Working With Clarion 7 (First Impressions)

21042010125208PM A couple of weeks back I took the plunge and ordered my CSP upgrade. I’ve been working solidly in Clarion 7 since then. These are my (please note FIRST) impressions.

What I’ve done:

  • Converted a medium size project from C6.3 to Clarion 7.1
  • At the same time (why do i do these things?) I decided to split the app into Data DLL and three separate main exes.
  • The app has most of the Capesoft templates attached in some way or another, plus PDFTools (was 3, then in amongst all this i upgraded to 4), and some other 3rdParty templates.
  • The system is primarily two Nettalk Webserver apps. So it doesn’t have a lot of the 3rd-Party templates that might normally be associated with desktop development.

In hindsight, I was ordering a complete roast cow instead of just a steak. Doing the conversion AND breaking apart the app AND upgrading 3rd-Party templates .. It shouldn’t have worked.

But after some mucking about (a couple of days), everything got sorted out.

The biggest trouble I had was not with the conversion but with some logic I forgot about with breaking an app into dlls+exes.

Thoughts:

  • I’m not having much trouble with the IDE. There are some “scratch-your-head” design decisions, sure. But overall, I’m now comfortable and much more agile (read rapid development) than in Clarion 6. And I was quick in 6.
  • Most of the issues I have with Clarion 7 are problems that will be fixed. Like remembering how I had my embed options. Or being able to Generate, Make and Run the selected application.
  • Some of the stuff that bugged me because it was different to Clarion 6 is now process I couldn’t do without. Double-clicking on a procedure .. Gold.
  • Of course, some stuff just will always be there. Getting to the Nettalk Options can be a bit of a pain. You have to click on quite a few buttons to get there. But that’s okay. I’m okay with that, because overall, it’s still much faster to make stuff in Clarion 7.
  • It is a worry to hear about folk having heaps of problems. My machine is pretty new, but I thrash it good. I don’t have any answers for folk having the problems .. Mine works. Not very heartening for you though.

Tips To Begin With:

  • Turn off code completion. Seriously. It just gets in the way.
  • Turn indentation to “Automatic”.
  • “Unpick” all the panels.
    • Except when compiling, then you probably want to pick the Output panel. There seems to be some kind of wierdness with it minimising after compilation when unpicked.
  • 21042010125134PMIf you’ve got a decent sized screen, forget about the buttons on the right and go with the double-click to open the procedure up. Far quicker than tracking your mouse across the screen.
  • Until they get some “embed option memory” in, get used to having your embeds ALWAYS open up fully every time, unless you check “Show Filled ONLY”. This will remember the setting for that procedure, and only while the app is open. Close it down and open again, it’ll go back to default.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be okay with what it is at the moment. I get frustrated easily, but I also can focus hard on getting a result. You have to be okay with the glitches. I know, it’s not ideal, and the SV history etc etc .. But you have to get over it if you want to work in Clarion 7.
    • And really, you should. In my experience (limited granted), it’s already made me a lot more productive.