Say yes to Xojo

I have been feeling down watching the news on TV and reading articles on the Web, not to mention the idiotic posts I read on facebook about the COVID pandemic.

I also understand that there are some developers who have very valid reasons to be ditching Xojo. I’ve read forum and blog posts about why people are unhappy with Xojo as a product and Xojo as a company, mostly the latter. Perhaps it’s the sum off all things that are making me feel bad about developing in Xojo while I know deep down I love Xojo.

Would you guys like to share some thoughts about why one should say Yes to Xojo? I would like to read some positive posts for a change. I got the COVID blues sure can use some positive reading.

I think in the current times, people might be at their wits end that has nothing to do with anything particular. With this said, I personally have been very happy with Xojo as it was the platform I started with to teach myself programming with and have a way to build custom apps for myself to help with day to day task. I have no plans in the near future to leave Xojo (I love it to) :slight_smile:

Also, I wanted to mention that a few days ago, I did post a thread about other alternatives to Xojo for a windows platform. My intent behind the post was to challenge myself on learning a new language to continue to grow my skills.

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I follow that thread, it is always interesting to learn the state of things and read what others have to say about alternatives to Xojo.

From that thread I personally concluded that Xojo is really not that bad of a choice right now. I came to Xojo after years of developing in tools like Turbo Pascal, FoxPro, some MS Access projects, VB from the DOS version until VB6, a few years with Delphi, I tried to love C# but I couldn’t fall in love. Oh and some years of PLCs and National Instrument’s Lab View. Then I found Xojo and I was impressed.

I was away from developing for some years and when I decided to come back to it Xojo was my first choice.

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There is a lot to like about the tool.
Its one of the very few that actually does use their own tool to write their tool - and that says a lot.
Bob has looked. I’ve looked. And there just arent realistic choices at this time.

How the company manages the progress of the tool is a completely different issue.

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Something I noticed is that there is very few activity in the Xojo forum from new develpers, it might be my perception but it looks to me that people using Xojo are people that have good to superior programing skills (excluding me :wink: ).

As has been discussed in other threads, Xojo has a lot going for it. The whole combination of cross-platform/cross-compiling (Mac/Windows/Linux, and somewhat Web and iOS) and a native, fairly capable and easy to use drag-and-drop IDE has little to no competition out there. Xojo is pretty much the best development environment that ticks all the above boxes.

And there’s the rub - Xojo is the best in its niche, but woefully lacking in many areas. Xojo has little competition in what it does, and could capitalize on that to be so much more. More capabilities, less bugs, better performance, etc. But their limited resources and questionable leadership are dragging it down. Bug fixes and better features take forever to develop (if at all). They’re continually playing catch-up to current trends and needs. I feel like I spend half my developing time finding workarounds for missing or inadequate features, and investigating whether an anomaly is a bug, if it’s been reported, and then reporting it sufficiently so that they might eventually fix it (again, takes forever). It’s all very frustrating.

And it’s a catch-22 situation: if they could only fix more bugs and catch up on overdue features, they could attract more users and more revenue, which would allow them to fix even more bugs and better fulfill current and future goals. Which would lead to even more users/revenue and on and on. But they just can’t seem to reach that tipping point to get this snowball effect going. They seem to be grasping at new platforms and development directions in an effort to reach that tipping point, but so far it hasn’t worked, and the product is suffering because of it. Resources are getting spread too thin, it takes longer and longer to get bugs fixed and features completed, etc. This turns off users and causes them to leave. It’s the old one step forward and 1.5 steps back (didn’t want to go full 2.0 :wink:).

So, yeah, it makes me gloomy too. In the end, most of us that still use Xojo say Yes because we can’t find a better* way to do what we need/want to do.

*at least not sufficiently better to justify converting to a new system

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For the most part, I use Xojo because I can be more productive with it. When it comes to making simple desktop apps it’s hard to find a tool to beat it (at least on macOS). Where Xojo falls down is making more complex desktop apps that target both macOS and Windows due to the inevitable effort that’s required to equalise controls on both platforms.

The language itself is pretty solid and easy to use. Sure it’s missing some features that I think would greatly increase its usability (e.g: generics and lambdas) but it’s easy to pick up for newcomers and pleasant to use regardless of your skill set. It’s not overly verbose or too terse.

The IDE, despite its faults (autocomplete I’m looking at you…) is an order of magnitude more approachable than Xcode or Visual Studio. Whilst many people like the fact that you can use any editor you want to with other languages (e.g: Python, Java), Xojo forces you to use its own IDE which in many respects simplifies things. There is only one way to write Xojo code - the Xojo way.

The main thing I dislike about the tool is how it’s managed by the company. Xojo Inc simply doesn’t listen to what customers are saying. Or at least they don’t listen to me :slight_smile:

Overall it’s a yes from me.

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So we like Xojo but the way it has been manged as a company not so much.

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I like Xojo and its RoadMap

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Personally I like many things about Xojo. I’ve been using it for nearly 20 years after all. However, in that 20 years I’ve seen the same pattern happen time after time when it comes to features that many of us could use, today in our projects. get neglected for new targets that when released (much later than initially thought) are half-baked and require several released to become usable.

Cocoa took nearly 2 years to become solid. 64-bit took nearly 2 years to become solid. Web 1.0 was a joke for about a year (or more - it’s been too long) before they finally released a workable demo. iOS was a joke for about a year (some would say it still is) before they released the XDC app. Raspberry Pi is kind of a joke now that WiringPi is deprecated. I suspect that Web 2.0 will take several releases to get solid. I expect Android to be a joke for a year after it’s initial release. Heck, API 2.0 is still showing signs of not being fully baked yet and we all know the history behind it.

Meanwhile better RegEx, XML, PDF support, reporting, full RTF support, Date Time control, calendar controls, to name a few are still languishing and could be used by desktop users today.

To me if Xojo focused on business user needs for a year they would shore up renewing customers and bring in higher paying customers as well. But I’m not in charge of the company and my opinion isn’t worth the electrons it took to write this.

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I’d disagree
Sadly mine isnt the opinion that matters :stuck_out_tongue:

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Maybe the MVP program helps guide Xojo towards more business features. I’m not holding my breath since Geoff hasn’t seemed to listen to advice for a while.

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The MVP’s are mostly invisible
They seem to have all quit the Discord that was running
They dont post very often in the forums
So much for their role being

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Yeah, well, who didn’t see that coming?

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hmmmmmm … let me guess ???

Thank you for your input Bob.

Meanwhile better RegEx, XML, PDF support, reporting, full RTF support, Date Time control, calendar controls, to name a few are still languishing and could be used by desktop users today.

Last night I was going over some specs for an app I need tu update, something I worked on a few years ago. I ended up looking for some 3rd party solutions for some things that when I came back to Xojo I thought would have already been included. I would gladly pay some extra bucks for a Xojo license if they included some of the things you mention.

That’s what I think too. If I was running Xojo I would have dropped Android a while ago and put the money/time/effort into fixing bugs and implementing the features people are waiting for in the targets they already have commited to.

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Many years ago I worked for General Dynamics here in San Diego. At that time, GD had contracts (or owned other companies) that build Cruise Missiles, Cessna Airplanes, Space Shuttle parts, Satelite parts, Passenger Airline parts, Military Tanks, Nuclear Submarines, as well as major IT Services. Not to mention a few that I’m sure I’ve forgotten about.

Around 1990, a new CEO came on board. his Vision was that GD would be #1 in everything it did… and if we couldn’t be #1, then that division/contact would be divested so the remaining resources could help maintain the #1 status of the remaining bits, and perhaps raise the industry status of those that were #2.

This went on for a year or two, and GD’s profit and industry market share rose quite a bit.

However, there was a greedy ending to this story (one that I doubt would affect Xojo), but that same CEO decided… “The h*ll with it… sell it all”… GD dried up to a shell of its former self (Tanks and Submarines mostly)… and that CEO walked away with 10s of millions of dollars in his pocket… and the stockholders lost a huge percentage, not to mention 1000’s of employees (myself included) lost their jobs.

Not sure what motivates Xojo’s CEO to follow the directions he does
Never have been

The company I work for got a little broad in its scope. There was some reorganization, some divestment of businesses that were deemed not to be our core focus, and we have done much better as a result. Sometimes it’s better to try to dominate in one space than become “me too” in many.

I wasn’t a fan of Xojo’s expansion beyond desktop even though I was interested in having a somewhat painless way of creating iOS applications. I really would rather have the improvements in the core product. When was Expat last updated?

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Its not so much Expat thats the issue
The XML classes are based on Sablotron - a long dead project
Expat still gets updated but Sablotron which is what makes use of that doesnt
It hasnt been updated in about 10 years now

To get DOM level support AND Stream support something else like Xerces needs to be used
But thats a complete rewrite of the XML plugin