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Issue 16.3 ('XDC 2018')
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FEATURE

Farewell New Framework

News and Announcements from XDC 2018

Issue: 16.3 (May/June 2018)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 14,808
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 16302
Related Web Link(s):

http://www.flarum.org
http://www.xojo.com/xdc/

Excerpt of article text...

Every year XDC brings new announcements and a roadmap of the future of our favorite development environment (see Figure 1). This year during Xojo CEO Geoff Perlman’s keynote address (see Figure 2), we got a bombshell: the new framework Xojo has been working toward for the last couple of years is going away and will be replaced by something called API 2.0.

It’s remarkable and impressive that Xojo is willing to backtrack, in a way, and admit that the new framework was a step in the wrong direction. This is great news for those who felt the new framework was overly complicated; however, apps that use the new framework—such as iOS, which currently require the new framework—will eventually need to be rewritten.

The original goals of the new framework remain unchanged: to make the language clearer and more consistent. For instance, there are multiple ways to add items to lists: append, add, addItem, etc. and it can be confusing to remember which to use when. Another famous issue is whether a list is zero- or one-based.

However, upon reconsideration, Xojo engineers decided that the need to separate the new language features into a different namespace was overkill. There’s little overlap between the syntaxes and Xojo can simply add the new features to the existing classic objects. For example, if Xojo decides that all lists will use add as the verb for adding items, they can add add as a new method to existing classes without changing the classic addrow or whatever the old class used.

Other examples include moving the new framework’s date manipulation features and locale support to the classic date object, adding toString and fromString to the string datatype (depreciating text), and making variant more powerful (like the to-be-depreciated auto).

This simplifies things considerably, as there’s no more namespace confusion, existing code can still work using the classic syntax, and the two APIs can be mixed, ending the "split personality" of writing code for iOS versus other platforms (since iOS is the only current one to require the new framework).

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