I’ve heard it several times: how can I export to PDF from Xojo? Sure, there are lots of answers pointing to a bunch of resources, including excellent plug-ins from third parties. But can you accomplish the same thing using an already available API? Yes, there is a remote API for that! The requirement is that your Xojo app will need to have access to Internet … and, of course, you’ll need to do just a bit of coding.
Admit it – this is one of those questions that, sooner or later, arise to every Xojo newcomer: How can I add new UI controls to the Window at runtime? And if you are considering this too, then the good news is that the answer is more simple than you probably expect… sitting right there on the Inspector under the Attributes tab. Yes, this is all about the Control Set!
It talks about how you could make a maze-like structure on a Commodore 64 with just this one line of code:
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
The author then goes on to show you how you might do something similar using Python and pygame.
I love all things retro and this seemed like fun, so I thought I would whip up the same thing in Xojo.
In today’s world, the only way to be sure you are reaching all your potential customers is to target multiple platforms. But cross-platform development is crazy-hard, right? Perhaps, if you are using tools like Java, Qt, Delphi or Xamarin it certainly can be. But with Xojo, cross-platform apps are simple to create.
In fact, Xojo lets you easily cross-compile desktop apps for Windows, macOS, Linux and Raspberry Pi. Plus, you can use the same Xojo language to create web and iOS apps too (Android coming soon!).
Are you tired of working for someone else or simply ready to start your own company? I founded and have been successfully running Xojo for over 20 years and prior to that I was a consultant for many years. I can attest to the importance of getting a business set up right from the beginning. Whether you are a developer looking to start a software consulting business or an entrepreneur looking into any other kind of consulting, some truths are universal.
Getting off on the right foot means your business will be that much closer to being in the 50% that will survive its 5th year. Here are ten truths for starting your own software consulting business:
Before we dive into what it means for developers, and in particular Xojo and other cross-platform developers, that IBM is pushing the Mac, let’s look at the recent history of the computer market. 10 years ago, the Mac had market share in the low single digits and was ignored by most of the world. These days the Windows PC market is in decline while the market share for Mac is rising at the expense of Windows.
How does IBM fit into this?
Our goal has always been to let you focus your energy on what makes your app unique. One of the ways we do that is by handling the nitty-gritty details of the various platforms Xojo supports. For example, you don’t have to worry about the differences in how files are accessed on Windows, Linux, macOS or iOS. We take care of that for you.
Saying all this is one thing, however, and delivering it is quite another. We’ve been through some significant technological hurdles over the years. Over the past 12 months we’ve had two big transitions. The first was support for HiDPI (called Retina on macOS and iOS) which made it possible for apps created with Xojo to support high definition screens. For Xojo users, adding HiDPI support was mostly a matter of recompiling their app. If they had pictures or icons, higher resolution versions needed to be supplied but aside from that, it was effortless.
The second big feature we’ve been working on is support for 64-bit. Integers are the issue here and are almost certainly the most common data type used in apps built with Xojo. If you have used the generic Integer type, in theory, building a 64-bit version of your app should be a simple matter of recompiling. That’s the theory. What’s the reality?
In 1998 Steve Jobs was the interim CEO of Apple and trying to keep his unprofitable company from sinking into bankruptcy. Just the previous year, when asked what he would do if he were in charge of Apple, Dell CEO Michael Dell said, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
The Mac had single digit marketshare. Creating a development tool, independently of Apple or any company that makes a platform such a tool would support, was considered a fool’s errand. There were plenty of tools available from large companies. Apple made MPW (the Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop). Symantec created THINK C. Metrowerks developed CodeWarrior. IBM’s VisualAge. Macromedia Flash. If you needed to create a cross-platform desktop app, you’d be told to look no further than SUN Microsystems Java: THE cross-platform language. We were all promised that Java was going to run on everything from our computers to our cars to our can openers. Java was the safe and popular choice. Developers made up only about 5% of computer users anyway. Honestly, who would be crazy enough to launch a new development tool in a market crowded by giants?