What are new features in Xojo you can't live without?

Let me start off by saying that Xojo is awesome. I had started with it right about when Real Basic became Xojo (2013) and I must say that it has allowed me to do whatever I wanted or needed. To all who have created Xojo - big thanks!

I continue to program in Xojo 2013 r3.3 because I still have users running Mac OS 10.6.8.

Today, I downloaded Xojo 2017 r1 - ported my application over, and it just worked! Honestly, how often does that happen?

When I compare my app created with version 2013 vs 2017, I really can’t see that much of a difference. Speed seems identical.

As of right now, I can’t see myself compiling a 64 bit app, but it didn’t look that bad. Most of the stuff that wouldn’t compile are related to “macoslib_32_64bits_savviness”, “Spotlight”, and “Cocoa”. I’m guessing new versions are hanging around somewhere.

I think it is amazing that Xojo can compile 64 bit and create iOS apps - but for those of us currently creating desktop apps, are there features that would compel me to upgrade to Xojo 2017 and never look back?

  1. I need to support the latest changes in the operating systems so my application feels as native as possible.
  2. I also need to use a large variety of plugins that also generally require access to newer Xojo features.
  3. While 32-bit may be around awhile it will become harder and harder to deploy.
  4. While mobile may not be the future of computing it will still be a conduit to information. Ability to share code between the primary and secondary computing devices is helpful.
  5. Two years of releases would consist of probably hundreds of internal framework bugs and fixes. These are bugs that can manifest itself in your software. Why would you not want your software to be improved by the provider of a great deal of its functionality?
  6. I want to support Xojo the company.

Adding to Phillips list

  1. New framework in particular the JSON handling of the dictionary and HTTP 1.1 support.
  2. Crypto classes both classic & new framework make life a lot easier.
  3. The IDE has become more stable and feature rich.

And I’ll add a +1 to No. 6. My current business model requires Xojo to work so I’d be daft not to support them.

Add to that the interaction here with the likes of @Norman Palardy, @Joe Ranieri & others at Xojo - you just don’t get that elsewhere.

I need 64-bit for one of my data processing apps. Other than that I regret having moved from REALstudio 2012 R2.1 to Xojo 2016 R4.1.

Now there’s an interesting thing. As a Windows user I always found RS to be a bit clunky and when Xojo came along - brilliant.

I’m wondering if perhaps it’s that love affair that (home) users have when switching from Windows to Apple. Perhaps I fell in love with this IDE because I wasn’t an Apple user? And (some) Apple users find it blah?

I currently spend more time with the Windows IDE than I do with my wife. A nasty awakening since we know it’s is not perfect under all circumstances and it’s very well possible to get it crashed.
I opt for:

  • full 64 bit support;
  • support for UWP core API;
  • stability above n.t.h. IDE features.

Maybe by computing you intend all things that compute, and then indeed, things like AI may really be the long term future. I don’t know.

But for the immediate future, between Android and iOS, represents over 3/4 of all apps development. That is not going to cease. On the contrary. Xojo is well inspired to pursue Android. I just wish iOS was not still such a toyish, unfinished, limited tool, and more like Desktop or Web.


I also love the Xojo IDE. And I am a very long term Mac user. It is indeed in the vein of XCode. I think Mac users who hate it may have a case of “it was better before”. I find the RS IDE cramped and old fashion.

I just wish sometimes there was a better keyboard support. just being able to go up and down the messages and bugs area with arrow keys would make life so much easier.


You can support the Xojo community and still work with legacy versions. I think that was my intent by being a Xojo Pro user.

Just another viewpoint. Xojo isn’t a charity, it’s a business. There is harm you can do by buying something you don’t necessarily need just to “support the company”. You enable the company to not perform because they are getting money for things you aren’t using. When businesses make goods and services that enhance YOUR value, they should be rewarded. Economies and businesses run in a healthier manner that way.

I didn’t agree with most of Phillips list (though respecting what he values, that’s okay with me).

Factually I don’t see how 32-bit will be “harder to deploy”, if the OS allows 32-bit it does or it doesn’t. As of Sierra there are no 32-bit issues.

Mobile is an AND thing, you don’t have to care about mobile. If it becomes important, then get the latest Xojo - Xojo just added value to you. But no one really NEEDS it for basic things.

Bug Scare
The “bug scare” he invokes - no, most RS and Xojo releases for the last 7 years have been stable with no bugs that would really bite you in any significant way; in other words, all can be avoided or workaround.

Plug-In Compatibility??
“I also need to use a large variety of plugins that also generally require access to newer Xojo features.” I don’t know what this means. Plugins do their own thing and their only relationship with Xojo is their function interfaces, and that’s only data types, whcih haven’t changed significantly in years. Plus, when you say PlugIn you really are saying MBS, and I’m using RS2011 and MBS is compatible WITH THAT.

Feels Native
This makes no sense. One of RS/Xojo’s mantras (like, forever) has been to use native-OS controls whenever possible, and most stuff in Xojo are native controls. So as long as you are compiling for Cocoa (Mac), your app will feel as native as possible automatically. A new Xojo version won’t and can’t improve on this.

I still work with RS2011r3 and I sell thousands of 32-bit Carbon apps to Mac people running Sierra and they are plenty happy with the apps. I get that I’m behind the curve, and I’m going for Xojo this year, but I want a BIG payoff by upgrading. Part of that is 64-bit, and it’s only now that you can debug in 64-bit. I’m still going to wait until things settle down.

I don’t mean to pick on Phillip, but just my point of view.

While OS X isn’t yet restricting apps to being 64 bit only iOS is moving in that direction quite rapidly
As are nearly all modern versions of Linux
And there are a significant number of new features in OS X that are 64 bit only

See above where if yo uwant to use a plugin that exposes a 64 bit only feature … well …

Actually it can
Listbox is not currently a native control - but a new version could alter that

Apple has said “Carbon is deprecated” and literally is not fixing anything but the most egregious bugs
And it will never be 64 bit which means you cannot take advantage of the new bits being added to the OS that are 64 bit only

I am happy to have plugins covering over 10 years of Xojo versions.
From REALbasic 2006r4 up to Xojo 2017r1.

Of course for best results you should use latest plugins for all those REALbasic, REAL Studio and Xojo versions!
and 64-bit is only in recent Xojo plugins.

What does that even mean? It is like saying “Mac users who love it have a case of it is better now”?

I hate such pseudo-arguments that have no point but are just used to put down those you disagree with. Is it really necessary to write such cr@p?

Sure I grant thats a valid philosophical point of view. There is also the ability to harm them by not supporting it when they need to continue making investments in the platform. Even if the new enhancements do not directly help ME they may grow the community which draws in more potential customers which benefits my consulting firm in a roundabout way.

Doesn’t sound like you deploy to Linux very often. :slight_smile:

I agree with you that it is an AND thing. However given the choice between writing two distinct apps or writing a second app with 90% of the code shared most developers will choose the latter. It’s valuable for Xojo to expand to new targets even if not useful for every customer. For the heavy hitters like us who use every target it is very valuable to us to share code that is known to be production worthy.

Hmm… The Windows changes in 2016 R4 were pretty substantial and 2017 makes major improvements there. Xojo.Net.HTTPSocket was broken on Windows for a long time so if you depend on HTTP 1.1 you NEED that working. Just one example where a new version does benefit you because of bugs or omissions in previous Xojo versions.

Not every plugin MBS makes. 2016 R4 required new plugins for Windows which means plugin authors have to stay ahead of the curve. Sure you can use old plugins for old versions but lets say Apple changes a feature in a new macOS or restricts something. You may need the plugin to update how it access the internal Cocoa API but alas it requires a new Xojo version.

If you need it you need it. If you don’t well I guess that’s good too.

What I mean are the things you can’t do with Xojo but can rely on plugins for. If I want to use Notification Center in macOS for example I may need a new plugin which is built on top of a new Xojo plugin SDK which requires a new Xojo version.

When I say native I mean EVERYTHING the platform provides.

It’s a good point of view but I primarily build REST API’s, mobile apps, Linux services, etc. Desktop in Xojo is very strong and you are right you probably can get away with an old version. For others it’s not always so easy.

Interestingly enough, Xojo’s own Feedback app is affected, and I hope Greg finds the time to produce a less impaired version of that critical piece of Xojo software.

I’m not aware of any outstanding issues with Feedback on Windows. The only issue we identified had to do with IPv6 DNS resolution and that’s not within our control.

I get a couple of odd problems with it now and again when submitting bugs, it tells me there was a problem submitting, would I like to retry, then it goes through anyway even before I have responded to that pop up, so I’m left wondering if I cancel this ticket and risk it to see if it did actually submit, or not.

Every now and again I get a crash on startup, when I relaunch it, its lost my login details.

The UI in windows leaves a lot to be desired, the resize speed of the app is… well… embarrassing, for a single listbox :slight_smile:

The search box at the tops flickers with a grey box being overdrawn on the search bar when resizing or even alt-tabbing in/out of the app.

The divider between the left and main nav shows a resize option, but does nothing when dragged to resize.

There is a “hidden” column called “Version” on the right of the side that can be viewed by dragging the column headers (I guess thats some sort of tracking data for the rows)

You are able to confuse the sections if you switch between them too quickly.

It submits a ticket when you press Enter on the numpad, but not when you press Enter on the main keyboard.

Whilst typing this in, feedback literally just crashed.

I can probably find more if you want :slight_smile:

I think Greg meant with respect to the new socket usage in Feedback on Windows

I’m sure he’s aware of the other issues as some are not unique to Windows

It takes sometimes over 3 minutes to open. And sometimes downright fail. I remember seeing a work in a progress a while ago that considerably improved that process. Has this ever been implemented ? I don’t recall any new version announcement.

[quote=323648:@Garth Hjelte]
Factually I don’t see how 32-bit will be “harder to deploy”, if the OS allows 32-bit it does or it doesn’t. As of Sierra there are no 32-bit issues.[/quote]

If you sell software, you know 64bit nowadays is important. Customers expects 64bit and think 32bit is bad. It is not only a technology difference but a huge psychology factor too.
The moment I switched to 64bit, people got me noticed and sales went up. Trust me, 64bit is very big deal.

If you still think 32bit is enough for you, then think twice and start thinking like a customer. Remember, customers buy your software, not you.

Xojo lacks a real deal of good native controls. Just take a look at the most used control - Listbox. It is nowhere near native and not modern at all (especially for macOS).
Remember, macOS users are very attached to macOS native things like, smooth scrolling (NSTableView and NSScrollView comes to mind). That’s only possible with Xojo doing tricks and a huge amount of declares.
That’s really something Xojo needs to step up imo