Xojo Inc released Xojo 2013 Release 2 this week. Release 2 has around 150 bug fixes and enhancements. Unfortunately, for Release 2, the IDE still has glaring holes and still isn’t good enough for every day use, in my opinion. Let’s talk about the major changes:
First, one of my chief complaints about Xojo, the vertical space taken up by the Inspector, has been taken care of. It’s vertical spacing is much improved and that’s very welcome. At lease when you look at a Listbox in the Inspector you don’t have to scroll three vertical lengths of the screen to see all the properties.
Unfortunately, the minimum width of the Inspector, Library and the Navigator have not been trimmed so your horizontal spacing is still compromised. I understand the value of incremental changes but this one seems like a half baked solution to the overall problem of fixing valuable screen real-estate issues.
There were a number of Cocoa issues fixed including Canvas Focus Rect, Window Live Resize, Applescripts, Metal Windows, Round Rectangles, Checkboxes in Listboxes, and Masks with pictures without alpha channels to name a few. I didn’t find any of these bugs so I can’t really talk about them very much.
The release notes claim that the Inspector flickers less in Windows. I have not checked so if you have any comments on them please leave them below.
For Web Edition, the WebSessionContext was fixed when server-side code tried to access the Session object. This affects a bunch of web developers so this is a welcome fix.
Overall, R2 feels more ‘solid’. I don’t know how to quantify that other than the impression that R2 is less twitchy and prone to doing extremely odd things like in R1. It’s still less than perfect as there are many things that still don’t work like I expect them to (such as locked tabs).
Bugs that I know of that were reported during the beta cycle that weren’t fixed (feel free to add more in the comments section):
• Changing the Super of Subclassed control back to its original subclass is impossible. <feedback://showreport?report_id=28167> Workaround is to rename the super manually via text editor and reopen the project.
• Deleting a control event is impossible. <feedback://showreport?report_id=28098> Workaround is to remove the offending event code manually via text editor. Marked as fixed but not for R2.
• Duplicating a Window/Page with containers results in a Window/Page with a blank object. (Can’t find the original report)
• The WebListbox Inline Editor is not invoked right away when the pencil icon is clicked and once open it doesn’t like to go away without clicking elsewhere in the layout editor. <feedback://showreport?report_id=28068>
• Copying/Pasting an object into a different folder doesn’t change their names properly. And once you’ve done that changes to the what appear to be the copy will sometimes change the original. The work around is to copy and paste them into the *same* folder and then move them to the new folder and rename as necessary. <feedback://showreport?report_id=27742>
• If you’re using WebSession.Cookies.Set with an expiration date it creates the cookie just without the expiration data. This appears to be a regression from R1. <feedback://showreport?report_id=28028>
• Constant issues with the focus being put somewhere I don’t want it. I’ll have a control highlighted in the Layout Editor, select Duplicate (from the contextual menu because the keyboard shortcuts usually don’t work) and instead of duplicating the control it will duplicate something in the Navigator. For instance I had several instances where an event was duplicated 3 times (because I hit duplicate 3 times) and I accidentally create 3 methods with the event name. (No report because I’ve not been able to duplicate said focus issues reliably.)
If I sound like I’m annoyed, I am. Xojo got incrementally better in some respects and worse in others. Some of those issues make it hard to use Xojo all day, every day. Xojo *is* usable but not without being hyper vigilant. The fact that I’ve had to resort to the text editor to fix certain things is very troubling. This is not something I’d recommend for everyone and is impossible for those of us using the Binary format (i.e. those without a license).
During the beta cycle there was a fair amount of grumbling of bugs that hadn’t even been reviewed yet by the time Final Candidate was announced. Part of this might be because there is one less developer on the team (Thom McGrath is no longer with the company according to his LinkedIn profile) so they are trying to do the same amount of work with fewer people. I don’t envy the developers their job.
I understand the need to get an update out the door but the cost of releasing new bugs discovered during the beta is very high. While R2 is usable I recommend vigilance and lots of backups if you are going to use it. Let us hope that R3 is released ‘quickly’ as well.
What is your opinion of R2?