Xojo in the 2020s

Xojo in the 2020s

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I initially didn't want to write anything more about Xojo. However, this thread reaffirms my decision to learn new tools nearly two years ago and ultimately part ways with Xojo:


Though Xojo posts may not always remain public, here is the essential portion of the discussion that Sam also shared outside the official forum:


Of course, Geoff, the CEO of Xojo, is correct in saying that hindsight is always clearer, and certain flawed design decisions are difficult to rectify.

However, he is mistaken in thinking that this issue pertains only to macOS. Every Xojo module faces similar challenges. In my opinion, Realbasic's former strength of having a visual designer is increasingly overshadowed by various functional shortcomings and the prevalence of a 4-digit number of bugs.

Most notably, you purchase the "Layout Manager" at a steep cost. Naturally, it only functions within the Xojo IDE, which is significantly outdated. Not only is the autocomplete feature slow and prone to errors, but we don't even want to discuss the absence of GIT integration. The Xojo IDE simply lacks everything that modern (and mostly free) IDEs provide in 2023.

Of course, the days when you could easily develop for multiple platforms from Realbasic / Xojo are long gone. The mobile modules require (no fault of Xojo) that you deal with XCode, Android Studio, certificates, CSS, JavaScript injections. If you don't use the overpriced but secure Xojo cloud, you will also have to deal with server configuration for the web or you will have to use a third-party software solution like "LifeBoat" (in addition to the plugins that you need to be able to work properly with Xojo). The same applies if you want to get mobile solutions into the stores. Then there is hardly any way for the hobbyist to avoid third-party software like "App Wrapper".

All of this may not seem so bad, but the already relatively high costs for laypeople increase by at least a third. You also have to ask yourself whether this makes sense when some of the authors of such a solution have problems with Xojo themselves and the help they offer to Xojo has been rejected for years.

It's a real shame to see how a brilliant idea has somehow manoeuvred itself into a dead end IMHO. Given the diverse alternatives that also enable "cross platform development", you should think carefully about which development environment you choose before making a purchase.

In my opinion, this is the sole remaining goodie in Xojo for beginners. As long as you don't have to compile a binary, you can test the downloaded version for as long as you want. But you should do that too. And since there are no Long Time Support (LTS) versions, in my opinion, it is advisable to carry out this process over several versions before making a purchase.

Xojo is undoubtedly impressive for both first-time users and those looking to return to programming. However, if you aim to create secure, complex, modern programs, you can't surpass contemporary development environments that don't make you fear every update, worrying that you'll have to completely change your code or that it will no longer be supported.

In an increasingly tense geopolitical situation, updating your software swiftly is essential. The recommendation that you don't need to update comes IMHO with a high cost, which should not be overlooked in today's world and is not acceptable for semi-professional use.

Update (November 2023): Michael Tsai wrote about Xojo as well "Moving on from Xojo".

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