I’m not the kind of guy who writes reviews. And that is much because it takes time and in most cases I don’t feel that a product deserved that time to be spent on writing something about the product.
That being said, here’s my limited experience with xojo after a few months with it.
I had not heard about xojo until end of Feb this year, when I again searched the Internet for practical ways to develop web applications within a single framework. A few years ago, when I migrated my infrastructure toward Apple, I started developing my apps in xcode. Nice to work with, almost perfect, but not when it comes to web development. PHP was never an option for me, nor was it an option that I invest 25% or more of my time just to keep my development environment up to date. All I wanted was a single platform (for Mac, of course) which allowed me to develop business applications for the web.
In late Feb I searched the Internet again, and found xojo. I don’t remember why I visited the web site, and I cannot say why I haven’t visited it before. It just was outside of my search results (I’m using startpage.com, and avoid Google).
After downloading and installing it, it took only a few hours until I realized that xojo would provide exactly what I missed all the years. I bought some package, with database and web. Lucky me that this pack also allows me to compile console apps (for some daemons that I have created for application housekeeping). What I specifically like very much is the comfort that lies in the fact that xojo allows you to develop your apps in one IDE and compiles something that will then be executed on either the server or the client, depending on where it belongs. It is more or less transparent to the user. Of course it helps if you have a deeper understanding of the concepts of HTML apps and browsers, but anyway, even a kid can now develop web apps.
Xojo cannot do everything, and there’s always room for improvements. I have experienced some of its limitations, but I guess with a bit more experience, I will learn to expand its capabilities with plug-ins. Until now, I have refrained from using plug-ins or writing some, until such time that I feel that I have understood the limitations. I’m still in the mid of a learning curve.
Xojo has caused me waste some hours of time, and this exercise usually with a confusing compiler error message accompanied by a online documentation that does not even touch the topic in question. I remember full well that I went through all the code and my database schema in order to find that root cause for this error message: “Task.getbyID - There are several items with this name and it is not clear which one the call refers to”.
The real reason was that I assigned an Integer value from a database without cast. Instead of
the correct would be
Instead seeing the obvious, I started looking for ‘several items with this name’. This is where compiler messages can get you. But there are other obstacles in other development environments, too. and it alsways take time to learn about some weird messages from compilers.
Cost: I think the cost for the license is fair. I remember some 820 Euros or so for the full license. I could have saved that money and instead using tons of open source stuff. But then I would have invested factors of this amount just for getting to the point where I was after just installing xojo. Time is money, and the xojo license is among the best investments I ever made. (I just checked the price: it’s now 738 for a limited time…)
Today, most people think that the Internet provides everything for free. However, we should all be cognizant of the fact that these guys are fathers, mothers and they have to feed their families. Nobody eats bits and drinks bytes, and even bitcoins cost real money in the end.
Enough for now.