Xojo for rant

It this thread is not deleted, This post should be marked as answer!

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In an effort to bring this thread back on topic, and preventing it from being locked (because I have found this thread very informative), I can give my perspective as a new Xojo user.

I have used many development tools on many platforms, from Mainframe to Microcontroller, throughout my career as a programmer. Like others have said, no environment is perfect, and no developer with a large code base likes breaking changes.

I appreciate a forum where open discussion can take place, and a thread such as this one can give me a perspective of where Xojo stands and how it is perceived by longtime users. An open forum can be a double edged sword for the company that provides it, but in the end is the only way to garner respect from its loyal users and advocates.

That being said, I have to say that I have been somewhat surprised by the volume of negative discussions and ‘harsh comments’. Since I am planning on adopting Xojo (and hoping that it fits as a full time professional development platform for me) I have done an excessive amount of reading on this forum (for quite a long time, even though I have only registered on the forum recently). As a result, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what Xojo is and what it is not, as well as what Geoff and his team are trying to accomplish.

Other potential users, however, might not take as much time to research the product, and I am afraid that the volume of harsh and negative comments could put Xojo in a negative light.

After close to 30 years of working as a professional developer, Xojo is bringing me back to the time of my youth before programming was a ‘job’ and was instead something I did for fun. There are very few tools on the market (if any) that provide the functionality Xojo does, combined with rapid development and ease of development. I am looking forward to getting to know Xojo and the community better.

I do hope, for everyone’s sake though, that we can provide constructive criticism without tarnishing the product’s image. The way I go about these types of discussions, is I view the product as if it was someone’s baby (and for the creator and developer’s I believe it is true to some extent), and as a result I act accordingly.

Like I said previously, I have learned a lot from this thread - and it has helped fill in some gaps for me, like for instance the disappearance of Tim. I hope we can all learn from everything said here and move forward in a productive manner.

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Amen to that … that sucker compiled tight code and without 100MB chunks of libraries (a piece). But that is unfortunately the past. All we can do is keep moving forward looking for the best tool for the job. This tool is but one hammer; and as much as some would like to make it into a Swiss utility knife, no amount of lipstick is going to change what it is.

I’m sorry but when you use the fact that Cinema 4d has been bug free for years you make your arguement weak. I’ve been a user of this product for years and it’s had more than its fair share of delays and bugs.

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Well, while you all can report bugs, Xojo Inc. has to select which one they can fix.
For my own reports, I have about 1350 of those. Over a quarter got fixed/resolved/implemented, which I see as a good quote. But it takes an effort to explain an issue, help to get it reproduced and get attention and thus priority.

And it has helped in past to make a forum post to let others know the problem exists, start a discussion about it, which may lead to a workaround or me recognizing that I did something wrong.

Sometimes emailing someone at Xojo helped to get attention. But often they will see the forum post. Going to conferences may help to be recognized better.

So lobbying for your bug fix can help.

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No software is bug free. I accept that.
I depend on Xojo for my own business, which I could not have built without it.
I passionately want Xojo to continue, and I worry about business choices which could leave me unsupported in the future.
So I’d like to ‘rant’ for Xojo. I love the tool.

My 2c …
The product has changed in ways that were not always good for the community .
I didn’t like the IDE and framework changes , which seem to have been made without consultation and for little benefit.
The pricing model is indefensible … ‘upgrades’ are priced like full new sales, and iOS is ridiculously overpriced (3 times as much when compared to the Mac and Windows ‘single target’ options.)

Truth is, I would have been happy with the RealBasic I was using 10 years ago, but with bugs fixed, kept compatible with Windows 10 and Catalina.
Web and iOS using the same language to allow easy code sharing.
New controls and libraries added over time, like the new PDF stuff.
But if something ain’t broke…

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At least Xojo has solved some of my “wishes”, “bug reports” in the past. I have many bug reports open with larger companies, and they are not even just closing my cases, no response at all. In my early business life, I worked and developed for SAP. There were many valid bug reports (which most likely “hurt” many developers). But guess what? Due to overall roadmaps some bugs were just lowered in their priority or ignored, as the company had higher priorities in developing “something” new. That’s called business. It’s not ideal, but it is what it is. Or developers in one area had to help out on other subjects, as a future Wiindows Update for instance was able to risk the whole stability of the product and as such resulting in severe delays of original roadmaps …

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it is not a bargain for private users. Adding my 2 cents as the pricing and the return of value is a big topic in some rants:

If you are using Xojo for your business I think it is a no-brainer compared to other solutions. I have a business need for the Adobe Creative Suite. But we are using it perhaps 5 times a month for a few minutes. But I’m paying more for CS on a yearly basis than for Xojo, which I’m using each and every day.

On top of that: no one is forced in buying the updates. You can still work with the old version, and skip a version if it doesn’t contain the new features or fixes, you are interested in - I think that’s a rather fair model, compared to a yearly subscription for instance. But we can discuss this for eternity ;-).

If there is one component which I think is overpriced than it is Xojo Cloud. But many, many people will disagree with me. Xojo Cloud is easy to use, stable, secure. And usually you would just make your customers paying for it. Xojo knows that we have a lot of customers in the NPO area, which can’t justify these monthly costs. But especially with Web 2.0 it is now very easy to run apps on your own servers (hence I’m very happy). But “my rant” over Xojo Cloud is not the rant of others. Despite the price I’m missing functionality: Automatic backup/restore of databases (we have very large databases), some control to install own libraries, connecting multiple domains (including! Let’s Encrypt Certs).

Rants of others are vice-versa often of no interest to myself (for instance using Web 2.0 solely in internal networks, and not the internet) and they won’t understand my challenges. Now expecting that Xojo (or any other company) can satisfy the needs of all customers is unrealistic.

Last but not least: iOS - well, compare the price to the needed “development license” Apple is charging you, that puts the Xojo price in a complete different light ;-). Ok, for 99 EURs a year you get the Apple Eco System, the right to pay them 30 percent of your revenue, a sometimes buggy platform, and the “right” to discuss silly policies with Apple :-).

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The pricing is very competitive. As a relatively newcomer from FileMaker I have already won two contracts that I would have stood no chance obtaining with FileMakers pricing model. if you are a professional and using this product as part of your business the price of the software and it’s distribution licensing model(there isn’t one!) make it a no brainer really.

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FileMaker is not mainstream and it is anything but a no brained do try and develop a web app with Web 2.0 if the competition is using one of the other web development frameworks, it’s a disadvantage. It’s easier manipulate Bootstrap outside of XOJO and use something like Ruby On Rails and it takes two lines of code to map ActiveRecords and you’re able to start interacting with the DB, so you are not even bring RAD to the table when competing.

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there is no perfect ide for multi platform.
the best option is to choose one ide and create a native app for a single target what means
xcode for mac and ios,ms vs for windows,android studio for phones with this os.
at marketing all products are the best on this world and promise everything until you believe it.

about xojo the ide should provide web1 and web2 in parallel for awhile (my opinion),
i not need this but i thing about users that created much web 1 apps in past.
a unnecessary conflict. (somehow a w1. namespace better than use the old and new ide in alteration)

some other decisions had also choose more wise (with the community) as example the modifications in classes.

that points could get more attention.

  • team too small
  • ignores user’s need
  • doesn’t listen to users

xojo is a good product and need more improvements just like any other software over the time.

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On a positive note, Xojo could expand by converting VB 6 users. A while ago I discovered that a program I used for years was still being developed using VB 6. They have been around since the 80s. I’ve noticed they seem unable to improve the charting graphics and most improvements are small incremental things. So perhaps small VB 6 developers supplying niche markets could benefit by some sort of ‘conversion’ or ‘migration’ assistance or something; to move their code to Xojo. I understand that some of these guys must be getting on in years and change is difficult. So making this easier might help Xojo grow.

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That’s true, as much as it is true that you can do “more” with Swift for iOS / macOS. And if you are solely developing for Windows, MS Studio is probably the better tool. BUT: what are the efforts you have to invest to make it possible that 2 lines of code are sufficient?

How long will it take to build up a working dev and prod env for Rails (I agree, not rocket science if you know what you are doing, but for beginners, there is a learning curve too)? Should you jump into Rails without knowing Ruby? I would not recommend it (replace Rails by Django and Ruby by python - it doesn’t matter). You are talking about RAD, but none of these env is RAD out-of-the-box.

But even if you have a running dev / prod environment: it is not as “convenient”, not as simple than Xojo, which means just dropping your controls on a Canvas in a quite good (not perfect) WEB2.0 WYSIWYG IDE. So I really think that Web 2.0 is a very big step for easy RAD for users who already know Xojo). Will Xojo web 2 ever be as fast as a proprietary solution? Will you ever be able to design easily as “exactly” than with specialized frameworks? Will you have as many controls in Xojo out of the box? Most likely not. As much as you always can do more with Swift and Xcode for iOS.

But can you be faster in building a RAD app in Xojo than in any other solution? Probably: you need to download the IDE, launch it, design it, put some code in it, and make it run … that’s simpler than any other solution, not evolving any terminal “hacks” etc… And you can to a certain extend re-use code you have from your desktop world …

There is a price for everything in life: being able to develop on multiple platforms comes at the price ticket that genuinely you have a few “restrictions” and “limitation”. Am I a fanboy? No, I like the tool, and yes me too I hate those restrictions and limitations. Sometimes more, sometimes less but I am convinced that one tool can not cover all aspects. If a customer wants more and is willing to pay for it, I’m willing to convert my Xojo stuff to whatsoever solutions. But first I need to get the deal, and I want to put as less effort into that exercise as possible. And that’s where Xojo excels for my business, yours might be different of course.

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Maybe 10 years ago they had that chance, but the “converter” did not convert any code :rofl:

This days, they want to burry the “basic” of the tool, deprecating DIM, getting rid of MSGBOX in API2, etc, etc. So… I think that nowadays other tools are more attractive for vb users than what is left of realbasic

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TLDR; I don’t believe ranting helps.

I don’t ‘get’ ranting. It doesn’t help me or Xojo or other users.

I have been on the bleeding edge with the conversion to API 2.0, first for desktop, then for Web and hopefully soon for iOS/Android.

Each time I find a showstopper, I don’t whine. Instead I try to work around it. If I can’t I create an sample project showing the issue and add it to Feedback. This enables me to move on to other code in my project. I am stunned that within a day it is usually verified and often fixed, but I still have to wait for the next release. I then go back and test my sample projects and remove them if they’re now fixed. I could rant, but don’t see the point!

The Xojo Roadmap is brilliant and has allowed me to synchronise my coding with its release order. This gives me less need to rant. For my paying customers, I never tell them what is on the Roadmap else they want it tomorrow, and rant against me. It’s better to promise little and deliver a lot.

I have now built a huge library of external Windows, Modules, Classes and Containers that are compatible across Desktop and Windows (identical duplicates in the case of Windows and Containers), and much of this works with the current iOS too. These are all used across multiple applications. Fix once, fixed everywhere.

Now I must add that my latest Web 2.0 Apps are not ready for release due to bugs, but ranting will not get them released any faster.

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so do I. Well, honestly I had to learn it the hard way … :slight_smile: - In the past, over 10 years ago, I promised according to a vendor roadmap, I learned to wait and not to promise anything until I have tested it. Makes life much easier …

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I personally love their bug system…but the gears in their system are not turning.

The fact that issues permanently gets stuck on “Needs review” gives the customer sense that he is posting into empty void where his issue is not even read. This has to be fixed. I know of several people that have just stopped submitting bugs and consider it waste of their time. If the intent is not to read every single bug report then to keep up good looks it may be better to skip the bug system totally.

For bug system to work then you need to read every single report and give it some status. Its fine if you dont plan to fix it or you put it somewhere way back in the queue but the customer needs to get sense that the report was read and the report got internally categorized.

And of course its absolutely terrible that you have to lobby for a bug to be fixed. The internal categorization and evaluation of the bug report should in perfect world be what tips it over or puts it on hold. (But I know t hat cannot always be the case since often they may not understand the full implications of the bug)

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I appreciate that you wanting us to be your partner. I can only point to our history as an indicator that we have always pushed forward and we do respond to the demands of the user base. We can’t always respond when everyone wants us to or in the way everyone wants us to but if we weren’t doing things mostly right, we wouldn’t still be here.

I’ll contact you privately to hear more about your use of Xojo.

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Don’t worry about that. We all agree that for a Canvas control a Pressed event without the position in the Canvas would be worthless.

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In a perfect world. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Feedback is only used by a small percentage of users so we can’t tell (in most cases) if a bug is being experienced by many users or just the one user that reported it. That means we have to make our own judgment call until we hear otherwise from users.