B4X: Writing JavaScript with ABMaterials B4JS


After a delay of more of a year working on other ABM stuff, I finally got back on track with B4JS. I will make a series of tutorials explaining how it works. B4JS is part of the ABMaterial library 4.25 which is going to be released next week.


One way to look at B4JS is as some kind of new platform in B4X, that uses a very similar syntax as B4J. At runtime, the B4J source code is transpiled to pure JavaScript. The generated source code can then be used in e.g. an ABMaterial Web App, or maybe even as a base for another JavaScript library.

A typical B4JS class could look like this:

Sub Process_Globals
   Dim myString As String
   Public pubMap As Map

   Dim timer As Timer
   Dim myGlobalName As String = "GlobalAlain"
End Sub
'Initializes the object. You can NOT add parameters.
Public Sub InitializeB4JS()

   Dim myName As String = "Alain"
   ' smartstrings do not support date, time or xml functions
   myString = $"Hello planet "B4X"! This is a test
    from ${myName} and ${myGlobalName}"$
   Log("myString.Contains('planet'): " & myString.Contains("planet"))
   Dim myLocalInt As Int = 15
   myLocalInt = myLocalInt * myString.Length

   LogMe("15 x the length of " & myString & " = " & myLocalInt)

   For i=0 To 50
       myLocalInt = myLocalInt + 2
       Select Case myLocalInt
           Case 20, 40
               pubMap.Put("key" & i, i)
           Case Else
               Log("less than 20")
       End Select

   timer.Initialize("timer", 1000)
   timer.Enabled = True

   Dim sb As StringBuilder
   sb.Append("lijn 1").Append(CRLF).Append("lijn 2")
End Sub
Private Sub Timer_Tick
   timer.Enabled = False
   Log("timer ticking")
   If timer.Enabled = False Then
       timer.Interval = timer.Interval + 1000
       Log("timer new interval: " & timer.Interval)
       timer.Enabled = True
   End If
End Sub

Looks very familiar, no? :)

Having the browser doing some stuff using JavaScript can have some big advantages by relieving some pressure from your server (checking if a form is filled in correctly, or changing the visibility of an ABMContainer if a user clicks a button).

But it also demands a great responsibility from the programmer not to expose to much information to the user. Never, ever write sensitive stuff like SQL, passwords etc in B4JS!

Another advantage is being able to expose some events (like the KeyUp/KeyDown events in an ABMInput field). They are deliberately omitted in ABM, because such events could potentially kill your server. But in Javascript, we could use them e.g. to check if the user could entry numbers, or if fits an email mask.

Having a Timer running on the browser side can also be handy.

First an overview of the syntax B4JS can handle:


Core library
Variable types:









Control Structures:


Smart String Literal:

JSON library


ABMaterial library (as of 2018/03/10, for the latest list check the B4X forum):

EVENTS: B4JSOnClick, B4JSOnMouseEnter, B4JSOnMouseLeave










EVENTS: B4JSOnClick, B4JSOnMouseEnter, B4JSOnMouseLeave



EVENTS: B4JSOnClick, B4JSOnMouseEnter, B4JSOnMouseLeave


In the next following days, I would like to cover the following topics:

01. Getting started
02. Core functions
03. Inline JavaScript
04. Running JavaScript on the server side (mini NodeJS?)
05. JSON & Ajax Calls
06. The UI (ABMaterial) connection


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RB/Xojo: Goodbye, you old dinosaur…


And I mean this in an very friendly way, referring to one of their latest campaigns 🙂

I was doing some early spring cleaning on the dusty attic of this blog and came across some old projects I did.

Some of you long time followers of my blog may remember I wrote several posts programming in Xojo (previously RealStudio or even RealBasic before that).  When I first started this blog, I was a huge fan of RB.  The familiar VB6 syntax was what me attracted to it in the first place. I had a VB6 background, and with Microsoft abandoning it, RB was a nice alternative.  I really didn’t care much for it being able to cross compile back then as Windows was my thing.  But it was nice that it could.

Back then, many years ago, I used this place to write articles mainly on the Canvas (an 11 episode series!) and vintage games.

But also some frameworks like ABXVision that had OpenCV like capabilities (Augmented Reality in its early stages!) and a full blown physics engine ABPE.

The robotics series was a very fun project to do.  I was doing a course on Artificial Intelligence at the time and I could use this new knowledge in the tutorials.

But because of Xojos decision a couple of years ago to start using a new syntax framework, most of these projects won’t work anymore without a major overhaul.  So I feel it is time to let them go. I recently noticed Xojo had removed this blog from their resource list too, so they must’ve had the same feeling. Honestly, no hard feelings about that! I would too when a blog doesn’t write anything on me anymore.

But what is there currently to write about Xojo? The Web part hasn’t changed in many years and still looks like it is 1995. iOS still feels like it is only partly finished and is missing to many out-of-the-box features to be useful (will the new upcoming android suffer from the same problem?).  Should I write about the many bugs and workarounds one has to do?

It must be said many of this remarks have to do with Xojo being a small team, and some stuff (like 64bit or Apples decisions) has been forced upon them.  Luckily they have a small but enthusiastic community which is willing to take over the many shortcomings by writing frameworks like Aloe or iOSKit.

So, time to put those fond memories into a box and leave memory lane.  Back to the real harsh world ;-).

I will leave the RB/Xojo projects on this blog until the end of the month (March).  Maybe, one day, I will find the time to revamp them in Xojo or put them all up on GitHub and they will reappear.

Until then, this blog will mainly report on B4X and my own framework ABMaterial.

Godspeed old friend(s). Until we meet again…

UPDATE: I was planning to make a separate blog section for my old RB/Xojo projects, but I just can’t find the time to do so. I created a raw FTP dump of everything RB/Xojo related today that you can download from here. It is a bit messy so you will have to browse through it yourself. A lot of it will probably be outdated (the main reason I removed everything from my blog) and will need some re-work, but some of it may still be useful for someone.

Download RAW FTP Dump of RB/Xojo projects


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B4X: Responsive containers in ABMaterial 4.25


Next to the normal responsive page behaviour, in ABMaterial 4.25 for B4J, you will be able to do this with containers too!

Let’s watch it at work first:

This may not sound super special, but it’s a biggie! There are very few frameworks out there that can do this, so I’m very proud of this one.

Nice but that must ask for a lot of control code, no?“, I hear you ask.
Well, here it is:

gridContainer.IsResponsiveContainer = True

Done! 🙂

Just by setting gridContainer.IsResponsiveContainer = True, you just made the ABMContainer device responsive just like a page. This means you can from now on actually create controls that behave differently depending on the device you are on.

For example, setting this grid on a container, the last 5 cells will wrap differently on a phone, tablet or desktop:


I also added some powerful tools to adjust the layout of your WebApp according to the device you are on:

Returns the current page size (phone, tablet, desktop). You can use this method e.g. in ConnectPage to determine the state of the current page size and act accordingly.

public Sub ConnectPage()
   Log("Current page size: " & page.GetCurrentPageSize)
End Sub

An event Page_SizeChanged will return the same value in the ‘current’ parameter if the user changes the window size. (It also returns the ‘previous’ state).

Note that this event is NOT raised at load time! Use Page.GetCurrentPageSize to check that.

Sub Page_SizeChanged(previous As String, current As String)
   Log(previous & " -> " & current)
   Select Case current
       Case "phone"
           gridContainer.MarginLeft = "0px"
       Case "tablet"
           gridContainer.MarginLeft = "210px"
           gridContainer.SetFixedWidth("calc(100% - 210px)")
       Case "desktop"
           gridContainer.MarginLeft = "210px"
           gridContainer.SetFixedWidth("calc(100% - 610px)")
   End Select
End Sub

Containers on a fixed position:
Next to setting a fixed with and height of an ABMContainer, you can now also set a fixed position. This can be handy to create ‘floating’ sidebars for example.

compContainer.SetFixedPosition("0px", "", "56px", "")

Params: left, right, top,bottom

Set a parameter to empty string when you don not want to set it.

These 3 new features used together give you an immense power over how your WebApp should behave depending on the device it is running on, with very little effort.

Another year has passed:

2017 has been a great year for B4X and ABMaterial!

B4X has grown to be a very powerful player in develop land.  The already productive RAD IDE has received a couple of very innovative features to help you even more with your app development. Anywhere Software is always right on top of all the new stuff Android, iOS and all the other supported platforms throw at us.  And being stable and reliable makes this a unique environment. The growth of the forum and the quality of the messages/responses are the real proof of this.  Thanks a lot Erel for this beautiful tool.  It is without a doubt the best cross-platform tool one can use for the moment!

And ABMaterial is lucky to be able to stand on the shoulders of this giant.  ABM has surpassed my biggest expectations this year.  It is great to see a lot of you are using it to make amazing webapps and even can make a living out of it.  This was definitely the ‘year of speed‘.  Very few frameworks can match ABM when it comes to develop and execution time. And there is a lot more in the pipeline for the upcoming months!

Thank you all for following my blog!  You inspire me every day to push the limits of the tools and frameworks I make.

Rest me only to wish you all the very best and I hope to see you back in 2018!


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B4X: Custom Icons in ABMaterial 4.25


A much asked feature has been to integrate custom icons in ABMaterial for B4J. In version 4.25, this will be possible!

Couple of notes first:
1. The already build-in font icons (font awesome, google icons) are a lot faster to load, so consider them first
2. Some basic CSS knowledge will be needed (margins, padding, fill)
3. Custom icons MUST be named starting with abm-

There are three ways to load custom icons in ABM:

1. SVG
These type of icons MUST be loaded in BuildPage. This is because, when used, they link to the SVG tags (contrary to embedded SVG, see further). If used multiple times, it will make your HTML code smaller as the SVG code is only included once in the HTML.

page.AddSVGIcon("abm-si-maki-basketball-11", $"<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="1.1" style="width:0;height:0;position:absolute;overflow:hidden;">
     <defs><symbol viewBox="0 0 11 10.54083251953125" aria-labelledby="basi-maki-basketball-11-title" id="abm-si-maki-basketball-11"><title id="basi-maki-basketball-11-title">icon basketball-11</title><path d="M11 1a1 1 0 1 1-2 0 1 1 0 0 1 2 0zM4.5 3a1.5 1.5 0 1 0 0-3 1.5 1.5 0 0 0 0 3zm3.89 6.69L6 6.59V4.5h.5a.49.49 0 0 0 .41-.23l1.5-2A.49.49 0 0 0 8.5 2a.5.5 0 0 0-.86-.34L6.25 3.5H2.5a.5.5 0 0 0-.36.16l-2 2.54a.49.49 0 0 0-. 0 0 0 . 0 0 0 .41-.23L2.74 4.5H3v2.09L.61 9.69a.5.5 0 0 0 . 0 0 0 .41-.23L3.94 7h1.12l2.52 3.27A.5.5 0 0 0 8.5 10a.49.49 0 0 0-.11-.3v-.01z"/></symbol> </defs>
   </svg>"$, 24,24,"margin-top: 12px;fill: black")

As you can see, in here we have also to declare a margin-top and a fill color in CSS. The name for our icon is ‘abm-si-maki-basketball-11′.

Icons like this typically have an SVG tag looking like this (hidden, width & height = 0, ALL properties are required!):

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="1.1" style="width:0;height:0;position:absolute;overflow:hidden;">...</svg>

10000+ icopns of this type can be found here: https://leungwensen.github.io/svg-icon/

2. Embedded SVG
These type of icons can be loaded at runtime (e.g. in ConnectPage) as the SVG tag code will be included in the html. This also means if you use the same icon multiple times, the full SVG code will be added multiple times too!

page.AddEmbeddedSVGIcon("abm-aardbei", $"<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" height="32" width="26" viewBox="0 0 116.76708 149.28999" style="margin-top: 8px;fill: red">
  <defs id="defs3749" />
  <g transform="translate(-129.2905,-77.659)" id="g3744">
  <g id="g3728">
  <path style="stroke:#000000;stroke-miterlimit:10" id="path3726" d="m 243.873,168.241 c -9.344,35.617 -43.232,58.208 -56.131,58.208 -13.155,0 -45.451,-28.357 -56.387,-63.353 -7.225,-23.113 12.081,-42.038 26.423,-42.112 21.474,-0.11 23.813,12.248 32.681,9.449 9.898,-3.125 8.874,-12.884 28.954,-12.606 12.542,0.171 31.997,21.688 24.46,50.414 z" stroke-miterlimit="10" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3730" d="m 156.34,148.723 c 0,5.688 -1.251,10.304 -2.801,10.304 -1.55,0 -2.801,-4.615 -2.801,-10.304 0,-5.689 1.251,-10.3 2.801,-10.3 1.55,0 2.801,4.611 2.801,10.3 z" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3732" d="m 170.818,175.338 c 0,5.688 -1.251,10.296 -2.802,10.296 -1.55,0 -2.802,-4.607 -2.802,-10.296 0,-5.689 1.252,-10.304 2.802,-10.304 1.55,0 2.802,4.615 2.802,10.304 z" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3734" d="m 190.6,203.347 c 0,5.695 -1.251,10.304 -2.801,10.304 -1.55,0 -2.802,-4.608 -2.802,-10.304 0,-5.688 1.251,-10.296 2.802,-10.296 1.549,0 2.801,4.607 2.801,10.296 z" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3736" d="m 211.903,175.338 c 0,5.688 -1.251,10.296 -2.801,10.296 -1.55,0 -2.801,-4.607 -2.801,-10.296 0,-5.689 1.251,-10.304 2.801,-10.304 1.55,0 2.801,4.615 2.801,10.304 z" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3738" d="m 192.462,160.498 c 0,5.688 -1.251,10.303 -2.794,10.303 -1.55,0 -2.802,-4.614 -2.802,-10.303 0,-5.692 1.251,-10.3 2.802,-10.3 1.543,0 2.794,4.608 2.794,10.3 z" />
  <path style="fill:#ffffff" id="path3740" d="m 226.324,148.723 c 0,5.688 -1.252,10.304 -2.802,10.304 -1.55,0 -2.802,-4.615 -2.802,-10.304 0,-5.689 1.251,-10.3 2.802,-10.3 1.55,0 2.802,4.611 2.802,10.3 z" />
  <path id="path3742" d="m 153.539,77.659 24.503,24.531 c 0,0 4.202,2.784 6.954,0.68 4.366,-3.328 32.268,-25.211 32.268,-25.211 l -12.842,21.712 c 0,0 -3.015,4.604 1.878,5.22 4.892,0.618 27.148,-6.854 32.126,19.917 0,0 -2.297,-15.409 -29.325,-11.513 0,0 -9.421,1.721 -14.719,6.841 0,0 -4.714,6.891 -12.138,1.244 0,0 -27.077,-15.366 -46.219,5.646 0,0 13.304,-25.724 34.792,-22.136 z" />

Here too, some CSS has to be used + setting the width & height too.

A typical svg tag looks like this:

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="32" height="32" viewBox="0 0 1024 1024" style="margin-top: 14px;fill: black">...</svg>

Such svg tags are e.g. created when exporting it from Illustrator.

3. Images
These type of icons are just plain png/jpg images. Make sure you use the appropriate size of the image to load. e.g. if your icon is going to be 32×32, do not load a 1024×1024 image!

page.AddImageIcon("abm-batman", "../images/batman.png", 32, 32, "margin-top: 8px", "Batman")

In this case, width, height and the CSS are part of the load method.

You can find 65000+ of these icons here: https://icons8.com/

Now you can use your loaded icons like you would load font based icons:

Dim lblTest As ABMLabel
lblTest.Initialize(page, "lblTest", "This is some test {IC:#000000}abm-si-maki-basketball-11{/IC} with {IC:#000000}abm-aardbei{/IC} special icons {IC:#000000}abm-gmail{/IC} or {IC:#000000}abm-gmail2{/IC}.", ABM.SIZE_H6, True, "")

Note that the color in the {IC} tag must be set for compatibility reasons, but is ignored.

Another example is in the sidebar menu:

page.NavigationBar.AddSideBarItem("MDL4", "Batmans layer", "abm-batman", "")
page.NavigationBar.AddSideBarItem("MDL5", "From icons8.com", "abm-facebook", "")

Or on the action button:

Dim actionB As ABMActionButton
actionB.Initialize(page, "ActionB", "abm-aardbei-action", "", "")
page.AddActionButton(actionB)<span 				data-mce-type="bookmark" 				id="mce_SELREST_start" 				data-mce-style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0" 				style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0" 			></span>


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B4X: Important upgrade to ABMaterial 4.03 for everyone!


As you probably already have noticed, the B4J IDE Project Explorer has received a major upgrade. And it is GREAT! However, ABMaterial had some trouble with the new file format, so last night I’ve been working non-stop on a fix to be compatible.

If you are using B4J 6.00+, you MUST download 4.03 or higher.  For that reason, EVERYONE (donator or not), can upgrade to the new version.

You can download the latest version of ABMaterial Dragonfly here.

Until next time!


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B4X: Lightweight charts in ABMaterial


The official charts library inABMaterial is Chartist, but because of its many features it is also a rather slow rendering js/css library and not always that easy to implement. On the B4X forum, Mashiane has created a nice ABMCustomComponent wrapper for the JQPlot plugin and there are many examples in the forum on how to implement Google Charts in ABM, like this post from Harris.

So why yet another one? Well the main focus on this wrapper is being fast AND easy to implement. Of course this also means less tunable features but I have found that maybe for 95% of our needs having some basic stuff like a tooltip and being clickable is actually enough.

I came accross the Frappé charts javascript library. It has tooltips, some interactions and animations. And it is bloody fast! 🙂

I only had to make a couple of CSS changes to make it ABM compatible and the ABMCustomComponent wrapper was very easy to write.


Create your chart variables in Class_globals:

Dim FrappeChart1 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart2 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart3 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart4 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart5 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart6 As FrappeChart
Dim FrappeChart7 As FrappeChart

In Page_Connect(), make your charts (you immidately can see the simplicity of the code):

FrappeChart1.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart1", "bar", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart1.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("12am-3am", "3am-6am", "6am-9am", "9am-12pm","12pm-3pm", "3pm-6pm", "6pm-9pm", "9pm-12am"))
FrappeChart1.AddDataSet("Some data", "light-blue", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17, -4), Array As String())
FrappeChart1.AddDataSet("Another set", "violet", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27, 14), Array As String())
FrappeChart1.AddDataSet("Yet Another", "blue", Array As Int(15, 20, -3, -15, 58, 12, -17, 37), Array As String())

FrappeChart2.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart2", "line", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart2.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("12am-3am", "3am-6am", "6am-9am", "9am-12pm","12pm-3pm", "3pm-6pm", "6pm-9pm", "9pm-12am"))
FrappeChart2.AddDataSet("Some data", "light-blue", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17, -4), Array As String())
FrappeChart2.AddDataSet("Another set", "violet", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27, 14), Array As String())
FrappeChart2.AddDataSet("Yet Another", "blue", Array As Int(15, 20, -3, -15, 58, 12, -17, 37), Array As String())

FrappeChart3.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart3", "scatter", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart3.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("12am-3am", "3am-6am", "6am-9am", "9am-12pm","12pm-3pm", "3pm-6pm", "6pm-9pm", "9pm-12am"))
FrappeChart3.AddDataSet("Some data", "light-blue", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17, -4), Array As String())
FrappeChart3.AddDataSet("Another set", "violet", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27, 14), Array As String())
FrappeChart3.AddDataSet("Yet Another", "blue", Array As Int(15, 20, -3, -15, 58, 12, -17, 37), Array As String())

FrappeChart4.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart4", "pie", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart4.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("12am-3am", "3am-6am", "6am-9am", "9am-12pm","12pm-3pm", "3pm-6pm", "6pm-9pm", "9pm-12am"))
FrappeChart4.AddDataSet("Some data", "light-blue", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17, -4), Array As String())
FrappeChart4.AddDataSet("Another set", "violet", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27, 14), Array As String())
FrappeChart4.AddDataSet("Yet Another", "blue", Array As Int(15, 20, -3, -15, 58, 12, -17, 37), Array As String())

FrappeChart5.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart5", "percentage", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart5.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("12am-3am", "3am-6am", "6am-9am", "9am-12pm","12pm-3pm", "3pm-6pm", "6pm-9pm", "9pm-12am"))
FrappeChart5.AddDataSet("Some data", "light-blue", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17, -4), Array As String())
FrappeChart5.AddDataSet("Another set", "violet", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27, 14), Array As String())
FrappeChart5.AddDataSet("Yet Another", "blue", Array As Int(15, 20, -3, -15, 58, 12, -17, 37), Array As String())

FrappeChart6.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart6", "bar", "My Awesome Chart", 250)
FrappeChart6.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("Sun", "Mon", "Tue", "Wed", "Thu", "Fri", "Sat"))
FrappeChart6.AddDataSet("Some data", "purple", Array As Int(25, 40, 30, 35, 8, 52, 17), Array As String())
FrappeChart6.AddDataSet("Another set", "orange", Array As Int(25, 50, -10, 15, 18, 32, 27), Array As String())
FrappeChart6.FrappeShowSums = True
FrappeChart6.FrappeShowAverages = True

FrappeChart7.Initialize(page, "FrappeChart7", "bar", "My Awesome Chart", 300)
FrappeChart7.FrappeLabels.AddAll(Array As String("Ganymede", "Callisto", "Io", "Europa"))
FrappeChart7.AddDataSet("Distances", "grey", Array As Int(1070.412, 1882.709, 421.700, 671.034), Array As String("1.070.412km", "1.882.709km", "421.700km", "671.034km"))
FrappeChart7.FrappeIsNavigable = True
FrappeChart7.FrappeRaiseEventOnClick = True

An example of the Click event on Chart7:

Sub FrappeChart7_Clicked(index As Int)
   Dim img As ABMImage = page.Component("img")
   Dim lbl As ABMLabel = page.Component("lbl")
   Select Case index
     Case 0
       img.Source = "../images/ganymede.jpg"
       lbl.Text = "{B}Ganymede{/B}{BR}{BR}Semi-major-axis: 1070412 km{BR}{BR}Mass: 14819000 x 10^16 kg{BR}Diameter: 5262.4 km"
     Case 1
       img.Source = "../images/callisto.jpg"
       lbl.Text = "{B}Callisto{/B}{BR}{BR}Semi-major-axis: 1882709 km{BR}{BR}Mass: 10759000 x 10^16 kg{BR}Diameter: 4820.6 km"
     Case 2
       img.Source = "../images/io.jpg"
       lbl.Text = "{B}Io{/B}{BR}{BR}Semi-major-axis: 421700 km{BR}{BR}Mass: 8931900 x 10^16 kg{BR}Diameter: 3637.4 km"
     Case 3
       img.Source = "../images/europa.jpg"
       lbl.Text = "{B}Europa{/B}{BR}{BR}Semi-major-axis: 671034 km{BR}{BR}Mass: 4800000 x 10^16 kg{BR}Diameter: 3121.6 km"
   End Select
End Sub

Some more examples of charts generated with this code:


Attached are the FrappeChart.bas and the frappe-charts.min.iife.js files. Copy the .js file to the /www/js/custom/ folder and import the .bas file.



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B4X: ABMaterial 3.75 Public/4.00 Donators released


ABMaterial Dragonfly (4.00) for B4X is available. Yes, it has a new name! What started as version 3.81 got upgraded to a new major version, especially since it uses a new cache control system.

ABMaterial has always been one of the fastest RADs from its start, now over 2 years ago.  But with 4.00, we’ll take it to a whole new level!

Mindful and I have spend 5 days (and nights) checking out how we could cache ABMaterial to the extreme without losing any of its functionality.  The results are just ridiculous…

Finish times are less than 10% of the time on the second and next loads. So on 3G, on the users next visit(s), the WebApp is almost just as fast as on high speed cable!

And this system not only works with the same page. Once one page has been loaded, all the other pages can take gain of this system. Even when the user revisits your app much later.

Furthermore there is the new debug feature to check how your apps work on different device sizes.  See it at work here:

Add this snippet to you main module, AFTER starting the server:

' in debug mode, start the browser and open the app on all devices (DOES NOT WORK IF EDGE IS YOUR DEFAULT BROWSER!)
ABM.ViewerOpenAllDevices("http://localhost:" & port & "/" & ABMShared.AppName & "/", 100)

' or open a specific device as default (DOES NOT WORK IF EDGE IS YOUR DEFAULT BROWSER!)
'ABM.ViewerOpenDevice("http://localhost:" & port & "/" & ABMShared.AppName & "/", 300, ABM.VIEWER_TABLET)

' or just open de browser, no multiple devices (should work in Edge)
'ABM.ViewerOpen("http://localhost:" & port & "/" & ABMShared.AppName & "/")
#End If

Lots of new theme properties! Check out the demo on how to use  them in the new Dragonfly theme.  As winter is coming and days are getting shorter (at least here in the northern hemisphere), I went for a ‘Night’ theme this time.

ABMaterial DragonFly is now available on 750+ locations worldwide on CDN!  If you use the CDN, you do not need to upload the css/js/fonts folders to your own server anymore!

This means only your own assets (images etc) from the www folder have to be available on your server. De demo running on abmaterial.com for example is working like this.


ABM.ActivateUseCDN("DONATORKEY", "https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/RealAlwaysbusy/ABMaterial@v4.03/")

The over 20 new fixes and fulfilled wishes make ABMaterial 4.00 very stable, just like its ‘parent’ programming language: B4X.  It is a real joy knowing one can depend on a strong, bug free environment.  Erel from Anywhere Software rulez!

Happy programming!


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Windows October Update ODBC export Excel problems


Windows updates, you gotta love them! This October update has a lot of developers scratching their head.

Here at OneTwo, we became first aware of the problem when some clients called our support team with the same remark: “Exporting the data to Excel does not work!”  After going through the usual procedure following the directions of Roy Trenneman from the IT crowdhave you tried turning it on and off again?“, we quickly became aware there was something more going on…

Indeed, Microsoft had rolled out a new update.  “Drop everything, we have a KB hunt on our hands!”  A time consuming thing to do, and in the meantime a lot of worried users.  Google and the MSDN site had to do overtime too.


Quite some time later, we found the little buggers. Here is the list for anyone out there banging his head aginst the wall asking himself why his code, which has been running for years, suddenly stopped working:

  • Windows 7: KB4041681
  • Windows 8.1: KB40416393
  • Windows 10: KB4040724/KB4041676

Uninstall them and reboot. Hooray, code is working again!


It looks like Windows keeps insisting to run the update.  Here is a more permanent solution.

1. Find prior version (4.0.9801.0) of msexcl40.dll

2. Place in another directory. They suggest the application directory, but since in the next step you will modify registry to point to this older version, it can probably go anywhere.

3. Update registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\Excel\win32 to point to the location from step 2.

You don’t even have to restart your PC.

Have a great weekend, my fellow IT minions!


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B4J: Creating a Star Rating component in ABMaterial


Michał asked me in the feedback app to implement some kind of Star Rating component. As this is not so commonly needed, I thought this could be another good example of an ABMCustomComponent. One can ‘hover’ over the stars to set its value or it can be set and retrieved by code.

I show you how to do it in ABMaterial 3.75 first with the new features (released soon), and will then explain what needs to be changed for previous versions.

So let’s get started!

1. We create a new standard class CompStarRating:

'Class module
Sub Class_Globals
Public ABMComp As ABMCustomComponent
Dim myInternalName As String
End Sub

'Initializes the object. You can add parameters to this method if needed.
Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, radioName As String)
myInternalName = radioName
Dim CSS As String = $"
#half-stars-example .rating-group {
display: inline-flex;
#half-stars-example .rating__icon {
pointer-events: none;
/* This is an important part: we MUST override the Materialize CSS implementation of the the radio button! */
#half-stars-example .rating__input + label:before,
#half-stars-example .rating__input + label:after {
position: absolute !important;
left: -9999px !important;
#half-stars-example .rating__label {
cursor: pointer;
padding: 0 0.1em;
font-size: 2rem;
margin-top: 1rem;
#half-stars-example .rating__label--half {
padding-right: 0;
margin-right: -0.6em;
z-index: 2;
#half-stars-example .rating__icon--star {
color: orange;
#half-stars-example .rating__icon--none {
color: #eee;
#half-stars-example .rating__input--none:checked + .rating__label .rating__icon--none {
color: red;
#half-stars-example .rating__input:checked ~ .rating__label .rating__icon--star {
color: #ddd;
#half-stars-example .rating-group:hover .rating__label .rating__icon--star,
#half-stars-example .rating-group:hover .rating__label--half .rating__icon--star {
color: orange;
#half-stars-example .rating__input:hover ~ .rating__label .rating__icon--star,
#half-stars-example .rating__input:hover ~ .rating__label--half .rating__icon--star {
color: #ddd;
#half-stars-example .rating-group:hover .rating__input--none:not(:hover) + .rating__label .rating__icon--none {
color: #eee;
#half-stars-example .rating__input--none:hover + .rating__label .rating__icon--none {
color: red;
ABMComp.Initialize("ABMComp", Me, InternalPage, ID, CSS)
End Sub

Sub ABMComp_Build(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String) As String
Return $"
<div id="half-stars-example">
<div id="${internalID}" class="rating-group"><input id="rating-0" class="rating__input rating__input--none" checked="checked" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="0" />
<label class="rating__label" title="0 stars" for="rating-0"> </label>
<input id="rating-00" class="rating__input" type="radio" value="-1" />
<label class="rating__label rating__label--half" title="0.5 stars" for="rating-05"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star-half"></i></label>
<input id="rating-05" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="0.5" />
<label class="rating__label" title="1 star" for="rating-10"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star"></i></label>
<input id="rating-10" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="1" />
<label class="rating__label rating__label--half" title="1.5 stars" for="rating-15"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star-half"></i></label>
<input id="rating-15" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="1.5" />
<label class="rating__label" title="2 stars" for="rating-20"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star"></i></label>
<input id="rating-20" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="2" />
<label class="rating__label rating__label--half" title="2.5 stars" for="rating-25"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star-half"></i></label>
<input id="rating-25" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="2.5" />
<label class="rating__label" title="3 stars" for="rating-30"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star"></i></label>
<input id="rating-30" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="3" />
<label class="rating__label rating__label--half" title="3.5 stars" for="rating-35"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star-half"></i></label>
<input id="rating-35" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="3.5" />
<label class="rating__label" title="4 stars" for="rating-40"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star"></i></label>
<input id="rating-40" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="4" />
<label class="rating__label rating__label--half" title="4.5 stars" for="rating-45"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star-half"></i></label>
<input id="rating-45" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="4.5" />
<label class="rating__label" title="5 stars" for="rating-50"><i class="rating__icon rating__icon--star fa fa-star"></i></label>
<input id="rating-50" class="rating__input" name="${myInternalName}" type="radio" value="5" /></div>
End Sub

public Sub GetCurrentRating(InternalPage As ABMPage) As Double
Dim script As String = $"return $('input[name=${myInternalName}]:checked').val();"$
Dim ret As Future = InternalPage.ws.EvalWithResult(script, Null)

Return ret.Value
End Sub

public Sub SetCurrentRating(InternalPage As ABMPage, value As Double) {
Dim script As String = $" $('input[name=${myInternalName}][value="${value}"]').prop('checked', 'checked');"$
InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Null)
End Sub

' Is useful to run some initalisation script.
Sub ABMComp_FirstRun(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
Dim script As String = $""$
InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Array As Object(ABMComp.ID))
' flush not needed, it's done in the refresh method in the lib
End Sub
' runs when a refresh is called
Sub ABMComp_Refresh(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
Dim script As String = $""$
InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Array As Object(ABMComp.ID))
End Sub
' do the stuff needed when the object is removed
Sub ABMComp_CleanUp(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
End Sub

ABMaterial users will notice I have added the CSS directly into the component. By doing so, we do not need to use the page.AddExtraCSSFile method in the Page_Build() method. (you can still do it this way, and in some cases it may be better as this part can be big. And in the final version, compress it!). In ABMaterial before version 3.75, using AddExtraCSSFile is the only way possible.

The only difficult part in the CSS was I had to override Materialize CSS’s implementation of a radio button (the ‘circle’). So we had to get rid of it.

2. Now we can make a variable for our StarComponent in the page Class_Globals, as we want to be able to Set and Get the value:

Dim myRating As CompStarRating

3. In Page_Connect() we add our component and a couple of buttons:

myRating.Initialize(page, "myRating", "rating")

Dim btn As ABMButton
btn.InitializeFlat(page, "btn", "", "", "Get value", "")

Dim btn2 As ABMButton
btn2.InitializeFlat(page, "btn2", "", "", "Set 2.5 stars value", "")

4. And our Get and Set code in the buttons:

Sub btn_Clicked(Target As String)
Dim value As Double = myRating.GetCurrentRating(page)
End Sub

Sub btn2_Clicked(Target As String)
myRating.SetCurrentRating(page, 2.5)
End Sub

That is all! :)

Changes for versions of ABMaterial before 3.75

1. Save the CSS string into a text file (e.g. star.rating.css) and copy it to the /css/custom folder.
2. Remove the CSS param from ABMComp.Initialize(“ABMComp”, Me, InternalPage, ID, CSS)

ABMComp.Initialize("ABMComp", Me, InternalPage, ID) '<-- CSS param deleted

3. In Sub ABMComp_Build(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String) As String remove the InteranlPage param:

Sub ABMComp_Build(internalID As String) As String

4. In Page_Build(), load the css file you created:



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B4XHelp: An ABMaterial WebApp for B4X Library documentation

b4xhelpI’ve created an ABMaterial (3.75) WebApp to show the documentation for the B4X libraries. Everyone who created a library for B4A, B4i or B4J can upload their .xml file to the WebApp and everyone can consult it. You can re-upload a new version for a library if needed.

NOTE: not online anymore! In the zip is the source code of the webapp so you can run it yourself.



  • This WebApp is open for everyone, but please try to keep it clean. Thank you!
  • B4XHelp is running on my personal Raspberry Pi with not a super-duper internet connection, so it also may give some indication how it handles a lot of users.
  • The libraries itself are NOT uploaded to the WebApp! Only the .xml files to parse them.
  • The WebApp also runs on a HTTP/2 server, but I do not have a verified certificate. If you use this link, you will get a warning that it may not be safe. You normally only need to accept this once:


ABMaterial may be overwhelming at first with all its features at your disposal, but once you get the hang of it, creating such a WebApp as this, in pure B4J, can go very fast.


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B4J: creating a reCAPTCHA component in ABMaterial

reCAPTCHA is a free service that protects your website from spam and abuse. reCAPTCHA uses an advanced risk analysis engine and adaptive CAPTCHAs to keep automated software from engaging in abusive activities on your site. It does this while letting your valid users pass through with ease.

First, we do have to register a Google API key for our WebApp here.

After registering, we receive our API key:
For this demo, I’m using the developer API key (which works with localhost) so it will show a warning that this is not the real key in red.
NOTE: this code is for ABMaterial 3.75. For earilier versions, see below what needs to be changed in the code.

Create a new class CompReCAPTCHA:

'Class module
Sub Class_Globals
   Public ABMComp As ABMCustomComponent
   Dim mAPIKey As String
End Sub

'Initializes the object. You can add parameters to this method if needed.
Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, APIKey As String)
   ABMComp.Initialize("ABMComp", Me, InternalPage, ID, "")
   mAPIKey = APIKey
End Sub
Sub ABMComp_Build(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String) As String
   Return $"
<div id="${internalID}render" class="g-recaptcha" data-sitekey="${mAPIKey}"></div>
End Sub
' Is useful to run some initalisation script.
Sub ABMComp_FirstRun(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
   Dim script As String = $"grecaptcha.render(
{"sitekey": "${mAPIKey}", "theme": "light"}
) "$
   InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Array As Object(ABMComp.ID))
   ' flush not needed, it's done in the refresh method in the lib
End Sub

public Sub Reset(InternalPage As ABMPage)
   Dim script As String = $"grecaptcha.reset()"$
   InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Null)
End Sub

public Sub CheckValidation(InternalPage As ABMPage) As Boolean
   Dim script As String = $"return (grecaptcha && grecaptcha.getResponse().length !== 0);"$
   Dim ret As Future = InternalPage.ws.EvalWithResult(script, Null)

   Return ret.Value
End Sub
' runs when a refresh is called
Sub ABMComp_Refresh(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
   Dim script As String = $""$
   InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Array As Object(ABMComp.ID))
End Sub
' do the stuff needed when the object is removed
Sub ABMComp_CleanUp(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
End Sub

In BuildPage(), add the Google api:

page.AddExtraJavaScriptFile("<a class="linkification-ext" title="Linkification: https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js" href="https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js">https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js</a>")

In Class_Globals make a variable:


In ConnectPage create the component (and a couple of buttons):

' note that this is Googles demo API key.  Use your own!
myReCAPTCHA.Initialize(page, "myReCAPTCHA", "6LeIxAcTAAAAAJcZVRqyHh71UMIEGNQ_MXjiZKhI")

Dim btn As ABMButton
btn.InitializeFlat(page, "btn", "", "", "Submit", "")

Dim btn2 As ABMButton
btn2.InitializeFlat(page, "btn2", "", "", "Reset", "")

' refresh the page

The code in the buttons to check its validation and to reset the captcha.

Sub btn_Clicked(Target As String)
   Dim bool As Boolean = myReCAPTCHA.CheckValidation(page)
End Sub

Sub btn2_Clicked(Target As String)
End Sub

Et voila, we do have a new reCAPTCHA component at our disposal in ABMaterial!

For ABMaterial pre 3.75, make these changes in the code:

Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, APIKey As String)
   ABMComp.Initialize("ABMComp", Me, InternalPage, ID) ' last param removed
   mAPIKey = APIKey
End Sub
Sub ABMComp_Build( internalID As String) As String ' InternalPage param removed
   Return $"
<div id="${internalID}render" class="g-recaptcha" data-sitekey="${mAPIKey}"></div>
End Sub

Until next Time!


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B4J: Printing/Reporting with upcoming ABMaterial 3.75

A sneak peek on a new feature of ABMaterial for B4J I’m working on: Printing/Reporting.

This is an example of a report in ABMaterial. You build it right into your other pages and just by setting a couple of parameters, you control what will be shown on screen and what will be printed.

The block your see above ‘INVOICE’ will not be printed, just my setting lbl.IsPrintable = false.  What is shown on screen you control by using the normal ABM.VISIBLE_ constants. For example there are some additional notes with a chart that you can’t see here on screen, but will be printed.

You can use almost every ABM component in your report. Good examples are the ABMChart, the ABMChronologyList or even like in this example you can let your client sign the document using an ABMSignaturePad and print it right out.

The ABM components avoid being split over two pages (e.g. an image will be printed on the next page if it does not fit). Browsers let you control very little on how things are printed, but I’ve added some things like ReportFooter.row(3).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_BEFORE_ALWAYS to give you some control.

Note that the navigation bar is not printed either. All of this is taken care for you automatically by ABMaterial!

Some example pdf prints from the demo app (without making any modification to the source code!). Try printing the same pages with ABMaterial 3.50 or before and you’ll see the difference.


Making the above ‘invoice report’ is really simple and in the spirit of ABMaterial. I’ve created a new component ABMReport (and ABMReportBlock) which you can use just like you would make an ABMCustomComponent.

Relevant source code snippet of the above report (the Build event is where the magic happens, the rest are more helper methods):

Sub Class_Globals
   Dim ABM As ABMaterial
   Dim Report As ABMReport

   ' some CSS to format the 'body' of the report
   Dim ReportCSS As String = $"
   .repheader, .repfooter, .repheaderright, .repfooterright {
     background-color: lightgray;
     font-size: 1.8rem;
   .repheaderright, .repbodyright, .repfooterright {
     text-align: right;
   .repbody, .repbodyright {
     font-size: 1.5rem;

   @media only print {
     html { font-size: 60%}

   Dim mSQL As SQL 'ignore
   Dim mInvoiceID As Int 'ignore
End Sub

Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String)
   Report.Initialize("Report", Me, InternalPage, ID, ReportCSS, "")
End Sub

Sub Report_Build(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
   ' the report header
   Dim ReportHeader As ABMContainer = Report.Header.InitializeAsContainer(InternalPage, "reportheader", "", ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID)
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "border").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,9,9,9,"").AddCellsOSMP(1,0,0,0,3,3,3,20,0,0,0,"right")
   ReportHeader.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,7,7,7,"").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,"")

   ReportHeader.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repTitle", "{B}I N V O I C E{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "center", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repAddress", "Jonathan Neal{BR}{BR}101 E. Chapman Ave{BR}Orange, CA 92866{BR}{BR}(800) 555-1234",ABM.SIZE_H5, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(BuildImage(InternalPage, "repImg", "../images/logo2.png", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "repCompany", "{B}Some Company{/B}{BR}{B}c/o Some Guy{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportHeader.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(Build3Block(InternalPage, "repInvoiceData", "{B}Invoice #{/B}", "101138", "{B}Date{/B}", "Januari 1, 2017","{B}Amount Due{/B}","$ 600.00", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL)   )

   ' the report body
   Dim Body As ABMReport
   Body.Initialize("Body", Me, InternalPage, internalID & "body", "", ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID)
   ' header of the body
   Body.Header.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("Year(s) Overview", "Q1", "Q2", "Q3", "Q4"), Array As Int(40,15,15,15,15), Array As String("repheader","repheaderright","repheaderright","repheaderright","repheaderright"), "")

   ' detail lines: here you can e.g. run queries but for demo purposes let's do everything manual
   Dim sums(5) As Int
   For i = 1 To 9
     ' change the class of the last column on the second row
     Dim ColorClass As String = "repbodyright"
     If i = 2 Then
       ColorClass = "repbodyright red-text"
     End If

     ' create a text block
     Dim block As ABMReportBlock
     block.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("Year 200" & i, 200*i, 300*i, 400*i, 500*i), Array As Int(40,15,15,15,15), Array As String("repbody","repbodyright",ColorClass, "repbodyright","repbodyright"), "")

     ' dirty way to make the sums
     For k = 1 To 4
       sums(k) = sums(k) + (20 + (k-1)*100) * i

   ' footer of the body
   Body.Footer.InitializeAsTexts(Array As String("{NBSP}", sums(1) , sums(2), "{B}" & sums(3) & "{/B}", sums(4)), Array As Int(40,15,15,15, 15), Array As String("repfooter", "repfooterright","repfooterright","repfooterright","repfooterright"), "")
   ' add the subreport 'body' to the body of the main report

   ' the report footer
   Dim ReportFooter As ABMContainer = Report.Footer.InitializeAsContainer(InternalPage, "reportfooter", "", "")

   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,2,2,2,"").AddCellsOSMP(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,0,0,10,40,"").AddCellsOS(1,0,0,0,5,5,5,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(1,False, "").AddCellsOSMP(1,4,4,4,4,4,4,0,0,0,0,"")
   ReportFooter.AddRows(2,False, "").AddCells12(1,"")

   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "RepSignatureLbl", "Please sign this document", ABM.SIZE_H5, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,2).AddComponent(BuildSignature(InternalPage, "repSignature", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,3).AddComponent(Build3Block(InternalPage, "repTotalData", "{B}Total{/B}","$ 600.00","{B}Amount Paid{/B}","$ 0.00","{B}Balance Due{/B}","$ 600.00", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL))

   ' avoid row 2 to be broken (can give weird results, depends on browser support!)
   ReportFooter.row(2).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_INSIDE_AVOID

   ' alaways break before printing row 3
   ReportFooter.row(3).PrintPageBreak = ABM.PRINT_PAGEBREAK_BEFORE_ALWAYS

   ' all the rest is only visible on the print, not on the screen
   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "AdditionalNotes", "{B}A D D I T I O N A L {NBSP}  N O T E S{/B}", ABM.SIZE_H4, "center", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildDivider(InternalPage, "divider", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(0,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "note1", "Note 1: A finance charge of 1.5% will be made on unpaid balances after 30 days.", ABM.SIZE_H6, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))
   ReportFooter.CellR(1,1).AddComponent(BuildLabel(InternalPage, "note2", "Note 2: Your current purchase chart.", ABM.SIZE_H6, "", True, ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL))

   ' create a pie chart
   Dim chart5 As ABMChart
   chart5.Initialize(InternalPage, "chart5", ABM.CHART_TYPEPIE, ABM.CHART_RATIO_SQUARE, "chart5theme")
   chart5.Visibility = ABM.VISIBILITY_HIDE_ALL
   ' Something special, Label interpolation.  the value will transformed into a percentage format (This is Javascript!)
   Dim SumValues As Int = 30+50+70+80+100+140+170
   chart5.OptionsPie.LabelInterpolation = "Math.round(value / " & SumValues  & " * 100) + '%'"
   ' add ONE serie
   Dim Serie5A As ABMChartSerie
   Serie5A.SetValues(Array As Int(30,50,70,80,100,140,170))
   ' add the chart to the cell
End Sub

' Helper Methods
Sub BuildLabel(internalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, Text As String, Size As String, theme As String, isPrintable As Boolean, Visibility As String) As ABMLabel
   Dim tmpLbl As ABMLabel
   tmpLbl.Initialize(internalPage, ID, Text, Size, False, theme)
   tmpLbl.IsPrintable = isPrintable
   tmpLbl.Visibility = Visibility
   Return tmpLbl
End Sub

It will never be able to print everything of course (e.g. scrolling components), but I’m pretty happy with the things it will be able to do.  Browser support for report printing is still in its infancy I’m afraid and it will take some time before all browsers are lined up supporting all HTML printing features.

But, together with the new ABMreport component, you will already be able to create reports with very little effort using ABMaterial and B4J!

ABMaterial 3.75 will be available for donators in a couple of weeks.


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

B4J: IMPORTANT change in ABMaterial for B4J 5.80+

As B4J 5.80 has been updated to Jetty 9.4.6 (which contains an important change in the internal Session framework), you will need to update some code in StartServer() and StartServerHTTP2() in the ABMApplication module.

In pre B4J 5.80 with Jetty 9.3.x it was:

Dim joServer As JavaObject = srvr
joServer.GetFieldJO("server").RunMethod("stop", Null)
joServer.GetFieldJO("context").RunMethodJO("getSessionHandler", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionManager", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionCookieConfig", Null).RunMethod("setMaxAge", Array(31536000)) ' 1 year

'NEW FEATURE! Each App has its own Session Cookie
joServer.GetFieldJO("context").RunMethodJO("getSessionHandler", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionManager", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionCookieConfig", Null).RunMethod("setName", Array(ABMShared.AppName.ToUpperCase))
joServer.GetFieldJO("server").RunMethod("start", Null)

must be changed to this in B4J 5.80+ with Jetty 9.4.6:

Dim joServer As JavaObject = srvr
joServer.GetFieldJO("server").RunMethod("stop", Null)
joServer.GetFieldJO("context").RunMethodJO("getSessionHandler", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionCookieConfig", Null).RunMethod("setMaxAge", Array(31536000)) ' 1 year

' NEW FEATURE! Each App has its own Session Cookie
joServer.GetFieldJO("context").RunMethodJO("getSessionHandler", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionCookieConfig", Null).RunMethod("setName", Array(ABMShared.AppName.ToUpperCase))
joServer.GetFieldJO("server").RunMethod("start", Null)

' + This setting is with reservation until confirmation
Dim secs As Long = ABMShared.CacheScavengePeriodSeconds ' must be defined as a long, else you get a 'java.lang.RuntimeException: Method: setIntervalSec not matched.' error
joServer.GetFieldJO("context").RunMethodJO("getSessionHandler", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionIdManager", Null).RunMethodJO("getSessionHouseKeeper", Null).RunMethod("setIntervalSec", Array As Object(secs))

This will be corrected in the next upcoming release 3.75 of ABMaterial.


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

B4J: ABMaterial 3.20 Public/3.50 Donators Released!

ABMB4JABMaterial 3.50 for B4J introduces Drag & Drop of ABMContainers between Cells! This new feature took a couple of weeks to implement, but I’m proud of the result.
It opens up a whole new range of possibilities for Web Apps.

Not many bug fixing needed in this release. Proves ABMaterial is really stable and truly production ready! (Happy face)

ABMGoogleMap also adds the possibility to use marker clusters, which cleans up your google map if you have many markers in one map.


Head to the ABMaterial section on this blog to get your free copy of 3.20, or make a small donation to support the development and get the latest 3.50 version + 9 extra libraries and tools to use in your own projects!

Have a great summer!


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial


B4A + B4J: Profile your apps ‘live’ with ABMonitor


It has been some time since I could give my donators a new goodie;), and this time it is a library/tool to profile and monitor your B4J + B4A (7.01+) apps (not limited to ABMaterial WebApps!) I’ve been needing something like this for some time for my own projects, but couldn’t find one that suited me.  This can be a very good asset to find Memory Leaks or to track which method takes up to much time.

Using a very simple API, you can track how long the code execution time is, the times hit, average time, memory usage etc for any block of code you want to investigate.  I deliberately gave you this API freedom, as profiling ALL your code (as most programming languages do) is just drowning you in to much information so you don’t see the wood for the trees anymore.

QUICK NOTE: Do not forget to set your DONATORKEY and the port in the Viewer params.txt . The same port and the IP of your Viewer have to be used in the apps you are monitoring!

How it works:
ABMonitor uses the Jamon library, which has a extremely low overhead on your code. Just by disabling it (using the SetActive method), you can actually leave it in your production apps if you want (or use B4Js conditional compiling if you want to get rid of it all together in a production app).

ABMonitor consists of two main parts:
1. The ‘live’ ABMonitor Viewer.

Instructions: Simply start the Viewer in a command prompt using: java -jar ABMonitor.jar

This Viewer shows all the stuff you are monitoring with the API. It shows e.g. how many times some part of your code was hit, how long it took, what the average time was, when it was last accessed, memory consumption etc… It is presented in a TreeView Table, so you can check every detail (depending on how deep you’ve coded your profiling).  At the bottom, the last 50 runs are presented in some line charts.

Because the IDE of B4X is ‘live’, so is the Viewer! Thanks to this unique feature of the B4X products, you can update your code and see the results in the Viewer immediately.

Little side note: This ‘live’ IDE part is a little-known/promoted feature (except within the B4X community of course, as for us this is normal), but it has a HUGE advantage over any other tool out there.  In similar market aimed tools, like Xojo for example, you have to compile and re-compile every single time you make the smallest of changes to your code (on bigger projects it takes up to 20 minutes, some users reported). In B4X, just change the code, and continue running.  Not happy with it? Change it again and see what gives. BIG production time-saver! Some of you who used to program in VB6 know what I mean…

2. The ABMonitorB4X libraries (ABMonitorB4A.jar/ABMonitorB4J.jar).

Install instructions: Copy the xml and jars (dont’t forget jamon-2.81.jar), to your B4A or B4J libraries folder. In the IDE select the ABMonitorB4X library, the RandomAccessFile library and the Network library.

This API connects your own apps with the monitor. It basically consists of a Start and a Stop method.

First, we have to make the connection with the Viewer. Thanks to Erels new Resumable Subs, doing this is a breeze:

In Main make some declarations:

Sub Process_Globals
   Public Monitor As ABMonitor

   Private port As Int = 10090 ' &amp;lt;-- Set your Viewers Port!
   Private ip As String = "" ' &amp;lt;-- Set your Viewers IP!
   Private abmonitor As AsyncStreams
   Private client As Socket

   ' Useful to quickly activate/deactivate the monitoring
   Public TRACKMONITOR As Boolean = True
End Sub

Next add the following resumable sub:

Sub ConnectMonitor()
   Dim c As Socket
   c.Connect(ip, port, 5000)
   Wait For Client_Connected (Successful As Boolean)
   If Successful Then
     client = c
     abmonitor.InitializePrefix(client.InputStream, False, client.OutputStream, "abmonitor")
     Log("ABMonitor connected")
     Monitor.SetActive("Template", True,abmonitor, 5)
     Log("ABMonitor disconnected")
   End If
End Sub

Sub abmonitor_Error
   Monitor.SetActive("Template", False,Null, 0)
   Log("ABMonitor disconnected")
End Sub

You can set the interval the data should be send to the Viewer, in seconds, with the last parameter in ‘Monitor.SetActive(“Template”, True,abmonitor, 5)’.  In this example, it is every 5 seconds.  Note: This does not mean it is tracked every 5 seconds! The library will continue tracking everything, but it will only send all the info over to the Viewer every 5 seconds.

Finally, Initialize the monitor and call the resumable sub when your app starts (a good place is e.g. before StartMessageLoop in a Server app):




Ready to do some monitoring!

As I said, there are basically only two commands: Start and Stop.

There are two ways to monitor/profile your code (you can mix the use of them):

a. Monitor some code:
You want to monitor a query, or a whole sub, … In general this is a complete block of code.

Good practice is using the class/module name as the Group parameter, and the method name as the Label, but you can put whatever you want. This will later be used in the Viewer to group stuff. (Group and Label are the first and second parameters in the calls).


Private Sub WebSocket_Connected (WebSocket1 As WebSocket)
   If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Start("ABMPageTemplate", "WebSocket_Connected", "")

   '   ... the code you want to monitor

   If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Stop("ABMPageTemplate", "WebSocket_Connected", "")
End Sub

Or tracking a query:

If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Start("ABMPageTemplate", "MySlowQuery", "")

Dim SQL_str As String
SQL_str = "SELECT cases.CaseID, cases.CaseUserID, cases.CaseType, cases.CaseSummary FROM tCases WHERE cases.CaseStatus=1;"
Dim cases As List = DBM.SQLSelect(SQL, SQL_str, Null)

If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Stop("ABMPageTemplate", "MySlowQuery", "")

b. Monitor methods which are used in multiple places, and you want to know where it was called.
You have for example a page.Refresh method, which is called in multiple places. You can use the third parameter to set the ‘caller’. In general there will only be one line of code between the start() and stop().

This caller will later be used in the Viewer to build a call tree (or stack trace)


Private Sub WebSocket_Connected (WebSocket1 As WebSocket)
     If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Start("ABMPageTemplate", "page.Refresh", "WebSocket_Connected")
     If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Stop("ABMPageTemplate", "page.Refresh", "WebSocket_Connected")
End Sub

public Sub ConnectPage()
   ' refresh the page
   If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Start("ABMPageTemplate", "page.Refresh", "ConnectPage")
   If Main.TRACKMONITOR Then Main.Monitor.Stop("ABMPageTemplate", "page.Refresh", "ConnectPage")
End Sub

As you can see, you are totally free to monitor anything you want.

Call for action: if anyone out there is a guru in making B4i libraries, please PM me!  The java library code is quite simple and it shouldn’t be to hard for an experienced B4i library coder to write one which can connect to the same Viewer.  If we got this one too, then we’ve covered all major platforms in B4X!

ABMonitor is part of a multi-pack on libraries, frameworks and tools all Donators to this blog receive.

Included are currently:

ABMaterial (B4J) A very powerful framework combining a tuned Materialize CSS with the free programming tool B4J. It allows creating Web Apps that not only look great thanks to Googles Material Design, but can be programmed with the powerful free tool from Anywhere Software without having to write a single line of HTML, CSS or Javascript code!

ABExchange (B4J) It can be used to sync the ABMCalendar control with your exchange server and outlook. It can also send a mail.

ABJasperReports (B4J) his is a little library that allows you to export reports created in Jasper Reports in your B4J applications. They can be exported to pdf, html and xls. You can use parameters defined in JasperReports.

ABPDFBox (B4J) With this library you can print PDF files (either by showing a dialogbox or directly to a specified printer). Works in UI and NON-UI apps.

ABMonitor (B4J + B4A) Tool to monitor/profile your B4A (7.01+) and B4J code! Includes the libraries for both platform + the ABMonitor Viewer. See the tutorial for more info.

ABCron (B4J + B4A) A more advanced timer library that can schedule more intelligently tasks using Cron expressions. You can also set a start and end datetime. I’ve added a method RestartApplicationNONUI() that should restart you .jar file when the Cron expression is met.

ABEvaluator (B4J + B4A) Evaluate mathematical expressions. You can also write your own functions in B4J/B4A.

ABPlugin (B4J) Create Live plugins for you own apps. This means you can create plugins that can be added/removed while your app is running. Note it is a little experiment that shows the power of B4J. The ‘compile to library’ feature of B4J is very handy to create plugins.

ABZXCVBN (B4J + B4A) Realistic password strength estimation.

ABTreeTableView (B4J) Custom B4J component which combines a TreeView with a TableView.

Until next time!


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

B4J: New in ABMaterial 3.50: Drag and Drop about anything


It may have been a bit silent the last few weeks around ABMaterial, but behind the scenes I have been working nights and weekends on maybe the biggest new feature since Chipmunk was introduced: Drag & Drop!

In 3.50, it will be possible to drag ABMContainers (and hence about anything in it) from one cell to another.

Let’s watch a video demonstration first:

Pretty cool hè!

How it works in B4J:
I explain the basics here, the DragDrop demo project included in the ABMaterial 3.50 download will show all tricks shown in the demo video.

1. Page_ParseEvent() gets a little bit of extra code to sync the moves made in the browser with our server

If SubExists(Me, eventName) Then
     If eventName = "page_dropped" Then
     End If
     Select Case Params.Size

2. Next we define a ‘DRAG’ group:

' name, minimum height of a cell
page.DragDropCreateGroup("DRAG", 150)

3. We add cells to this ‘DRAG’ group we want to drag & drop between. The last ‘null’ parameter can be any ABMComponent you want to use a title of the cell (e.g. the COLUMN X ABMLabel in the demo).

page.DragDropAddZone("DRAG", "DRAGCELL1", page.Cell(3,1),null)
page.DragDropAddZone("DRAG", "DRAGCELL2", page.Cell(3,2),null)
page.DragDropAddZone("DRAG", "DRAGCELL3", page.Cell(3,3),null)

4. We add our draggable ABMContainers to the cells. Note: they MUST be added with AddArrayComponent!

Here we also enable them to be draggable with cont.EnableDragDropZone().  There is also a shortcut method to enable/disable all ‘Zones/Cells’ in a group with cont.EnableDragDropAllZonesFromGroup() in one go.

page.Cell(3,1).AddArrayComponent(CreateCard("1", True, True, True, "I may be dragged everywhere", "../images/list1.jpg"), "Cards")

Sub CreateCard(ID As String, AllowInCell1 As Boolean, AllowInCell2 As Boolean, AllowInCell3 As Boolean, Title As String, image As String) As ABMContainer
  Dim cont As ABMContainer
  cont.Initialize(page, ID, "")
  cont.AddRows(1,True,"").AddCells12(1, "")

  cont.IsTextSelectable = False

  If AllowInCell1 Then
    ' can be dragged to zone 1 of 'DRAG'
  End If
  If AllowInCell2 Then
    ' can be dragged to zone 2 of 'DRAG'
  End If
  If AllowInCell3 Then
    ' can be dragged to zone 3 of 'DRAG'
  End If
  cont.EnableDragDropZone("DRAG","DRAGCELL4",True) ' for the sidebar

  Dim card As ABMCard
  card.InitializeAsCard(page, "card", "MY CARD", Title, ABM.CARD_SMALL, "")
  card.Image = image
  card.AddAction("Press me")

  ' add the card to the page
  Return cont
End Sub

5. There are three events you will receive (all on Page level):

Sub Page_DragStart(component As String, source As String)
  Log("Drag start: " & component)
End Sub

Sub Page_DragCancelled(component As String, source As String)
  Log("Drag cancelled: " & component)
End Sub

' there are four parameters: component, source , target, before
Sub Page_Dropped(Params As Map)
  Log("Dropped: " & Params.Get("component"))
End Sub

And this is basically it! Very simple without having to write any HTML, CSS, PHP or Javascript. All done in pure B4J!

I’m finishing up ABMaterial 3.50, ABMonitor (an upcoming article on this for B4J and B4A soon on the blog) and ABTreeTableView now and early next week I think I may be able to release it to the donators.



Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

B4X: ABMaterial 3.03 Public/3.20 Donators released

A lot of internal changes were made in the ABMaterial 3.20 ‘Chipmunk’ release.  For example, ABMContainer has been rewritten from the ground-up, but with minimal impact to your existing projects.  It allows adding them as array components, and has much shorter ID tags in the generated HTML.

Mindful and Stanmiller had another go on the cache issues.  They came up with a very nice solution (I had tears in my eyes) and both have done extensive testing on this subject. A big thanks again!  ABM 3.20 is backwards compatible with the previous 3.0.3 Cache System, but I would advice you to make the changes whenever you have the chance.

A nice new feature for mobile devices is the New Debug feature using a modified version of Conzole!

New Debug at work:

Using this new feature is very simple in B4J:

First, you have to enable the console in BuildPage():

' params are: open on load, width
page.DebugConsoleEnable(True, 300)

Two methods can be used to show or hide the console programmaticaly. Can be handy as a buid-in tool in your apps where the user enters a code on his device and you can then check the console.


Now you can start doing some cool stuff 🙂 Some examples:

Show some text, or a server value (note: strings must be between single quotes!)

page.DebugConsoleLog("'Server click at: " & DateTime.Time(DateTime.Now) & "'") ' shows the text

Now I generated an error on purpose, so the demo can show it catches the error:

page.DebugConsoleLog("'value: ' + $('#pi002-r2c1').html();") ' generates an error, the ; at the end is wrong

Same code, but with the correct javascript syntax, showing the html() value of the tag:

page.DebugConsoleLog("'value: ' + $('#pi002-r2c1').html()") ' generates the html value of the pi002-r2c1 tag

It works also on the desktop, although you probably will use the Chrome console as you can do more.

But there is more. You can also redirect all browser console message directly into the B4J log window!  You can use the following commands anywhere in your own code to start/stop receiving the browser console messages.


This is a very powerful feature if you develop Webapps for mobile devices.  It can be done otherwise, but it is a pain in the a$$ to set it up. Now, you can easily debug it on your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other device.

ABMaterial 3.20 has over 20 new features and bug fixes.  Following the same philosophy as B4X, the quick release cycle has proven to work very well for ABMaterial and its many users.  Donators will receive their download mail shortly.  The public version 3.03 can be downloaded from this blog too.

I’m also glad that with these releases, now everyone can work with ‘Chipmunk‘, and this does also mean the development cycle for ‘Butterfly‘  has ended.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support, hourless testing and inventive ideas you came up with in the last few years. You’ve made ABMaterial one hell of a WebApp Development Tool!


But we are not at the end! Far from it as I already have big ideas for the next releases.

Until then, happy programming!


Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

B4X: An experiment for practical use of IoT on the shop floor


At OneTwo, we are always searching for ways to make things easier on the workfloor.  For nearly a decade, we introduced barcode scanners everywhere! From architects and accountants, over carpenters and contractors, to farmers and gardeners are now using our small barcode scanners to record times, jobs and used materials.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been investigating how we could tackle another common issue, but now on the factory shop floor.  Working on a specific step in the development of a product demands the constant focus of the operator so using a barcode scanner to get the instructions is, well, just not practical if you have your hands full.

Time to get to the lab! Provided with heaps of coffee, some unhealthy snacks and an open mind we started putting some ideas together on the whiteboard.  We wanted to give as much feedback to the operator as possible using monitors,  beamer projections at the workstation and personal instructions on phones and tablets.

The key to deliver hyper-contextual content to the users is knowing the location of every chess piece in the game: the workstation, the machine that is going to be build and the operator(s).  The underlying communication technology was going to be Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Raspberry Pi has it and so does almost any phone or tablet. By attaching a cheap BLE Beacon to the machine we could understand the location of all the players.

Using B4X for this project was a no-brainer, as Erels toolbox is just made to build stuff like this! One important link in the chain was missing:  the BLE reader in B4J for the Raspberry Pi.  However, writing some small scripts and calling it using jShell and a couple of timers did the job just fine.

Scripts code:

Two scripts to discover BLE devices around the Raspberry Pi.  Each one runs in its own jShell in B4J. First one scans for devices, second one reads whatever they broadcast.

# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017
sudo timeout -s SIGINT 5s hcitool lescan

# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017
sudo timeout -s SIGINT 5s hcidump -X > scan.txt

Also, as the Raspberry Pi has to be a BLE beacon itself (so the Android Native app can discover it), I had to write another little script:

# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017

sudo hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
sudo hcitool -i hci0 cmd 0x08 0x0008 19 02 01 06 03 03 aa fe 11 16 aa fe 10 00 02 6f 6e 65 2d 74 77 6f 07 $1 $2 $3 00 00 00 00 00 00
sudo hciconfig

IPN=$(ip addr show eth0 | awk ‘/inet / {print $2}’ | cut -d/ -f 1)
IPW=$(ip addr show wlan0 | awk ‘/inet / {print $2}’ | cut -d/ -f 1)
MACN=$(ip link show eth0 | awk ‘/ether/ {print $2}’)
MACW=$(ip link show wlan0 | awk ‘/ether/ {print $2}’)

echo “$MACW;$IPW;$MACN;$IPN;END” > macip.txt

For anything related to presenting the instructions, we could use ABMaterial.

Alright! We’ve got everything we needed to set up a test scenario for a workstation so time to bring out the cool slide:

How it works

Although there are a lot of physical components and different OS’s in play, B4X has all the tools to make them seamlessly talk to each other using one language.  For the native Android part, I wrote my own BLE discovery library based on the altbeacons library. (Note, there is a library available in B4A to discover BLE devices).

For the video demonstration, things you have to keep in mind:


  1. OneTwo box + BLE beacon: represents a machine arriving on the workstation
  2. Raspberry Pi (under the table): represents the workstation
  3. Android Phone: represents an operator/visitor at the workstation


  1. On the monitor, for each ‘machine’ some info is presented (e.g. a serial number, to what country it has to be shipped, etc)
  2. On the phone: specific instructions for the operator(s) for this ‘machine’, or a greeting to a visitor.
  3. On the workstation, projected global instructions for the operator(s) for this ‘machine’ with a beamer.

Let’s have a look how all of this plays out:

This turned out to work all very well for a first trial! For real world usage, the project will need some more work (like improving the algorithms to discover the BLE devices, setting thresholds or calculating them without calibration, etc…).  But we are very excited with the possibilities this low-cost solution can already show in such a short time.

Next step will be setting this up on a real workstation on the shop floor in a real factory later this month.

Until next time,


Click here to Donation and get the latest ABMaterial first!



B4J: New section and page navigation feature in ABMaterial (3.02)


ABMaterial 3.02 Maintenance Release will have a new feature, especially useful for ‘one page’ apps/websites to navigate. It intruduces ‘sections‘ within a page. A section is a logical grouping of rows, which can have its own background and a new extra navigation method/menu.

Sections must be declared at the BuildPage() stage, and are typically created right after the page.BuildGrid() method.

First, let me show you how it works and then I’ll explain how this is archieved with just 12 lines of B4J code!


Code (creating the Theme):

theme.Page.AddSection("section1", ABM.COLOR_BLACK, "", ABM.COLOR_WHITE, "")
theme.Page.AddSection("section3", ABM.COLOR_WHITE, "", ABM.COLOR_BLUE, ABM.INTENSITY_LIGHTEN3)
theme.Page.AddSection("section4", ABM.COLOR_WHITE, "", ABM.COLOR_GREY, ABM.INTENSITY_DARKEN3)

Code (Adding the sections & the navigation)

page.CreateSection("section1", 1,1,ABM.COLOR_WHITE, "", "", "", "","calc(100vh - 56px)", 56, 500, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL,"Section1")
page.SetSectionNavigation("section1", "section2", "Go to Section 2", ABM.SECTION_BUTTONTYPE_DOWN, "section1", "Section 1" )
page.CreateSection("section2", 2,2,ABM.COLOR_GREEN, "", "../images/bg-1.jpg", ABM.CONTAINERIMAGE_REPEAT_NOREPEAT, ABM.CONTAINERIMAGE_POSITION_COVER, "calc(100vh - 56px)", 56, 500, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL, "Section2")
page.SetSectionNavigation("section2", "section3", "Go to Section 3", ABM.SECTION_BUTTONTYPE_DOWN, "section2", "Section 2")
page.CreateSection("section3", 3,3,ABM.COLOR_BLUE, "", "", "", "", "calc(100vh - 56px)", 56, 500, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL,"Section3")
page.SetSectionNavigation("section3", "section4", "Go to Section 4", ABM.SECTION_BUTTONTYPE_DOWN, "section3", "Section 3")
page.CreateSection("section4", 4,4,ABM.COLOR_BLACK, "", "", "", "", "calc(100vh - 56px)", 56, 500, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL, "Section4")
page.SetSectionNavigation("section4", "section1", "Back to Section 1", ABM.SECTION_BUTTONTYPE_UP, "section4", "Section 4")

In this example each section has only a height of 1 row (hence the from row 1 to row 1, from row 2 to row 2,…)

But, this can be any size, e.g. from row 5 to row 25. Something like:

page.CreateSection("section5", 5,25,ABM.COLOR_BLACK, "", "", "", "", "calc(100vh - 56px)", 56, 500, ABM.VISIBILITY_ALL, "Section4")

NOTE: Sections cannot be nested or overlapping!

The tricky part are the minHeight and scrollTop params. In the above examples, I’ve set the minHeight to the browsers height, minus the height of the TopBar: “calc(100vh – 56px)”.
For scrollTop, I’ve set it the the height of the TopBar so the top of the section is right under the navigation bar: 56

ABMaterial 3.02 Maintenance Release will go out in acouple of days to the donators with 25 bug fixes and implemented wishes!


Click here to Donation and get the latest ABMaterial first!

B4J: ABMaterial Facebook-like timeline in less than 200 lines!


I recently had a question if it was possible to create a Facebook-like WebApp with ABMaterial for B4J. I had some time to spare tonight (yeah right):rolleyes: and decided to give it a go…

All I needed were a couple of ABMContainers and the new CloseContent/OpenContent feature introduced in 3.02. The existing NextContent system would provide the infinite page.

It also uses a ABMCustomComponent for the ‘Like’ feature (I based it on this project), and you can find the source code of the class under the video:

About an hour, and 200 lines of B4J code later, I had a working timeline!  A real project would of course need some way to add an article, save them in the database, user management, etc but this is out of scope of this article.

Note: This example will be included in the upcoming 3.02 Maintenance Update, but I would like to share the source source code for the ‘Like’ functionality beforehand.

Source code for the ‘Like’ custom component.
You’ll need this zip file for the images and js/css files. Put the images and css in the /www/css/custom folder, the js file in the /www/js/custom/ folder.

The class LikeComponent:

'Class module
Sub Class_Globals
   Public ABMComp As ABMCustomComponent
   Public Counter As Int
End Sub

'Initializes the object. Countries and data are Json Strings
Public Sub Initialize(InternalPage As ABMPage, ID As String, AlreadyLiked As Int)
   ABMComp.Initialize("ABMComp", Me, InternalPage, ID)
   Counter = AlreadyLiked
End Sub

Sub ABMComp_Build(internalID As String) As String
   Return $"
<div id="${internalID} class="facebook-reaction"><!-- container div for reaction system -->
        <span class="like-btn"> <!-- Default like button -->
          <span class="like-btn-emo like-btn-default"></span> <!-- Default like button emotion-->
           <span class="like-btn-text">Like</span> <!-- Default like button text,(Like, wow, sad..) default:Like  -->
<ul class="reactions-box"> <!-- Reaction buttons container-->
	<li class="reaction reaction-like" data-reaction="Like"></li>
	<li class="reaction reaction-love" data-reaction="Love"></li>
	<li class="reaction reaction-haha" data-reaction="HaHa"></li>
	<li class="reaction reaction-wow" data-reaction="Wow"></li>
	<li class="reaction reaction-sad" data-reaction="Sad"></li>
	<li class="reaction reaction-angry" data-reaction="Angry"></li>
<div class="like-stat"> <!-- Like statistic container-->
           <span class="like-emo"> <!-- like emotions container -->
             <span class="like-btn-like"></span> <!-- given emotions like, wow, sad (default:Like) -->
           <span class="like-details">${Counter} others</span></div>
End Sub

Sub ABMComp_FirstRun(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)
   Dim script As String = $"$("#${internalID} .reaction").on("click",function(){  // like click
     var data_reaction = $(this).attr("data-reaction");
     $("#${internalID} .like-details").html("You and ${Counter} others");
     $("#${internalID} .like-btn-emo").removeClass().addClass('like-btn-emo').addClass('like-btn-'+data_reaction.toLowerCase());
     $("#${internalID} .like-btn-text").text(data_reaction).removeClass().addClass('like-btn-text').addClass('like-btn-text-'+data_reaction.toLowerCase()).addClass("active");;

     if(data_reaction == "Like") {
         $("#${internalID} .like-emo").html('<span class="like-btn-like"></span>');
     } else {
         $("#${internalID} .like-emo").html('<span class="like-btn-like"></span><span class="like-btn-'+data_reaction.toLowerCase()+'"></span>');
     var json = {'target': '${internalID}', 'like': data_reaction};
     b4j_raiseEvent('likecomponent_liked', json);

     $("#${internalID} .like-btn-text").on("click",function(){ // undo like click
       $("#${internalID} .like-btn-text").text("Like").removeClass().addClass('like-btn-text');
       $("#${internalID} .like-btn-emo").removeClass().addClass('like-btn-emo').addClass("like-btn-default");
       $("#${internalID} .like-emo").html('<span class="like-btn-like"></span>');
       $("#${internalID} .like-details").html("${Counter} others");
       var json = {'target':'${internalID}'};
         b4j_raiseEvent('likecomponent_unliked', json);

   InternalPage.ws.Eval(script, Array As Object(ABMComp.ID))
   ' flush not needed, it's done in the refresh method in the lib
End Sub

Sub ABMComp_Refresh(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)

End Sub

' do the stuff needed when the object is removed
Sub ABMComp_CleanUp(InternalPage As ABMPage, internalID As String)

End Sub


Sub Class_Globals
   Dim myLike As LikeComponent
End Sub

' adding the component
myLike.initialize(page, ID & "Like", Rnd(20, 500))

Events (the name LikeComponent is set in the FirstRun() method of the class:

public Sub LikeComponent_Liked(value As Map)
   Log(value.Get("like") & " ----> " & value.Get("target"))
End Sub

public Sub LikeComponent_UnLiked(value As Map)
   Log("Unliked ----> " & value.Get("target"))
End Sub

Et voila,  a nice little demonstration of what you can make using B4J and ABMaterial.

I’ll end with a little word of advice:

If you only plan to learn one programming language this year, B4X is definitely the one you should pick!  With ABMaterial, I give you the power to write responsive, professional WebApps, and with the other B4X tools you write native Android, iOS, Desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux), Raspberry Pi and Arduino apps.  All with the same language!  You’ll wonder why you ever bothered looking at all those other pricy programming tools out there…

Happy programming!


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