Panels for navigation, forms, inspectors and more

Ever wish you could slide a list of options in from the left or right? How about a compete form? The new Panel control lets you do this. Have are some examples:




When you activate a Panel, it slides in from the left or right to cover your existing form. Click on a close panel button or outside the panel area, and it will slide closed.

Visual Effects

There are three visual effects. Set the one you want to use in the display property.

  1. Overlay: The Panel is overlaid on top of the current form.
  2. Push: The Panel pushes in, moving the current form with it.
  3. Reveal: The Panel is revealed as the current form moves.

Formatting the Panel

There are two ways to load the contents of a Panel:

  1. HTML: Set the text property at design time with the text you want to display. It can also be HTML format, so this would be valid:
    <h4>Important Info</h4>
    Remember to save your data before you leave this form!

    Then, at runtime, do the following to open the panel:
  2. Form or Container: Use the .open() function at runtime to open a Form or Container in the Panel. In this case, leave the text property blank, and open the panel as follows:

When you open a panel, NSB.currentForm is set to the panel, and the normal Form_open() and Form_close() events are run for the panel.

Clicking on any button on the panel, or outside the panel, will close it.

Full Screen Panels

If you set the width of the panel to 100%, it will take over the whole screen. That gives you the effect of having the new form slide in from the left or right.

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AppStudio 5.0.3 released.

AppStudio 5.0.3 is ready. It has some fixes and some enhancements.

  1. Deploy: Don’t create manifest file if no caching.
  2. Deploy: PhoneGap CLI remembers to create config.xml
  3. Samples: new VisualEffects sample.
  4. Samples: several updates.
  5. Translator: Problems with Functions fixed.
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Sliding and Fading forms and controls

AppStudio 5 lets you use visual effects on controls and forms. The new functions are:

  • fadeIn(msecs): Fades a form or control in. msecs is milliseconds to take for the effect. A value of 2000 would be 2 seconds. The default is 500. It is the same as doing a function or = “block”, with, but the visual effect.
  • fadeOut(msecs): Fades a form or control out. It is the same as doing a ctrl.hide() function or = “none”, but with the visual effect.
  • slideDown(msecs): Displays a form or control as if it slid down from the top. It is the same as showing, but with the visual effect.
  • slideUp(msecs): Hides a form or control as if it slid up to the top. It is the same as hiding, but with the visual effect.

These effects will work on all controls: buttons, textboxes, containers, grids, etc.


Image1.fadeIn(1000)      'Take one second to fade an image in
Image1.slideUp()         'Hide the image by sliding it up
MessageForm.fadeIn(2000) 'Display a form called MessageForm over the current one.

You can also use visual effects with the ChangeForm command. It has some new parameters:

ChangeForm(newForm[, hideEffect[, showEffect[, msecs]]])

If you just have the first parameter, ChangeForm will work as it always has. The current form will be hidden and the newForm will be displayed. hideEffect and showEffect can be “fade”, “slide” or “hide”. If you only supply only one effect (which looks best) the same effect will be used for hiding the old form and showing the new one. The last parameter is the time to take performing the effect.


Fade the current form out and fade in Form2:

ChangeForm(Form2, "fade")

Slide Form2 in. Take 1 second to fade out, 1 second to fade Form2 in:

ChangeForm(Form2, "slide", 1000) 

Hide Form1, then take 1 second to fade in Form2:

ChangeForm(Form2, "hide", "slide", 1000) 

Use ChangeForm instead of Form1.fadeOut() and Form2.fadeIn(). It’s easier, and your form’s close and open functions will be called.

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AppStudio 5.0.2 released.

AppStudio 5.0.2 is ready. It fixes a number of issues which appeared in the new release.

  1. Check for Update: Set up text for translation.
  2. Controls: Allow multiple entries for ChangeForm where needed.
  3. Controls: jqxEditor control now has grab handles in Design Screen for resizing.
  4. Controls: Panel – Fix how it appears on Design Screen. Remove unused properties.
  5. Controls: jqxTabs control now appears properly.
  6. Deploy: ‘no cache’ option added to Manifest File property.
  7. Forms: Improved reset() function. Thanks, Buck!
  8. Internal: Went back to wxPython 2.9.5 to solve problem with Spanish locale.
  9. Make EXE: correct delete file command in make script.
  10. Make EXE: Force a save before making exe.
  11. Samples: Update and rename ModalForm.
  12. Translation: Fix some tab characters.

#6 can be useful if you have an app which will only be used if the device is online. It disables caching, so there is no update message if you update the app on the server.

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Updated Open Samples window

As the number of samples that come with AppStudio ever increases, we wondered about ways to make to easier to find relevant samples. There are close to 200 of them now: something needed to be done.

Here’s the new Open Samples window for AppStudio 5:


We made two major changes: Samples are now organized into folders and subfolders. Looking for samples showing mobile device features? They’re in the Features folder, in a subfolder named Device Features.

There is also a search bar. Enter in what you are looking for, and it will look in the names and descriptions of the samples for matches.

Click on the sample you need and it will open.

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AppStudio 5.0.1 released.

AppStudio 5.0.1 is ready. It fixes a number of issues which appeared in the new release.

  1. Code Window: Format code problem fixed.
  2. Deploy: Adding/deleting files to Project Explorer forces full Deploy.
  3. Deploy: Don’t change name of file when deploying.
  4. Deploy: Fix formatting error in manifest.
  5. Deploy: Warn users of spaces in file names.
  6. Forms: .reset() function is back.
  7. IDE: Design Screen now checks for Internet Explorer 11.
  8. IDE: pyExecJS not needed.
  9. Make exe: All needed folders are now included.
  10. Run menu: Replace “Make Desktop App” with ‘Make exe’.
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New Function List for the Code Window

When we were coming up with ideas for AppStudio 5, we looked at the blank Toolbox space beside the Code Window. Could we do something useful with it?

Yes, we could: We display a list of the functions and subroutines in the current Code Module, along with their calling arguments:


Plus, if you click on a function, it will go to it in your code. The items are sorted in alphabetic order, not in the order they actually appear in the code.

As a bonus, there are selections to go directly to the top or bottom of the page.

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Upgrading to AppStudio 5

Upgrading to AppStudio 5.0 is straightforward. Here’s the information you need.

Ordering the Upgrade

  • Upgrades are free for anyone who bought AppStudio 4 (or the upgrade to it) after January 1, 2015.
  • If you bought before Jan 1, the upgrade costs $49.95.
  • You can download the demo to give it a try.
  • You can buy the full version in the demo using PayPal or use our order form.
  • After you buy, restart the IDE and you will have the full licensed version. No serial number needs to be entered.

Some technical stuff you should know

  • Keep a backup of your critical projects. (Always!)
  • As promised when AppStudio 4 was released, jQuery Mobile 1.3 and iWebKit have been removed. It might be easier to convert any of these that you have left before upgrading to AppStudio 5.
  • Windows XP is no longer supported. We had to do this to add IE 11 support, but it is a good idea anyway. Microsoft is no longer issuing security patches for Windows XP, so consider it to be wide open to hackers.
  • Read about the rest of the breaking changes.
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AppStudio 5.0 released!

After several months of hard work, AppStudio 5.0 is ready. It has over 200 new features, enhancements and fixes.

Here are some of the major new features:

But there is much more than major new features. Our motivation for many of the minor changes in the release was to make everyday things easier to do. You’ll find many places where we simplified things, got rid of unnecessary steps and provided straightforward ways to get stuff done.

Complete details here:

Special thanks to the beta testers who patiently help us get it right!

Stay tuned to this blog. We’ll add posts about many of the new features in the coming days.

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Using the new Calculation control

The Calculation control lets you display the result of a calculation without doing any coding. As the input values of the formula are changed, the value displayed in the control is automatically updated.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.15.43 AM

It’s much like a Label, in that it displays a simple text string. It has many of the same properties: font, alignment, etc. However, instead of a caption, it has a formula. Each time you enter a character on the screen, formula is reevaluated and the new result displayed.

Let’s have fun with some formulas:
Continue reading

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