WE - Why not use it for...

A genuinely curious question for those like Xojo,Inc. , Daniel, Brad and others who use Xojo WE for products, etc, but have other Non-WE CMS, portals, forums, etc instead to sell/support their products.

Why not? What specific area(s) hold you back?

It is not my intention or desire to rehash any old battles.

I’m personally at a major fork in the road and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

I believe Xojo inc commented on this regarding the forum and said why reinvent the wheel. esoTalk forum already existed so why write a new forum using Xojo.

I use a WE built solution for file distribution to customers: Vecite Files. It’s embedded on the Download page of the Studio Stable website.

For a general brochure ware website, though, it’s hard to beat WordPress. If you get to the point where you need to hire someone to do the upkeep on it, it’s a common enough skill that non-devs can handle.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time building apps that scale from phone to tablets to desktops using WE. This is a way hotter area than run of the mill websites.

To your decision… Choose the best tool for the job. Nobody is going to take away your Xojo fan card for using other tools where they are more appropriate for the problem you’re trying to solve.

I’m currently working on my companys internal order/customer system as a WE stand alone app. It’s coming along great and WE is doin’ wonders on this project. I can only show you screenshots here .

As said above, use the tool that fits for the intended purpose. Take some time to figure that out :wink:

This puzzled me, because while this is most certainly true, Xojo “eat’s its own dog food” with the IDE. I would have thought they’d do the same thing with WE. It would certainly be the show case Web App as the IDE is for Desktop Apps.

Well yes ok but Xojo’s bread and butter is the IDE not apps. They didn’t create a desktop app to showcase the IDE so why would they create a web app to showcase the IDE.

I suspect it is all about priorities and for Xojo this would be the IDE not the platform on which is is sold (Even though this was overhauled). Also the forum is off the shelf so why would they develop a new one.

[quote]Well yes ok but Xojo’s bread and butter is the IDE not apps. They didn’t create a desktop app to showcase the IDE so why would they create a web app to showcase the IDE.

I suspect it is all about priorities and for Xojo this would be the IDE not the platform on which is is sold (Even though this was overhauled). Also the forum is off the shelf so why would they develop a new one.
[/quote]

I think it would totally validate the product. What better way to answer the question whether a product is up to the task then actually writing one that would fill a critical role within the company? I know it would take time and resources but the payoff would be worth it - it would be your best sales tool.

There are (probably) numerous people who review WE and wonder if it is up to the task - can it handle the traffic, can it scale, can it stand the test of a real world environment. This forum, had it been written in WE would answer those questions. It truly is a perfect candidate. There aren’t a lot of user apps that can be reviewed, many for confidential reasons so getting a handle on what WE can really do is a big question mark. Relying on your user base on a new product like WE to develop apps to showcase is questionable. Not only do you risk having improperly working apps and have no control over interface etc. there just aren’t a lot out there. The lack of available real-world samples and the fact a perfect candidate is starring us in the face but not done in Xojo doesn’t give a warm and fussy. If anything, contract it out to one their best customers or who is proficient in Xojo WE.

Sure there is a sample order application, it’s polished, looks like it works but how many people are actually pounding on that thing and how large is the underlying database, traffic, etc.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Yeah, and they’re already started on the wrong question. The right question is whether it is up to their particular task at hand. Look, I could describe a very particular area where Xojo Web Edition is far and away the perfect tool (even with its various warts). I’m fundraising on that right now, so I don’t lay it all out for public consumption. Trust me, it’s there. Trust my intuition on this… There are another 100 very particular areas just like it.

Brad, we probably won’t agree on this so this will be my last post on this subject (maybe). I am simply saying that in the absence of some real world applications that show that WE can handle a significant database, multiple concurrent users, proper browser display, etc. that a lot of people will simply move on. It would take a lot of time to evaluate whether WE would handle 100 concurrent users, a database of 100,000 records, etc. Especially if someone is new to the product. If THIS forum was a Xojo app it would make spending the time to evaluate Xojo for a project much more comfortable.

The best marketed products show you what IS possible, not expect you to guess what “might” work - especially with a new product that might have bugs or significant limitations or someone new to the field of web apps, like Xojo.

Trust me, I like Xojo, as a product and a company and I have high hopes for all of their products. All I am is saying if Xojo were up to the task of developing something like this forum it would go a very long way in answering A LOT OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS ($$) questions regarding suitability, scalability. For example, if I wanted to develop a web app for my company that had database with 10,000 records and maybe 10 concurrent users I might pull the trigger with regard to purchasing the product if this forum was programed in Xojo WE from the simple standpoint that my application is much smaller in scale.

The OP asked a question - why isn’t Xojo used for this forum? The original responses from Xojo was resources and they had more important issues/projects. But, why go through all the time to create a product such as Xojo and not another few weeks programing the one thing that could validate what you spent years working on. It does raise questions, for me at least.

Knowing what you know about Xojo WE, do you think one could program this forum in it? Would it be able to handle it?

It would be a poor choice for a forum. With a public forum you want the search engines to index the content to make your site/product/knowledgebase/Q&A’s more available. WE apps are 100% javascript based and getting them indexed at all in a search engine is a complicated affair.

In terms of scalability it would be similar to any other 32-bit only, single core using, proprietary not-yet-to-be-exploited in house web server lacking years of testing. Meaning with a nice load balancer and a number of smaller instances your number of users is essentially infinite. However would it take less hardware to run the equivalent number of users using something like PHP. I’m sure of it.

The biggest decision you have to make when using WE is do you need the everything-is-an-event-of-a-control model for your webapp and do you want to use the Xojo IDE to build it?

Joseph, Yeah, I doubt we’re going to agree on much, especially if I’m unwilling to make about 80% of my argument ;-). Let me sum it up this way. There will be a class of products with some basic design parameters that I will be happy if other WE developers would like to develop to work with my own products. My hope is that it isn’t just a nifty engineering exercise, but a lucrative business one. Such products could be developed with other technologies as well, but I’m pretty confident that Xojo will be far and away the no-brainer choice.

Not to pick nits, but this falls under the category of totally meaningless without very specific context. Back in my database days, we’d joke about how benchmarks could be rigged to tell any story you want. Want to tell the opposite story? Rig them differently. For the customers who really wanted that, it was very tempting to shovel feed them that kind of BS, but when you realize why its BS, the sales pitch of educating your potential customers when others are handing them conflicting BS benchmarks works a lot better.

Absolutely. It would be much more costly to do that than the arrangement Geoff worked out. Look, I am quoted once and acknowledged once in the book that did the most to popularize the phrase “eat your own dog food”. It is not a do it at all costs imperative. It sure looks nice when you can do it. There’s a wide field between those two. These forums are much closer to the “not at all costs” end.

[quote=21666:@Joseph E]I think it would totally validate the product. What better way to answer the question whether a product is up to the task then actually writing one that would fill a critical role within the company? I know it would take time and resources but the payoff would be worth it - it would be your best sales tool.

There are (probably) numerous people who review WE and wonder if it is up to the task - can it handle the traffic, can it scale, can it stand the test of a real world environment.

This forum, had it been written in WE would answer those questions. It truly is a perfect candidate.
[/quote]

100% with you on that. There needs to be real live WE applications under real world loads for us to judge how it works so we can determine if it’s worth spending a lot of money on or not. Considering we cannot even build a stand alone test demo version of a WE application to test on our servers we have nothing to go on. Xojo inc. doesn’t even provide comparison tests.

[quote=21720:@Phillip Zedalis @ 1701 Software, Inc.]
In terms of scalability it would be similar to any other 32-bit only, single core using, proprietary not-yet-to-be-exploited in house web server lacking years of testing. Meaning with a nice load balancer and a number of smaller instances your number of users is essentially infinite. [/quote]

Phillip what is the most concurrent user count you’ve properly sustained using WE and your load balancing technique?
How many servers did it need?
Since you are offer this information how about sharing with us a tutorial? Teach us and maybe teach Xojo inc. developers how to do it?
Because Xojo inc. offers no information how to scale their own product they must not know how to properly do it.

Without tutorials showing developers how to achieve this, it’s not very helpful.

Thank you for helping Phillip.

How can we determine how much more hardware is needed using WE to accomplish the same thing?

Extraordinary hardware requirements and costs could be a deciding point for many people. If you can do something using 1 server with php or other tools, but WE requires 5 servers to do the same thing, well that’s ‘not good’.

[quote=21721:@Brad Hutchings]
It would be much more costly to do that than the arrangement Geoff worked out. [/quote]

Brad why would you say that?
They already own the product so there is no licensing fee.
They’re already experts in development with Xojo so there is no learning curve down time.
A supposed main point of developing with WE is to save developer time. Didn’t the old website claim something like 30 to 50 times faster web development using WE than other web tools? The new website is saying 10 times faster. If that is anywhere near true then a single developer should be able to create a forum fairly quickly. If Xojo inc. employees didn’t want to do it I’m sure there are a handful of WE customers that would of taken the job. Some probably would of accepted payment in the form of Xojo licenses costing Xojo inc. NOTHING. And if WE were up to the task that would obviously bring in more revenue if the forum were made with WE and worked well.

For a $700.00 product I would expect comparison tests, real live applications in the wild with a realistic user load so we know if this thing is worth buying for our projects or not.

Instead we are underwhelmed with lack of information and we don’t even have the ability to build our WE demo projects to properly test them on our servers.

Brad, handling this is normal for other tools.
This is a big problem with WE that I’m not sure WE developers are aware of.
Did you know other webtools use Responsive web design or Fluid design that resizes and repositions the user interface appropriately fitting to the visitor’s screen size? You don’t have to hand code for all these different screen sizes, that’s a WE thing. With WE it’s a lot of extra work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design

[quote=21732:@Mason Mack]Brad, handling this is normal for other tools.
This is a big problem with WE that I’m not sure WE developers are aware of.
Did you know other webtools use Responsive web design or Fluid design that resizes and repositions the user interface appropriately fitting to the visitor’s screen size? You don’t have to hand code for all these different screen sizes, that’s a WE thing. With WE it’s a lot of extra work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design[/quote]

Well its not free with any other tool. That being said from experience it can be a real doozy on WE. I love WE for a lot of reasons. However dealing with various size browsers and various orientations is terrible. In my experience with other tools it wasn’t anymore fun, you were just closer to the metal.

And you made my point… Without a real-world working application talk is nonsense - a working app would go a long way in validating the product.

Really? Maybe if you count initial out of pocket expenses but what about potential lost sales? They already spent boat loads on developing WE, in the scheme of things how much more could it cost to develop an APP with it and think of the increase in sales by impressing potential customers? To me, it’s a marketing cost and a small percentage of the overall development cost of the product.

Using your methodology you’re saying just buy the product, spend weeks/months learning, coding, implementing to see if works out. Many potential customers aren’t going for this on a new product. If you read the OP and the comments by Mason, I’m not the only one who thinks this. Obviously this is Xojo’s call and if they’re happy with the results they’re getting, hey, more power to them… I really like the Desktop version - it’s excellent and will continue to use it. I probably have some project that WE “might” be a good fit for in the near future, but I’m not sold on it simply for the lack of information.

[quote=21734:@Phillip Zedalis @ 1701 Software, Inc.]Using your methodology you’re saying just buy the product, spend weeks/months learning, coding, implementing to see if works out. Many potential customers aren’t going for this on a new product. If you read the OP and the comments by Mason, I’m not the only one who thinks this. Obviously this is Xojo’s call and if they’re happy with the results they’re getting, hey, more power to them… I really like the Desktop version - it’s excellent and will continue to use it. I probably have some project that WE “might” be a good fit for in the near future, but I’m not sold on it simply for the lack of information.

[/quote]

Hi Phillip.
RWD (Responsive Web Design) is free. It’s CSS and HTML. There are proprietary products which have this ability built in saving you time and yes they cost money but they are much less expensive than the $700.00 WE costs.
Look into Adobe’s products, you can pay a small monthly fee and quit anytime like when your project is finished.
You could literally create your site in a month and pay something like $35.00 for the one month then use php for the functionality.
You can also buy premade scripts and ability from different websites from a choice of thousands of developers and put them in your site.
Instant functionality. Calendars, submission forms, chat applications, and many more often costing less than $20.00.

I see mostly two main types customers for WE :

  1. Xojo consultants charging clients. To them the $700.00 price tag and renewal price isn’t much money.
  2. Personal business or employees of some business that needs an internal solution for their company.

Neither of those uses have many concurrent users and that is what WE seems to be good for.

For good examples of sites that’s got RWD go here :
Then slowly resize your web browser making it smaller and larger and see how things get rearranged and resized.

http://d.alistapart.com/responsive-web-design/ex/ex-site-flexible.html
http://alistapart.com/article/responsive-web-design
http://www.uci.edu/

That is how modern websites and web apps are made and are supposed to be made.

If WE can’t do this it’s already outdated.

Mason you somehow got my name for a quote from Joseph.

Also when I said free I didn’t mean as in money. I meant time invested. HTML/CSS doesn’t magically rescale itself to different sizes. What I meant by closer to the metal is when javascript/css you can resize the page on the client side. In Xojo first the client notices the change, then it tells the server which runs your event code to figure out what the client should do about it.

So can Xojo be responsive? Yes.

Is it as fast as client side html/javascript/css? No.

You can create a site with WE for $0 and only decide to purchase to deploy/sell. After that a single cost could last you the rest of your life (unless you want updates). So first you can work on your site for potentially months for $0, deploy it & spend $700 and then build & deploy another 20-30 sites - lets say 1 month each - 30 X 35 is much bigger than your $700 spend only at your first successful deployment.

There are lots of arguments here based on performance, scalability etc. but cost is very hard to argue when comparing oranges & apples.

I have scaled WE apps running standalone at 20 WE instances per windows server with 4 windows instances per $2k (NZ) - about $1800 US - machine. This gives me between 2000 - 4000 active users for a pretty small cost. It doesn’t compare well with a brochure type site running on Apache though. Of course that would be comparing plums & prunes!

And I’d rather Xojo used its resources to fix the IDE before writing their own forum software.

[quote=21735:@Joseph E]Really? Maybe if you count initial out of pocket expenses but what about potential lost sales? They already spent boat loads on developing WE, in the scheme of things how much more could it cost to develop an APP with it and think of the increase in sales by impressing potential customers? To me, it’s a marketing cost and a small percentage of the overall development cost of the product.
[/quote]

Well, you should run a software company. I’m not going to second guess how other people allocate money for various business activities for their companies. Geoff’s a sharp guy on this front. Real/Xojo just celebrated its 15th anniversary, if I’m counting right.

On the esoTalk thing specifically… Developed part time by a grad student. I don’t care how good grad students are. They don’t expect or get full developer salaries.

And, FWIW, the Auto-Layout stuff shown at the last XDC would allow you to create “responsive” apps faster and easier than going to the HTML+CSS.