Metro look-and-Feel / Modern Windows GUI

As I embark on an updated version of our product on Windows, I’m taxed with looking at our GUI and feeling like I’m stuck in 1997.
Most of this is because I don’t really have the time to start drawing canvas controls and doing lots of owner draw trickery.

I see a ton of work around Cocoa, which is great, but it appears nothing has happened for Windows.
What I’d like to know is if there’s any 3d party plugins or things out there that will move the Windows look-and-feel into 2013?

Some examples of what I’m talking about.

Below is Office 2011… nothing on Xojo looks anything remotely like that, and if you need something to look like that you’re doing a lot of custom drawing.

Office Example

Evernote Example

Gary MacDougall

As far as the Ribbon goes, Jeremie Leroy’s Ribbons control has some newer styles in it. Not sure about his other controls.

Yeah I think they focused a lot on Cocoa, Web and new IDE the last couple of years leaving Windows and even more Linux Targets behind. I hope that they will close this gap somewhen. Until then as Melvyn already said you have to buy 3rd party addons.

Nobody is getting the true Metro look and feel unless and until Xojo integrates with .Net but the current desktop window app style is current, it’s just empty. Even when I develop using Visual Studio, which is pretty much every day - there are no free meals. You end up going to 3rd party whether it is VS2012 or Xojo

[quote=29298:@Gary MacDougall]We’ve based our whole product on Windows based development on Xojo and have since 2007. We’re a small company, but our product is very expensive, albeit niche in nature, but its 100% Xojo and its served us well.

The one thing that we did run into with Xojo was some push back from an IT professional (Veep) when they were tasked with looking at our technology as a possible “merger” or acquisition. The IT person, being mostly .NET (of course), found that our decision to go with Xojo was, and to use his words “perplexing when you could have used .NET”.

I read your post in another conversation. I have developed with .NET from its beginning having received the early betas however I have developed with other languages too, BASIC, MASM, C/C++, even something called Clipper in the dBase days before Windows was relevant. There is absolutely nothing wrong with development in other languages, the whole world is doing it and the whole world is not just Microsoft or Apple. The ‘IT Person’ who evaluated your software was just narrow minded and his employers should have recognised that but they probably had even less experience than him. A programming language is just that ‘a language’ and I don’t think that I am alone in being able to switch between them and translate ideas from one language to another. If Xojo is doing it for you then stick with it, if you have another reason, say an architectural reason, for changing then do so but don’t do it for language snobbery. Your customers obviously do not see the language, they see the product. Xojo gives you an easy development environment for three platforms if you need them.

I think you need to be a bit more confident about Xojo, if I were faced by the ‘IT Person’ I would make his arguments look very silly because they were no doubt ill founded, there is nothing perplexing about not going with .NET when you have a successful product - what difference would .NET have made? Probably this, probably that - in the end - nothing, in fact the learning curve alone could have killed your business. Be proud of what you have done (I am sure that you are already) and if you meet any similar ‘IT People’ then tell them that they lack experience - or send them over to me so I can do it for you. I have .NET, C/C++, Ruby and others right in front of me and when I use Xojo it is because it is the right tool for the job in hand.

PS. If there are any Xojo Inc. people reading, we know that you will make it even better with iOS, 64bit, .NET etc. and in the meantime open it up a little with command line compilation, a stable published source code format and IDE plug-ins so that others can supplement your efforts. I would love to be able to work in the Xojo IDE and manage a database, use SCM, generate a UML diagram, run a code generator, do smart refactorings, manage and use code snippets. And how cool if I could write one of those plug-ins in Xojo itself so that it would work on any platform.

I can’t argue with anything you’re saying. But I’m just conveying the facts. IT people are notoriously stubborn about such things, and changing their mind is not easy. What needs to happen (on the Windows side) by Xojo is a more logical push towards being accepted as a platform. Given Microsoft’s recent downfall, its a good time to start re-focusing this product towards folks who need another choice other than just doing C# and .NET… in fact, it would bode well to have a strategy right around creating a Windows Xojo platform that was targeted towards the IT side of things, and you mentioned some of the things (UML, SCM, etc.).

I am an IT Person myself :slight_smile:

There is much that Xojo can, and I am sure will, do to advance their product. However I can tell you that short of writing your applications in real C/C++ there isn’t much out there that can give you a real compiled executable for Windows and that is what MS do for many of their serious applications. Xojo gives you a real executable out of the box.

I do agree though, Xojo could do more increase width and depth their coverage and add more developer features. At the same time they are resource limited like so many other companies, hence my comments about opening up their product a little more so that they could increase their coverage via 3rd parties who could develop for the IDE rather than just 3rd parties adding components.

Xojo is still a very good choice though.