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.


  • 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.

Do You Need Custom web Development Work Done?

It has been a very busy time. I’ve had a lot of night meetings for Church, injured my knee a few weeks back playing rugby, re-started Taels, and started/worked-on other little projects too numerous and beligerant to mention.

One element of the previous weeks that is of special interest is the Contract work that has dropped itself in my lap. 

  • A fellow Clarion user from Europe was referred to me for custom web system work. That is, he needed some Nettalk Webserver work done quick smart, and I got the job.


  • A Graphic Designer bro asked me to help him get the technical aspects of a blog done. One WordPress install later, with some work customising the fantastic Thesis theme, and the design was ported fine and dandy.


My confidence is high. With every new task I’m learning all the time. I throw myself into this work with a ferocity and tenacity that is kind of surprising.

What amazes me (because I’m not so big on being big-headed, and never thought I’d be technically competent), is that I’m good at this stuff.

Do you need custom web development done?

I’m your worker bee.

A Year Is Done, My Time As Tech Evangelist

14022009110048amI have resigned my post as Clarion Tech Evangelist.

This was not a quick decision.

Thanks one and all for your support over the last year. It was much appreciated.

I feel that apologies are in order. I had many dreams and visions of what could be done when I started the evangelist gig. Unfortunately the only one that really came about was the podcast.

Incidentally, the podcast won’t be stopping, at least I don’t see why it will. Have to talk to the other folk, but pretty sure we’ll keep batting on about how much better Australia is at sports than South Africa.

Mucho thanks to Bob Z, Bob F, and the rest of the gang at Soft Velocity. I’ll be watching (and participating in) the action with great interest.


Four Days Of Video

Next week I’ll be firing off a new segment, taking a very quick and simple look at Clarion 7.

Even after the short time I’ve been using Clarion 7, I’m excited. Already, going back to Clarion 6 and not having the alignment “blue bars” has me pining.

That is, to me, a great sign. That in such little time, the enhancements can become ingrained into my work habits.

Kudos to SV!

Poll Results: What Will You Be Using?

It’s a quick drive. You hop into the car, perhaps you’ve already got your licence, but more than likely it’s your Mum driving you. Maybe your Dad.

Oh wait, it’s not THOSE kind of results.

We held a poll here on Clarion Folk asking the question, After The New Clarions Are Released, What Will You Be Using?.


Clearly, people are looking forward to Clarion 7 (see Images #1, #2). When reading the results, it must also be remembered that the poll allowed multiple choices to be selected. I suspect that quite a few people would have selected Clarion 6, 7 and .Net. I would have.


This brought about some interesting conversation in the Non-Recorded podcast (listen to the actual podcast for details on that particularly tragedy, heh).

In a big corporation, moving code to another version can be an absolute nightmare. For example, you might have a system that consists of many dlls, over ten years old, and having had at least a dozen people working on it over it’s lifetime. There’s a reason why we call this a dinosaur. A Behemoth, and not a pretty one.

In this situation, it’s hard to imagine the effort it would take to port to a new version. On the other hand, the challenge payout would be huge. Imagine successfully porting a system like that!

31-10-2008-9-13-17-amThe last topic I’d like to cover is that of the Other results.

The first point of interest (to some of us, I mean, stats are cool for _some_ people aren’t they?) is that there are five "Clarion 5ish" results (see Image #3). Six if you count the "Plus older versions" item.

The big corporation discussion above ties directly to this.

The other point of interest is that there’s not a great deal of range. I mean, we’ve got previous versions of Clarion, VS, Windev, and Notepad.

What the?

We are limited, I’m pretty sure there are a lot more dev environments out there. I guess desktop development is in the forefront of the general community’s mind. Also, there’s the fact that only a few people voted, so this is only a small section.

I realise to, that the question was directed to the Clarion Community.

It’s a topic I’m going to go into more detail in the coming weeks. The scope of vision that exists within our community, and others.

So there you go. Thanks for reading!

Are there any other Dev Environments you would add to this?

AppGen Released To 3rdParty Community!

The word is out.

Right now, this very instant, people have got their grubby mitts on the Clarion 7 AppGen and are playing with it. The folk at Soft Velocity must be breathing erratically right now :)

I’ll be adding more to this post as the information comes in.


(Newest at Top)

"In a procedure with a menu tree, you can expand and contract and the tree.  This is FAR easier to use than before as there was little visual indication as to which tree node you were in.  In C7, there is no doubt."

"In C6, to get  to the global application properties, you have to press the global button on the toolbar, then press Extensions. In C7, you select the Proerties tab and then press Actions. The dialog opens near instantly."

"C7 is tough on enforcing rules. Got an invalid use of PRIVATE procedure in a 3rd party template used in it."

"At the top is the drop down list of ALL the public methods in the class I’m in right now.  I can jump right to the one I want!" (In Embeditor)

"The one thing that is going to take some getting used to is the close window buttons.  They are in different locations."

"When there are no embeds in the procedure, the prev/next filled embed buttons are disabled.  When you have one, they become enabled."

"Window designer has those nifty little alignment helpers."

"Compile and gen is significantly faster."

".. out of the box, its VERY nice."

"first feed back… the template registry loads VERY quickly!"


  • Template Registry loads very quickly.
  • Interface is sleek, modern (As expected).
  • Speed:
    • School App – Adding Global Variable, 17 seconds down to 10 seconds for a Regen and Compile.

What If Larry Page Wanted An App?

Larry Page

Image by niallkennedy via Flickr

Imagine this.

It’s an ordinary day. Minding your own business, coding away, you are a little annoyed when the doorbell buzzes. It disturbs the sanctity of your workplace.

Of course, when it’s Larry Page standing in your doorway, there are only two reactions.

1. Punch him in the face because you are one of the wierdos who doesn’t like Google, or,

2. Invite him in.

Larry knows your name. He’s been watching you, watching what you’ve been doing. He and his Crew are very interested in Clarion, and you are the man to push interest into actual development.

He gives you 6 months and the insane financial backing of Google to write an App in Clarion .Net.

What App would you create with Clarion .Net?