A Future For Elastic Window / Elastic Web Page?

In July I began shopping around Elastic Window & Elastic Web Page to see if any developers were interested in buying and maintaining them. Elastic Window has a special place in my heart & I would hate to see them abandoned. I had the idea to build Elastic Window ever since I saw something similar done in Visual Basic. I had discussed its development with some of the REALbasic “old guard” who provided pointers on the architecture. I even went in to the labs at REAL World in Austin for pointers on building the Elastic Canvas aspect of Elastic Window to make it easier on users. A lot of love has gone into Elastic Window over the years.

I loved REALbasic since the early days. I was happy that I had found a VB for Mac. I think my first version was 2.1, all the way through the 2005 IDE change, the rebranding from REALbasic to Real Studio, and again the rebranding to Xojo.   At one time I was the biggest proponent of REALbasic that I knew. I promoted it at the VB6 shop where I used to work. I even mentioned it at other programmer meetings & conferences. I’ve been a customer for over a decade. I was part of ARBP, used to help people on the NUG & the forums, and I’ve attended and spoken at REAL World conferences. I remember hanging out at a REAL World conference saying “why would anyone use anything else?”

So what’s changed? Mostly it’s been death by 1,000 paper cuts if you will. Most of the problems I dealt with in stride. I did blog/complain about bugs and other issues not getting the attention that was important to me as a professional developer. (See this post, this post, this post, this post and this post in which I took a lot of flack! OK, this post and finally this post.) In the early days of the NUG I had some mildly offensive “turn or burn” taglines at the end of my e-mail signature. One actually was “turn or burn”. The NUG members didn’t like that and voiced their opinion. I was threatened with removal from the NUG by REAL Software. Interesting times. To help my REALbasic consulting service search ranking, I bought a few domain names with “realbasic” in them. I was threatened with lawsuits which never came about because I was not infringing on their copyright or trademark by explaining what my business was doing.

The final 1 2 punch came early last year after beginning my RS to Xcode tutorials (now Xojo to Xcode after their name change). First the Xojo IDE makes coding not fun anymore. When the first edition of Xojo came out I would literally yell at the computer screen because of what the IDE was doing. Second RS banned me from their social networking “groups” on LinkedIn & Facebook. And I received the following email:

“Your recent blog posts comparing Real Studio with xcode/Obj-C have come to our attention. Since your blog posts are suggesting people use tools other than Real Studio, we have decided that we can no longer support your third party tools in our store. Per the agreement, “Real Software Third Party Sales Agreement” (section 16a, which I pasted below for your convenience), your products will be removed from our store in 5 days.”

They were hoping to strong-arm me into changing one sentence where I state to only use their product for cross-platform & to use native tools when not targeting multiple platforms. After some semi-heated discussion and condescending responses from RS, I went ahead and pulled my products from their store… not waiting the 5 days. (I was actually thanked by them for that, no, really!) When I mentioned to them all the things they had done to me over the years (above), the response back was

“I can’t think of anyone who has been the target of so much. You should ask yourself why that is … The thing is Christian, we almost never have had to take this kind of action because the vast majority of our users are reasonable people.”

I told them if this was a relationship I’d be an abused spouse. I could go on (I have 15 pages of saved emails to refer to), but I won’t. Simply, I’m done doing business with them.

So how did this post come about? After shopping Elastic Window around I had mentioned that I hadn’t been to the Xojo forums in months. Afterwards, without signing in, I began looking around the forums and saw a post that pointed to another blog post titled Xojo Considered Harmful. The original poster on the Xojo forum reminded me of me years ago. The blog post referenced is sort of how I feel now.

Five years in the making, this battered spouse left last year. Since my Xojo subscription has expired and I don’t intend to pay for it again, at this time I won’t be fixing any Elastic Window nor Elastic Web Page bugs caused by Xojo updates. I have received exactly 2 customer support requests since Xojo 2014R2 was released. One bug having to do with a WebTimer when using Elastic Web Page and another odd-sounding resizing issue when using Elastic Window.

If you would like to step up & take over Elastic Window & Elastic Web Page development, please contact me. If no one steps up, they’ll either collect dust or I’ll open source them where they may collect dust anyway. Until then, you’re a programmer. You have the source code if you have a recent license. Figure it out. 😉



3 thoughts on “A Future For Elastic Window / Elastic Web Page?

  1. Markus Winter

    Sorry to see you go. Have to admit (and purely based on what I’m reading here) that RS/Xojo hasn’t covered itself in glory.

    I want to say though that while using native tools gives you the best options for programming on a platform, this often isn’t an option for your usual Xojo user. They either don’t know C/C++/C# or they hate the syntax and can’t be bothered.

    I’ve just (nearly) finished a project for an ex-colleague of mine which was four months of work, with the last 6 weeks going till past midnight pretty much every day. I’m on a Mac, he is on a PC. I know you should test early and often on the other platform, but I didn’t (even though I have Win7 in a VM). I just coded it (and fixed oodles of bugs in my code as I ran into them). Now all the big bugs are ironed out and I compiled for the first time for Windows – and it runs without a problem.

    Now THAT is what I like about REALbasic.

    And yes, I’m still using REAL.studio 2012 R2.1 for programming. However I have to admit that the Xojo IDE has improved greatly, and I use it from time to time to hunt for bugs on a copy of my code.

  2. Christian Post author

    I still have a couple of clients on Xojo & 1 on Real Studio. RS2012R2.1 is a pleasure to work in. And I usually did the same as you. I designed & developed on the Mac and then used the remote debugger to make sure everything worked on Windows. Very nice.

    Your statement about the typical Xojo user is probably true.

  3. J. Harris

    I hate to see you leaving Xojo, but it’s very understandable. Xojo put developers who use Elastic Window in their apps in a bad position. What’s really sad is I’ve seen the same opinion posted in the forums by several Xojo users.

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