Windows 10 and LC9.0

R.H. roland.huettmann at
Thu May 24 13:35:40 EDT 2018

There have been some remarks regarding LiveCode 9.0 in Windows 10. I am
exclusively using Windows 10. Since Windows worked not well changing from
Windows 7/8 to 10, I can only suggest making a "clean install" whoever is
using another version. But Windows 10 is otherwise promising and not bad.

So, if you like, share my remarks and observations from a more simple user
point of view (not so technical):

Opening LiveCode 9.0 on my computer (8MB RAM, 2 years old, Acer Aspire)
takes about 30 seconds. "Saving as..." is acceptable within a second (I did
not try really big stacks yet). In general, LiveCode 9.0 is working as
expected and seems to be a bit faster even.

Before using LC9.0 I strongly suggest deleting the preferences file. It
caused lots of problems when changing the version to me. Even I had strange
effects such as when opening LiveCode 9.0, it would just only appear for
milliseconds and then close. Only much later it dawned on me that possibly
I should kill the preferences. The preferences are visible when turning on
"invisible files" and then going to
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Runrev\Preferences\livecode7.rev. Delete
the file. It will be rebuilt.

The biggest problem I face is using the Script Editor in LC9. The text
cursor tends to hang and it happens frequently that it may take a second
until even a character is placed.

The kluge is turning off everything that is offered to support script
hiliting and debugging such as bracket completions, etc. etc.. I only keep
"Variable Checking", "Autoformat" and "Control Structure Completion".
Still, it behaves sticky. The longer the script, the more sticky it
becomes. Some users suggested to keep Project Browser closed and even the
message box closed. In the message box I also activated "Auto update
pending messages". I am rarely using the Project Browser anyway.

Another real problem is when lots of controls are selected (maybe more than
10). Moving the selection using arrow keys is a pain. Even moving the
selected controls with the mouse can make the system unusable. It can take
30 seconds to move even one pixel. Grouping controls and moving the group
is the only option in such case and then working well. This has been the
same problem in previous versions.

In previous versions, there have been also big problems showing menus on
secondary monitors. This is fixed in the current version and I am more than
grateful for this fix. Before, it could happen that menus were not visible
at all because they opened at a distant place in the not visible space.

Also fixed is the bug that it was almost impossible to place new controls
from the Tools palette to the IDE stack using drag-and-drop. It had been an
uncontrollable trial-and-error thing. Often enough I had to try several
times to "hit" the stack window and place the control So, I am happy about
the fix very much.

There has been a problem with the "Find and Replace" window in previous
versions. This problem still exists. Do not touch the window in trying to
resize it. It will then suddenly shrink to a strange width and becomes
unusable. The only way to change this is a restart of LiveCode. Just never
resize this window!!! (I am not going to touch the IDE stacks....)

What is now a new problem with 9.0, and a bit of an annoyance, is the fact
that the property inspector does not keep the resized value when changing
when selecting another control. Each time, the window falls back to some
default size and then it must be resized again, or the scroll bar must be
used. Again, it is not critical but hinders work-flow very much. For
example, I prefer to look at layer numbers in the property inspector, and
just go through each control with an open property inspector without having
to resize the window or scroll it all the time.

Fonts generally render much better in 9.0 and the printed type is looking
good. But also be reminded that the default Segoe font may not be installed
on any Windows 7 and prior versions where Arial was predominant. Then the
font metrics will not match your field widths or heights and you should
leave much more space than you think you need. (Arial uses much more space.
Or change the default font to Arial.)

On screen, a page to be printed looks pretty small. For example, Arial 10
printed is quite readable, and 11 is already big. In LiveCode, it looks
tiny. For that reason, I am changing the scale factor to 1.1 or 1.2 ("set
the scalefactor of this stack to 1.1"). This is good and had been there in
older versions. If it is not too much work, I would prefer, as an
alternative, being able to have a window frame and the scale is only
applied to everything inside this frame. Scaling programmatically all
controls with their relative distances and changing text fonts is too much
to do. But I guess this is not a priority.

The new data grid on my system definitely does not resize correctly on
Windows 10 when its resizing is part of a "resizeStack" handler. I believe
it is a bug. When using simple statements with this handler such as: "set
the width of group 'DG' to the width of this card" then unexpected resizing
is becoming visible either with the DG or with other controls resized at
the same time. I already wrote about it. Did anybody else notice the same?
If yes, then I will file a bug report.

Still, system stability improved, sometimes LiveCode 9.0 is crashing and
just disappears without even say "Whoops". But it happens rarely. I can
only strongly suggest using the Auto-backups.rev stack from
Angerangel at (currently I do not have a link from where to
upload.). It really saved my life. A crash may corrupt your stack file.
Install it in the user documents folder: "C:\Users\Username\Documents\My
LiveCode\Plugins" It automatically creates backups without interfering with
your work. A "must have". In your IDE, use menu "Development/Plugins" to
install if needed. I think it also installs itself into the message path.
You could write your own backup script, but why reinvent the wheel?

If you develop for business and for a big market and you are looking for
business clients then there is Windows 10 and Android, then comes iOS and
only then everything else. For this reason, I would like to see much more
attention towards Windows and Android. It is a good system now and does not
create headaches (with exceptions). Business is on Windows. And LiveCode
needs to be in business. Windows XP is out. No need to support unless there
is not much work involved doing it. Here old versions of LiveCode could be
used. Windows 7 is still around but not well supported. All other versions
of Windows are gone. Microsoft is doing everything to move existing users
to the latest upgrades and updates. It is safer and also really a better
system I must admit. As an alternative, I could only see Linux, but then it
is not business again (except for server systems), and if you develop for
business clients then there is no alternative nearly anywhere in the world
(niches will always exist.. which is always also good.)

Roland )

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