Bob Keeney has been an active member of the Xojo community since 2001. BKeeney Software has offered Xojo consulting work for 15 years with happy clients all around the world. Bob blogs regularly on Xojo and developer topics at www.bkeeneybriefs.com.
I think that Xojo is an amazing product. Clients love the simplicity and power of Xojo which is not found in many software development products. Part of what makes it a great product to work with is the wide array of options to learn more about the language- whether it’s for someone who’s new to programming trying to get an introduction to the language or for an experienced programmer trying to do a deep dive into the framework and what Xojo is capable of.
Xojo comes with a lot of nice example projects and the online documentation is the first place to look for information. The Xojo Forums are an excellent place to ask questions. I feel the Xojo documentation and example projects are really useful but everyone learns differently. Even with my experience, I still refer to the Language Reference daily.
Xojo does three to four major updates every year. This is great because each release has a large amount of bug fixes but they also tend to contain new and updated features to classes and controls. This makes it tough for authors to write large comprehensive books on Xojo because as soon as it’s published it has a good chance of being out of date. So the approach taken by many in the community is to produce smaller, tightly focused material that won’t go out of date as quickly.
Xojo Library has hundreds of small articles and most are focused on small aspects of Xojo. These articles are written by members of the Xojo community and are valuable resources. Another 3rd party resource is Xojo Developer Magazine which not only covers Xojo specific development issues but also offers a broad spectrum of news and reviews of developer related topics. While there is some overlap between the two, both are excellent resources.
Also, there are the training videos that BKeeney Software offers. A few years ago when consulting work was slow, I decided to start producing Xojo training videos using the many small example projects I had created over the years. It started with about ten hours of video and as of December 2014 we have nearly sixty-two hours of video. This includes two start-to-finish desktop applications and one start-to-finish web application and many more videos on smaller topics including about five hours of iOS-specific video. Most videos come with project files and you are encouraged to use the source code in your own projects. There are roughly eight and a half hours of free video on various topics.
The training video URL is a web app written in Xojo that has served over 9,000 hours of streaming video to thousands of developers around the world of all skill levels. I get comments from subscribers thanking me for including fixing my own (often stupid) mistakes. It turns out people need someone to show them how to debug problems that Xojo developers encounter on a regular basis (even if I am a little embarrassed by the mistake I make).
Not everyone has an internet connection capable of streaming video and it was a highly requested feature to view videos offline. In late October of 2014 we introduced Xojo Trainer which is a Macintosh OS X and Windows application (written in Xojo of course!) that allows users to view 56 hours of video offline. It ships on a 32 GB USB drive and contains the applications, all required media, and all project files.
Some of our consulting work revolves around coming up with examples for clients. The clients don’t have the time to learn a topic on their own so they contract with us to write an example for them. These examples range from file handling to canvas drawing examples and everything in between. The clients like a working example that they can learn from, or even integrate into their own projects. For many, time is money and we save them both.
Xojo is a wonderful product that is powerful and easy-to-use. The framework is large, however, and the documentation, textbook, example projects and webinars aren’t always enough. While Xojo provides several ways to learn the product some people like using the 3rd party alternatives. Xojo Library, Xojo Developer Magazine, and BKeeney Software are there to help you learn Xojo.