Xojo in 2019: What I'm Looking Forward To
Published on January 9, 2019
There's a lot of great things coming to Xojo this year. Here's what I'm looking forward to.
Seriously though, I know that a lot of Xojo developers - myself included - have been looking forward to this for a long time. This new target will open up a world of possibilities - and opportunities - to Xojo developers. And I suspect it will also attract a lot of attention and new Xojo developers.
At XDC 2018, Geoff Perlman, Xojo's founder and CEO, described interops as "declares on steroids." They're going to make Xojo, which is already very powerful and robust, even more so. Interops are coming in the new Android framework, but we'll also see them supported in iOS, and in macOS at some point as well.
The Xojo team's goal is to make it possible for us to develop plugins for Xojo in Xojo. This sounds amazing, and it could be yet another game changer for Xojo.
Geoff demonstrated a new Xojo IDE at XDC 2018, and it looked very interesting.
The biggest change in the new IDE will be that the project navigator will no longer always be displayed. It's being replaced with a new home screen that will show an overview of the project that you're working on and make it easy to navigate a project. Double-clicking on an item (such as a window) will open the object for editing. When you're editing an object, the Library will be displayed on the left, and the Inspector will be displayed on the right. To get back to the home screen, you'll simply click a new Home icon in the navbar.
Tabs will continue to be supported, and what you see on a home screen will be unique to each tab. This will make it possible to drill down into an area of a project in one tab, and drill into another area in another tab.
I've always felt that the Xojo IDE is terrific, but with this new UI, it seems like it's going to get even better. Navigating larger projects will be easier, and we'll have more room to work on things.
Of all of the changes that the Xojo team is working on, this is the one that I'm most excited about.
Think about this: Work on the original Web Framework started way back in 2009. 10 years ago! Back then, Xojo's goal with the Web framework was provide a tool for developing Web apps that looked like desktop apps.
Web Framework 2.0 will be a complete re-write that takes advantage of the improvements and advancements that have been made over the years. As a result, we'll be able to use Xojo to develop much more advanced, modern, efficient Web apps.
Web Framework 2.0 will include updates to 5 existing controls, as well as 10 new controls (including a toolbar control and a charting control). Best of all, we won't have to completely rewrite Web apps that we've developed with the original Web Framework. Geoff mentioned that there's 99% compatibility between the original Web Framework and Web Framework 2.0.
At XDC 2018, Geoff showed us a very early build of the familiar "Eddies Electronics" app using the new framework. You could immediately tell that a lot of work has been going into the new framework. The app looked modern, and seemed more like a Web site than a desktop app.
The New Xojo Framework was an attempt to modernize Xojo. Namespaces were used to avoid conflicts. The problem was that the new framework added a lot of complexity and also resulted in a lot of inconsistencies, especially with regards to the names of the APIs.
To resolve these issues, the Xojo team has established naming guidelines. And in doing so, the team discovered that by applying the guidelines to the new Xojo Framework, very few of the new APIs conflicted with the older APIs. As a result, there's really no need for namespaces after all.
With API 2.0, we're going to end up with a language that gives us better compatibility, more consistency, and the ability to make use of new APIs when we're ready to do so. We'll be able to write code that consists of a mix of the original and new APIs.
This year's Xojo Developer Conference (XDC) is being held in Miami from May 1st through May 3rd. This years speakers and sessions have been announced, and I'm really looking forward to checking them out - and of course, learning about the progress that the Xojo team has been making.
I'm also looking forward to be presenting again this year. I'll be discussing Webhooks. What they are, the differences between them and APIs, and how to develop Xojo applications that make use of them.
I hope you'll join us at XDC 2019. To learn more, visit: https://www.xojo.com/xdc/