What Topics Do You Want Covered?

One of the joys of doing a blog for close to eleven years is that I feel like I’ve talked about a lot of topics and people ‘know me’ fairly well.  I always get a thrill when people tell me they’ve read this blog.  That is so cool and I thank you for your valuable time!

As many of you know I do a quick review of every Xojo release.  I often do a blurbs about updates to our own products.  Occasionally I even rant about things (you should see the posts where I never hit the Publish button!).

When I had a column in Xojo Developer magazine this blog was a convenient place to discuss the ideas from the column.  But writing a reoccurring column is tough.  Keeping a blog going for eleven years seems to be even harder.  I’ve been writing fewer and fewer posts and I’d like to change that trend.

At one point I thought about taking a topic in the Xojo Forums and talking about it in-depth  here.  We’ve been busy doing consulting work so I spend far less time on the forums than I used to but it might be an interesting way to generate new posts.

So, my fellow Xojo developers, what topics would you like to see me tackle?  Topics can include my opinions on the future of Xojo, how’s the 3rd party market doing, why did we choose <x> or <y> over <z>, or anything in between.  I’ll let you be in the drivers seat for while.

Some ground rules:

  • If you’re rude to me, my staff, or Xojo staff I’ll just delete the comment, ban you, and move on.
  • Keep it simple – this is a blog and not a magazine.  Though that doesn’t mean I can’t do a multi-part blog post.
  • I reserve judgement to make more rules as I think of them.  😉

So what topics do you have?

19 thoughts on “What Topics Do You Want Covered?

  1. Just a suggestion. How about giving your blog a break and re-record all your older Real Studio Videos topics so they work with Xojo. It’s a bit disappointing for the price to see that the majority of videos are based on the older product. Again. Just a suggestion. Thanks. Ivan

    • See, the problem is that re-recording simply for the sake of showing them in Xojo doesn’t gain anything other than it being in Xojo. The content would be identical. Trust me when I say that an hour of video is close to ten hours of work (maybe less with a do-over) so from *my* perspective that’s a lot of work for no gain. Make sense?

  2. I really enjoy your blog and have been a long time reader. For me I am excited to read about your good and bad experiences; they have often been mine too, so I enjoy them vicariously. My next xojo project will be some IoT thing that will measure some bodly parameter via some wearable raspberry device and beep if it goes to high. I can’t imagine programming that in any language than xojo. Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your journey. And it gives me ideas for the future.

    • Thanks!

      I used a Raspberry Pi and Xojo to create an electric kiln controller so my wife can have better control over her glass jewelry process. The app itself was disturbingly easy – the only hard part was interfacing with the analog to digital converter to read the thermocouple.

      I highly recommend the Eugene Dakin book “Program Raspberry Pi 3B+ Electronics with Xojo” available from http://www.xdevlibrary.com

  3. Most of the time there is more than one way to skin … uhm … an apple (don’t want to upset cat lovers). What I haven‘t seen yet is posts about approaching a specific problem, the alternatives, advantages and drawbacks, when to use what. Case in point: your ActiveRecord class. Love it. It’s brilliant for easily accessing records, showing and editing single records. However using it slowed down my app to a crawl and made processing data impossible (20 hours plus for a dataset instead of 1 hour). Or people ask how to do zoom in a canvas, but nobody explains why this or that approach.

    It needs an experienced developer to make informed decisions. I would love to read about how these decisions are made.

    • ah. yeah. ActiveRecord isn’t ideal for intensive data processing – it’s one of the known drawback. Seriously, if you want fast data processing do as much as possible in the database. If you’re using a DB server figure out how to do Stored Procedures because even a poorly written SP will be faster than pulling all the data out, massaging it in an app, and writing it back to the server.

      But that’s a good topic.

      • What I’m doing is processing large text files (think millions of lines) and processing each line, breaking it up according to certain rules, and storing the bits in the database … so nothing the database could do instead of the app. The second step then is analyzing the data, and there I make heavy use of the database tools.

        • Thumbs up! I would like to read also about processing large Textfiles in a good and fast way. A Chunk Reading Tutorial would be nice, maybe in step, from beginners to experts. How can we optimize the memory usage while reading and parsing large Textfiles line by line without crashing our app or slow down our OS?

  4. Write about work experience. Something interesting you run into, a problem you solved, a mess you fixed. How to not do something and how to do it better.

    When I spend an hour working with a client on a problem, I’m trying to get something out of it. Some new notes for documentation to prevent anyone running into the same problem, some new example project to show others or a blog post about what to do better.

    In a few of cases, I google for a problem and find an old blog post from myself.

    • Hmm…this is suspiciously like my XDC 2019 session topic. “All the things I learned the hard way” or, “Thankfully time travel doesn’t exist or I’d go back and strangle my younger develop self”. I only have about 150 items in the list so far. 😀

      Perhaps I can flesh those out into blog posts.

    • “a mess you fixed”
      We all make mistakes and learn from it. Perhaps a blog about “a mess you made” could be a good idea. Not to blame or be rude, but just to prevent readers from falling into the same pitfalls

  5. This is a great idea Bob. One possible topic is around graphics and where/what should the direction for Xojo go? Currently there is OpenGL that is supported, and there are many different versions to draw graphics. Should Xojo or a third party support Vulkan that is mostly cross platform? what alternatives are there? Would Xojo want to develop their own 3D graphics and call it XojKan (a blend of Xojo code and Vulkan?). You could go in a few directions with this 🙂

    • Hm…man. Graphics systems are *way* outside my comfort zone. I know next to nothing about OpenGL too.

      But certainly talking about best practices with some example projects would be good.

  6. I like to read and see about making input-fields save (accept only numbers, dot/point problems with different languages then accept currency’s etc.) Change input-fields by cursor-keys and not by tab (Tab is a no go with cash programs). Accept Input-Field IBAN with automatic prove etc.

    Or another theme: Web-Application on Ubuntu-Server:
    How to implemented the demo-App on a new Ubuntu-Web-Server as cgi-Script.

    How to make a web-server save with xojo.

    • Tabs are awesome for high speed data entry
      Use to work in a enterprise where a lot of data entry clerks entered invoices, cheques and all kinds of financial data and they had a numeric keypad with a tab and enter key and the rest numerals.
      Its all they needed for that role (but they had full keyboards for emails and such)
      When they switched away from that software to one that used mice & pull down menus – a “nice” GUI – for input the data input rates plummeted. They had to more than double the data input clerks to get back to something even close to what they had previously.

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