Lianja making the Xojo claim: fact or fiction?

I’ve kicked the tires on this in the past – not enough to have a view one way or the other. But Lianja just released version 9 with this claim:

Build Modern Business Apps
on Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Run the Apps on Desktops,
Web Browsers, Phones and Tablets
Without any Changes.

These claims sound, um, strangely familiar. Although I have to say, from my review of v7 of the product, more true (less untrue??) than similar claims by Xojo. IIRC they are using electron to deploy to the desktop.

What has always intrigued me is the freedom of choice of languages – Python, “LianjaScript” (FoxPro), PHP, JavaScript, and, later this year (v10), C#.

On the other hand, they raised prices and dropped the community version recently, and this all seems to come at the price of being married to their cloud service (and a subscription thereto). Also, as far as I could tell, you have to accept what they call “the Lianja Way” which is a Geoff-like way of saying if you don’t like the product, you’re doing it wrong. That is, you have to use their basic UI abstractions as documented and while there is some limited support for just firing up a freeform code-only solution it is more for writing console-style utilities or very simple UIs.

For me, the combination of relatively pricey subscription-based licensing and the difficulty of doing anything but CRUD apps, and now the inability to play extensively with it before committing to a subscription, is a non-starter.

Anyway, for those interested / fascinated / curious, here’s a link to the web version of the promo email:

First time I hear of Lianja. Any know apps that have been built with it?

I am not saying it hasn’t been done, but I’m not aware of ANY commercial apps done with it. It is oriented to the needs of independent consultants and ISVs building solutions for (I’d assume, mostly smaller) companies or departments. AFAIK it doesn’t concern itself with getting solutions accepted into app stores.

Lianja has its roots in Recital, a 4GL which still exists for running text-mode FoxPro / FoxBase Plus apps on Linux that were formerly written for FoxPro for DOS. They took their FoxPro-compatible language and local cursor engine (or database engine if you like) and made it the cornerstone of Lianja. Like FoxPro, it has its own pretty capable DB server (an evolution of the file-based DBF table format which can import directly from either FoxPro or dBase) but talks fine to other DBs through (IIRC) ODBC.

It is best appreciated as a way to quickly produce line-of-business CRUD apps. Unless something major has happened in the past 3 years, it doesn’t concern itself with canvases or other primitives for example. It also is not an “opinionated” framework in the sense that it renders HTML UIs on all platforms (via Electron). Again, unless major new features not on the original roadmap have been introduced since I did a fairly close evaluation.

I did inquire about their ISV “program” to see if I were to put out a general consulting shingle again, if they could feed me any actual work. This has some appeal to me as a former Fox developer. I had a phone call with their CEO (who was, as he does much of the year, working from Thailand at the time – they have offices / devs in the UK and somewhere around the Boston area also). But it seemed from that call that the ISV program is more about funneling devs to work on projects they snag and manage, rather than making referrals of prospective clients. Also, make of it what you will, when I spoke to him (2020? 2021?) most of that work was coming from Nigeria.

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Thanks @bgrommes! :slight_smile:

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I dont think Xojo makes this claim - pretty impressive if true but I have doubts

Ah makes sense

… uh yup
Not even a free trial ???

They used to have a “community edition”, no charge, just can’t deploy / compile. They stopped that a few months ago and AFAIK there’s no replacement. You have to buy a subscription to use it at all now, AFAIK. There might be a 30 day trial or something.

I had the macOS version of their community edition on my laptop but didn’t have time to give it the shakedown I wanted to, with all the churn and switching gigs, and now I’m too busy putting a releasable product together at the new place.

For it to run the same code on all platforms sounds like it’s a thin client, I wonder if it supports stand alone apps without the backend?

I think it used to for desktop anyway. Not sure about it now, with all these licensing changes and the full launch of their cloud product, it may be they have some misguided notion that everything will hang off their cloud and people will generally be fine with that.

I have never found their material super clear on these matters. And I have always used products that produce stand alone executables / libs by default and generally have command-line toolchains for compilation, etc if you’re so inclined. If they don’t lead with that, I am concerned about proprietary lock-in.

When it comes to Xojo, Lianja and the like, if they have a reasonably clean, mature, bug-free architecture, a sensible roadmap, and are sufficiently staffed to keep up the quality, I might use it for certain things, especially for clients who don’t care / don’t ask about my platform but just want something the works.

One thing I will say is that Lianja’s concept of a roadmap is much better and more meaningful than Xojo’s. It is not merely aspirational. They publish it out years in advance and mostly keep to it, like clockwork. The one on their website has been there since many versions back and all those release dates were, give or take a month, met (I watched for a time). They just keep appending to it so you can see where they plan to go over the coming couple of years.

I didn’t get the sense from their forum that users were unhappy or the releases half-baked.

because it is a half baked system. Nothing really professional. and at the end: if you want full fledged applications there is no no Code solution. And that’s the end of the no code or low code story and beginning of professional programming

Indeed I dont think companies get that this can be a concern
Like Xojo
They should be altering their license handling so its in the compiler and have a cmd line compiler
Then folks arent tied to the IDE but Xojo still gets its pound of flesh
I spent some time actually trying to make this happen - the … uh … . hackery I engaged in was pretty amazing if you ask me :slight_smile:
And it sort of worked !
There were still issues to resolve - no question

Nice to hear
Xojo’s is the only one that I have experience with thats NOT that way

What ? A product that does what it claims has HAPPY users ???

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That’s exactly their unique selling point: PRO CODE! :man_facepalming: :slight_smile:

3, 2, 1… I’m confident that it will only be a matter of a few days before Xojo Marketing embraces this buzzword.

The positive aspect is that they are focusing on their product rather than a flashy homepage or a trustworthy store :grinning:

Disclaimer: I believe it’s beneficial when we discuss everything available in the market, as it’s always intriguing. However, there’s not much here that genuinely appeals to me, aside from experiencing an abundance of green déjà vu.


PRO code ??? wtf is that ?

yet more marketing bullshit

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Yes, I have such a peculiar illness that I also examine the links shared here. And with Lianja, I somehow end up getting eye cancer :slight_smile:

Another Jack of all trades?

Another one ho speaks about a Swiss knife

and delivers

a cheap plastic knife instead but says it is professional Swiss army knife. Wow. I am impressed (not)

The color rings a bell…

Poor Jack keeps getting his name dragged in the mud by all these wannabes

Ahh yea true I didn’t realized it sorry. Okay I shall not lie was written in the bible. I’ve done it on purpose