The Xojo Developers Conference is my favorite week of the year. It’s where I go to renew friendships, make new ones, talk to potential clients, learn from other Xojo developers, and learn what Xojo is up to. Along the way there’s usually a surprise or two and this year was no exception.
The first surprise from XDC was that all sessions were recorded. All attendees will get access to the sessions. Currently it’s unknown if they will be available to the general public for free, or for a fee. During the wrap-up session several people gave an impassioned plea to make these available to everyone at no cost. The argument is that their experience with other conferences showed attendance actually goes up after releasing session recordings.
Not really much of a surprise since they’ve been telling us this for over a year now, but 64 bit builds are coming in 2015 R3. This is indeed welcome news in a software world that’s quickly becoming 64 bit. From what I gather from people way smarter than me (insert joke here) is that 64 bit won’t really change anything in our apps and won’t give us much, if any, enhancements, and will make some things slower. As Geoff joked at the conference, let’s hope that 128 bit computing doesn’t come any time soon.
Drag and Drop for web applications is coming for R3 as well and I expect this to be a big deal. There are just some times of applications that do well with a drag and drop environment. Think graphical editors where you have an object that you select and move by dragging it. The current web framework has drag events but they should absolutely not be used – ever – since they don’t really work like we expect. Drag and Drop might very well be my favorite news from XDC.
Raspberry Pi apps built using Xojo. I think this is a wonderful addition to the product. Raspberry Pi is a hugely popular processor because of its price and it’s used in a lot of places. Hobbyists and the DIY crowd really like it and I’ve seen more and more ‘professional’ level projects with them too. Heck, my sons 3D printer is run by a Raspberry Pi. The XDC crowd didn’t react much to it when they announced it but as the week went on it came up in conversation more and more. What a great way to introduce Xojo to new developers! Really, the only question that’s come up is how much will it cost? We already know it will be part of the Pro license but what about those that don’t need all the other stuff?
One unexpected surprise was the mention of the long deprecated and removed SpriteSurface and SuperSpriteSurface. It seems that more than a few people got their start in Xojo/REALbasic developing games using it. SpriteSurface wasn’t a great class, in my opinion, but it was enough to get started and getting people exposed to the language. Perhaps we’ll see a Son of SpriteSurface in the future?
One thing that I expected to hear more about but didn’t was Auto Layout. Norman had a session on it but other than there wasn’t a mention of it anywhere.
This isn’t a surprise because I’ve been many XDC’s now, but the official evening events are usually a lot of fun. This year there was a mystery dinner theater that most found entertaining but the river cruise to watch the bats come out at dusk was awesome. What goes on after the official events is even better as clumps of developers go exploring and Austin is a great place for exploring.
I encourage you to go to an XDC. It’s a very nice event where you’ll learn a lot not only from the sessions but from those attending as well. No word on where next year’s XDC will be. The cities under consideration: Seattle, San Antonio, Miami, New Orleans, and I believe San Diego. If you have a preference, be sure to let Xojo know.
So that’s my recap of XDC 2015. Did any of the news surprise you? Anything you expected to hear more about but didn’t?