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Issue 19.2 ('Shake It')
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Deja Vu

Transitions and Reinventing the Wheel

Issue: 19.2 (March/April 2021)
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): 21,140
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 19202
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Excerpt of article text...

Many years ago I had an app I wanted to localize. At the time, REALbasic had just added a feature where constants could contain strings for different languages. As often happens in the early stages of a project, I was gung ho and ready to go, but I found converting all the strings in my project to constants tedious—so I wrote a program to do it for me.

This took me a few months, off and on, and by the time I got it working well enough to start localizing, REAL Software released their La Lingua project that did a similar thing. All my work was for nothing!

If this was the only time something like this had happened, I wouldn't be writing this article. But the truth is this has happened dozens of times. The world of technology nowadays moves so fast that if you wait a few months, everything will be different.

Last summer there was gnashing of teeth regarding Apple's transition to "Apple Silicon," its own custom processors for Macs (though, thankfully, that has proven relatively painless). Before that, it was the abandoning of 32-bit apps with the advent of MacOS Catalina.

Sure, there's always something to complain about, but the bottom line is that with every transition, there are new APIs to learn and old technology abandoned (or "depreciated," as the programming gurus like to say). Everything new requires more work. I wonder if in 50 years we'll look back at this era and think we wasted 80% of our time redoing the same thing over and over!

We're obviously seeing some of that with Xojo, with its switch API 2.0, as well as more complex development with iOS and Android platforms (not to forget Web, which has its own classes and controls).

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