app generator for all platforms.

To me the JSON generator he mentioned is just a sideshow for current Clarion developers, I personally can’t see a great need for it as an alternative to existing Clarion methods for handling JSON data.


#13

Would probably be very useful if SoftVelocity did a few ClarionLive webinars and fleshed out a few details and got some feedback from anyone currently using these proposed technologies … but I doubt that would ever happen.


#14

Thanks for the post. Hopefully a few more folks will offer their thoughts. Sure would be nice to hear more from SV and perhaps have opportunities for customer dialogue. One would think a quarterly appearance on ClarionLive could not be that stressful.


#15

Microsoft did a pretty good job of explaining it here…


#16

Thanks again. We can at least now eliminate Windows phone from the equation, but that still leaves plenty to consider.


#17

Bob Z has a history of over-promising and under-delivering, so realistically speaking it wouldn’t make much difference what he presented at the CIDC, because most of it would never come to fruition anyway. When you’re a “team” of one (Diego) how can you be expected to work magic? SV needs to open source a lot of stuff, and just focus on the basics. But they won’t, because both Bob Z and Diego see it as letting go of their baby – Bob Z would rather take Clarion to the grave than make even a small part of it open.


#18

While the SV track record clearly shows delivery-on-promise problems, I’ve not heard much from Z in regard to open source. With “focus on basics” and open source having long been suggested as the way forward, I’d be interested to hear more ideas as to what in Clarion is basic and what should be open.


#19

Templates I would think is the most obvious one, and doesn’t really require SV letting go of anything proprietary, because if you have a license for Clarion you already have the source.

Things like database drivers – or perhaps more importantly an SDK (which I believe may have been available in pre-SoftVelocity Clarion days) to allow people to create new database drivers. Clarion SHOULD have a native mySQL/MariaDB driver for example, but SV will never do it - they think ODBC is fine.

One could go on, but the reality is that SV will never let go of anything, so it’s really only an exercise in academia.


#20

Sorry but … did he talk about a new release of Clarion.Net before the end of the year ?
He even talk about writing 64 bit applications with Clarion.Net, isn’t it ???
But … is Clarion.Net a dead project or not ???
Just wondering !