Can Xojo become the better Electron?

Yes and no. Just think about all the business apps running on Windows (Servers). SAP, Oracle, IBM, and thousands of solutions and not to forget the products for small and midsized businesses, with a lot of “administrators” having not a lot of knowledge other than running the “Setup.exe”. It would be a massive effort with little benefit. They faced already many limitations by adapting Windows for ARM. Not much is running on that platform yet. I know (and endorse) that a lot of apps are currently migrating to web-based solutions, but millions of companies globally are not even thinking about moving their whole stack to a cloud solution.

The OS wars are more or less over, nobody won and nobody lost… firms just became OS agnostic. Microsoft is late to the party, just like IBM was back in the day, but it does not mean they are going away.

The battle now is all about getting your share of the cloud and they’ll be happy to run whatever OS will achieve it.

RAD though seems to be dead as a selling point, none of the major tool sets offer it and no one seems to be particularly concerned about it. In the front end in particular, it seems the first step in every major upgrade is to start by throwing out the tools and frameworks and start with a new set of JavaScript libs and tooling. Mainly because the previous set is no longer maintained.

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You mean Web 2? :roll_eyes:

:thinking: … or API 2?

Ok, you don’t like Windows. You prefer MacOS. I am fine with that. But there is one thing Microsoft cares about: not breaking old applications with newer versions of Windows. And this is something Apple doesn’t not mind at all. Each time a new version is released, the changes break old applications. The line about this is ‘update your apps’. Don’t get me wrong, I love MacOS, but that habit of not caring about compatibility, I just can stand it. My 2 cents.


What? No. Sorry, just no.

In the future? Maybe. Just a maybe. Right now? No, it’s not won anything, not by a long chalk.

Linux distros rule the server world, a large part of that is because they are free. On the desktop Windows has 77% of the market compared to Linux 1.7%. How do you equate that to Windows losing the OS war and Linux winning?

Sorry but that’s complete and utter nonsense.


Finally, the voices of reason. (It seems anything can be true these days. Giles and Rod, thanks for bringing us back to reality.)

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How many UI screens are actually still desktop screens? And if you look at the UI market segment of Windows how big is it then?

I personally prefer macOS indeed, because it’s more effective for me, but probably mostly because I’m just used to it (using Apple OS since the late 90ties, when it wasn’t popular yet, quite the contrary). Am I always happy with their release strategy? Nope, I agree. On top of that, I depend on macOS after all the money I’ve put into the ecosystem for decades. A lot of the bought Software would either not work on a different OS, or I will have to buy a new license.

I’m afraid I have to disagree, but that’s what I love in Microsoft ;-). For decades it is a big part of my businesses that Microsoft often breaks things out of the blue, especially in the Windows Server environment. None of my businesses is covering macOS, we are cloud, MS / linux shops only - so that’s a job guarantee. MS is currently doing a fantastic job in all its cloud and o365 solutions. Their (belated) turnaround into a cloud company is impressive and that’s why I would not be surprised to see some other big changes, they have the men power for it.

BUT as you said above, they can’t afford changes breaking their need for backward compatibility. That’s one reason why you can clearly see how MS is pushing more and more core businesses into the cloud / web. OSes are still important to end-users and will so for a long time in the future, but with apps in the cloud it matters less if you want to use Windows, macOS, Linux to access these apps.

I personally predict that for Xojo Web x.0 will become the most important platform in the future. But they have the competitive advantage that one can develop small “helper” apps for all desktops and already iOS if and when needed. Similar to Microsoft Teams: most of the development happens in the cloud and you have only “small” apps on the clients for all platforms to bridge the MS, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android devices to this cloud app.

The vast majority in both cases.

I’m not a Windows user, I’ve used Apple Mac machines for decades but it is what it is. Windows is dominant now and will be for quite some time still.

My understanding is that the OP is not questioning this fact. But @E_J_M_van_Vlijmen is saying that many current apps are not using native controls any longer but CSS etc. So you will still have a “desktop app” but it is using external frameworks to visualize the UI. Furthermore the author sees the possibility that the underlying technology stack of Windows might slowly or fast change from NT based stack to something Unix-based, without a normal end-user seeing any big difference.

The UI part is true. One reason why Xojo Apps looks on Windows quite outdated out-of-the-box, means without using own routines, customized controls or external plugins.

No, just talking about client side web dev.

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Q. When do you update your Mac?
A. When you want new hardware

Q. When do you update your PC?
A. When you want new software.

Q. When do you update your phone?
A. When you lose it or drop it or when the network upgrades.

Q. When do you update your cloud service?
A. When you need something.

So the marketing of all these things is different.

Microsoft doesn’t break compatibility because it’s model is to entice people to use its latest APIs not available on older versions. If those proprietary APIs can be sold on Linux kernel not just Win32 then that’s an expansion not a surrender: embrace & extend!

So Edge browser and gaming APIs will be on Linux soon. Others will follow if users will pay. It’s that simple. But Xojo is already there with its IDE very soon I think.

The question for Xojo about new targets is critical mass - there has to be enough demand for it. Coolness is not enough.

If I were to place a bet on future UI it would be Linux desktop apps served remotely. You get desktop experience on mobile too via 5G. Bye bye Apple, but Microsoft will be there with Azure and Linux desktop elements.

Why? Because Linux has won the public server battle already.

Will the www die? Not for information, but many apps will be native server. Will display on many cheap, non-smart secure devices bound to organisational portals, like pages in a book of app-devices.

Web apps will be legacy because browsers are too resource-heavy for application servers at scale. Web apps will only be used where the user experience doesn’t matter as much, security doesn’t matter as much, and there’s no budget for application hosting.

Where does ectron fit in this future? The legacy bin. Where do Xojo Web apps fit? With the desktop and Web languages now standardised, I would like/expect to see a native desktop compilation for Web app projects. How cool would that be? Not too hard for Xojo Inc to do because it’s all in house.

In this scenario, desktop projects will only be for high performance desktop computing.

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I was able to make a pretty decent Electron equivalent with Xojo, even before they added ExecuteJavaScript. I use it for my personal projects but I was working on a public version

Xojo does not need to be Electron, Electron is very particular to letting you use your web technologies on the desktop.

I do know of many projects that end up using Electron not because of the web ecosystem but because of the cross platform.

Out there besides QT, wxWidgets and Mono (with my reservations) there is little offerings that deliver a sustainable cross platform (code re-use, effort) promise.

I always saw Xojo as my dream tool for cross-platform, but some times I wonder why they do things. Is ok if Xojo just wants to be a niche development platform for consultants, but it can be so much more. It seems they loose sight of the value proposition of cross-platform development and how Xojo can shine bright in that sector.

For me code reusability, commonalities and base-lineas among targets are key. And those things were butchered with Framework 2.0, iOS and Web 1.0/Web 2.0.

Framework 2.0 was just JAVAisms!

Its ok to offer cool features with one-to-one mappings to the OS, but at the same time providing a level of abstraction and commonality was possible without loosing access to the features of the OS. The same thing with Web, they could have abstracted so much to keep code compatibility with other targets without loosing power or functionality. Web 2.0 was a reset to marry the UI to Bootstrap 4 for “styling and theming” for me another miss.

Even when you implement your own MVC and you disconnect you UI, there are still so many barriers to get code reusability.

I can make a Win, Mac and Linux app in a single project, I hope that some day we will be able to do the same with iOS and Android.

API 2.0 is a sign of hope.


Kindergarten… it’s all about perspective. Of course Unix/ Linux runs the internet and all the fancy technologies we all know. Windows is a walled playground and sad to say macOS/ iOS aswell. Does Windows move towards Linux? Yes it does, Linux Kernel recently got side-by-side dom0 priviledges in Windows. As rough guess in a time period of 5-7 years we won’t see any Win32 running on bare metal anymore. Such legecy Code will be run in an WINE-like sandbox enviroments on something called Windows with kind of theme remembering to Classic Windows. The Foundation will be something else. Will it be the free GNU/Linux we all know today? Of course not! Remember EEE! As best estimation it will be a kind of Chimera, just acting as EdgeOS with all its services in Azure aka The World Computer as Microsoft used to say.

Let’s take a look to macOS. There was once a time where Apple was quite open and embraced open source and free technologies. I jumped on this train back in 2007 when Windows more and more became an aimless ship heading in all directions but finally to nowhere (remember Longhorn and Vista!). Today, 13 years later nothing of this spirit is left. I’ve recently got an Apple Email how satisfied I am with my Apple Pencil… WTF! Apple has stopped to innovate from the inside, they have become just another Inc. based on expropriation of the personal data of its users. Their real customers are sitting elsewhere (e.g. Google contributing almost 1/3 to Apples Revenues just for its default position as search engine). With Apple Silicon on the horizon we will get a iOSification of macOS. Basically you will get less priviledges on your own hardware. A Mac will become to what Windows has become with Win10 5 years ago: Just an Ad-Platform and Client to their own services.

I don’t buy the bullshit with Electron. Electron is just a crude mixup of a local webserver with its Chrome-based presentation layer. It’s the Flash of our times and already a dead-end when thinking of Progressive Web Apps. It will not disappear quickly rather than dying a long painful death like Flash still does. (it’ still shipped on every Win10?) So if you propegate Xojo should become like Electron, then guess where Xojo will be.

Just my 5 cents on Monday morning…

I agree.
The Electron example was just to spark the discussion.
But what would be the strategy Xojo should follow to keep a happy customer base? To me, it looks like they are entangled in legacies and Apple juice.
I think they should focus primary on Web UI and follow that with the native Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android apps. They would become more efficient in following the market, I think. What do you think?

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Agree that Xojo IDE is considered to run best in Apples Intel Enviroment. Window is the unloved little sister and Linux, well to remain in the picture, is an out-of-marriage infant.

It’s not up to me to explain XOJO’s roadmap. I hold my own very distinguished opinion though I disagree with your statement.

To give you a glimpse where I am heading to: I won’t jump on Apple’s Silicon train. I’ll keep my i7 2014 Retina-Macbook Pro till it explodes and I am already working, developing, running my infrastructure and typing this text on a Linux (Debian) with GNOME desktop.

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Apart from disagreeing with most of your post re Apple I must point out one inaccuracy. Apple do not earn 1/3 of their net revenue from Google search. It’s at the very most 1/6. 2019 Apple profit was $59b - nobody really knows what they earn exactly but in the US (their largest market) they earn $1b a year from Google. Worldwide estimates are around $9b at the very most.

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You are quite right, its 14-21%, somewhere close to 1/5, in absolute figures: between 8-12 (EU=Mrd, US=Billions) US$ according to golem (in german). The numbers are recalled in the recent antitrust lawsuit against google.

However. We as Users are not Apples customers anymore. Google is, the Music and Hollywood Studios are, some big App Store Players aswell. I suggest you to read Shoshana Zuboff “Age of Surveillance Capitalism”.

I’ve recently watched “Social Dilemma” on Netflix and wrote a blog about some very powerful quotes. Did you know that:

There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.
(Edward Tufte)

An Operating System as we know, does not exist in the Apple-, Microsoft- and Google-Ecosystem. They are just Ad- and Distributing-Platforms for their Services, raping us as users and our privacy. Years ago I stopped using Apple Music App because of nudgeing and ads for Apple Music Crap. I am now using playsub and stream and sync with my own MP3 Musicfiles on my Nextcloud. If you want to “own” an real Operating System or “your data” then you have to switch to GNU/Linux.

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Sorry but I disagree with you. Interestingly that $9b investment Google pay Apple nets them $28b in revenue through ad serving when users perform Google searches. Sounds like good business for Google.

I’m using my MacBook Pro and I don’t get served ‘ads’ and if you are free to leave Apple Music and use alternatives like Spotify then I’m not sure what point you are trying to make here.

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