Why no VB Python?

I could have just as easily said “why no xojo version of python” but without getting into the weeds, I wanted to convey that there is no high level vb/xojo approach using python. In fact, there aren’t a lot of toolchains that do anything similar. For example, i saw an old thread here on INN about Elements Compiler which supports a bunch of languages but alas, not python. Why not? Is there a technological issue? As a high level programmer I don’t have a full understanding of the plumbing.

As for “why python?”, well that would be a whole ‘nother thread. It’s popular for a reason though. And before somone says "but white space!’ let me assure you it’s not an issue as i too was concerned. In fact, i started with Ruby but all the cool data science tools are in python. Unless you’re coding in a text document your IDE makes it trivial to deal with the white space. Never once had an issue. And it does force you to make prettier code.

I have gleaned from some reading/conversations that part of the issue is it’s dynamically typed. Frankly, I prefer static typed and see no reason that there isn’t such a version of python (version 3.6 has static type checking).

Anyway, this is just a curiosity. If off-topic was an option i’d put it there.



Garry & I poked around trying to answer this some time back

  1. wrapping a python “app” into an executable is kind of a crappy process everywhere
  2. ui binding toolkits arent very mature OR not cross platform

Agreed. That’s been my experience also. It feels like working in a warehouse where you need to climb a ladder to reach everything. A constant effort…

I do wonder how much of this is because in the python space so much seems rooted in academia and there you just send out another python package script etc and everyone always gets all the sources any way ?

It feels like working in a warehouse

I should have said “looks like” as i’ve never actually done it. I don’t want to misrepresent how deep down that rabbit hole i went.

… and everyone always gets all the sources any way ?

Maybe, but in my limited experience there were a lot of folks that struggled with it. Which I suspect is why docker has become rather popular. In fact, i have that whale sitting in my mac menu bar. I mean, it works, but hardly seems like a great solution to package up a whole OS or whatever…

Isn’t Python installed by default in macOS ?

Java compiler/language was removed from REALbasic, I do not believe they will include Python in Xojo…

Isn’t Python installed by default in macOS ?

If only it were that simple. The MacOS ships with version 2.7 but upgrading that isn’t the half of it. When it comes to libraries you don’t ever know what’s been installed. And there are some really complicated dependency issues that come up. Even if you installed everything in a script for the user you never know if they’ll upgrade something and throw it all into higgly-piggly. Which is why folks use Docker and ship the whole kitchen sink.

Java compiler/language was removed from REALbasic, I do not believe they will include Python in Xojo…

Yes, I’m aware of the nascent crossbasic java attempt. I wasn’t suggesting anything like that nor that xojo would do it. I’m simply curious why no one has taken one of the top 3 programming languages and made a xojo/vb type of IDE.

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I am also amazed with the fact that no such tool exists for Python. I am an avid listener to the Python Bytes podcast and they have a recurring theme about how there is not a real good solution for creating GUI apps.

If a product like Xojo were ever able to incorporate Python as a language that can be used to develop cross-platform native apps - it would be a huge success. There would be some open source purists that might have a problem with it, but the product would be a one of a kind gem in a language that has an enormous market share. It would be like printing money…

I’ve been saying for years that if Python ever got a decent visual editor then it would wipe the floor with everything else …

Einhugur has a Python plugin (one for Python 2, one for Python 3) so you might want to give that a try.

P.S. Björn’s plugins come highly recommended anyway.

If you mean writing in VB-language and transpiling to Python, then no, it will not be a great success. Building a visual IDE and writing code in Python: yes, that has potential! What I mean is, no Python programmer will want to program in the Xojo/VB-language.

And sorry if I giggle a bit on the ‘huge success’ part of Xojo being that one. I heard that all before:

‘If Xojo would be able to make iOS apps, it will be a huge success!’
‘If Xojo would be able to make Web apps, it will be a huge success!’
‘If Xojo would be able to make Android apps, it will be a huge success!’

Reality: nope. Xojo is still the same small company. Being an expert in something (like they used to be with Desktop), compared to being mediocre in everything now, gives you a much bigger chance to be successful.

So true, the desktop period should have been the focus of Xojo/Real. To this day I’d argue that VB6 with MZ tools beats Xojo hands down on windows as a programming experience. A 22 year old programming tool. So many opportunities missed and even worse. Remember their tool to migrate to Rb from VB6.
Even today if they could provide a VB6 experience on Windows and Mac and maybe Linux with reporting etc they’d have a huge market to themselves. After that if they found themselves awash with money, think about other platforms but in any case, windows and Mac aren’t going away any time soon.


That was a horrible tool
It doesnt even migrate layouts correctly - never mind code

And yet , done properly, THAT would have been a killer utility.

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yeah and its NOT that hard
My client has a HUGE code base in VB6 and we have a tool that migrates the layouts pixel perfect to Xojo ones
We’re adding to that to actually move code and even more exotic things like some OCX controls they had used in VB (ADO, FlexGrids, etc)

Nice. There was a good guy who was writing a decent converter but iirc he became disenchanted with the lack of any kind of positivity from RB towards his efforts. Iirc again I think he felt the second “conversion” tool Rb released kind of queered the pitch for his very reasonable priced one.

who is this guy that are writing the converter???

Hi Trisha it was a long time ago, best part of ten years. It was a work in progress but I tried it out and it worked well as far as it went. I thing he was california based. I think he was hoping for some kind of positivity from RB and became disenchanted when he didn’t get any. Sorry it all sounds so vague. I came across him on the old forum I think. He was a decent guy.

i have been using rb/rs/xojo for 15 years and seriously i can’t remember who you are referring to. Do you remember his first name???

I have been using the product for over 19 years…

I vaguely remember someone was doing that way back when, but as I never used VB, I did not pay attention much to it, and can’t remember the name either.

Maybe Norm will?


I know anthony mentioned he was writing one
I have no idea what ever became of that