updated 09:55 am EDT, Fri April 13, 2001
Real Software, creators of the RealBasic development platform (which provides a simple, graphical approach to developing Macintosh applications) has announced its plans for releasing versions of its flagship product that are compatible with Mac OS X.
In mid-February, RealBasic 3.0 was released with OS X compatibility. However, due to the numerous changes between the Public Beta release which was available at that time and the final release available now, the company has been seeding beta releases of RealBasic version 3.1. This free update (for registered users) revises the software for use under Mac OS X 10.0, and incorporates a number of bug fixes that are unrelated to Mac OS X.
However, RealBasic 3.1 lacks support for the core graphics engine included with Mac OS X. Geoff Perlman, CEO of Real Software, says "Support for core graphics is not something that applications ported to Mac OS X automatically take advantage of and it's actually quite a bit of work to support. Rather than hold up our Mac OS X version, we decided to hold off on this feature until we could take the time to get it right."
For core graphics engine development, RealBasic users will have to wait until version 3.2, which will support core graphics both for applications built in RealBasic and throughout the IDE as well. This will be the only significant change in REALbasic 3.2. Perlman says his company is planning to release this version at the beginning of May.
Next, Real Software plans to ship version 3.5 of RealBasic. Perlman says that the company previously released "monolithic" upgrades annually, and will now begin releasing bi-annual updates with fewer new features. RealBasic 3.5 will ship this Summer, and the company plans to release version 4.0 at the beginning of next year (possibly at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco).
Real Software will also introduce a new pricing scheme to reflect the new version release schedule. Perlman says that while the company hasn't decided on exact pricing, each ".5" release will be around 50 to 60% of the normal upgrade price. "The result is that the cost to upgrade from 3.0 to 4.0 will likely be about the same as the cost to upgrade from 2.0 to 3.0," says Perlman.