Tuesday, November 13, 2012
An Open Appeal to Real Software
Dear Real Software,
Over the last few years, I've absolutely fallen crazy in love with your product, Real Studio. As an experienced, long time, independent, software developer, I've come to appreciate the huge amount of time it saves me over competing products like C++, C#, or even Java. Since I've started using Real Studio, I've come to rely on it more and more to allow me to deliver quality software on time and within budget.
But, alas, all is not well in Developerland for me. With the current energy around tablet computing, I want a piece of the action. There's money to be made and I want some of it. Unfortunately, if I'm to go after any of this money, I'm going to have to do it without the help of Real Studio. Why? Because RealStudio doesn't compile for the ARM architecture which is quickly becoming the dominant processors these amazing devices use.
I really am confused by Real's apparent lack of interest in tablet computing. When I ask about future ARM support on the mailing list, I'm usually greeted with 'maybe one day, when we get LLVMrunning and Cocoa support on the Mac up to snuff'. Why? While I understand many developers make their living writing Mac software and you definitely should put a good amount of effort into getting Cocoa right, you're letting the foundation of an entire new market pass you by and forcing those of us who want a piece of the tablet pie to make a hard but necessary decision: stick with RealStudio and wait until ARM support comes (if it comes) or move to something else for developing on ARM devices.
Personally, I'm choosing to wait, for now. But I'm not going to wait forever. If Real continues to show no interests in ARM then I'll be forced to separate my development time: Real Studio for desktop apps, something else for tablet apps. It's a decision I don't want to make, but I have to go with what pays the bills.
Lastly, I know you say 'just develop web apps using the Web Edition' but, let's face it, we all know it's not the same. Sometimes, a web app just doesn't cut it. Sometimes, only native will do. Telling people to build web apps is a lazy, thoughtless solution to a problem that shouldn't exists (or, at least, shouldn't exist much longer).
So consider this a friendly poke by a friend. You're missing a new market and forcing developers who hitched their train to your product to miss it as well. Some of us will stick by you for now and see where things go. But you can't expect us to watch dollar after dollar go to other developers for long before we make a move. Sadly, that move might be partially away from RealStudio.
Save the day, Real Software: work on bringing ARM support to your product before you and the developers who rely on you are left behind.
A Friend and A Fan