Is Xojo on a downwards trend?

I hate to post a thread like this because it feels like feeding the piranhas. :wink:

Taking emotion and specific shortcomings aside, what does the future hold for Xojo? Are we in danger of the language failing?

I recognise most of the target audience here have (justified) existing confirmation experiences/biases. I’m hoping to discuss this in an objective truth, benefit-of-the-doubt kinda way.

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The future does not look bright… Everything we can see seems to indicate a shrinking user base, and nothing being done that we can see from the outside looks like it can change that.

If that is the case, how long the company can limp along is anyone’s guess without access to their financials and sales data.

I know I keep debating with myself if I should spend more money on the product and plugins for it.

  • Karen

I’m much happier after dropping Xojo. It was painful and took years to retool though.

But I’d rather be where I am now than stuck in that tar pit.


Well given what trends we can see from the outside it doesnt sound good
There are things we can spot like the apparently very low participation rate in the Omega Bundle & apparently slowing sales of Pro versions. Those arent good trends to be seeing

The language ? no - it needs serious updating but I dont think they have the right personnel to add things like async/await etc to bring it up to date
The company ? Thats a different story


From my perspective I dreaded moving away from Xojo. 20+ years of consulting using nothing but Xojo made moving away tough. Just as the pandemic started I landed a Xojo developer job and was pretty happy that I could leverage all that experience.

In the nearly 4 years since then they’ve retrained me in GoLang. I now spend most of my days converting from Xojo to Go (not a trivial task). The more I work is VSCode and Go the more I realize that Xojo is gasping for air. All the things that the tools give me Xojo has practically none of that. A Linter that tells me the compiler errors AS I TYPE is superb. A IDE back button that actually works like I want. An IDE that opens and loads my project in seconds rather than minutes. A large and helpful community. Loads of Github open source projects. I could go on and on.

I really resisted Go and VSCode at first because I was used to Xojo and its quirks. Early on there was a lot of “this is a 5 minute Xojo solution” and I’d spend hours researching how to do it in Go. 2 years later I still get stuck every now and then but that’s the same with learning any new language. ChatGPT is super helpful for me because it gets me 85% there most of the time and it’s decent at explaining what it’s doing.

Could Xojo turn it around? Maybe, but signs are not good. As far as I can tell there are no students using Xojo. They’re all using Java, C#, Python, Rust, Go or something popular (and free). I still monitor the consulting leads and there’s not much coming through and what I do see doesn’t need to be in Xojo. When’s the last time you saw a job that required Xojo? One of my last clients decided to move away from Xojo because they couldn’t find any Xojo developers so they trained them and after a couple of years that developer would move on and they’d start the cycle again.

I think in the short term everything will be fine. But long term it doesn’t look good. I say 5 years before the wheels start coming off and maybe they’ll limp on for another 5 after that. Look for more Xojo employees to leave and not be replaced or replaced with clearly inferior developers.


That would be quite charitable :slightly_smiling_face:

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One weel is already gone: QS and testing.


This has long been a weak spot
That one of their QA staff passed away 4 years ago & hasn’t been replaced just adds to that weakness


Depends on what your definition of ‘failure’ is.

I would look at

  • Evolution of the language - nil
  • Quality of the product - hmmmm
  • Development features provided by the IDE - way behind Xcode, VS Code and the likes
  • Cross-platform capabilities - welcome to namespace hell
  • Documentation - pffff
  • Community - dwindling
  • Sustainability of the vendor - no information available (I report to no one)

In other words: would you bet the barn on Xojo?

Addendum, putting things in perspective
Views on Youtube for

  • Apple WWDC 23 Keynote: 19 000 000
  • Xojo XDC 23 Keynote: 1 626
  • Claris Engage 2024 Keynote: 1 804

Numbers for the Java conference may well be in the same range as WWDC.

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I’m not going to bother investigating it, but I seriously doubt the Apple keynote was viewed 19 billion times. :grinning:

18.9 Million

Might as well be a Billion!

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Thanks, corrected.

If you build for a single target, $150 or $299 (for iOS) might not seem like much, but when compared with platform specific tools that are FREE, it is expensive.

FREE tools not only have a larger market share, but also have far more training resources, available source code, larger user base, more documentation,.

Xojo doesn’t hire platform specific engineers, so Xojo made apps don’t compete with platform vendors tools. Xojo made apps lack basic functionality from 24 years ago, they use non-native controls which are becoming more and more obvious. A Xojo made application can be > 7x the file size, and they’re limited in their capability. You can’t make a macOS screensaver in Xojo, nor can you make a single file command line tool.

X-plat is the same scenario, just multiplied by the number of targets.

Xojo’s cross platform model goes against the current trend of other tools, which is to design one UI for all platforms. With Xojo you need separate projects, one for desktop, one for iOS, one for Android, one for Web and one for console. Xojo’s x-plat design also makes it hard, maybe impossible for them to reach new targets in a reasonable time frame.

I have seen some of the data, and even then I can’t guess how long, but it is clear that every year Xojo sales decline. I have been told by other 3rd party vendors that 2023 was the worst year in over a decade.

Every 3rd party vendor has a “life after Xojo” plan, some have been working towards their plan for a while, some are only just starting.


Have you read my article “An idea for Xojo’s future?” In xDev? It looked at the history, development, and possible future of Xojo, based on accessible data like forum usage (how many, how often, change over time), Google trends, feedback reports, etc.

If you don’t have xDev you’ll find a summary here:

Geoff’s reaction speaks for itself.

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Xojo apps rely on dylibs
No way to turn those into a single file exe (even Xcode and swift dont do that)
Xojo’s reliance on dylibs for the framework runtime & other fairly basic stuff means they’ll never be able to do that

Oh very clearly
Some are more obvious than others :stuck_out_tongue:

Its not HIS idea so I’m not surprised it was dismissed

indeed that is precisely whats happening

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All good stuff and great ideas, which I agree with.

Geoff refuting what you said, means you were either spot on or close. Last year he refuted my guess on how much API 2.0 development cost the company, but I was informed by an employee, I was actually pretty close.

In the past I would have agreed with that, but I’ve made a couple of simple Swift console apps that are single executables.

Oh well, another advantage to other tools then I guess.

ha ha… who me?

Frustratingly too… When I first saw one well know Mac dev had advertised that they’re going with Electron, I encouraged Geoff and Dana to reach out to 'em and find out why, and if there’s anything they could do. It never happened, and now reading about Mac devs using Electron, Flutter, SwiftUI is a common occurrence.

It should have been Xojo, they had all of the pieces of the puzzle, but they lacked creativity and tenacity and other long words I can’t actually pronounce.

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Oh and I forgot, @tempelorg a long time Xojo developer, has had his “Find Any File” featured in the Verge.

But “Find Any File” hasn’t been developed in Xojo for some years IIRC.

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The entire Point is: most Systems which are able for XPLAT are definitely not using native controls. That makes problems and you’ll end up with half native controls or you write two UI’s for the application. Following this you can use for example with Kotlin Multiplatform mobile native UI when writing two UI’s: one for IOS and one for Android. You also can use their unique own UI. Then you can write one UI and you have both platforms. But not native. Why? The development process is dhorter maintaining one UI. Much shorter. And the maintaining is less complex. For the user it may be nicer to have a native UI. But in many cases it does not make any difference in sales. There is a trend to not native UI. The development costs and the amount of technological work behind making the difference.

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I bet this is why Dana left too. When you ban peeps and call them trolls it’s to be expected.

It’ll be interesting to watch Xojo rot.

Yes you can with different tools
Xojo cant because its framework & plugins are dylibs
And there’s no way to link a dylib into an exe as if you had the original source
That design precludes this ever happening

The old “single file exe” style was a hack of epic proportions on Windows

There’s a host of issues trying to make single file exe’s from Xojo (I can detail them if you’d like sometime)

Actually you’re just one of them :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah coulda, shoulda, woulda but I agree with your assessment
The biggest failing is long term vision
Its great to have a mission statement like

Xojo, Inc. was founded in 1997 with the idea that software development should be accessible to anyone.

Great … HOW ??? And thats where the vision gets foggy
Long term vision of how to achieve this is truly missing

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