Thank you Xojo!

I am a retired software developer who has been writing code since the introduction of the PC. Nowadays I write code for personal hobbyist pursuits and I just want to say that every time I reach for Xojo to create something to aid in my pursuits I’m thrilled by the empowerment Xojo provides me.

I know this forum is often a place to give voice to complaints but today I just want to say thanks to the Xojo team for providing a tool-kit that hasn’t ever let me down.

-Wes

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There’s nothing like having tools that you enjoy using. Some software is like “Oh, yuck I have to use ___ to do this job” and some software is like “Oh boy, I get to use ___!”. KiCAD 4 was in the former category for me, while KiCAD 5 is in the latter, as is Xojo.

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I agree. I have been coding since the days of Dbase II / Sensible Solution / VBA, then more recently using VSC with HTML / CSS / JS - all very useful in their own ways, but. . .
Xojo is, in my opinion, the easiest, most intuitive full stack IDE - it’s a pleasure to use, well designed and surprisingly comprehensive, and it’s the only IDE that I have really managed to get my head round!

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We very much appreciate your comments, Tony. A big part of the reason we work day in and day out on Xojo is because we hope that it will enable people to do things that they might not have otherwise done. Comments like yours make the rounds here and they really do make our day so thank you for that.

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I use Xojo since the ‘old’ VB6 was taken down by Microsoft. I am very pleased with Xojo, using it now for 8-9 years and still happy I found Xojo.

Only one question rises up with me now and then: How come Xojo is not well known or not known at all to a lot of people. I created applications for my work and when they ask where I did it code in I say “Xojo” and they are like “Kso…what?!?”…Never heard of.

I thought Xojo should be just as famous by now as VB6 was then. Especially the ease you write applications with it as one could with VB6.

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Have to give a shout out to XOJO. It is a well written program. I have had no problems with the IDE, except for being slow with shared drives, I will take slow over crashes any day. The compiled programs just run on any machine I put them on. That is why I use XOJO for most of my projects. Bravo.

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That question has been asked, many times, over the course of my 20+ years of using the product and there are a lot answers with varying degrees of truthiness to them.

The BASIC language has fallen out of favor and it really is no longer being taught. So there is no younger generation of developers using it. Even though Xojo is a compiled language there is still some hesitancy to use it.

The Xojo 3rd party ecosystem is minuscule in comparison to many other languages/environments. In the old VB6 world and now in the .NET world (just to keep it on Windows) there are dozens of big name alternatives for controls, libraries, reporting tools, database tools, etc. Xojo just doesn’t have the same depth. You’re lucky if you can find one or two alternatives and the good ones cost money.

The IDE costs money (once you want to compile). There are many languages that provide an IDE that are free or nearly free. Granted, Xojo is one tool that’s relatively easy to learn but there are a ton of options out there for other languages.

The community is loyal, but tiny. Other languages have thousands of open source projects to choose from. The Xojo community just isn’t large. This affects their income, number of developers, 3rd party developers working in the environment, consultants, etc.

Lack of training materials and books. If you’re looking to learn a language and start looking around at udemy and other online schools you will be hard pressed to find anything Xojo related. As someone who once had over 200 videos available for training I was one of the few that had anything. And when API 2 came out every single one of those videos became obsolete. You look on Amazon there’s some very old Xojo books available and the ratings are middling.

Lack of features. Xojo is a cross-platform programming tool so by its nature there’s often a least common denominator approach when it comes to controls, libraries, and features. Not to say that Xojo doesn’t offer a lot but if you’re primarily a Mac or Windows developer then there are more complete environments for you for those targets. Xojo gives you what I’d say the 80% solution and if you try real hard you can probably get your app to 90% equivalent to a native application. Others will disagree with this assessment, I’m sure. I would say this is even more pronounced in mobile. iOS is missing a fair number of features you can get with Xcode and other tools, and Android is still in its infancy (can’t really speak to how good it is since I’ve not used it).

Bugs. Xojo does an admirable job of putting out new releases with new features. But with a small development team they often fall behind on fixing bugs. Since I’ve been using Xojo they went from two targets (Mac and Windows) to desktop, web, and now mobile with no increase in development staff. So those developers are doing more work on more targets in an ever shifting environment.

For anyone that was an original Xojo for Web user, the transition to Web 2 came about with zero upgrade paths. The solution then, as is now, is to rewrite your app from Web 1 to Web 2. For many that just wasn’t possible nor palatable so they’ve moved on to other web technologies.

The more recent API2 is decidedly mixed results for Xojo developers. Anyone that had projects of any size they found themselves unable to upgrade to API2. This leaves out the newer Desktop controls as well. Upgrading requires, in many cases, to go line by line to make sure the logic is the same. Don’t get me going on 1 vs 0 functions.

At the end of the day, if Xojo works for you and you’re happy with it that’s great! But these are some of the reasons why it’s never really taken off. Others will have different reasons and could probably offer some specific reasons but those are some of mine.

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I’ll add a few more items since I’ve had more time to reflect on my post.

Xojo Jobs. There are few to none. I was a Xojo consultant (with multiple employees) for over 20 years and did a lot of work on projects of all types. When consulting dried up (for various reasons but including a continued lack of prospective projects) I looked for a job and I landed a really, really good Xojo job due to connections I made over those 20 years. I’m at close to 4 years at this job and while we still use Xojo on a daily basis we’re just making time as we transition to other technologies. I’ve been porting Xojo to Go for our other teams and we’re doing very little new development in Xojo.

Who are the influencers? Who blogs about Xojo on a regular basis other than Xojo and few people that are Xojo 3rd party developers and consultants? I used to blog all the time and I reviewed many releases over the years. I even tried to make a professional users group to help convince Xojo of the things business users needed (because that was my bread and butter for consulting projects). Xojo used to have an evangelist but that person is now a full-time developer. So not much in the way of YouTube videos or other resources that are helping people find and use Xojo. The amount of time employees spend on this forum seems fairly low so they rely on the community to answer questions.

So small marketshare with few job prospects. An ecosystem that’s hard to make a living in with a language that while easy to learn isn’t being taught by online resources and there are no current books about it that I’m aware of. And few, if anyone outside of Xojo actually talk about the language/IDE/product? It’s no wonder that it’s not as famous as VB6. VB6 was used by practically everyone twenty-five years ago and if you barely knew VB6 you could get a job. We can’t say the same about Xojo today.

Anyway, that’s the end of my two cents on popularity.

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I too was a VB developer. I spent a lot of years in the Microsoft camp but decided that Microsoft had burned me for the last time when they killed VB. I moved on to other languages and platforms. When I finally decided to leave the Microsoft camp completely and jump to Linux I looked for a language to use and found Xojo. I’ve had a great time with it.

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