Xojo's market and it's needs

yeah… top 20=42% :slight_smile:
top 10 = 32%
top 50 = 56%
actually had to get to 238 people to hit 80%

[quote=462622:@Karen Atkocius]Since about the time of the name change to Xojo the company focus seems to have changed in a way that I think misses what it’s market needs most and frustrates existing users.

I just looked at the TIOBE index and see that at least one competitor is on “The Next 50 Programming Languages” list, but Xojo is not there… it seems like it could be, if only…

To get there they need to keep existing users as well as entice new ones and get better word of mouth… Those that leave frustrated and disappointed don’t help with that.[/quote]

DejaVu, I just remembered one of those frustrated and disappointed former xojo contributors. He wrote an Addendum when he left, ranting about a limited framework, tons of bugs and “RS” focusing in rebranding and making a new IDE, he said it was a waste of time and resources, focusing in that instead of making improvements in the obsolete framework.

Before that, the rebranding from RB to RS, then, the old New framework, Now, more than a Half decade later, another mayor “rebranding” with the, “this is not so BASIC”.

The history repeats itself over and over, there are more changes in the IDE and the languaje, than improvements in the framework and better RAD features. :expressionless:

If this path is not leading to a grow in the product, maybe it is time to rethink the real needs of the market. I think that @Karen Atkocius is right, it seems like it could be (mainstream), if only…

[quote=462589:@Karen Atkocius]IMO three classes of people tend to do a lot of that (and of course there is overlap):

  1. Certain pros: Consultants/Contractors/Full time in-house developers

  2. “Citizen Developers” : that i will define as those who write apps to help themselves and others at work, but who’s job is not coding… We know the workflows and users best and combining that with some coding skills (if done well) is a huge plus (and how I got into coding)

  3. Pure hobbyist that do not do business apps or people just learning to code in general[/quote]

You forgot a 4th class which is not exactly “none of the above”, as Scott Cadillac suggested : small entrepreneurs, like me, who started more or less long ago with RB, and have been making a living off their programs. I started back in the eighties as a citizen developer, and became a professional back in early eighties with VB.

My apps are in the MAS, as well as the Windows Store, and some of them are distributed on CD in the Amazon Marketplace.

Although I am convinced I would have been able to achieve that with other tools, RB/Xojo made it much easier, especially with the stability of source code. I am not afraid of API 2. Sure, there is not going back, but since I cater to present systems, I don’t need to provide for older versions.

[quote=462634:@Michel Bujardet]You forgot a 4th class which is not exactly “none of the above”, as Scott Cadillac suggested : small entrepreneurs, like me, who started more or less long ago with RB, and have been making a living off their programs.
[/quote]

I did not say you don’t exist just that I don’t think those like you are a big fraction of Xojo users, nor ever will be, because because of prejudice against BASIC and the better OS support of platform specific tools (never mind 3rd part support or overall awareness). You found a unique niche where Xojo works for the types of apps that niche needs. I’m sure there are others like you, but in terms of income for Xojo inc, those like you are not likely a major segment,

Those producing apps for sale indeed don’t need to be so worried about backward compatibility… but for those in categories 1 &2 (that I believe are the biggest segments for Xojo sales dollars, and always will be) very much need it and always will… and also need more RAD capabilities.

[quote=462634:@Michel Bujardet]You forgot a 4th class which is not exactly “none of the above”, as Scott Cadillac suggested : small entrepreneurs, like me, who started more or less long ago with RB, and have been making a living off their programs.
[/quote]
I’d say you fall in group 1

Adding my 2 cents to this thread:
You could say I walked though all three steps Karen described. I came in as a pure hobbyist, could for a few years gather quite some expertise while pretending to be the German Weisenheimer and now find myself with a business that today is only 5% design and 95% software development. Used to be the opposite when I started with Xojo.

But here is where I feel that Xojo does not support me in a way as it did during the “Citizen Developer” years. Without the use of some well-known plug-ins, many projects would not stand a performance comparison against different, way less native languages. (Talking about JSONItem which I use heavily in many cases.)
I find it more and more difficult to explain customers the many development hours just needed to access a third party API – and beware if it calls back on a background thread!

When I found Xojo, I was impressed by its ease and the development speed of the IDE itself. Many features where added in record time, sometimes very surprisingly, but after some time the drawbacks of internal decisions backfired. They have been discussed in other threads and I don’t want to repeat them here.

Initially, I saw a very dedicated, loyal, mostly “Citizen Developer” user base. In itself one of Xojo’s major plus points. Users dropping out of the upper scope of Karen’s level 1 definition were very rare, sometimes rather temper-based than logically driven and in other cases due to very special requirements way beyond Xojo’s generalized xplatform scope.

A few years ago, the company’s target group visibly changed to address mainly new users. The overambitious road map started to frustrate its user base when the targets got delayed more and more. We still have to see the real benefits of API 2.0 in one of the coming IDE iterations. And, as I said, I personally find myself running more and more into Xojo’s limitations.

Xojo will always stay a niche product as long as its business model does not change. That’s nothing bad! On the other hand that will never draw in masses of new users who have the choice between a multitude of free languages and IDEs.

Remember the blog posts about “software developer’s secret weapon”! That perspective helped to keep the user base happy and loyal, but as many others stated here I too feel this target has been dropped. I hope that the company finds a way to rekindle that spirit. Emphasizing the RAD aspect with modern features and controls and adding pro features could make the main user base happy again and win back lost pros. I too believe that this task is impossible to shoulder with the small development team Xojo currently has, even as talented and dedicated as it is, but with all the suggestions in different threads here I am sure that a solution which puts Xojo back on track can be found. I don’t want to find myself looking for future alternatives and still hope for the best. Frankly, I miss the optimism that has driven me for years.

What is paradoxical is that Xojo’s third party market is limited by it’s own small installed base.

If Xojo were to treat API1 events as they do Super Constructors perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. Something like:

[code]Sub Openning
// Calling API1.0 Open Event
Open()

[/code]

Yes the user has the option to stuff it up by deleting that code, but at least it would be obvious and both 1 & 2 compatible.

I have asked for an attribute to be added that would “IgnoreAPI1Deprecations” that I would add to my external shared components which will make it less likely I’ll update those modules/classes to API2 standards. <https://xojo.com/issue/58199> if you want to add points.

I’m looking at the bigger picture which is that this is preparing for a mobile development platform that is the same as the desktop platform i.e. we will be able to build for either Android or iOS by ticking a box in build settings. That is a target that will gain users and therefore resources to continue to make this product beautiful AND RAD.

I doubt we will ever get true one code, compile desktop, web or mobile.

Let alone because the nature of mobile is inherently view oriented, whereas desktop is window oriented. Besides, apart from tablets, mobile has so little real estate, it is out of question to simply use the same UI as desktop. Not to mention auto layout…

Perhaps web and mobile could share UI with some precautions.

Indeed, it would already be a feast to have exactly the same logic and not have to contend with string on one side and text on another. My 2015-2016 attempts to port Check Print’R to mobile with the present Xojo iOS, in spite or XojoiOSWrapper, numerous declares, and dtPlugins, have been a failure. Mostly because I got tired to struggle at every step of the way.

If mobile authentically provided the same properties and methods as desktop where available, a bit like web does, it would alleviate a huge part of the struggle.

I still remember the video demo we had back in 2013 or so, which showed collections of buttons. Dozens of different styles. How come when late 2014 Xojo iOS came to be, we could not even choose the background color and border style of buttons ? At the minimum, Xojo iOS should provide the same properties as desktop. The comparison between XCode and present Xojo iOS is telling.

It is said that an app UI takes 90% of the work. Well, if the UI is addressable only with declares, completing an app jumps to 99%. For a RAD, that is IMHO ridiculous.

I don’t expect global coverage, but just being able to build for both mobile platforms at the tick of a box will far out-way what we can do otherwise.

But yes if it is mostly via end user declares there won’t be much point, Xojo needs to build a robust framework that doesn’t just tick the box but is magnificent.

I run Xojo without third party plugins because I believe that should be the rule rather than the exception. I am not averse to 3rd party plugins/controls, I just believe that Xojo needs to cover the basics first (and that wasn’t my impression with iOS).

I would love to see a universal project where I could add UI’s for all targets, but that’s a long way off.

@Ulrich
Nice writing!

What I see is that an enterprise like Xojo can not do their core business.
64bit -> needs to be done
Window 10 -> needs to be done
Apple Watch -> needs to be done?

Of course, that’s life; but if I look at Xojo or at my site, the control comes more and more from outside due to a world getting more complex (wow, what a realization…).

To bring it to a point: there is no shell compiler for Xojo.
That’s for me a hint, that Xojo can not clean up their internal things as it would be needed technically(!) but have still to do some business. That a commandline compiler is no easy job, no question…

I just had to switch the internal JSONItem to ChilkatSoft’s; the way such a boring task is supported by the IDE is really, really great!
Concerning API 2.0, the ChilkatSoft’s JSON API is much more difficult to use (to be clear: due to performance!).

What I don’t like to see is when a business goes in battle with the big players.
Beating Google’s V8 engine is not possible. So, best would be to write a Xojo to JavaScript transpiler.
Xojo doesn’t need a big framework for web developement; single page applications are the modern way to do it.
And FaceBook won’t use Xojo, sorry.

@Wayne

No! There should be a clean separation of who is where in charge.
It is not very honest to sell an IDE and let the user find out themselves that there still are lot of plugins neeed to keep things running correctly. But at least, that’s maybe normal business;-)

Btw., I was born as programmer and am working as citizen-programmer.
I started programming with C64 (Assembler, Pascal, C, C++, Ada, Forth, Lisp, etc. -> yes, there was a big amount of compilers!).
Most of the forum users don’t know that time as they are to young…LOL… joke of the day…

sigh… another boring discussion… what… if… when…
Could anybody wake me up when Xojo is GPLed? Thank you…

What, if, when are the substance of intelligent conversation amongst civilized people. no need for unpleasant remarks.

I just wish Xojo Inc would engage in these threads

there havent been many posts from them on these topics

It is a minority

I cant agree. If Geoff were envious…what would prevent Xojo from producing all those things.

Of course if you statement were Geoff SHOULD be envious…that would be another matter.

very very minority

https://forum.xojo.com/56917-interesting-forum-stats

[quote=462775:@Norman Palardy]I just wish Xojo Inc would engage in these threads

there havent been many posts from them on these topics[/quote]

Why should they? There isn’t a whole lot of upside for them to respond and in turn they risk a bunch of negative reactions to the things said here. Think about it, if you just spilled a gallon of milk would you not just want to quietly clean up the mess without the town swinging pitchforks in your direction? People in this forum tend to be “fixers” and want to offer solutions, but if you can’t define the problem then all the fixes are just random shots in the dark.

No doubt they are reading the posts, but are they willing to change their ways of scoping out new features and changes to better serve their customer base? They have repeated the same requirements mistakes over the years and go off to coding and thus build up coding-inertia and then refuse to make necessary changes in spite of the warnings in the betas. In reality, R2 is a public beta that blew up in their face and now they are scrambling to fix it. Lack of listening at critical points in the beta process is a big part of the problem.

but are they? are they really? all the chatter I hear is vain attempts using bailing wire, bubble gum and a food processor.

No even so, I believe. They are probably proud of their achievements.