A modest proposal

There are lots of things that strike me as curious.

One of them is that that despite so many people needing third party code, plugins, or other add ons that Xojo doesn’t seem to promote or cultivate those folks who help them make their product better.

MS did this with VB from the outset. I dont know if the VB 1 team realied that they would never be able to supply 100% of the things that people wanted or just loved the idea of new custom controls in dll’s but they built that in early and its arguably one of the things that made VB so successful. (TIOBE lists VB at #6 still even after the release of VB.Net and several other efforts at moving VB out of the mainstream)

That said having a feature, like custom controls, isn’t the same as actually promoting it OR making it possible for third parties to access resources specific to their needs for creating custom add ons. MS was always very good at that and VB’s success speaks to that.

On the other hand while Xojo does have plugins there are only a very tiny handful of developers that anyone even knows about. MBS and Einhugur. There are a few other but the IDE doesn’t ship with samples or demo versions of any of them, no sample project or demos of them, and so a lot of people have no idea they exist.

Theres a really nice report writer that, once people realize they one, always gets recommended. So why isn’t it in the IDE as a default add on that maybe watermarks whatever you use it for until such time as you pay for a license ?

The IDE itself could have a lot of these add ons available for people to quickly and easily use – and that would go a long way towards promoting the third party market AND raising awareness that there even ARE such things available.

Beyond this there’ no single resource at Xojo that seems to be the point person for plugin authors to converse with. Nor anyone whose role is to find and secure new components for Xojo to include in its standard toolbox or as add ones they could ship demo version of.

Growing the third party markets isn’t just something that is good for third parties. Its good for Xojo as well because people looking at the tool see there are lots of things they can use with the tool to accomplish an ever widening range of tasks.

While having a web, ios, android, desktop and console targets widens the range of targes people can try to write their software for if the only things that can be created are whats in the box already OR “write your own” thats a decent impediment to actually deciding to write your software for other targets.

If, on the other hand, you can see that you can get a large set of add ons, custom controls and other things that will help you accomplish your task then that choice becomes a lot easier.

Come on Xojo. you can dedicate some time and effort to this and become VB for the 2020’s.

2 Replies to “A modest proposal”

  1. I completely agree that one of the things that made VB so successful and appealing was the large number of 3rd party controls/plugins that one could purchase, install and run instead of reinventing the wheel and spend hours/days/weeks developing.

    Having Xojo partner with 3rd party developers and integrating controls that *should* have been developed by Xojo by now but for some reason have not (grid, date/time picker, decent reporting) is defenitelly be a great idea.

    1. I’d like to see it
      I suspect third parties would like it as it would help get their names & products in front of more users
      Growing the third party market should help Xojo and third parties

      At this point the answer to “how do I … ?” should be either
      – oh thats already built in
      – oh thats available from
      not “oh you have to write that yourself”

Comments are closed.