We are excited about Microsoft’s announcement regarding Windows 11. A large portion of Xojo users develop on and/or for Windows. The new UI looks fantastic and will be a welcome upgrade for Windows users. Xojo and apps written in Xojo will run without modification on Windows 11.
Xojo creates native apps and uses the native user interface toolkit on each platform. This is important from the end-user’s point of view – we’ve all used apps that didn’t feel quite right, often Java or Electron-made apps. But it’s also important from the developer’s point of view because many of these design changes are effectively done for you.
With the newly released M1 Macs, there have been lots of questions about being able to run other operating systems on it, particularly from developers that are used to running Window or Linux in Virtual Machines using virtualization on their Intel Macs.
Here’s your first reminder: On January 14, 2020 Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7. We went through this a while ago when Windows XP reached end-of-life (no one really cared when Windows Vista reached end-of-life). Windows 7 was a very popular release as it was much better than Vista. It also didn’t help that Windows 8 was not liked at all with its many UI changes.
GitHub just announced that private repositories are now free. GitHub has been a great source for Xojo open-source projects, so being able to also use it for private repositories is a nice bonus.
Employee turnover is expensive, time consuming and stressful. But the need for new skills, whether to bolster your existing sales and services or to usher your company into emerging markets, is a constant. You already have excellent employees that “know the ropes” of your business but they don’t always have the skills needed to take those next steps. These employees may be called “power users” or “business analysts”. This is where upskilling comes in, giving rise to the age of the citizen developer. The citizen developer is able to use low-code and rapid application development tools to make apps that improve efficiency or more easily collect or gather data that can benefit the company.
Encouraging and even educating your employees to become citizen developers doesn’t mean eliminating the IT department, it means improving productivity and efficiency with collaboration and innovation. After all, who better to say exactly what the marketing or sales department needs in an app, tool or automation than the department members who will utilize it the most?
This is where Xojo comes in. Our long history (over 20 years) as an easy-to-use, rapid application development tool makes Xojo an ideal choice for would-be citizen developers.
Visual Studio can also create web apps and as it would turn out, you may find that Xojo is a better option for web apps.
Technically, Visual Studio for Mac can create ASP.NET Core Web Apps. These type of web apps use the ASP.NET framework, but do not provide a form (layout editor) for your app’s user interface. Instead you’ll have to create everything in code, including mapping UI actions to corresponding code. ASP.NET Core also requires you to use the MVC (model-view-controller) design pattern, which can be a bit daunting for beginners.
If you are a Mac or Linux web or cross-platform developer, one of the easiest ways to test your apps on Windows is to use a virtual machine. And you can test Windows in a VM completely for free by using the test VMs provided by Microsoft.
At the recent Build conference, Microsoft released the final version of Visual Studio for Mac. As a former Visual Studio developer who left that world for the fun, fast development that is Xojo, I had to check it out to see how it compares to Xojo.
First, if you’ve ever used Visual Studio on Windows before, be aware that Visual Studio for Mac is not the same thing. Essentially Visual Studio for Mac is new branding for Xamarin Studio (Microsoft bought Xamarin in 2016), so Visual Studio for Mac looks and works nothing like Visual Studio for Windows.
From a recent Ars Technical article called “The future of Microsoft’s languages“, emphasis mine:
In spite of its name, the current Visual Basic is not the same language as the ancient Visual Basic 6, nor the Visual Basic for Applications used for macroing. The transition to .NET in 2002, with what was called, at the time, Visual Basic.NET, left developers familiar with those languages high and dry; although the new language was called Visual Basic, and looked a bit like Visual Basic, it was really just C# in disguise. There was no good migration path from old to new, and much of the simplicity of those older languages was forfeit.
This is a primary reason why so many Visual Basic developers choose Xojo after trying Microsoft Visual Basic (.NET): they don’t want “C# in disguise”.