Monday, May 27, 2013

The Great Xojo/Real Studio Name Contraversy of 2013

I've been using a software development tool called Real Studio for the last few years as my primary cross-platform development tool. While there have been frustrations, overall, RS has saved me tons of time and made developing apps across the three major platforms a breeze. Best of all, every six or so months, I get an update that delivers all sorts of new goodies that make me more productive or allow me to craft better, more user-friendly, more advanced applications.

A few weeks ago, Real Software, the company behind Real Studio, announced some major changes coming to the IDE. They're developing a new framework, adding more support for Cocoa on Mac, moving closer towards iOS as a build target, and changing the tool and languages name from Real Studio and RealBasic to Xojo.

Of all the announced changes, the name change is what generated the most controversy and I think it's absolutely stupid for it to have done so. I understand the reasons Real Software chose to change the name. From a language standpoint, telling someone you program in 'Realbasic' has detriments. Even though Realbasic is closer to Java than it is BASIC, the stigma of the name still exists. Good programmers who are developing good software are often ashamed to admit they use a tool attached to the BASIC name.

From a marketing and trademark standpoint, a name change makes sense too. If you go to Google and search for "Real Studio" you'll get thousands of hits, hardly any of which have anything to do with the tool from Real Software. It's very hard to protect their intellectual property when it has such a general name so choosing a unique, catchy, name makes sense there too.

Overall, the name change is going to be a net positive for the company and the developers who use their tools. As it always does, the controversy will die down soon enough and people will love the new tool.  Arguing over the new name is ridiculous and is completely missing the point of why Real Software chose to do it in the first place and how the name change will benefit not only the company but every single developer who uses their tools.

Xojo from Real Software is scheduled to be released in June 2013.

1 comment:

CalCOFI@sea said...

I develop primarily for Windows so the IDE changes make RealBasic less like VB6 which is why I started using RealStudio in the first place. I have mixed feeling about both the name change AND the IDE changes.
Now when you google Xojo you also get an XOJO energy drink