Xojo was released a week ago. For those of us that were in the beta program (and even earlier with the alpha program) it seems like we’ve been using Xojo forever. I have plenty of my own opinions and I can take some small satisfaction for saying, “I told you so” in some areas in regards to the new UI.
There are plenty of things in Xojo that I dislike. The use of vertical space in the Inspector is atrocious. The lack of keyboard shortcuts is annoying. Getting lost in the Navigator makes me less efficient. The inconsistent use of checkboxes vs sliders is disappointing considering this release was put on hold for a year. Note that I didn’t say that any of these issues were show stoppers.
For me, the IDE has crashed some but not to the point where I want to put my fist through the screen. I’ve gotten the Navigator so lost that it doesn’t redraw properly but a simple Xojo restart seems to fix that. There have been times when the focus is somewhere other than where I want it and a Duplicate command creates a duplicate of something else entirely and sometimes it takes me a day to find the duplicates because they’re hidden in the Navigator. Again, these are annoyances and not show stoppers.
I know that some Windows users are very unhappy with the new user interface and that for some Windows users the IDE is horribly slow and the flicker is bad. I’ve not investigated this in any great detail but it seems to be related to GPU power and OS on the end users computer.
While there are plenty of things to dislike there are also things that I just use. Xojo is usable for me and my team and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time using it (roughly 80% of my time) the past couple of weeks. For me, the Cocoa framework seems to be solid and while some things are different I expected a certainly level of incompatibility. It is after all a new framework that, while close to Carbon, is still different enough to cause some heartburn. Really, the only major difference that I’ve seen is that using Threads is a pain now. Software development isn’t always pretty or easy but Xojo has done a good job of making it easier.
I am looking forward to the future releases to see how they combat some of our biggest gripes. A few changes can’t come soon enough but bottom line, for me anyway, is that I can use Xojo for consulting projects. My fallback is always to go back to Real Studio but I don’t think I will need to. The few times I’ve gone back into Real Studio I have discovered that it looks ‘strange’ now. So give Xojo a chance. It tends to grown you.
So what are your thoughts? Do you like it, love it, hate it? And why?
PS. Let’s keep the remarks civil. I don’t like it when users make personal attacks on me and my team in tech support. I’d like to keep the comments respectful. I’m friends with much of the Xojo team and I know they put in a ton of work for this release. I for one will cut them some slack and I hope you will too.