Class Compare: Call for Beta Testers
Class Compare is a new tool from White Light Computing and it is entering beta. I have been working on this new tool for the last six months which compares VCX classes together. It is simple to compare PRG-based classes with any text comparison tool, but comparing VCX classes together is a bit more difficult. In fact, the more I worked on this tool, the more difficult I found it.
The use cases for this tool is simple. Developers regularly get updates to framework classes from the framework vendors. What has changed? What are the new classes? What are the changes to the existing classes? What classes were removed? What are the new attributes and behaviors? What classes changed baseclasses? I need a tool to help find this out with the framework I use.
Another use case is comparing the intermediate classes (subclasses from the framework classes) I have for different customers and their projects. To help keep these intermediate classes in synch I wanted a tool to help me understand what is different.
The next change is to compare two versions of the same class or the same class library. This is fairly simple today if you are using a source code control system, but I know all developers do not. This tool will help until they can move to a source code control model.
This tools not only compares two classes together, it will compare two class libraries together, and two folders of class libraries together. A report is previewed to show you details found during the comparison. If you have Beyond Compare from Scooter Software, Class Compare will optionally take advantage of this tool and create some extremely useful output. While I have selfishly developed it for my own needs, I believe the alpha testers have also found this a valuable addition to their VFP toolkit.
So the call is out: I need beta testers! I have been testing this with a few alpha testers since April and they have helped me iron out many of the rough spots and made numerous enhancement requests which have been implemented and made this product so much better.
What do you have to do to become a White Light Computing Crash Test Dummy? Simple, send an email to betatestATwhitelightcomputing.com (making sure to replace the AT with the appropriate email syntax) with the following information:
- Framework(s) you use
- Whether you have Beyond Compare from Scooter Software (not essential)
- How many developers in your organization might have time to test it
This tool is VFP 9 only. Why? It takes advantage of the "no init" feature of the NEWOBJECT() function (one of the features that really allowed this tool to work exceptionally well) and the BINDEVENT() function's hooks into Windows events. So only apply if you own VFP 9.
What can you expect during and after the beta? You will get an initial EXE and one report form. I need you to test the program to the best of your ability. Hopefully using it in ways I have not. Bug reports will need to follow a certain format which you will get instructions with the initial beta release. I will be enhancing the tool and fixing bugs, and sending out occasional updates. I still have a couple of features to implement (which you will learn about when I ship the initial beta). Once the beta is over you will get a free copy of the tool.
But do not get to excited about getting a free tool because this will be a freebie tool when it is done. That is right, free, even though it is a product I think I could sell. It definitely will be on par quality and feature wise with HackCX Professional, ViewEditor Professional and the upcoming MenuDesigner Professional. It will even have a Help file (not in the initial release).
So let me know if you are interested in the beta program for Class Compare.