Disappointed realization...

First off, let me fully express that I think RealStudio/Xojo is a great concept with unlimited potential. The ideas and the direction that it appears to be heading is pretty much on a good track; however, with that said… I’m going to vent this here without the intent of trolling or causing ruckus, but to discuss what I’m sure is a shared frustration among growing number of us. Before the launch of Xojo, I found my self becoming impatient. I seen the screenshots, read articles from Beta Testers, seen captions from the convention, etc. and as somebody who has used the software for at least half a decade, I was ready to see what you guys could come up with. Release day came, I fired it up, and was instantly stuck in quicksand not being able to use the ‘Backspace’ key properly in the IDE. Granted, it’s not a huge issue… it was a wake-up call. Over the next few weeks, I’ve been a frequent visitor of the forums, and to be frank, it is all a huge disappointment. One thread after another about a bug here, a bug there, etc. Some bugs are so crazy obvious, I’m not sure how it was never noticed among the set of Beta Testers and Developers. All of this got me reflecting on the release cycle for revisions, updates & fixes. It got me thinking about the intended release for iOS support and other future enhancements.

With all of this in the big picture, it seems that since I’ve used this software it has always been at least a few steps behind the curve. This isn’t even mentioning the show-stopping bugs that are present, leaving most users waiting months (in some instances years and still waiting) for a fix. Bugs don’t even have to be show-stoppers to drive potential developers away. Most developers are going to use Xojo specifically targeted to their fields. For instance, a web developer is mainly going to focus (of course) on the Web & Console applications. Something as small as a style not getting set properly or a control mouseexit event not firing properly could be a HUGE deal to somebody who is relying on it over-and-over again for his/her projects. The only choices they have is to wait and hope it gets resolved in the next release or two (because that’s all their license gives them), find an alternative language to develop in, or even more depressing… using a third-party add-on that does what Xojo is SUPPOSED to do in the first place (leaving the developers spending more money to patch something they’ve already put hundreds of dollars into in the first place, which they’re not even sure if they’re going to continue to use).

With this said, I don’t dislike Xojo (the IDE or the company). I think you all have some very intelligent people under your wing. So much so, that I’m hoping a few of them are superheros and are able to pull some strings and get it a lot of these issues coming up lately in working condition. “If you don’t like Xojo or are complaining, feel free to use something else!” … I’m sure it’s going to be said; however, I’m not wanting to go anywhere else. Again, I see the potential… and I’ve already vested at least half a decade into using the IDE. What I want, what I’m sure a lot of others want, is a reliable and dependable platform to develop under. Is this too much to ask for? If so, please let me know now…

Eric well said.

As a beta tester I raised the backspace issue. It was even verified by a Xojo Staffer. But any project I had the problem with and submitted wouldn’t fail with the verifier.

I also know there has been a heap of feedback to Xojo and intimations from Xojo that there’s been some soul searching on getting this stuff sorted. I also know this is a v1.0 product (and therefore full of holes). I also prefer the new IDE over the old. My brain retrained very easily but I don’t build for OSX so I’m not seeing any Cocoa issues (or Carbon for that matter). The new ability to debug a service application helps me immensely but my usage profile is probably so small in this environment that it won’t help most users.

I don’t mean to protect Xojo or the other Beta users, but it is so easy to retrain the brain to avoid problems. For example in RS I used the enter key on the numeric keyboard to complete code blocks it was the equivalent of + . This wasn’t working from beta 1, but within minutes of using I was pressing shift + enter. But after about FC -1 the enter key stopped working altogether and it was too late to fix the problem.

I think we all feel your pain. There are bugs and then there are BUGS. All of us have our list.

Anyway, I believe the next beta round starts soon. Test early, test often and don’t forget the Feedback reports.

I understand your pain, but I’d be very careful what you wish for. The Xojo IDE has a lot of issues, from surface level bugs to scalability issues with the Navigator that are baked into the design. There is most certainly a large faction of testers who would like to see every one of these addressed before a release regardless of time or cost. Not only would that hurt Xojo’s business, but it would hurt those of us who depend on this tool keeping up with reality, especially on fixed framework bugs.

My position is that I am very tolerant of the IDE issues in exchange for ongoing, regular framework fixes. The last IDE change and switch to the rapid release model tells me that the IDE stuff will work itself out in 2 or 3 releases. Or, they could go back into the lab for 6-9 months with no framework fixes in the meantime.

No, I agree. They need to focus on debugging the framework and core first, since it’s the foundation of everything. The rest will start to fall into place. I just hope there isn’t too many bugs now, which will translate into further years of patient waiting for a more stable release. I want to use Xojo without the fear of putting months into a project, only to find halfway through development that a simple mouseexit event on a particular control isn’t firing all the time, and there’s not any way around it. Or you release your product, only for it not to remain stable loaded on a server even 24-hours at a time due to a memory leak issue. Worse yet, that you know there won’t be such a fix to those issues within the timeframe of your license, because of the track record.

Eric, the two issues you cite are framework issues. The space around those particular issues is worse in 2012r2.1. The web memory leaks in particular are real bears to even identify and report. Greg has made a lot of progress on those. But there’s still a lot to do. Take SSL. They know that root of those issues is in their basic SSL socket implementation. That’s a real project to fix. And as Greg has fixed things, sometimes the fixes make other issues more obvious and problematic. There is a pretty ugly dependency graph under all the outstanding problems, and it can’t just be wished away.

As imperfect as the rapid release model might seem based on the continued existence of bugs, it is the best model to get things fixed over any timespan longer than 3 months. You can frustrated with the bugginess, but I guarantee, there’s nobody here that could do a better job of managing its improvement. Patience and helpful participation are always going to be the best way to get the issues that matter to you fixed.