APLXTM : New features in Version 3.0
This page relates to APLX Version 3, released in 2005. The latest version is 5.0 - see New Features in APLX Version 5.
MicroAPL is proud to offer Version 3 of APLX with built-in charting facilities, image manipulation, integrated database and ODBC support, easy-to-use networking, e-mail and HTTP objects, a Web Browser object, and much more!
This is a brief summary of what is new in APLX Version 3 (released Spring 2005) compared with Version 2. For full details, see the New Features in Version 3.0 document. (PDF format**, 612KB).
APLX Version 3.0 introduces a new object class, the Chart. This is a control which can display a range of different business, statistical and scientific graphs. The actual data which is displayed in the graph is held in one or more Series objects.
Note: Using the Chart and Series objects, you have full control over the appearance of the graph. However, if you do not need this, a simpler (but less flexible) way of drawing a graph is to use the Quad-CHART system function, or simply to right-click on the name of a suitable variable and select 'Display as Chart' from the pop-up menu.
The Chart object can display the following types of graph:
Although you can customize many aspects of the display of a Chart object, it is designed so that it automatically selects defaults which should give a good appearance for the chart with minimal programming. For example, if a chart is re-sized, by default the font sizes are adjusted appropriately, and reasonable values for the chart scale, tick positions, and labels are automatically chosen.
Charts by default are displayed in color. You can select your own colors for all the major elements of a chart, or you can leave the Chart object to select defaults. You can also ask for the chart to be displayed in monochrome.
As well as being displayed within your APL-created windows, charts can also be printed, copied to the clipboard, and saved to file in various formats.
You can also customize a chart by adding your own graphics elements using the Draw method.
The new Image object is an interface to ImageMagickTM, which allows you to do image conversion to/from over 90 different formats graphics formats.
It also provides a huge range of image manipulation operations. For example, you can shear, scale, crop, rotate or skew the image, sharpen edges, adjust colors and intensity, and filter out noise. You can also apply special effects to the image, such as making it look like a charcoal drawing or an oil painting.
You can use the Draw method (or a Chart object) to create the image to be manipulated or saved, or you can read it from file or from the clipboard.
New Web Browser class
The new Browser object allows you to incorporate web pages in your APLX application. It is based on Internet Explorer under Windows, and Safari under MacOS X. (Under Linux, a limited version of the Browser object is provided).
New Networking classes
APLX Version 3 introduces four new networking and Internet access classes. The SendMail and GetMail objects allow you to send and receive e-mail under program control, and the HTTPClient object fetches pages and other files from web sites into APL variables. There is also a new Socket object for low-level networking.
The ToolButton class is similar to a Button, but allows you to specify one or more images (as bitmaps) which can be displayed on the button face, depending on its state (Normal, Disabled, Being Clicked, and Selected). It is typically used for tool bars and similar controls.
Built-in database interface
The new system function Quad-SQL provides a built-in, extensible, cross-platform interface to standard relational databases such as Oracle, SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL, or PostgreSQL, using Structured Query Language (SQL). It can also be used (via ODBC) to access data from spreadsheets, Microsoft Access, db2 files, and many other data sources.
You can use it to retrieve data from relational databases as nested arrays in the workspace, or to update a database directly from within APL.
Speed-ups and fixes
As well as the enhancements described above, the new version of APLX incorporates several bug-fixes and a major speed-up to the Linux version, plus various extensions and refinements suggested by APLX users.
Features which were added in Version 2
Quad-FTIE family Component File System
Other GUI programming enhancements
**Note: This PDF file includes the APLX font as an embedded TrueType font. To display this correctly, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or later, available free of charge from Adobe's website www.adobe.com. Older PDF viewers, and some third-party viewers such as Apple Preview, may not display embedded TrueType fonts correctly.
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