An XE2/FireMonkey Showcase

It’s now almost exactly twelve months since XE2 was released and with XE3 just around the corner it seems like a good time to look back on what people have achieved with the first generation of FireMonkey. Here are a selection of videos from around the internet mostly of commercial products developed in FireMonkey.

If you are developing something yourself or know of a product or demonstration I have missed please let me know. If there’s an interesting video available I’ll add it to a future post.

Crossroad task manager
A task manager, shown here running on a Mac. Sadly I can’t find a link to any kind of product page.

An SVG demo
A demonstration of the TSVG component from Apesuite for adding more advanced vector graphics than the built in TPath can manage. No video for this one, but you can follow the link to download the executable.

Exosphere
A pre-alpha version of an innovative piece of animation software with live editing of the animations. This was inspired by the classic video by Bret Victor (at about 30 minutes in) (BTW if you’re a programmer and you haven’t watched that video all the way through, you really need to).

The author writes that it only took about seven hours work to get to this stage, with most of that time spent on data formats etc. Again no link to a product page.

Multitrack Studio
This is music sequencing software which the author(s) converted to run on the Mac using FireMonkey. The video is a demonstration of the Mac OS X version. Product page

 

Erply
A retail POS system written in FireMonkey. Sadly the video doesn’t showcase FireMonkey as much as I’d like. Product page

 

2RemindMe
I’m not sure if this is a separate product or just a rebranding of Crossroads described above. Either way, here it is being demonstrated on an iPad. [url=http://2complicated.com/2remindme/]Product page

 

TuneMyApps
From the same author as 2RemindMe, this is an iPad app for analysing iTunes sales info. Product page

 

Previous Comments

#1 from Chris on September 09, 2012

Out of interest, how is your own MonkeyStyler project coming along? Unless I’m missing something, the stock style editor in XE3 seems to be even worse than the stock style editor in XE2!

#2 from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 09, 2012

Thanks for the interest. Things have been delayed by a personal matter I’ve had to deal with over the last few months.

However, the code for an initial release is almost complete. I just need to finalise some stuff with the order processing, sales website and final testing before I can release it.

As for XE3, I got worried about some rumours about a stand alone style editor, but as far as I can see that’s just the bitmap designer for the bitmap portion of the styles.

Slightly disappointed that the promised ‘style manager ’ component seems to be very basic. On the other hand, it means I can continue with plans I have for something so handle that.

#3 from Chris on September 09, 2012

My impression of the ‘Bitmap Style Designer’ is slightly different - it’s the VCL Style Designer with code added to convert a VCL style file to a FMX one, but not the other way. (The ‘Bitmap Style Designer’ has ‘export’ but not ‘open’ or ‘edit’ functionality for FMX styles in other words.)

As such, there are no FMX ‘bitmap’ styles, just the old vector ones with a new ‘TSubImage’ component added (not on the tool palette, but it’s in FMX.Objects.pas) to reference part of a parent TImage. Since TImage itself was in XE2, you could in principle have integrated bitmapped elements before, just without the ability to reference one big source image.

At least, that’s how it seems to me at the moment - it’s all rather obscure though…

#4 from Scott Pritchard on September 09, 2012

Hi Mike!

I’d like to thank you for featuring Exosphere in this article. It was a project i was working on several months ago, but only a little progress was made past what was shown in the video and thus it was never released. I stopped work on it mainly due to other projects taking priority, but never officially abandoned it as the idea really did have potential.

Without trying to seem like i’m going for a shameless self-promotion response, i do have 4 active projects all made in Firemonkey on my site but both Exosphere and Hypercaine (a separate project that was abandoned some months ago) aren’t available. The projects i do have available have all had a set direction from the start and didn’t ever become overwhelming.

With what i’ve learned in the past 4-5 months, i could see myself taking Exosphere further than i originally planned and perhaps building something where you can stream to the web or shared sessions (using JSON and such) instead of being a single-user experience.

Most importantly, it’s good to know that i’m not alone in trying to make something of native-built apps. I’m actually hoping we can see Firemonkey start to become more popular and bring Delphi into the spotlight a little more, as i still feel the .net community see it as a language that hasn’t evolved since the 90’s.

Best Regards,
Scott Pritchard.

#5 from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 10, 2012

@Chris, interersting. I’ll take a closer look at the Bitmap Style Designer and what it does for FMX later.

One question you may have an answer for: where are the new bitmap Windows and Mac styles stored? They’re not in a redist folder. (The other styles are, but they’re still using vectors and appear unchanged. The Metropolis styles are there and are bitmap styles).

@Scott, if you create any more interesting videos or demos please let me know for a future post.

#6 from Chris on September 11, 2012

While the *.style files aren’t shipped for the ‘platform’ styles any more (this may be an oversight - I’m not sure), they are linked in as resources as normal. This means you can just create a dummy application that uses TResourceStream to output a *.style file yourself.

If you want to get a *.style file for a platform you aren’t deploying to, then you can link in the corresponding *.res file (e.g. FMX.Platform.Mac.res in the lib\osx32\release subfolder of the Delphi/RAD Studio installation) and access the data via TResourceStream in the same way.

#7 from Chris on September 11, 2012

Hmm, I thought I had posted another comment, but it must have got eaten. Anyhow, I’ve just blogged about the where-to-find-them issue (http://delphihaven.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/inspecting-the-default-platform-fmx-styles-in-xe3/).

#8 from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 12, 2012

Sorry, I had a day off yesterday and never got time to approve your comment.

Thanks for the article.

My main concern was how MonkeyStyler could derive new styles from existing ones with no source file available. The solution would be to link in the resource files and copy whatever is needed from them.

BTW I still don’t see a way in the IDE to set a default style for an FMX app, even though you can for a VCL style. That seems a curious omission.

#9 from Scott Pritchard on September 12, 2012

Setting the default style is done by dropping a TStylebook onto the form and then setting the TForm.Stylebook property. You of course load in a style in the same way you would with any stylebook. I don’t see any way to do it other than that. This is the case in both XE2 and XE3 (or at least the XE3 trial, i’ve no intent on purchasing the full version as it doesn’t bring enough new features to interest me).

#10 from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 12, 2012

@Scott, when I say the default style I really mean the one which is referenced by the Application object and used by all forms by default.

Yes, you can load a style into a StyleBook, but you need to re-apply it for every form (or link each forms StyleBook property to the same StyleBook object), and you’re also redistributing both the ‘default’ style and your override of that which is simply enlarging your file sizes.

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