Moving away from Xojo

Looks a bit expensive as an alternative for a 799,- Xojo.

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$800 Xojo is an absolute steal vs $18,000 DittoFi. Jeez… how can you develop a real app without “custom code?”


that’s true Tom. Definitely. But there are tons of alternatives available open Source. I guess the use of them could also be at least evaluated.

The problem I have with most alternatives are the use of non-native UIs. It’s all html, js, react, or similar. Yeah, that’s much easier to keep consistent and customize the app to your branding, but it always comes with quirks. VS Code is a great example. It feels fine probably 95% of the time. But there are weird behaviors that are distinctly non-Mac. For example, select some text, then click somewhere in the text to deselect and set your Ibeam position. It won’t. It acts like you want to drag the selected text. A native editor would get it right.

For native apps, what are the alternatives? Last I looked React Native looked like it wanted to be that, but it wasn’t ready for Mac and I was always skeptical about the “native” part. Plus, you’d be stuck using React. Java isn’t native. Flutter isn’t native. Electron isn’t native. B4X is Java if I recall correctly.

I’m sure there’s something out there that is native. But this is why I don’t move away from Xojo. Apples-to-apples alternatives are few and far between. And the reason is that native is hard, especially today with how rapidly operating systems advance.

I’ve advocated in the past for Xojo to get away from native apps. It’d be more appropriate for the team size. But then they’d be up against a lot of competition. So despite Xojo’s problems, it’s still an excellent choice for cross platform native desktop apps.

Mobile and web… leaves a lot to be desired.

Believe it or not using VS for macOS, not VS Code, you can make a native Mac App in C#
And I believe VS is itself written using VS for macOS one top of the .Net frameworks

Its one reason I’ve been following their progress on MAUI - a cross platform framework for writing apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android etc - seems to be largely derived from Xamarin - but still chunks out native apps

EDIT : VS for macOS is NOT nearly the same product as it is on Windows
Maybe that will come
So far they’ve focused on frameworks

B4X is JavaFX, you could also use Java Swing. And yes, both are not native. Java Swing with flatly looks nearly native but … it is not. While it is not html is is rendered by the Java Swing Engine. Only nice part is: all platforms look same. But…there is no real alternative to write native.

But Xojo is less performant then Java, C++ and in wide ranges also C#. It has big leaks in functionality. For every …it you will need a plugin. Mostly for much money. Using Java I do not need Them at all. There are always two different views on a problem.

Would be nice but they are not getting ready for a long time now. Xamarin is a nice Idea. The Word Idea. But even they got: it’s complex. And they start even to refit some stuffs so it is already not really native anymore.
But what means native in this world. It looses it’s importance faster we can read a text. While so many other UI frameworks are coming up and while Microsoft for example is on the way to change their UI System for Windows completely. I believe that they will do it. So we will have to live with a new kind of native.

VS on macOS is just Xamarin Studio with a new UI and a few extra features.

I do have Visual Studio Code on my Mac which offers a bit more than Xamarin -

Not used it in anger though

Dunno but it feels a lot nicer than Xamarin Studio ever did

Yes - VS Code is an Electron app
With piles of plugins

But its not the same product as VS for macOS

I’ve got both - I’ve got a whole bunch of IDE’s and not really using any of them atm!


I just found this interesting cross platform development tool called Miletus.

Here is an introduction video.


There are many candidates with even more features available. Also not clear is the licensing of that product. Since it is in beta state I doubt that it is really production ready. Alternatives would be

wach are all open Source and adult. Quasar and electron are ready for Production like VUEjs also is. Electron for example was used to write VScode, the widely known cross platform Editor written by microsoft. Changing to a beta Status platform can be a dangerous business.

Beside that the manufacturer of Miletus is pms. Their Product tmswebcore is definitely for free so Miletus will also not be for free. That makes it a big problem. Or does somebody wants to pay 1500 Bucks like for pms Webcore? I doubt that. They are not providing it as open source. That’s a big difference to other frameworks.

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Oh look, yet another JavaScript-based thin client.


Omnis Software have just announced a community edition of their Omnis Studio development platform.

Limited to web apps limited to 5 concurrent users and no Pricing in the site if you need more.

Dubious :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It is a limited version but it does give you a chance to try out Omnis tech to see if you like it.

I used Omnis tech from 1989 until 2006 to build database heavy apps for internal use and for several local, national and international businesses. It’s an extremely productive system (I’ve never seen anything since that is as productive) and the only reason why I no longer use it is because we don’t build those style of apps anymore.


I’d like to give Omnis a try, but between the user licensing requirement and the limited type of apps it’s geared for, it’s a no-go.

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I took a fairly close look at Lianja. It was nice to have a choice of languages (LianjaScript which is FoxPro, Python, JavaScript, PHP, and by now, C#). The built-in DB was comfortable for me as a former Xbase / Fox developer, and you could still talk to other DBs. Ultimately though the subscription costs seemed a bit much, and the UI designer was a little bit limited for my taste. It was really optimized for producing CRUD apps, following a certain Process that the owner likes to call “the Lianja Way”. I tend to shy away from toolsets that really want to impose a Philosophy or Approach like that. Every toolchain has strengths and weaknesses but this one seemed too married to drag-and-drop of DB tables into the UI and defining relations – just too restrictive.

Additionally, when I inquired about their referral program, they were somewhat evasive and said maybe I could help with apps they were building for some of their Nigerian clients. So apparently it is not direct client referrals but subcontracting under them.

I don’t think you HAVE to use their cloud service to deploy apps. It’s been awhile so I no longer recall if there were limitations to self-hosted apps or not. I built a simple proof of concept on my M1 Mac (that was another sticking point, it has to go through the Intel emulator and I didn’t get the sense they planned or wanted to support Apple Silicon. Something in their toolchain made that a PITA for them and they felt it was so fast that the emulator just wasn’t a practical problem. I found the IDE performance acceptable but I noticed it stopped a little short of “snappy” and wondered how that would scale).