Bindings Deprecated and RB3D OpenSource?

REALbasic engineers have said on the NUG that they are deprecating bindings and wish to open source RB3D. I think this is good for RB in the long run.

If you happen to use one of these technologies I can see where you might be miffed.  Honestly, though, I think REAL Software is looking hard at REALbasic and see what people are using and what they aren’t.  If they aren’t, then figure out why.  Is it because it’s too hard or just not useful or there’s no interest?

I can see why they’re removing bindings.  Ever since they moved to the new IDE for RB 2005 it’s been neglected and never worked all that well in my opinion.  It’s functionality is limited and most users I know end up doing most of work in code anyway.  The other disadvantage of bindings is that it’s all visual.  Visually, you can’t tell what the binding was without going through a dialog anyway.

The argument for RB3D is a little harder.  I’ve used it.  It’s okay, and fairly easy to use.  It uses the Quesa library which is a “library that offers binary and source level compatibility with Apple’s QuickDraw”.    To use it in Windows you have to install a dll and using it in MachO apps requires some special steps as well that I’ve never had to do.  RB 2007 R3 caused some issues with dynamic linking in Windows.  This feedback request was entered by William Yu, one of the RB engineers, so I look at this as pretty much a done deal.

The deprecation of RB3d could mean several things.  First, RB thinks that QuickDraw is not the wave of the future and that it’s going to support some other graphics 3D library.  Second, the number of developers using it is so small that it’s not worth supporting.  Three, RB might be planning on introducing some new language feature that would make supporting RB3D hard.  Four, it could be that none of the current engineers at RS find it exciting enough to maintain and enhance and making it open source lets the community decide on where the technology goes.  This is all speculation, mind you, and the answer is probably a combination of things.

For what it’s worth, I think it’s awesome.  REAL should examine all of their classes and features and jettison the ones that people don’t use.  In the long run REALbasic becomes better and we see less complaints about what RB doesn’t do well and we have a solid set of features.