Is Xojo the right solution?

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  2. 3 months ago

    The same is true for Android. They are years too late. There are other and better options available which already deliver Desktop - Android - iOS development from one source.

    If you are using a Mac, then Xojo is a good solution. But for Windows and mobile platforms, look elsewhere.

  3. Rick A

    Feb 13 (Brazil. GMT-3:00)
    Edited 3 months ago

    I think that in future versions of Xojo, some sort of shareable inter-platform code of MVC pattern could be implemented, and the User Interface part would be platform specific for the same project. One face for Linux, one face for Windows, one face Android... etc. And a full set of native controls for that platform will be available, not just a small "common core" UI elements. What they do in background could be "essentially" the same (DB, JSON, HTTP, calcs, etc) with some code parts xplat shared, and some parts specific (UI have different events, for example). You should mark parts with a "compile for: All [x], Android [x], iOS [x], Mac[x], Windows[x], ...", but for UI design you should have just one dedicated UI design for each platform. Xojo could also have a virtual platform like "Virtual Display" accepting a common core UI elements (Button, radio, box, ...) that is not a "WYSIWYG" but compiles for all those as today AND enable you to create a template enabling you to "clone" a native one. A "clone it for Android", or "clone it for iOS", etc where "compatible" controls become native WYSIWYG ones with same names needing just adaptations, enhancements, layout changes, and extra controls.

  4. Dave S

    Feb 13 San Diego, California USA

    @Philip C I wrote an app in swift the took me about six months. I rewrote it in Xojo, once I had figured out the logic in less than a week - both apps designed to run on iOS. The learning curves are significantly different.

    My experience is 180 degrees.... besides the fact that an "Xojo for iOS" app requires tons of declares to to simple things, the fact the Autolayout is required (and my opinion not intuituive) killed it for me.

  5. Jason K

    Feb 13 Pre-Release Testers

    @Dave S My experience is 180 degrees.... besides the fact that an "Xojo for iOS" app requires tons of declares to to simple things, the fact the Autolayout is required (and my opinion not intuituive) killed it for me.

    Xojo for iOS has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re A video processing app it is certainly not right for you, but for a business app or something like Packr it works very well. Making games are possible in Xojo but it’s probablh better to use something like Unity if you’re serious about creating games.

    Yes some amount of patience is required to figure out what declares may be needed, but you’ll have to dig through swift docs to find the same function calls if you’re using swift anyway. Between iOSKit, iOSDesignExtensions, and Christain’s paid classes most of the features a typical developer will want are available.

    You talk about hating autolayout a lot, but it is the way you should be making your apps. It definitely has a learning curve but after that it makes designing UIs significantly easier and you don’t have to design a new one every time Apple releases a new phone/tablet with a different resolution. I don’t count Autolayout as a deficiency of Xojo, I believe it’s a strength (and it’s encouraged by Apple).

  6. Dave S

    Feb 13 San Diego, California USA

    We of course could spent hours debating this, and in the end neither of us will have changed their minds.
    In regards to AL, Apple at least gives the the choice to use it or not, Xojo does not give you that choice. As to new devices, I have a framework in place that adapts to a new device so that I don't have to redesign an app each time.

    And from what I have seen AL is "ok" if you have a static layout that just needs to conform to the size/orientation of various devices, but does little if you need/want a totally different layout per device or change font sizes per device etc.....

    As to declares, because Swift is built on the native infrastructure, no "band-aid" or "add-ons" are required. Every attribute of every control is exposed and directly available to the developer. In my opinion, things like iOSKit, iOSDesignExtenstions and MBS should be exceptions not the "rule".

    So basically I was disappointed in the level of "Xojo for iOS" when it was released, and honestly have seen little progress since.

  7. @Geoff P We don't have new iOS features planned for r1. However, if you could tell me specifically what things you feel are missing, I'd be happy to review them.

    Are you interested exclusively in iOS or are you also wanting to develop for other platforms? Android, web, desktop?

    Right now, only iOS.
    But you could start with all controls attributes. Buttons background color, image, corner, etc.
    View background color, toolbar color, etc.
    That would be a good start.

  8. @Mark S Luiz,

    I am a long time Xojo fan but I must admit I have not done much iOS development with Xojo. Today I do mostly Web and some desktop and some console utility apps. My only thought is if Jeremie Leroy can write Packr in Xojo (a trip packing list app that is pretty extensive and highly rated on the App Store) then there must not be many limitations where work arounds don't exist.

    At this stage you may have to write some Declares and call the specific iOS functions you need. In the future maybe this won't be as necessary but it does give you a path to a solution.

    This is by far the best support community I have participated in over my many decades of programming. I suggest you post something here and have the community assist in doing a few declares.

    You should also give Geoff some feedback that may help prioritize future features. It is rare in the world of software development tools (or anything) you get a response from the CEO of the company on the community forum because they saw a user with a need. My guess would be most CEOs don't spend much personal time on their own company community forums.

    One of the great things about Xojo, beyond the community support, is the ability to use essentially the same syntax for Desktop, Web, and Console apps across Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and iOS. Xojo is not perfect but it keeps me from having to be fluent in many languages and development tools. In the long run this makes me more productive.

    Learning curves can be frustrating but maybe there is still hope.

    Mark

    Mark, i am sure we can develop amazing apps with Xojo. What i am saying is that some basic functions are not done. Try to change a button background color for example.

  9. @Philip C I wrote an app in swift the took me about six months. I rewrote it in Xojo, once I had figured out the logic in less than a week - both apps designed to run on iOS. The learning curves are significantly different.

    Yes. that's why i started with Xojo. But took me 2 weeks to create the interface with Xojo. I had to find and install 2 or 3 extra libs, just to do that. I am not talking about language itself.

  10. Ivan T

    Feb 14 Pre-Release Testers

    Is Xojo the right solution?

    Maybe yes if you are tied to a Mac, and your app is verty basic.

    For me, even before of the limitations, was a disapointment since the beggining with the policy of NO windows nor Linux support even if you spent on a PRO licence.

    @Luiz F. Dias its better think about Swift for future new versions of my App?

    Not really, cant be disscused here, but there are plenty of options

  11. Geoff P

    Feb 14 Xojo Inc Austin, Texas

    @Luiz F. Dias Right now, only iOS.
    But you could start with all controls attributes. Buttons background color, image, corner, etc.
    View background color, toolbar color, etc.
    That would be a good start.

    We will be adding more features to our iOS framework. One of the things we are working on now (interops) will make adding features to iOS a whole lot easier.

  12. Garry P

    Feb 14 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Torquay, UK)

    @Ivan T Is Xojo the right solution?

    Maybe yes if you are tied to a Mac, and your app is verty basic.

    For me, even before of the limitations, was a disapointment since the beggining with the policy of NO windows nor Linux support even if you spent on a PRO licence.

    It’s not really a Xojo policy in their defence. You can’t compile for iOS without a Mac with any tool. It’s an Apple requirement. For example, their is no Windows or Linux iOS simulator.

  13. Garry P

    Feb 14 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Torquay, UK)

    @Geoff P We don't have new iOS features planned for r1. However, if you could tell me specifically what things you feel are missing, I'd be happy to review them

    What would be super useful would be the ability to zoom out in the IDE when desingning the UI. I find it really challenging to layout an iPad app simply because the device is so large and I constantly have to scroll around to get a feel for what the view looks like.

    Like others have echoed, some more simple control property controls exposed would be helpful.

    Finally, for the love of all that is good, please add RegEx support to the iOS framework. It’s a core language feature that’s been requested for over 4 years.

  14. Jean-Yves P

    Feb 15 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (France, Besançon)

    @Garry P It’s not really a Xojo policy in their defence. You can’t compile for iOS without a Mac with any tool. It’s an Apple requirement. For example, their is no Windows or Linux iOS simulator.

    their main competitor has a web service that simulates iOS. but it's a paid service. don't know if it's really usable?

  15. Greg O

    Feb 15 Xojo Inc

    @Jean-YvesPochez their main competitor has a web service that simulates iOS. but it's a paid service. don't know if it's really usable?

    That’s a nice thought, but the whole reason for using the simulator is quick debug runs. A web service doesn’t give you debugger support.

  16. Jean-Yves P

    Feb 15 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (France, Besançon)

    that's what I said, I highly doubt (I've never used it nor their dev tools) it's really a workable solution.

  17. Jason K

    Feb 15 Pre-Release Testers

    @Garry P What would be super useful would be the ability to zoom out in the IDE when desingning the UI. I find it really challenging to layout an iPad app simply because the device is so large and I constantly have to scroll around to get a feel for what the view looks like.

    Like others have echoed, some more simple control property controls exposed would be helpful.

    Finally, for the love of all that is good, please add RegEx support to the iOS framework. It’s a core language feature that’s been requested for over 4 years.

    Agreed on all counts.

    Until they finally add it, Regex is available in iOSKit.

  18. Scott C

    Feb 15 Vancouver, Canada

    @Greg OLone That’s a nice thought, but the whole reason for using the simulator is quick debug runs. A web service doesn’t give you debugger support.

    True, the competition's offering doesn't support full debugging to your iOS device from their Windows IDE.

    But it does offer a Log() function that prints to their IDE message queue (just like Xojo IDE messages), plus it supports a type of hot-reloading so you can use your iPhone or iPad as a live designer surface while you visually work the UI in the Windows IDE - than their Hosted Mac Builder can reload your app almost instantly. All from Windows, no Mac required.

    The only real downside, IMO, is that the competitor doesn't offer a macOS IDE (only Windows). But I guess that's what Parallels and VMWare are for ;-)

  19. Ivan T

    Feb 15 Pre-Release Testers

    @Garry P It’s not really a Xojo policy in their defence. You can’t compile for iOS without a Mac with any tool. It’s an Apple requirement. For example, their is no Windows or Linux iOS simulator.

    Actually I write iOS apps for 2 years WITHOUT having to touch a Mac nor using a simulator. Limit the iOS proyects to just Mac is only a policy/decision

    @Jean-YvesPochez their main competitor has a web service that simulates iOS. but it's a paid service. don't know if it's really usable?

    Maybe not talking about the same competitor but the one that I know has a web service for compiling, not for simulating.

    @Greg OLone That’s a nice thought, but the whole reason for using the simulator is quick debug runs. A web service doesn’t give you debugger support.

    It can be done with a phisical device and a web service

    There is allways the other option, using a mac in the local network to do the compilation while working on a windows PC and a physical device for debug

  20. iOS or Android doesn't matter, the Xojo development team is so slow that you always will be lagging behind. This also is true for the competition despite the fact they are faster.

    If you can develop in Swift for iOS or Java for Android, you are always a few steps ahead. Only following this path, you go on a hard road because from that point on, there is not really an "easy" way any longer. That is where Xojo and the competition comes in, they make it easy for you at the cost of flexibility.

    I took a Udemy course about Android Studio and just develop in the native environment. The same is true for Swift on iOS. it is indeed a harder road but you have much more control (and responsibilities) over what you are doing.

    For desktop solutions, Xojo is an excellent choice to make and I do recommend it. For mobile, better to choose another solution in my personal opinion.

  21. Dave S

    Feb 16 San Diego, California USA

    @Chris V For desktop solutions, Xojo is an excellent choice to make and I do recommend it. For mobile, better to choose another solution in my personal opinion.

    WIth this I 100% agree, but I disagree that the learning curve is steeper... it is different, ObjC *IS* steeper, but Swift is actually quite easy, and Xcode helps ALOT when you make mistakes

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