Latest blog post, what goes into Xojo

Just incase you haven’t read the blog already, take a quick read before seeing what I have to say about it.

In Feedback users can specify which 5 cases are most important to them, be they bugs or feature requests. Doing so assigns points to the case with the user’s #1 case getting the most points and #5 getting the least.

Nope, customers get this feature, users get no points unless they have paid for a product in the last 12 months. So this is misleading. So if a user is still evaluating the product, helping you bug test it, they get no points and no input into the priority of their bugs. Nice.

The User Favorites list in Feedback shows the top 100 cases with the greatest number of points.

Nope, we only get to see 20 which frankly is pretty pointless at this time when 17-18 of the top 20 are 4-12 years old, why we don’t get to see everything is anyone’s guess, maybe you don’t want to let users know what a huge list there is? We sure remember what happened when you tried to remove the little information we are allowed to see.

Many (but not all) of the open bug reports in Feedback only impact a small number of users (and many just a single user)

Maybe people are fed up spending (wasting?) time reporting bugs. Maybe if we could actually browse the complete list and we weren’t only given a choice of 5 to pick from we could let you how many are actually important.

It’s important to note that development tools will always have far more open bug reports than most other software. Why is this?

Far more open bugs? Don’t you mean far more bugs? “open bugs” is directly related to the number of people finding bugs which is related to software reach, staff on hand to squash the bugs and the practices and policies or lack there of in terms of code quality and bug checking during development. Its also related to how quickly you need to get things out the door, rapid releases mean that checks aren’t always as thorough as they could or should be.

Reviewing Microsoft’s bug base for cases regarding Visual Studio is a good comparison. In terms of ratios (open vs. closed cases), we are similar but with a team and budget several orders of magnitude smaller.

I’m not sure that is a good comparison or something you want to be proud of. Saying that you have a similar ratio of bugs vs a piece of software that has an order of magnitude more users stressing it as well a vast difference in complexity and features. I know there are bugs in Xojo at the moment that haven’t been reported due to sheer frustration by users that have given up on reporting them. You won’t even have any metrics for those users that are turned away from your product by bugs they find that are being overlooked in feedback due to there being a workaround in there, they might not have even found the workaround yet and have been turned away from your product. I see what you’re trying to do here, justify the current level of bugs by comparing Xojo against VS but I’m not sure you can compare Xojo with VS.

Do you have any data on the bug levels and which direction they are going? While you keep saying that you squash a lot of bugs and quoting 161 from the 2020r1 release I’m yet to be convinced that you’re actually reducing the number of bugs overall. If 130 were introduced and fixed in the previous release, 10 were “fixed” due to a change in tech from web1 to web2 then only 20 long term bugs were fixed in around 8 months. Do I need to look at how many bugs were actually added in that 8 months? We then look at the next dot release and see that 44 bugs were fixed from 2020r1 around 38 of which were introduced in 2020r1 so you only actually fixed 6 outstanding bugs in a month, do I need to look at how many other bugs were reported in that month? This would seem to me that you aren’t tackling enough bugs and your product will (has?) eventually get overrun with bugs.

You also seem to have omitted the part where devs pick what they feel like from the current list of bugs, I’m sure people would be interested in how that fits in with the whole process.

As we develop much of Xojo in Xojo, we run into bugs ourselves and fortunately are in the unique position to fix them at that point.

Yes, we notice this quite often. A bug we put in is ignored for years until someone at Xojo comes up against it, puts in a duplicate case then instantly fixes it. We especially love having our time wasted documenting the bug in the first place, providing a demo project to replicate it, giving any feedback to reproduce it and having to figure out the workaround only for all that to be literally ignored when the bug is “discovered” later by an engineer/owner. I couldn’t think of anything much more insulting to your users. The excuse of “the engineer is in the area of the code so its easier to fix” doesn’t wash with us either, just the fact that they were in the area of the code in the first place and didn’t have the outstanding bug on their radar shows us that this doesn’t happen.

Xojo Pro Plus users will be given priority.

This isn’t what I hear from Pro Plus users.

Given that the source code to Xojo is far larger than that of the space shuttle, the cost of making it bug-free would also be higher.

This is complete and utter nonsense. The reason that the cost was so high was exactly because lives were on the line and the costs involved had a line of code been wrong were astronomical. So much more time and effort was put into making sure things ran smoothly than would ever be needed to ensure than Xojo runs smoothly.

Only 8 of the top 50 are bugs, the first of which doesn’t even make the top 10

How many of the top 100 are bugs? We can’t see that data even though you seem to think we can. Are you cherry picking data to match your narrative, it seems odd that you go from a 100 reference down to a 50.

We fix hundreds of bugs every year.

But how many do you introduce every year?

The whole point of Feedback is to guide us in finding a way to prioritize and balance everyones’ needs and desires.

For it to all boil down to an engineer randomly picking what they feel like doing that day?

Overall, a nice bit of attempted PR and customer outreach, its just a shame so much of it is wrong or misleading.


I thought it was a very well written explanation of the realities of running a platform development business.


@Henry_F_Gibson: it’s what Xojo would like to have but it’s not the reality.


Geoff should have better written:

We have Feedback, but it’s not representative.
We have the Forum, but it’s not representative.
And we know better what you need anyway…

At last, that’s how it feels… :wink:


This made me think about what I do as the creator and supplier of software that has thousands of users.
If someone reports a bug, I work to recreate it.
If I can’t, I dial into their machines and find out what is different.
It personally galls me until I find the cause, and I ship monthly updates to address them.
Right now, as usual (for the while) , my list of bugs is zero.

What do YOU folks do?


We all know this is impossible to reach with a Code Base like the Xojo IDE.

@Jeff Tullin: of course, I do the same. If there is a serious problem I try to get more information with a session log. If this doesn’t help I do a screensharing session.

@Sascha_S: that’s what Christian is there for.


I know that too.
But I’m just interested to know how other people do it.

I especially wonder on what data this statement is being based on. Would be great if this could be clarified. Surveys? Project analysis?

I have the inkling that it’s based on the idea of feedback points (which we have only 5 different ones to spend) and the discipline of every user to write a ticket for every case encountered (or to add points to an existing case).
Which is utterly wrong. I stopped writing tickets myself because way too many were left open – and no, by far not only own cases.

Important data:
Feedback does not measure user contempt or the number of customers influenced by a bug.

If Geoff really believes the opposite, this is one reason why the company is currently unable to meet the expectations of numerous users.


The reasons for what goes into Xojo are not much different to what goes into MBS Plugins.
We add things because:

  • A client pays for it
  • Multiple developers asked about it
  • We need it ourselves
  • It makes a good bullet point for the next release announcement.
  • It’s fun to code for me.

And of course we know who are our big customers, so we may prioritize support to them.


I just deleted my long answer to this topic right before sending it. Felt it would make no sense to come up with another complain about the core structures here.

The core message was:
all software companies prioritise their work similar like Xojo Inc. does and like @Christian_Schmitz tells as well.
The only doubt I have is, that Xojo has an actual realistic view into the things we really want to get delivered.
Feedback simply does not work for us customers as Xojo implies in its blog post.

A request like “make the IDE and the compiling faster” is so unspeciffic, that it simply would be ignored, even though it is sure very important for many users.


I totally agree with Julian and i would like to give you some numbers of our codebase.
We provide more than 600 companies with more than 3000 users in Germany with our ERP Software.

To give some real numbers of a product that’s in the market for 30 years i’ve made a code statistic of our general ledger product (rhvFibu).

Codelines: 276.217 (without empty lines)
Forms: 241
Reports: 107

As i mentioned in a different thread - we’ve tried to evaluate to migrate our codebase from MS to xojo.
As we are very experienced in MS development software i totally disagree with Geoff that there is a similar amount of bugs as in xojo. The difference is, that there are no show-stopping bugs that makes it impossible to roll out our software. Yes, we had to handle some workarounds for some specific things that are mostly based on new windows updates but we don’t had the problem that a new Version of Visual Studio breaks our progress to go ahead with our work.

As we are under special observation of the german financial law, we have to take care of our QS and we spend at least 30% of our development effort for it.

I’ve never seen, that a company tried to give the responsibility for the QS to their customers in the way xojo does. I’m extremely impressed of this community with all the help they give and patience they have and xojo has to be very happy about it.

The latest behavior of xojo has lead us to the decision that we cancel the evaluation of xojo and go ahead with MS. We also have cancelled the automatic renew of our licenses.
The arguments in this statement are nothing else than defending the bugs and bad decisions they made in the latest releases. i cannot see a serious insight that they have to change something.

Please apologize, if my comment is not well written. I’m not a native english speaker.


We are in the same boat. Thank you.


This is another troubling occurrence with Xojo’s handling of reported issues that they can’t reproduce. I’ve offered remote access to my systems for years, but have never been taken up on the offers. In the mean time, my reported bugs are still festering because they can’t duplicate them.

Or - I search for a problem and actually get useful results. Determine that someone has already posted a valid and (what I consider) reasonable report, and so I just let my report die because my time is limited and I have other things that demand my direct attention.

I didn’t know that “favoriting” a report was even a thing until a couple of months back when it was mentioned.


Most installable software is buggy these days because it’s built to a price. Back in the early 90s I recall you could pay $600 for a word processor. A compiler might cost you double that. That would be $2400 in today’s money with libraries extra. There was good money in Dev tools.

If you are prepared to pay that kind of money for Xojo Pro-plus you can and have your bugs fixed faster. You should clarify what that means for you before paying of course. My company is currently considering getting a Pro-plus licence for this reason. Having been around the block a few times we don’t have unrealistic expectations.

We also use open source and one day hope to give back to it. But for now, there are some things we would like to use that have been marked “won’t fix”. Unlike Xojo, there is no recourse.

It was Microsoft that created the present pricing for software. They were the ones who invented the upgrade-to-fix model IMHO. People didn’t argue because of the price, myself included. Then the open source community tried to break that model to be free and are slowly succeeding.

What causes software to be like this is the deregulated U.S. market where fitness for purpose is not an unbreakable statutory requirement. That makes it hard for software developers in other countries who end up being the meat in the sandwich. :cut_of_meat: I get that.

But in the end, you get what you pay for. From my memory of how things were 30 years ago, no one with a Pro licence here today is paying for the service they are demanding in posts like this. They are wrong because the numbers they want Xojo to operate on don’t add up.

So if you want more support for what affects only a few of us, fair enough, only be prepared to also pay more. As I said, my company is presently thinking about it.

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I think you missed the point of why so many have an issue… It’s because of WHAT Xojo Inc has decided to work on for a long time now…

In the eyes of many, much effort has gone into things which many see as unnecessary and/or not dealing with things that matter most to their customers.



True. But who can say? I use Web on Linux. Others find that combination utterly irrelevant. But if people look carefully, where is Microsoft headed with 5eir games platform and browser? Xojo is already there and more. My son also develops Web on Linux on ARM IoT. That’s not Pi BTW. Does anyone deny this is the future? Yet with Xojo he could put that logic tomorrow on a Mac desktop if he wanted. That’s why this tool has a future when many others are yesterday’s heros. And I’m talking big-name vendors no one gets fired for choosing - for now.

So Xojo is bleeding edge, rough in places, but mostly easy to use and multi-platform. If you want more on bug fix I do understand. This needs more marketing to fix not less, educating Xojo devs on the model and the need to pay for deeper support. The requirement to “fix all bugs on all platforms” is the law in many countries, but not achievable at the Xojo Pro price point.

IMHO Xojo Inc. needs to provide a stronger support model especially for non-U.S. customers. That is the real problem here, not that hard to fix if people are prepared to pay for what they demand. But are they?

But the upgrade fee was very low. And I only knew bug by the name.

Yes it was … to the next version. But skip a few and it was full price again. This was a sane business model IMHO since it created predictable cost for devs and cashflow for tool makers.

But the U.S. market - half the world of software - works on an “AS IS” basis if the licence says so in caps. (I kid you not.) And this is what I think Microsoft was able to use to make the low-price model work that Xojo must compete with. In fact they give their tools away to startups (for a while).

The trouble is the model isn’t sustainable unless the dev tool is tied to a bigger offering. But that world is fast disappearing. Now the money is in services. We have been told Windows 10 is the last in the line haven’t we?

Because Xojo is easy multi-platform, from hobbyists to pros, it has a different story. But in a world where many of its customers’ software are effectively services, Xojo Inc needs to also provide offerings designed for business continuity. And the devs need to recognise that’s not just a product.