Apple has xCode/Cocoa which they give away for free. Microsoft has Visual Studio and .NET which can be obtained for next to nothing. Both products create (arguably) superior applications for their respective platforms.
REALbasic makes a consistently good application for both platforms. Keep in mind that RB is nothing but compromises for the supported platforms. The Microsoft MSHFlexGrid is superior in many ways to what the Apple grid can do so REALbasic has to compromise and give us the lowest common denominator in grids and hence we have an underpowered (but functional) listbox control. The Einhugur StyleGrid and DataGrid controls do essentially that same thing just wrapped differently with some speed enhancements.
It’s been argued many times in the forums that RB doesn’t make a good Mac application without doing a lot of extra work. The same is true that Windows applications made in RB suffer from some of the same problems. Why is this? Two words: Cocoa and .NET.
Each frameworks gives developers goodies that highlight the strength of the platform and hence our initial question. Does Apple or Microsoft really care about REALbasic? It’s not like RB is going to see extra copies of Windows or sell more Macintosh computers directly. If anything, you could argue that REALbasic hurts both Apple’s and Microsoft’s plans for “world domination.”
That’s a bold statement but here’s my reasoning. I’m in charge of Apple the argument might go something like this: RB allows developers to make software that works on my Mac’s and on the Borg’s own Windows. I want to show the world that the better platform is the Macintosh so why should I help RS with any bugs on the Mac? Now developers won’t use Cocoa and all the goodies that it has so all the time and effort to make Cocoa is wasted and our users don’t get all the goodies they’ve come to expect from Mac software. RB is not enhancing my users’ experience!
If I’m in charge of Windows the argument could go like this. I have this huge market share that’s being eroded by that toy computer from Apple. Here’s RS that makes the claim of being a basic, object oriented, development environment that lets it easily create software for Windows and the Mac. There’s even a utility that converts from VB6 to REALbasic! Now people aren’t locked into Windows and all that work I’ve done promoting .NET is wasted!
Okay, both arguments seem silly but I’m sure the sentiment exists in Cupertino and Redmond. I’m sure that neither company is actively sabotaging REAL Software and REALbasic but are they helping it? In the world of business what seems like a win for the consumer is often perceived as a lose for the company.
What are your thoughts? Is this idea possible or is it really stupid? What am I missing?