Example Project Documentation

Is there any detailed documentation on the example projects that ship with XOJO? Basically, it’s nice to see the many examples, but us there detailed documentation anywhere the describes each example in more detail, i.e. explanations of how/why things were created to accomplish each of the examples? This might be considered overkill, but I believe it can be very helpful for those starting out with XOJO. One on the things I was most looking for was documentation and examples of how to create web application layouts. Other tools like Visual Studio have code windows to add/change HTML and I am struggling getting started with XOJO to do initial layouts etc. Any/all help and suggestions would be appreciated!

Creating layout in web edition is I believe covered in the user guides (see http://documentation.xojo.com and look for the 4 books under the User Guides section on that page)
THere are several other items there as well under Tutorials & QuickStarts

You drag & drop controls on to them - but be aware what you’re making is NOT HTML pages.
Its a full blown app that the front end constantly talks to the back end via AJAX.

And there’s more in the various webinars we have posted Xojo: Webinars and Videos on Xojo Programming

I find it refreshing that someone else is struggling with the same issues.

I posted almost the exact same question and the response was very disappointing.


I took a look at the ‘user guides’ and they were . . . sub-optimal. For example the section on Classes was only 30 pages long. All the examples were code snippets with no working examples.

Webinars are great. It is a great concept that the information age has brought to us. However where is the PDF version. How do I refer back to the concepts that I learned later?

I am not trying to start a flame war, but I dont seem to see any resources for learning the finer points of the language / GUI.

Glenn, thanks for commenting. This could be a great opportunity to close the gap. For the sake of us veterans who can no longer see the forest for the trees, can you elaborate a little? What sorts of questions are you struggling with? Be as specific or general as you like. I know it may even be difficult to formulate the questions, but I’d like to explore this a little.

For the record, I am not a Xojo employee. And I realize this is @Paul Lefebvre 's jurisdiction. But I’m interested in what kind of resources might benefit a newcomer.

And don’t feel bad. There’s a LOT to learn all at once.

For complete newcomers, it is often better to start with the Introduction to Programming Guide rather than just dive into the User Guide.

It’s not exactly clear to me what you might feel is missing, but if you have specific things that you feel need to be covered in more depth, just shoot me an email and let me know. I’m always looking for ways to improve the docs, so I’m happy to hear any suggestions.


Tim, thanks for the concerned reply. Let me first give some background on myself. I work for a medium sized software company. I provide pre and post sales support. When my company’s documentation is less than optimal for a topic, it becomes my job to go on-site and explain how to use feature XYZ. I really strive to make my customers as self sufficient as possible. I live by the adage: give a man a fish feed him for a day. Teach a man a fish and feed him for life. So having a customer unable to teach himself is a topic dear to my heart.

With Xojo I am finding it difficult to teach myself.

Some things that come to my mind:

  • I think my number one issue is topic based documentation - The “Xojo Language reference” is very useful command based documentation. (what do I mean by command based? For example: when I need the syntax for a TCL command then tcl.tk/doc is great but it cannot teach me the language) So If I want see to the different ways I can declare an array in Xojo and how I can access them, where do I look? Or take container controls for example. I saw them used in the CalendarWindow example. “I said thats cool, I want to do that”. However, for the life of me I could not figure out what they were called nor how to create one. So even if there was a fantastic web page or forum post or PDF on Container Controls I had no clue what they were.

  • A book - There is not a single book out there on Xojo. Now I do realize that it was previously called Realbasic. If I search Amazon for realbasic. I get several hits, but all the books are 4 to 7 years old. From what I read on the wikipeida page, the language has changed a lot in the last 4 to 7 years. If I am learning something new I really like a hard copy. I can put postit notes on the pages, write in the margins. There is usually an index in addition to the table of contents. I write a lot of PERL and TCL at work. Despite the vast amount of information on the web for these two languages, I still sometimes need to crack open a book

        - THe "Introduction to Programming with Xojo" has been very helpful.  However, it lacks a table of contents and an index.  

Or a more recent topic I have been digging into: Container Controls. Where is the place I go to learn everything about Container Controls?

  • Xojo examples directory. This could be such a fantastic learning resource with the addition of a few key things: 1) an index of all the topics explained in all the examples. 2) a table of contents that lists all the examples and what what topics they demostarte. With the GUI nature of bothe the UI and languare, then it become very important to have explanations on how to recreate these key concepts shown in the examples

  • PDF copies of webinars. Let say I see a topic and am not quite sure if it is relevant to my question. I can skim through the PDF to see if the webinar will be of help to me. Also a PDF allows me something to refer back to after the webinar.

Just my two cents

Very well spoken.

Perhaps they like what they do, so much that they are willing to invest too many for too little.
Your suggestion is more like comment the code in the examples, explain what’s happening. Make it fun and easy
for newcomers so they invest their time well. Instead of in frustration.

And as always tim hare, is basicly doing the right thing trying to help.
I’ve learned xojo (was RB) by just opening some examples and abuse them. but there is realy no other way then having the docs
next to the app and keep trying. For those user guides… well their like manuals, i trow it in the bin …xd

User Guide Book 1: Fundamentals, Chapter 3: The Xojo Programming Language, Section 4.1: Collections of Data: Arrays.

User Guide Book 2: User Interface, Chapter 2: Desktop, Section 17: Container Controls.


For 2014, I do plan to improve discoverability within the Language Reference by linking to examples, the User Guide and other areas of interest. I’m also working on topics for a “How do I?” section of the docs. Stay tuned!


Thanks for being so willing to listen.

 would it be possible to have a table of contents that appears on the Acroread left hand pane.  Right now to get to section 17 I have to scroll through the entire document

I had a left-hand table of contents in the PDF versions prior to r4.1 But that seemed to confuse most people so I instead added the ToC to the document itself.

Unfortunately, adding the left-hand one is a manual, time-consuming process (since the docs are built using iBooks Author). I may go back to adding it for 2014r1, though, if excluding it proves to be a problem. If you have an iPad or a Mac, you can use the iBooks versions, which do have a clickable ToC.

Of course, anyone can add these things to their own copies of the PDFs using something like PDF Pen (which is what I would use myself to do it).

The problem is that any printed book will be out of date in about 3 months since that’s generally how often Xojo does a new release (and every release has new features). The books you referenced are useful in that the basics are there, but the exact details have changed over time and certainly the IDE user interface has changed significantly.

@Eugene Dakin has published a few books on RBLibrary: http://great-white-software.com/rblibrary/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=34

They are available in PDF form. I personally contributed to the most recent one on Programming XML in Xojo.

As Bob points out, there just isn’t enough market for traditionally printed books on Xojo (yet). I foresee that changing, however.