Languages and IDEs for application/solution development - I tested Xojo

FileMaker is great for whipping up a solution in record time, within the limits of its capabilities (aviators would call this Filemaker's flight envelope). Like all development languages and IDEs it has number of limitations and it depends on the requirements of the solution to be produced, which platform suits best. There is no one-size-fits-all in software world.

I tested Xojo. It is a proprietary language tightly knit into a proprietary IDE. Development and debug runs are free. A license must be paid for deployment, production of executable files.
Everything looks fine at the beginning. Xojo is an object-oriented language of the BASIC family.

The dot-notation syntax is easy to learn. Things get complicated when working on applications that require more than a couple of code lines. The entire product has a lots of bugs that require workarounds. The documentation does not help much, it suffers from an inefficient search interface and many errors and omissions.
An official bug list exists, where users can file reports (issues). The development team being quite small and torn between releasing new features and new target platforms and working on an ever-increasing list of reported bugs can't cope with them in a timely manner. Chance is that a bug stays in the system for years and new ones (regressions) are introduced.

Xojo could be a RAD tool. Unfortunately, potential times savings are absorbed by working around bugs. It certainly is not a low-code tool, whatever marketing says.

For those who consider taking up Xojo in their toolbox, I strongly recommend doing a thorough investigation, taking a hard look beyond the vendor's marketing claims.

An excellent source of uncensored information is the independent Xojo developer forum INN. The vendor's forum is also a good source of information.

Xojo Inc's marketing is boastful and inaccurate. FileMaker is called out for 'announcing major deprecations'. The fact that Xojo Inc themselves performed major deprecations in recent years, which cause a lot of trouble to developers, is swept under the rug. Keywords to look out for are Web1 and API1.
I let you ponder about the claim that 'there are hundreds of thousands of Xojo developers scattered across the globe'. See below for reference:

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It depends what your goals are.

For me, since Xojo is object BASIC and is a small niche product, I wouldn't consider it for any serious development work I do.

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FileMaker is expensive, Xojo is buggy. PHP/MySQL/Bootstrap has been a pleasure to work with and is 'free' and close to bug free. :slight_smile:


Yep. Ditto for Java, MariaDB, Python, .....
Plus, it's SUPER easy to find developers for these mainstream technologies.

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I know both Xojo and FileMaker. Both have strenghts and weaknesses. No tool is perfect.

Xojo is a RAD tool, not a low code tool. Xojo write some code in the background. Compare what you see in the editor for a method for example to the complete code. FileMaker is a no-code to low-code tool, it does a lot for the developer, but that brings some limitations. For sure in Xojo you have to type more code, but hey you can do much more.

Xojo should not be considered for serious development. I know very well a company that has created a large system with FileMaker and Xojo. FileMaker is used as the backend for data entry. Xojo is used for data entry. Xojo is used where it's a better fit that FileMaker. This system has to execute transactions in multiple of 100,000 per day. The system rocks !

Are languages and IDE from Microsoft used for serious development ? Absolutely. Have a look at the documentation: this is what I call a total mess. Xojo's documentation, although not perfect, is way much better.

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Addendum the original post:

On 2022-11-10, the independent Xojo forum INN went offline. A few days earlier its owner and community administrator announced on INN that he will retire from INN and hand it over to his co-moderator. Instead it went offline and has remained since.
On INN developers could voice concerns and openly discuss the Xojo product and vendor 'corporate decisions' - discussions that could not happen on the vendor's forum.
Despite having announced otherwise, INN disappeared without prior notice and about 250 members are left in the dark, all content is presumably lost.
It shall be noted that the owner and community admin was himself quite critical of the vendor's 'corporate decisions', delivered product quality and the unprofessional and at times ruthless moderation of the vendor's own forum.

For independent information about the Xojo product there are now two resources available: