Geoff Perlman from Xojo spent an hour this morning talking to the attendees about what Xojo is working on and there was some interesting news. So let’s dig into the highlights!
In a major change of XDC policy all sessions at this years conference are recorded! All attendees will get access to all of the videos in June. According to an announcement in the Xojo forums, these recordings will be for sale at some point in the future.
If you look on the App Store, you can find an XDC iOS application that contains the list of sessions, give feedback, as well as maps. This app required a bunch of technologies currently not built into Xojo for iOS: Notifications, iBeacon, and camera access to scan QR codes. Furthermore, this app and administration application will be open sourced.
Xojo Cloud servers will pretty much double in most of their specifications while keeping the price the same. The small server will now support DB servers (Postgres and MySQL), have 1 GB of RAM, 20 GB SSD drive, and 200 GB outgoing bandwidth. The medium and large servers have similar upgrades and all of this will be available in June. Xojo will contact customers to help them migrate their servers.
Web apps are getting drag and drop capabilities. Starting in R3 developers can specify if controls can allow a drag or accept a drop. This includes controls. The API is similar to the way desktop apps work with drag and drop. In fact, it’s a little easier than desktop, and while Geoff didn’t promise anything he said it’s possible that this API may make it to desktop at some point. No word if there is drag and drop being added from client file system to the browser. I will try to follow up on this.
Xojo gave a little history on how the Xojo IDE came about. When they redid the Real Studio IDE they wanted a modern looking IDE, that was more approachable, had better search results, and had less tab management. However, they acknowledged this morning that it has some shortcomings. The panes take up too much screen real estate, too much time spent hiding/showing panes, to much dependency on the mouse, poor Layout Editor workflow, and poor project Navigation.
Xojo is in the process of designing changes to address these issues. The changes will reduce pane management, be more keyboard friendly, improve the Layout Editor workflow, and greatly improve project navigation. No idea on when this will occur as it’s a big change. And there’s no real way to incrementally change the IDE so it’s an all or nothing change. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take the two years it took to go from Real Studio to Xojo.
Starting in R3, Raspberry Pi (Linux on ARM processors) is supported. This turns out to be an interesting addition since these tiny little processors are inexpensive and used in many embedded and hobbyist applications. This is an interesting new target and might bring some new developers to Xojo. This new target is included in the Pro license.
Also in R3 we will get the first opportunity to build applications in 64 bit for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Geoff showed off the Feedback app built as a 64 bit application. He also said that if you are using plugins it’s likely that your app won’t work until plugin developers can get them 64 bit capable. Attendees will get Alpha one (emphases on the one) where 64 bit compiling only works on Mac OS X. Later R3 alphas will work on all platforms. However, for R3 the debugger is still 32 bit.
Sometime between now and next years XDC we will be able to create plugins using Xojo. These are available for iOS and 64 bit Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows applications. 32 bit desktop apps will not be supported. What’s interesting about the new plugin format is that it can contain resources (images, sounds, etc) that current plugins can’t do. These new plugins can also interact with the IDE meaning that you can have dialogs and editors. This is very exciting news and should lead to some interesting developer solutions.
EDIT: Geoff worded this poorly. What he meant is that you can have plugins that use the GUI framework. There’s nothing in the announced roadmap for extending the IDE itself.
Retina support is currently being worked on. In R2 for iOS we now have image sets and your application will pick the right image resolution at runtime. This will get moved into desktop targets and into the IDE in 4th quarter 2015.
Updates for Windows. Geoff showed us a currently usage chart for Windows. Windows 7 and 8 are now accounting for over 80% of the installed base. Therefore, starting with R3, Xojo will not support builds in Windows XP. While Retina support for Mac OS X will come soon, he did mention that Windows HiDPI support is coming.
EDIT: This was poorly worded as well. Support for Windows HiDPI is not in the announced roadmap, just that it’s something Xojo would like to tackle at some point.
Those are the highlights. If you have questions, let me know below and I’ll see if I can get them answered. Anything particularly excite you? Anything you dread?