Ubercode News Archive (2003)


Move to Jersey (1 November 2003)

In yet another attempt to find paid employment, I relocated to Jersey in October 2003. Jersey is another of the UK channel islands, near to Guernsey and almost as nice (I had to put that in, just in case any Guerns are reading this!). The UK channel islands are off the coast of France.

  • Jersey is a highly regulated society where you need permission to do anything. Even flowerpots have to be careful of the authorities:

    A flowerpot in trouble with the authorities

    Three flower pots breathe a huge sigh of relief as they are found not guilty of blocking the view of drivers at the junction of Mont Fallu and Rue de la Fontaine. On the left is Nick Le Couteur, who presented the case for the prosecution (from the Jersey Evening Post).

  • If you can find Jersey on the map you are entitled to a free download of the Ubercode Trial Package (mind you, you are anyway...)
  • As a hint to American visitors, Jersey is not the same as the state of New Jersey in the USA. New Jersey got its name because it was originally settled by people from the Island of Jersey.
  • Another hint: look in the bit of water between France and England!

New release! (30 October 2003)

A beta release of Ubercode is available. This has the following improvements:

  • Changed the file extension of source files to .cls (previously a single character extension was used).
  • Improved the SplashDialog() in Commdlgs to handle transparent bitmaps and text with fonts and color attributes.
  • Fixed a Bitmaputton bug which prevented Unload() from being called from the Command event. Ubercode buttons should now look fully native under Windows XP.
  • Started work on a compiler change which will remove the distinction between exported-level identifiers and private-level code. This change is not finished yet - the only visible change so far is that files now use class ... end class for their outer structure.
  • Fixed an error in the resource file parser which prevented some valid resource files from loading.
  • Extracted product definitions (names etc) to product definition files. This makes it easier to change the details, if the business name or product name changes.
  • Fixed a compiler disambiguation problem which prevented a main class having the name "app".
  • Updated the Crypto example with some picturesque bitmaps.

New release! (28 September 2003)

A beta release of Ubercode is available. This has the following improvements:

  • The size of the download has been reduced by about 25%.
  • A version numbering system has been applied throughout Ubercode. The version number and release number are shown in the install screen, in Help-About, and are included in DLL names, window class names (WNDCLASS names) and version resources. This allows multiple Ubercode programs from any version to run at the same time without conflict. This system fully avoids DLL hell and Framework hell.
  • The Program-Input files and Program-Output files dialogs correctly show all the files.
  • The compiler supports product and version resources (VERSIONINFO). The Professional Pack includes a property editor to change the version details.
  • Bugs in the manifest file were fixed, and a compiler option was added to suppress the manifest file.
  • The website had a bug where preformatted text and some body text were shown incorrectly using centered alignment. The bug occurred using the Opera browser and possibly IE6. The bug was caused by inconsistent browser behavior, and has been fixed.
  • Added highlighting for VB script and VBA to the Developer Environment. You can now edit VBS and VBA files in glorious technicolor!
  • Added transparencies to the Bitmapbutton object and to the Drawpicture function. Bitmaps can now include a color which is drawn transparently, and icons are drawn using their transparency mask. This allows icons to be used as sprites in games, and as pictures on Bitmapbuttons.
  • Changed Bitmapbutton objects so they are drawn using the standard Windows button color. This makes them look more natural under Windows XP.

Website update (19 July 2003)

All the screenshots now use Windows XP:

Picture of Developer Environment

instead of Windows ME which was used previously. Ubercode programs run under all versions of Windows, from Windows XP right back to historical versions of Windows 95.

Website update (7 July 2003)

In July I updated the website again, based on feedback from some helpful critics:

Picture of fierce animal

The feedback came from joelonsoftware.com and it was very useful. People pointed out many things I had not spotted. The following changes were made:

  • The random quote was removed from the top of the page.
  • The website colo[u]rs were changed from purple to blue-grey.
  • Screenshots were re-done using an up-to-date version of Windows
  • Screenshots were made clickable to view larger screenshots.
  • The Ubercode logo was moved to the top left corner, instead of the stripes that were there before.
  • The introduction page (home page) was re-worded to give a quick overview, with inline links to more detailed pages.
  • The navigation bar was redone with different buttons and modified so it downloads more quickly.
  • HTML was made compliant with v4.01 and was checked using validator.w3.org - there is a link at the bottom of the page so you can check!
  • The FAQ / Technical Support page was restructured to bring the topics into a more consistent format.
  • The email address was changed to use the website address. All email links in the website use a subject enclosed in square brackets, which allows the email to pass through the spam filter.
  • A Feature Matrix was added, to compare Ubercode to other programming languages.
  • A Comparative Graph was added, which measures in an objective way how complex Ubercode is, compared to other languages.

Website update (6 June 2003)

In early June 2003 all the pages on the website were checked and updated where needed. Inactive links were removed from the Links page. All the information should now be accurate.

Release Candidate 1 (1 May 2003)

Early in 2003 I put together a LAN for testing Ubercode under different versions of Windows. Ubercode uses the Win32 API and runs under any version of Windows (Windows XP, 2000, NT4, ME, 98, 95). The compiler and run time library use API functions that are guaranteed to be present in any Windows distribution. This is important, because many DLLs are not re-distributable and it's possible they are not installed on customer's machines.

This is a great benefit to using Ubercode. Programs can be developed on any version of Windows, and the same EXEs run on any other version of Windows without alteration. There is no danger of missing DLLs, and no danger of overwriting important system DLLs. Manifest files are also generated for Windows XP.