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O'Reilly

October 9, 2001

REALbasic Makes Programming OS X Apps a Breeze, Says O'Reilly Author

Sebastopol, CA--From the start, the Macintosh computer was famed for its ease of use. But the same features that delighted users often proved frustrating to would-be Mac programmers wanting to "get under the hood" and create working applications. As Matt Neuburg, author of REALbasic: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition (O'Reilly, US $39.95) recalls, "The management of the GUI was far too daunting a task, requiring programming techniques and detailed knowledge of the computer's inner workings--its 'Toolbox'--that were much too complicated and elaborate for me. As far as I was concerned, therefore, the Macintosh wasn't a computer at all; it was just a very expensive toy. It had a lot of GUI bells and whistles, but I couldn't program it. And a computer is to program."

Then, along came REALbasic, an easy-to-learn programming environment that took care of the user interface and made it possible to create working applications quickly and with very little programming. For many programmers like Neuburg, REALbasic ushered the Mac into the realm of "real" computers.

Neuburg says of his discovery of REALbasic, "When I was first learning REALbasic--I guess I hadn't been using it longer than a week or two--I set myself to write a little game-playing program, an Othello-type (Reversi) program that I called Odummo. I called it that because I didn't intend to bother teaching the program any strategy; it was to play randomly. But it had to play legally! This was the first serious program I'd written with REALbasic; it had to have good logic embodying the rules of the game, and it had to have a decent user interface, so that a human could play against the computer by clicking with the mouse. Even though I took time out to eat, sleep, and do my laundry, I finished the program in less then 24 hours! After that, I was hooked on REALbasic. I'm still amazed at how fast REALbasic lets you write powerful applications."

In REALbasic, programmers work in an intuitive and easy-to-use IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that accesses a powerful object-oriented version of the BASIC programming language. The second edition of REALbasic: The Definitive Guide has been completely rewritten to encompass reader suggestions and the many improvements of REALbasic 3--like its ability to compile and run under OS X. "With the advent of Max OS X, and the new versions of REALbasic (3.2.1 and 3.5) that run on it and compile for it, a new edition of my book was clearly needed," says Neuburg. "Mac OS X is a very different system from previous Mac systems, and REALbasic deals with it differently. As we enter the brave new world of Mac OS X, people need new utility programs, and REALbasic is one way to write them. So REALbasic's potential audience is wider than ever. At the same time, REALbasic lets you write a program that will compile as native (Carbon) for Mac OS X and as old-fashioned PowerPC, or even 68K, for systems going right back to Mac OS 7.6.1." REALbasic also allows programmers to generate compiled applications for Windows, as well as for Macs.

In addition to providing complete coverage of REALbasic 3.2.1 and later, REALbasic: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition contains a thorough introduction to the major concepts of object-oriented programming, guiding the reader from no knowledge of programming to the ability to program every aspect of REALbasic.

The first edition of REALbasic: The Definitive Guide was the winner of the 2000 Cubie award, given by REAL Software, in the category of REALbasic Advocate of the Year. The book also won the Book Bytes award as the best Mac programming book of 2000. The second edition of the book is sure to be the essential reference for the growing number of Mac users who are discovering the power and flexibility of the REALbasic programming environment.

"REALbasic has brought a whole new crop of users into the world of programming, and will continue to do so," says Neuburg. "REALbasic is chock full of interface widgets that work automatically, and it's real object-oriented programming. Learning REALbasic makes it a lot easier for new programmers to learn C++, Java or Objective-C later on."

What the critics said about the first edition:

"Matt Neuburg's excellent writing and broad range of topics makes REALbasic: the Definitive Guide an easy-to-understand and very useful book for programmers entering the world of REALbasic."
--Paul E. Sevinc, MacTech, May 2000

"REALbasic is another popular tool, and with a new book available from O'Reilly, learning to use REALbasic has never been easier."
--John C. Daub, Mactech, Dec. 1999

"As a first programming tool, REALbasic is a perfect choice, and so is this patient, thorough, and intelligently written book, which guides new users in building their first programs. For more experienced readers, it makes a capable reference to the wide range of features available in REALbasic."
--Richard Dragan, amazon.com, March 2000

"The standard reference for REALbasic programmers from newbie to advanced"
--MacTech, August 2000

Online Resources:

REALbasic: The Definitive Guide
By Matt Neuberg
ISBN 0-596-00177-0, 724 pages, $39.95 (US)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

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