I’d like to chime in with some personal views as well.
You know I had been Xojo’s German Developer Evangelist for about 5 years. As such, I had been promoting Xojo to new users on one hand, and supported local users for free on the other hand. Which kept me quite lucky. I think I can say I gained a lot of programming experience and insight, and from this point of view I owe a lot to Xojo. I couldn’t have survived with my old design job where income was on a straight line downwards since early this millennium.
Nonetheless I tried to keep a critical viewpoint all the time, and I learned early that sometimes you have to go long ways to get a result that should be easy to attain, and that severe bugs and important feature requests could stay open for years. Yet, I saw impressive potential in the product and was sometimes surprised by the fast addition of new features or even whole new platforms.
Starting with iOS, that flow stopped and began to reverse. The idea of the Xojo framework, which had not been discussed with the user community, caused a lot of backfiring until years later it was deprecated. Which personally meant hundreds of hours of development time being ruined.
So, while I admired that the company is not unable to change, I had to realize they will decide things from their own viewpoint, and they don’t care much about keeping their promise to provide a RAD for their users if it dictates them so.
That viewpoint clearly shifted to new users solely a few years ago, and at the same time I felt secrecy and mistrust rise behind the scenes. Which startled me. I had gotten to know a very different, open-minded and friendly company. It was shortly after when they decided to cut down local support and let Antonio and me go. Personally, that threw me in a critical financial crisis, so in case you wonder, Xojo, Inc: I think that balances the gratitude mentioned earlier.
(I survived, and because of the skills I learnt during that time)
Don’t be alarmed: I am not mad about it and will not start another rant here!
(I recommend Ani DiFranco’s “I am not angry anymore” as soundtrack at this stage)
Still I believe you made awfully wrong decisions at that time. I am certain local sales have gone down since you cancelled translations. (And no: I do not want that job back. But I still receive phone calls and emails fro old-time users in need of assistance, which you did not want to happen anymore. I think it was an awful mistake to cancel that. You know the sales numbers, not me. But I am quite certain you can see an impact when you compare your figures to internal decisions in the past.)
Many excellent points have already been given here explaining the disappointment of long-time RB/Xojo developers. I do not think I have to stress them myself. With just a handful of dedicated developers against even more platforms to support, with ever-changing targets and a list of serious bugs growing instead of shrinking, an IDE losing features over time: How attractive do you see the product on middle terms for your target group, new developers?
Please realize we are not ranting because we turned into enemies.
We are in despair about our favourite development system going down.
It was – besides the once great and RAD IDE – the user base that made Xojo what it was.
That one feels driven away. An it’s not only a feeling. Will you suspend my forums account too for speaking out freely?
The only thing that makes me stick to Xojo is that currently there is no serious native IDE bringing the same ease of use. But how long will that be the case?
Please reconsider your steps now before it is absolutely too late.
I mean, surely you can do with your company whatever you want to.
But if you cannot explain situations like kicking out Norman, first from development team, then from the forums: Can you really justify them before yourself?
Realize we are not mad at you all. We are deeply worried about what has become of our IDE, and how that much potential can get ruined so easily because you decided to cut communications with your base. Only you have the power to change this situation.