What Feature Would You Remove From Real Studio?

I ran across a Twitter post today that asked what feature they’d remove from FileMaker Pro.  I don’t use FileMaker (not in many, many years at least), but I thought it was a very good question.

It’s a good question in regards to Real Studio too as it makes you think about what you don’t use.  I’ve asked the question before on what’s the one thing you need above all else in Real Studio.  But removing something is a much harder question.  So it should probably be something that’s not very good, or makes things worse, or something made irrelevant by 3rd party tools.

After thinking about it for just a few seconds I came up with the one thing that I never use in Real Studio:  The Database Editor.  For me, it’s the one thing that is worse than useless since it makes the job of managing your databases harder.  I mean,it’s just not very good, in my opinion.  Based on my experience answering questions in the Real Software forums it’s not an uncommon experience.

In reality, the database editor experience is much like any generic tool:  it just doesn’t have the features that match up well to tools built for the specific database.  If you want a good SQLite tool there are some awesome commercial versions available.  Heck, there is a freeware version that works inside of FireFox that’s better than the DB editor, IMO.  The same goes with MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and any other database that RS supports.

I’m a big fan of Navicat as they have versions of each of the aforementioned databases.  Granted, Navicat has a generic user interface and it’s a Java app (I think) but it’s the only thing that Navicat does (database admin tools).  It’s interface is consistent across all of their versions so it’s no big deal to move from the SQLite version to the PostgreSQL or the MySQL version.

If the Database Editor was removed from Real Studio would anyone really notice?  What would you remove from Real Studio if you had the chance?

29 thoughts on “What Feature Would You Remove From Real Studio?

  1. Support for Linux. There’s no money in it. If it’s well-supported, then it’s a resource drain. If it’s not well-supported, then it’s disingenuous to call it a feature.

  2. I came to RS only when they added Linux support. I wanted to develop desktop applications for Linux, Mac and Windows. I’d have to find something else to develop Linux applications in, and I’d be sad to have to leave.

  3. Bookmarking. Likely, I just don’t get it, but it doesn’t seem to be very useful to me. I also agree that the database editor is bad. I simply don’t use it either.

    In terms of Linux support though, I would miss that if it were gone. I use the heck out of Linux and RS to build custom apps for our work on the platform. Multi-platform support, including Linux, is the MAJOR reason I picked RS over other languages. Losing Linux would seriously cause me to reconsider.

  4. I think Linux IDE is somethign i dont use… However Linux as a target for my Apps is something i like having as an option.. Dont kilo that.

    DBeditor: Kill it… I wont use it.

  5. I wouldn’t drop Linux as long as it is still a quality product which can be delivered. However, the question is indeed an under-rated one. We tend to ignore features we don’t use, and very infrequently ask for the actual removal of a feature (since it seems otherwise benign in its non-use).

    However, an unused feature increases overall complexity of code, and potential conflict with usable pieces. I also want to resist simply naming features which I rarely use (since I know that they are features others do use). I’ll have to think about a good answer to this.

  6. We need linux for the Web Edition deployment.
    The database editor, well the whole thing with doing database without code could be removed. Those database linking of controls never worked well for me. Having a database in the project also makes more trouble than it helps.
    For a lot of features you could ask yourself: Is the solution great? sufficient? buggy? Could you yourself or a third party do it better?

  7. Brent Huston :

    Bookmarking. Likely, I just don’t get it, but it doesn’t seem to be very useful to me.

    Agreed. Since it’s been available, I don’t think I’ve ever used it but a handful of times.

  8. I agree to the extent of using the menus, very cumbersome. But drag-and-drop the method names (or constant or properties) on the Booksmark bar and you can get to about a dozen locations anywhere in your project with one click. You can even customize the name of the visible link in the bar so that you can fit even more on there. Frankly, I think it is one of the coolest features of RS.

  9. @Bob Keeney
    I know many people that use Linux quite a bit. I have compiled all my apps for Linux. Just havent released any publically yet. I will be releasing Linux apps (along side to the MacOSX & Windows) in the future.

  10. IMHO Real shouldn’t remove features but make them better. The profiler isn’t very useful.

    But I agree that I haven’t uses the “browser” features at all like bookmark menu, history and forward/back button.

    Isn’t there a new IDE coming anyhow?

  11. Bookmarking. Never understood the need for it. And ditto on the database editor mostly because it lacks useful features. If it had more Filemaker-like functionality it might be a different story. But bookmarking can never be improved into something useful as far as I’m concerned.

  12. I can disagree with Aaron; we would not have used Rb were it not for Linux support.

  13. I agree that the Database Editor functionality could be dropped. But perhaps its function is to sell software; it’s the sort of thing that allows you to to something simple immediately. It’s only after you buy a license do you find out that it’s useless.

  14. Linux seems to have more support than I was originally thinking, which is interesting to note. Good thing no one listens to me when it comes to business suggestions! 😉

  15. @Aaron Ballman
    Just curious, can sometime tell me why they don’t like the bookmarks. To get to a heavily used section of code, instead of opening up the form, then the control, then the event, just one click takes me right there. Seems like a no-brainer if you are bouncing back and forth between 2 or 3 sections of code in a coding session. And the impact on the IDE is minimal, just a few horizontal pixels taken up. Just curious, not telling anyone how to work.

  16. charles :

    I agree that the Database Editor functionality could be dropped. But perhaps its function is to sell software; it’s the sort of thing that allows you to to something simple immediately. It’s only after you buy a license do you find out that it’s useless.

    Charles, let us know how you really feel, okay? Don’t hold anything back. 😛

  17. @Mark P
    I agree with you on the switching back and forth between sections of code makes some sense. However, in my day to day work with Real Studio I rarely work on the same sections of code often enough to merit bookmarks. I tend to use the backwards and forwards buttons when I’m doing work in the same two or three methods at any particular point in time though so I’d keep them.

    Of course, I’d love to do a split screen in the code editor, rearrange the properties and constants editors but that’s a post for a different day. 😛

  18. I agree about the database editor. I’ve always used a third-party database editor.

    I’ve also never used bookmarks. A split screen editor would work better for me.

  19. Bookmarks are one of the coolest features of the IDE and I use them especially when doing maintenance on a complex system. I agree the database editor should go, it’s done badly. They desperately need GOOD bindings adding and anything in the database realm should include bindings.

  20. 95.800.000 google results for “One man’s bug is another man’s feature”

  21. @Bob Keeney

    Hey now — I think that it’s generally accepted that the IDE DB functionality is worthless. Maintaining it costs RS. So it’s reasonable to guess what RS believes the return on that cost to be. Other explanations are welcome.

    It’s instructive to keep in mind the example of report functionality. For some time, people were pounding the table for reporting functionality in REALbasic. So RS finally added it. It’s only minimally functional — I couldn’t even generate an invoice using it. But apparently it satisfied those clamoring for reporting functionality. There appears to be quite a difference between “Rb has no reporting functionality” and “Rb has reporting functionality that may or may not suit my purposes”.

  22. The bulit-in DB creator/editor is poor to say the least, it should either be improved or dropped IMO.

    I was one of the people saying RB needed reporting capability for years… but what was delivered leaves a lot to be desired… but instead of dropping it, it should be improved.

  23. @Karen
    Agreed. Having a minimal reporting tool is still better than none at all.

    I was one of the big proponents of getting a reporting tool as well. If you need a very simple report it works well – assuming the editor works on your particular system (I have one computer where it doesn’t at all).

    It’s not great, but I suspect that it is okay for most users. Given that there are some good, commercial alternatives, I think RS did what was expedient.

  24. Of course, using the “it’s better than nothing” argument for the reporting tool implies that the Database Editor is “better than nothing” too.

    I disagree. It’s a poor editor and leaves many users with a bad taste in their mouth. But given the number of free, low cost, and commercial tools to edit the various databases is it then ‘good enough’?

    Everything’s a compromise I guess.

  25. @Bob Keeney
    I’ve never understood why any company pours resources into a product or feature like the RS Database Editor when there are low-cost, quality, commercial offerings out there. Talk about re-inventing the wheel. I own Navicat Enterprise, it works fine, and the cost is nominal if you are trying to build and sell software (plus they have a non-commercial license that is even cheaper for the hobby users). I am sure they have their reasons, but IMO they should put those resources towards the LLVM or some other project that can’t be addressed by another company.

Comments are closed.