Frequently Asked Questions
What does PBL Peeper cost?
PBL Peeper is charityware. Download it and use it as you see fit. The version you
download is not crippled or limited in any way. If you get to the end of a project, and
PBL Peeper has helped you accomplish your goals, please make a charitable donation. I
suggest a donation to one of the following types of charity:
1. helps endangered or disadvantaged animals (e.g. World Wildlife Fund, Humane
2. helps people in crisis (e.g. Red Cross disaster relief, Salvation Army, local food
In terms of amount, I’d suggest a small percentage of a result of any PowerBuilder
project where PBL Peeper helped you be successful. For individuals, this would be based
on what you were paid over the course of the project. For project teams, this would be
based on a small proportion of the software budget.
Dropping me a note through the web site would be very encouraging.
My PBL Peeper is a beta version. Where can I find a gold version?
There is no version of PBL Peeper that is not labeled beta. That label is there to remind
users that there are no guarantees when using PBL Peeper, and that functionality should
be considered unreliable. This is one of the side effects of the product being free. (Hint: If
I didn’t think that it worked under at least the circumstances that I’ve tested it in, I
wouldn’t release it or use it in my consulting practice.)
How can I make PBL Peeper run faster?
Since PBL Peeper is reading through object exports, parsing them apart, and sometimes
having to dig through ancestor chains, it can be slow. However, once an object is
indexed, that index persists in memory. As a result, the more you use PBL Peeper in a
given session, the less it will have to index. Since these calculations are done once, you’re
better off with a static copy of the application. If the application changes, you’re going to
have to re-select the application from the PBLs page, and start the indexing over. You can
look at the command line parameters for options of loading applications and indexing
them on application start. You can also look at options in the Preferences window. While
the defaults represent what I think is a balance between functionality and performance,
I’ve tried to give control to you in several areas. I’ll continue to add controllable
preferences, so if you upgrade, check back in the Preferences window. One key place to
look is the Resolve level. While a lower resolve level, or none, is a better performer,
anything less than Orphans can cause confusion. While other Resolve levels provide
different insights into objects, Orphans is the recommended level with respect to
Can I get the source code for PBL Peeper?
In a word, no. There are several obstacles to releasing source code, including:
3. the source code is largely undocumented, and I’m far too lazy to get it done (it’s
amazing this is here!!)
4. customizations of PBL Peeper are where I hope to make some profit from the
construction of PBL Peeper. Anyone wanting a custom version should contact me
through my web site. Most popular customizations involve mass custom
automated changes to existing applications.
Where do I check for the latest version or news on PBL Peeper?
Sequel’s Sandbox is home for PBL Peeper. Sequel’s Sandbox can be found at
http://www.techno-kitten.com. You can also sign up for a mailing list using the Feedback
form on the site.
I’ve got a bug to report, comment etc.... Where can I send a note to Sequel?
There is a feedback page on the PBL Peeper web site (see above for the URL). Because
of the free and unsupported nature of PBL Peeper, I can’t guarantee responses.
Does PBL Peeper use metaclass functionality?
Since PBL Peeper was built before PowerBuilder 6, it is not based on metaclass
functionality. It instead relies on reading the export of an object, and splitting it up into
portions. Since metaclass functionality depends on being able to instantiate the class
definition, and PBL Peeper users are not constrained to load all related PBLs in an
application, metaclass definition loading has a legitimate opportunity to fail.
Why “PBL Peeper”?
When trying to develop a cat-oriented name for the utility, my mind wandered to a
universal (at least North American wide) common culture for my generation: cartoons.
And in that wandering, a line stuck in my mind: “I tawt I taw a peeping tom-cat!!” And
that’s one of the primary things the utility does: peeps into PowerBuilder libraries
without opening them. For lack of further genius, the name stuck.
What is that thing on the cat’s head?
After Sequel began answer questions with Terry in the Powersoft forums (originally on
the Microsoft Network, then back to Compuserve, and finally on the Internet), some
members of TeamPowersoft (now TeamSybase) took it upon themselves to give her an
honourary induction into the Team (Sybase has yet to develop an official policy regarding
feline Team members). The symbol of the Team has always been the propeller beanie.
The problem is, cat-sized propeller beanies are hard to come by. Team member John
Strano and his wife Su constructed a propeller beanie substitute, reportedly pilfering parts
from a teddy bear and a toy plane. The induction ceremony was held in a bar at the
Powersoft User Conference in Orlando (1994, I believe). The ceremony was done in
absentia, since Sequel doesn’t have her tattoos required to enter the United States (Terry,