Do you miss the old days?

Hi all,

What do you miss about the old days of programming? For me, I started out with GW-Basic and then quickly transitioned onward to QBasic … and then to Visual Basic for MS-DOS. (Ah, the old text-user interfaces! In some ways, I still miss the Visual Basic for MS-DOS days, as they had an excellent TUI designer that made it easier to bring semi GUI-like apps to life.)

If there was one thing you could bring back from the past and add it to a future edition of Xojo (as a more modernized edition), what would it be? For me, I wish I could build TUIs for the Raspberry Pi and Linux Distributions. :slight_smile:


What I miss from the old days . . . NOTHING.

My first program was written in C, to be used on CP/M. The only way to debug was using printf.

On MS-DOS as some time there was a debugger, but very limited.

Today we have debuggers with breakpoints, watches, memory dumps etc. - oops not all of these on Xojo :cry:. I have a dream . . .

1 Like

I kind of miss my old Turbo pascal days, coding TSR’s and stuff, no messy thread programming there.

But for the most, I am happy we have moved on to better tools.

1 Like

I miss Apple not having as much security stupidity. And no, it doesn’t the users more secure. It just makes them confused and there is so much more work for us.

Installed latest 2020r2.1 in the last days. When trying to start Xojo macOS tells me that the app is damaged. WTH? Oh, that’s the new idea they have when the xattrs haven’t been reset. Thank you, Apple! Xojo is coming from a notarised dmg.


I miss 10 years ago


I don’t miss using a computer (Elliott 803B) that had 4k of store and whose only I/O devices were a paper tape reader / punch. Or using punched cards on an IBM 7094, and other machines. The CDC 6600 was interesting to work on, what with several arithmetic units for parallel instruction execution, and a 10 word cache. Yes! Exciting to try and get your loop to fit inside 10 60-bit words with a mixture of 15 and 30 bit instructions. Assembler at its most loopy.

Then there was FORTRAN, BCPL, C, PL-11, along with the Z80, PDP-11, 68000, and VAX. In those days dealing with events meant hardware interrupts. More recently there was PHP and javascript.

Those were interesting times, on and off, but I don’t miss it at all.

1 Like

I really don’t miss anything, but there were advantages: take for instance the Commodore C64 (or whatever else was around at that time), where you had the feeling that you can master the whole machine, these days are at least partially gone.

But it is a human thing that you only remember the good things, as we all know there were tons of caveats: endless waiting time to load something from tape or disc, loud printers, compared to today: ridiculous capabilities.

But there was perhaps one advantage in the early days: you were able to solve a lot with one “workbench” and those were less complex. Today you have to learn a lot more: coding, graphic design, deployment approaches, often the IDEs itself became complex etc. It is like with other subjects: it is getting harder / more impossible every year to be an expert in all areas … Take Swift for instance. Swift is a beautiful and powerful language, and it is not difficult to learn, but mastering XCode, knowing all the fancy Apple libraries etc. can really quickly become frustrating …

Last but not least: Software was more intuitive in these days. Take the DTP program Calamus for instance. Beautiful, powerful but yet easy to learn and to master. Today you can do more with software, but each package has its own learning curve. A big plus of today is how stable systems became. I always hate when an IDE or an OS crashed without knowing why and nothing especially if not related to my work.


Oops… Something went wrong…

10 years it was easier to market Mac apps as there were more Mac oriented websites than there are today. There were more distribution channels to list your application and the media were happy to review your apps. Now many places are asking for me to pay them to review my products, some of them are prices I cannot afford.

10 Years ago, Mac OS X was more stable than it is today. I ran my laptop with 10.4.11 for 9 months without rebooting. Nowadays a couple of weeks is normally the most I get, either weird stuff starts happening or the machine reboots at some point in the middle of the night because it kernel panicked while it was meant to be asleep.

10 Years ago we only had to worry if our application was good enough that people will buy it. Now you have to worry, will it meet the latest security requirements? Will it be approved on the App Store? How do I handle this new “Privacy” restriction, and make it easy for customers to activate in a thing I have zero control over.

Yesterday I read about a dev who was rejected from the App Store, because there are already too many similar products to his, so out you go, you foul developer.

10 Years ago we only had to worry about Mac OS X updates once every 18 months, I reported a heck of a lot less issues back then and many were solved before the new OS was launched. I even had conversations with the Apple engineers via bug reports and one time I was given tips for performance improvements. In contrast, we now spend far more time reporting bugs to Apple, and trying to find workarounds for issues as they’re probably not going to get fixed. Then throughout the year you find more that were not noticed during testing. You are lucky if you get any kind of response, if that response actually relates to the bug in question or makes any sense at all. You’re lucky if that bug gets fixed next year, and you’re really lucky if it gets fixed in that cycle at all.

My code is littered with checks for specific OS versions (which Apple advises against) because of various issues across different OS versions, and I’m not the only one. It is not uncommon now for a API to change its usage without the documentation being updated either.

10 Years ago, Apple knew how important it was to provide documentation. No overview available. Sometimes stuff is only “documented” in WWDC videos (which get removed after a few years).

10 Years ago Apple adoption was exploding and it was exciting. There were tons of creative unique little apps coming out solving problems we didn’t even know we had.

9 Years ago the App Store launched and catapulted Mac OS X apps, and boosted creativity tremendously, while making it easy for people to find new apps and for developers to get paid. It also created a wave of cloning apps, which still happens today, but only if anyone can find your application to purchase it, that is.

I miss Apple from 10 years ago.


+1 for every time your mention. And it is not Apple only. In Windows you can even provide your app with a certificate, if it is not downloaded often enough (what is the case for me, developing form smaller business), it looks for my customers as if I would be an absolute beginner :-(.

But yet, with all these known to all of us, we often complain that Xojo has bugs … sure there are issues, and this is the wrong place to discuss those, but part of all the fair points you’re mentioning are for sure causing issues for Xojo too. This said, I’m often surprised how Xojo achieves to adapt at all, not an easy task.


I miss Clipper… with the Norton Editor and Norton Guides.

It nay help to keep downloads on the website as long as possible the same and do in app updates.

So ship 1.0 even when 1.2 is current.

Also let beta testers install last version before shipping it as final one.

1 Like

Not if you have many customers apps but only a handful of users using a particular one. One app needed 250+ downloads until MS “approved” it. I don’t know the exact threshold (and can’t find any exact figure from MS) but it seems that the threshold is definitely somewhere in the 3-digit numbers. Not a big deal: “normal” users just know what they have to do, but in my particular cases some are already afraid of double-clicking a setup.exe file ;-), so any screen with further “information” makes them open a ticket.

But good suggestion for devs targeting a broader group of users but starting small.

&^&^(&£# Tablets!

1 Like

What I miss most was back when things were simpler, when things to did not work as expected, 99.99% of the time it was safe to assume that I messed up and it was not a in the product or the OS!

That was a big part of how I taught myself to code!



I miss the beautiful design of iOS 6 and OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. I also miss the functional Apple Developer portal - after the change of its design (which I do not like by the way) it does not work very very very often.


I miss them a little. One time we were quoting a strip club cameras and POS system, When I looked at the licensing costs for POS terminals, I decided to write one from scratch in VB6 over the course of 30 days. It was great. We would remotely pop the cash drawers on the super hot staff to mess with them while sitting in the security room drinking beers watching the cameras! One patron was so large we called her “80 pixels” (out of 640).

1 Like

I miss RealStudio.

I miss software that you could pay for once and then own, and that came with a big, well-written, well-indexed paper user manual (sorry, trees!).

OK, never mind well-written, well-indexed user manuals, I miss documentation, period. So much stuff these days has none.

I miss the days when I wasn’t the only person on the planet still writing assembly code :slight_smile:


I miss the Commodore/Atari era… Computers were much more fun and interesting during that time. I still have my Ataris set up in my basement and play with them every once in a while.


Starting to notice this for  App Store apps, when they’re not in the Applications folder.

Oh, and I miss the days when Apple made superb, industry-best creative tools like the original Final Cut Pro and Logic.

1 Like