Current Affairs

This passed month there has been a lot going on within the Gambas Community. There has also been some confusion about what Gambas release numbers mean and when new features and bug fixes are released. So lets start this month with a review.

Gambas releases follow a simple versioning system. The version number takes the form M.m.r where M is the major version number, m is the minor version number and r is the release number. The major version numbers may make large changes in the way Gambas works. This occurred between version 2 and version 3. The minor versions within a major  release version may add features, examples, etc. The revisions to major and minor versions only provide bug fixes. So if you add or request a new feature or example, it most likely won’t be available in the release until a minor release is completed.

If you are in a hurry for a new feature or bug fix, then you can always check out the Gambas repository and compile Gambas yourself. Compiling Gambas is straightforward on most systems and there is a lot of information to be found on the Gambas site and Wiki. If you hit a wall and need help there is always the helpful community on the mailing lists to lend a hand.

Nigel Gerrard has been doing a considerable amount of work lately to porting Gambas 3 to Cygwin. This port will allow Gambas 3 to run under Windows OSes. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  I would love to run Gambas 3 on my Windows laptop without using VBox.

Also of note this month is the New Rand() function added to Gambas 3.5 This function returns an integer value. For example, Rand(X) returns an integer between 0 and X, inclusive. Rand(X,Y) returns an integer between X and Y inclusive. This will simplify a lot of code that has in the past had to scale floating point values to integers.

This month the team daily build ppa experienced compile-time issues. I have not heard what the exact issue was however, the ppa was stuck on version 3.5.99 form 20140509 on. Eventually, the issues were fix and the ppa became available for update again on 20140520. Thanks to the ppa maintainers for getting this working again. I know they are both pressed for time right now. Thanks guys!

There has been some discussion on the user forums about making Gambas the official Basic of the GNU. From the forum discussions it looks like there are mixed feelings about this. I have setup a survey on Gambas Magazine and would love to get everyone’s opinion on this.

There has also been some discussion on creating a Gambas User Component Directory. Similar to the WordPress Plugin Directory. It will be a place for component authors to publish their components and provide a centralized location for others to search and find useful components. This could even be included into the Gambas GUI allowing you to download a component from the online directory when needed. I have begun looking into creating such a directory however, my time is limited so it may take a while…

On the Graphics front, user Shane requested the ability to hide the mouse cursor when using SDL. I was surprised this hadn’t been requested or implemented sooner. As is usual, Benoit included the feature in a day! Beginning with Release #6318 you can now hide or show the mouse cursor when using SDL. Thanks Benoit!

Well, I think that is a wrap for this month. If you are not a subscriber to the Gambas user forum, you are missing out!

Until next time, may your code always compile and run without errors!

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