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REALbasic 2005 ships for Mac, WinXP, Linux

Linux version free, other OS users to pay

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REAL Software has begun shipping the latest incarnation of its cross-platform programming tool, the company said yesterday. Alongside Mac OS X and Windows versions comes the first public beta release of a Linux-hosted version of the IDE.

REALbasic 2005 Mac UIREALbasic 2005 - REAL is dropping standard version numbers for Microsoft-style date-related indicators - sports a new UI that's more in tune with Apple's Xcode development environment than REALbasic 5, the previous release of the software. The UI puts REALbasic 5's numerous panels into a single, tabbed window, the better, REAL says, to "make software development faster and easier for both experienced and novice developers alike".

As a testament to its sophistication, REALbasic 2005 was written and compiled in REALbasic itself, the developer said.

The Mac release integrates with Mac OS X 10.4's Spotlight search system, both as a search system and by allowing coders to add Spotlight support to their own apps. The company has pledged to support Apple's shift to Intel processors in due course. Among the 100-plus features added to the IDE, there's REAL SQL Database, an SQLite-based single-user database engine. The company has also incorporated HTML viewing inside apps, and there's a new Container control to facilitate custom UI elements.

REAL has long touted REALbasic's compatibility with Visual Basic, and the new version features a range of tweaks to make it more comfortable for VB users to work with, the company said.

REAL announced plans to bring its IDE to Linux some time ago, and this week posted a public beta release of the Linux version of REALbasic 2005 ahead of its anticipated final release in August.

"REALbasic 2005 for Linux provides a solution to two issues in the Linux market," said Geoff Perlman, REAL's president and CEO. "First is the lack of a good Visual Basic-like development environment and the second is the lack of desktop software for Linux."

The Linux version is compatible with major x86 Linux distributions, including SuSE, RedHat, Mandriva/Mandrake, with GTK+ 2.0 or higher, Glibc-2.3 or higher and CUPS. Whatever platform the IDE runs on, it will generate binaries for the other two operating systems too. Software created in REALbasic can be distributed without the need to cough up a run-time royalty to REAL.

REAL will offer REALbasic 2005 for Linux in its Standard Edition form free of charge, though it's currently charging Windows and Mac OS X users $100 for the same package, ahem. Developers seeking the more advanced Professional Edition will have to pay $500, though there's an introductory price of $400. REAL did not say how long the introductory period will last. The price includes six months' worth of updates. Existing users can upgrade to REALbasic 2005 Pro for $200, or to the Standard Edition for $50. Academics and teachers can get upgrades at a discounted rate.

REALbasic is available directly from REAL Software. ®

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