Developers who started with REALBasic/Xojo

A couple interesting interviews talking about developers who started programming with REALBasic and then moved on to other languages and why. Although I don’t agree with the first developer’s assumptions, I think the perception is interesting and thought some people here would find it interesting as well;

https://overcast.fm/+I_Lm9Gno

http://www.binpress.com/blog/2015/03/31/podcast-episode-31-dan-counsell-realmac-software/

If it is true that many developers who create commercial/shareware style apps started with REALBasic/Xojo (or at least did), thinking about what limitations they are hitting and how they can get passed those limitations would be a good discussion to have.

[quote=189008:@Paul Levine]A couple interesting interviews talking about developers who started programming with REALBasic and then moved on to other languages and why. Although I don’t agree with the first developer’s assumptions, I think the perception is interesting and thought some people here would find it interesting as well;

https://overcast.fm/+I_Lm9Gno

http://www.binpress.com/blog/2015/03/31/podcast-episode-31-dan-counsell-realmac-software/

If it is true that many developers who create commercial/shareware style apps started with REALBasic/Xojo (or at least did), thinking about what limitations they are hitting and how they can get passed those limitations would be a good discussion to have.[/quote]

Probably none of the professionals using Xojo are entirely naive about other languages. As a matter of fact, I would bet that like me, a lot are comfortable with half a dozen of them, but have found that in spite of its limitation, it is appropriate for what they do. Now, few commercial applications are 100% pure Xojo code. As soon as one starts using AppleScript, Declares, helpers and other ways of using other languages like DLLs, plugins (usually in C) or dylibs, it becomes something else.

Many people actually came from other languages, tested RealBasic, and stayed with it. Now, there are domains into which the limitations of the language are more or less obvious. Heavy calculation for instance will probably be better served by C (although that may change with 64 bit), while iOS was better served for the longest time by Objective-C, and still today many features are simply not available in Xojo in spite of the admirable efforts of our declares gurus. Then Swift can do things Xojo cannot. Xojo cannot do Android at all, and Java is probably the best at that task.

Not long ago, I wanted to develop universal apps for Windows 8, and that was simply not possible in Xojo. I had to use Visual Studio.

In reality, there is no such thing as a universal product best for all things. There are tools best suited for certain things, others for certain other things. But overall, success is not so much about the tool, as about the talent of who is using it. Plus the amount of work invested into a project.

I write stuff with C, Objective-C, C++, all C types mixed, AppleScript, PHP, Perl, Shell script, FileMaker Script, Xojo, Assembler sometimes, Java and even used Haskell and R at university.
But when I come back to quickly write something, I end up using Xojo…

The podcasts were referring to beginners and why they moved on from REALbasic/Xojo.

The developers interviewed are now creating many popular and great software and is why I found it interesting that they started but eventually moved away from REALBasic. I would be wondering what developers feel is lacking from Xojo to make them replace it with something else.

That’s a good point but the fact you can use all this while using Xojo is what makes it so powerful. My question would be why ditch the Development environment and how could Xojo become more popular with developers in this market.

Why would a business person/developer give up cross platform compilation and instead use Xcode or .net and what features are missing that could make Xojo the go to platform for creating apps aimed for the “shareware” type model (for lack of a better description)

I think you make valid points and I don’t disagree with you, but I don’t think my point was adaquetly described in my initial post. I hope the above clears it up.

I also don’t think that many things are slow in Xojo to the point where most end users will notice especially when referring to the “shareware” market.

I think there is more potential with Xojo and it’s sad that successful developers might have the perception described in the first podcast or that it is used as a learning tool and then ditched for something else.

I have a friend who I used to work for many years ago that believe you can only write software in C/ C++.
Everything else is a waste.
When I worked for him I never told him that half or more of the utilities I wrote for the company were written in REALbasic :stuck_out_tongue:
He just was pleased we could turn out the things we needed to run so quickly.
After we both left the company I told him - he was a bit upset I never told him this - but laughed as he realized his language bias probably would have crippled the company early on.

A lot of people bashed VB without ever having touched it or knowing where it fit.
The name alone was enough to turn them off.
There were a whole category off applications that it was by far the BEST suited to fulfill. Far better than C/ C++ would have been.
Enterprises jumped on it because it made it possible for them to churn out line of business apps far faster than with most other tools / languages of the day. And it was “powerful enough” and extensible.

I like to call it “Language snobbery”
A very condescending “Heh YOU don’t code in ? How droll.” kind of snobbery.
The right tool for the job. And Xojo fits in a lot of places (as our user base shows)

In a moment of madness I purchased an iMac G3 in the late 90’s and then worked out that I couldn’t work it. At the time I was using VB4 and wanted an OSX development platform, so I purchased a white box version of RB from an Australian supplier. After finding out that the support people who were selling RB didn’t answer their phones to provide support, I decided to bin RB, not on the basis it didn’t look great or was fairly easy to use, but on the basis that I was so locked into the Microsoft development paradigm, that I couldn’t think laterally enough to appreciate what RB was offering up.

I didn’t start with RB/Xojo, but I’ve ended up here. I’ve developed products in Cobol, Fortran, Foxpro, VB, VC++, vb.net & c#. But for me RAD is Xojo. I am however a Windows developer & those of you with other affiliations may have other ideas.

I’ve had some fun with Python in the last year. Awful language. At first glance it’s not so different from Xojo. But handling a weakly typed language is just so much more work than Xojo. The documentation is Python is a joke - at least for the stuff that I wanted to use. Handling encodings was painful. Python was okay for a 10 line script. But not for commercial quality code.

C always made my head hurt. What little I have seen from Objective C makes me so glad to have Xojo. Yes, Xojo has it’s limits. But compared to other languages and even with our grumbling and the so funny license changes every couple of years there is no better tool than Xojo.

[quote=189092:@Paul Levine]The podcasts were referring to beginners and why they moved on from REALbasic/Xojo.

The developers interviewed are now creating many popular and great software and is why I found it interesting that they started but eventually moved away from REALBasic. I would be wondering what developers feel is lacking from Xojo to make them replace it with something else.[/quote]

These people are professional today.

I tried to give you examples. Xojo does not support Windows Modern API apps, nor does it Android, and for the longest time did not iOS. Try-before-you-buy, which encompasses pure shareware and various degrees of donationware, is the de facto standard for Windows applications today, which even Microsoft and Adobe use. The tool changes very little in that fact. I do find that Xojo allows a much faster development, and in that respect enable a more competitive evolution of the products. When it takes 10 lines for a simple Hello World and nothing is abstracted with the need to call the framework for the simplest things, you can imagine how long it takes for a whole app in C for instance.

I have been a member of Association of Shareware Professionals since 1987, and since 2002 have used Real Basic. I cannot recall any time when customers asked which development tool I was using.

Staying in the development thing, I forgot the main reason why a professional would use something else than Xojo : opportunity. Business decisions at least in theory are based on objective criteria, like market size, prospective sales, possible return on investment. For indies like me, it is a bit less objective because I do not have the million dollars, but still, I tend to figure if I should invest my time in this versus that, after checking how many similar apps are on the market and how successful they seem to be.

I went Modern API with VS because I wanted in the Windows Store about one and a half years ago. The result is a bit disappointing, but I would have never know have I not attempted it. I went Android with Basic4Android as well to get my feet wet in the largest OS market share today (about 50% of the total devices combined). I had started working with Swift when Xojo iOS appeared, so I switched back to Xojo. I love Xojo, but as a professional, I am supposed to be more mercenary than emotional.

My core business is end user software. But there are quite a few developers here who do custom development. Some of them shared that their customers requested iOS and Android at a time Xojo did neither. When you got a customer with money in hand, you do what you got to do.

Finally, there are the customers who specifically request a given language be used, because they also pay for the source. These are usually very big companies ready to pay a big pile of money. As the good king Henri IV of France once said, “Paris is worth a mass”, when he converted to catholicism to get on the throne.

[quote=189096:@Norman Palardy]I like to call it “Language snobbery”
A very condescending “Heh YOU don’t code in ? How droll.” kind of snobbery.[/quote]

Count on sine nobilitate jerks to impose their ignorance…

Ah, language wars – yes if only the non-geek world understood the beauty of an elegant piece of code…

Well, I think multi-platform for line-of-business apps is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The historical VB vs RB thing just isn’t relevant anymore.

Xojo does Win/Mac/iOS/Web/Pi and only native Android is missing. If that hole was plugged Xojo would be a killer. As it is it’s only excellent. Fewer walls than any other BASIC and far easier to learn than most "modern"languages. If one is sold on the productivity of the environment, then it boils down to the cost of developer training in one’s business. After a few projects the business could be way ahead. there needs to be some case studies on the difference… Anyone redeveloped something in Xojo from something else recently?

I “played” with other languages and wrote plenty of small programs before REALbasic. But my purchase of an RB license in 1988 transformed that and suddenly I was creating fully fledged applications. I continued to play with other languages but with the release of iPhone OS 2 (as iOS was called then) and the App Store, I started making iOS apps in Objective-C, while continuing to make my other apps in REALbasic.

I actually like Objective-C (and Swift) but I’ve been switching my iOS dev work back to Xojo where possible since it became possible. I’m just more productive with Xojo. As a couple of people above said, you just have to use whatever works best for you. But there are plenty of professionals who started on RB/Xojo and who are still using it today.

I strongly believe with some luck the coming generation will understand that coding is as much culture as is writing a book or a piece of music. Unfortunately, and most conspicuously in France and apparently UK as well, the intellectual scene is so dominated by literary scholars, that coding is considered a craft. I am not so sure it is not the case as well in the US.

What I find most shocking is the dire indigence of philosophy teaching in matters of sciences and technical knowledge. Plato and Socrates must turn in their grave when doctors in philosophy profess their contempt for all things technical, especially computers. Where has the Age of Enlightenment gone ?

philo= love, sophy = wisdom. Modern philosophy does ultimately impact coding:

philosophy > art > culture > coding

However, coding can be for sport too. I think a good Xojo developer would be able to knock off most others on many occasions.

Full agreement. I am lucky to have a good friend who lives in the jungle of Brazil, a Ph. D. in computer sciences, philosopher, neo-psychologist (if that term exists) and a Babalawo of Ifá, an ancient philosophy. He deciphered the principles of the Odu which you can find on the Wikipedia page, basic energies that combine in pairs of two and create polarity, hence energy. He broke them down to the basic pair and built a binary tree based on their combinations and found it’s absolutely binary logic that is applied there.

What may sound weird and esoteric has enormous practical impact – one result of his research is a kind of high-speed therapy handling these polarities directly. He once showed me and I practised it on myself for about two hours (a very clear and scientific approach, more or less applying physics principles to the mind, no mumbo-jumbo involved), and this got me rid of a life-time long agoraphobia that kicked in when I entered “too free” places.

The basic principles, according to his research, are the same everywhere you look. If a computer works – and most of the time it looks so –, it can only do so because it follows nature’s laws. If a philosopher denies this fact, he shuts his eyes before an existing truth. How much love for wisdom does he really feel then?

EDIT: Because it fits so nicely to this topic: Have a look at the T-Shirt here ;): “In code we trust” :wink:

Sounds like a whole bunch of codswallop to me.

Hehe – yes, it surely does. Never mind, I won’t turn this forum into an esoteric channeling platform. Only let me add it explains a lot of before unexplained things – why does a couple that always clings together and has no need for the outside world suddenly break up? They put too much energy on closeness which made the pendulum swing over to the opposite pole which often is freedom (and not hate, polarities are mostly not that simple). Why does a neoliberalist state in its extreme resemble communism so closely, with mass poverty and forced labor? It’s all about oscillation between poles, and on maximum amplitude the opposites meet.
But never mind, just wanted to give my 2 cents to Michel’s words.

:wink:

No sweat. I must say that a short sharp whack with a cricket bat to some recalcitrant fellow’s chakras works wonders.

I don’t think it’s a recommend therapy but sometimes, yes, no doubt! :wink:

Seriously?

Some stick together for years while others who do not cling break up after a weak, so total BS.

The World is full of opposites and it is easy to spin a hypothesis around it, some crackpot, some not. Only if you have evidence and can make testable predictions THEN it advances to the state of a theory.