If you’ve been around Real Studio/REALbasic for a while you’ve probably grown accustomed to the 90 day release cycle from Real Software. Whether you love it or hate it is really besides the point because for the past 6 six years it’s all we’ve known.
If you haven’t noticed, 2012 Release 1 hasn’t been released yet. Real Studio 2011 Release 4 was put out on December 6, 2011. 201o Release 4.1 was released the first week of February and 4.2 was released last week and it looks like a 4.3 release is imminent.
We already know that Real Studio 2012 Release 1 will have a couple of major changes. The first is that it will be the first release where Cocoa support is ‘official’ and no longer beta. Many Real Studio developers have been banging away on Cocoa and while it’s not perfect many are using it.
Another big change is a redesigned user interface for the IDE. I’ve been able to see some previews of it. The first was at the ARBP conference in Atlanta last March and in early November at the Real Studio Database Days training sponsored by MonkeyBread Software. It will be an interesting change for sure since we use the IDE all day long and we’re intimately familiar with it.
If you were around during the last UI change (circa 2006) you may have some trepidation about this change because that one didn’t go well, in my opinion. Thankfully some things have changed since then. First, Real Studio is now written using Real Studio so the company is painfully away of the problems with the transition to Cocoa and the new UI. Back then, nothing in Real Studio (that I’m aware of) was written using Real Studio so the developers weren’t always aware of the more painful bugs the new UI caused.
I’m still hesitant about the new UI because Real Software doesn’t use the IDE like we do. They are starting with an existing code base with portions of the code base that don’t get examined very often. We (and I’m speaking as a consultant here) create new projects from scratch every week with about a dozen really big projects (start to finish) every year. If you’ve ever looked at a few of the editors (*cough* reporting *cough* database *cough*) you know what I’m talking about because it’s obvious they don’t *use* them in IDE. They have such huge holes and bugs in them they’re practically unusable for most of us. It’s that level of detail I’m afraid of.
Frankly, there’s no guarantee that the UI changes will make our lives easier. Software development is a crapshoot, at times, and while I *know* they’re copying good ideas from other products and tweaking them to fit the RB environment that doesn’t mean they’ll pull it off. If they release something that makes our lives harder – then well I can’t wait to hear the moaning, complaining, and screaming. 🙂
Anyway, back to my point. If you were expecting a new release in March it ain’t gonna happen. With a dot release imminent I would suspect at least 90 days from that dot release. Maybe a little sooner or later but that puts my estimated arrival time around June. We won’t know for sure until it goes to the beta list for testing and that hasn’t happened yet.
So for those of us that were wishing for fewer releases I guess we got our wish. Hopefully this means it’s done when it’s done and not based on an arbitrary schedule. Of course, the drawback is that some bugs that are killing us won’t get fixed for a while and waiting until June is fugly. Then who knows what sort of issues we’ll find in the new UI that keeps us from using it.
When you’re at Real World at the end of May I guess we can meet at the bar and either celebrate or commiserate! See you there!