Other It's time to grow

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
I’m very proud in the continuing progress of B4X tools. I’m also very proud to be part of this amazing developers community.

In the last couple of years, I have a growing feeling that B4X tools do not realize their potential. While there are all kinds of development tools, B4X offers a unique set of features: simple, powerful, mature, great community, RAD, native, cross platform and more.
B4X tools are an excellent choice for a wide range of real-world use cases.

So, the question is how to make B4X more popular? Obviously, it is not a simple nor a short-term task.
A clear growth barrier is the fact that unlike most development tools today, B4A and B4i are not free. This wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

The big announcement today is that B4A will become free in a few weeks. The framework - set of internal libraries, will be open sourced.

We will accept contributions for B4A like currently done with B4J.
We've also secured funds from a US investor who shares my vision of making B4X a popular development tool. These resources will allow us to further expand.

How can you help?

Help us spread the word about B4X.
 

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
Conversely newer version were unable ( even given old APIs to work with) to build apps for OLDER versions of Android.
Not true at all.
You can use B4A to build apps for old versions of Android including Android 2.3. Many SDKs, including Google Play Services set the requirement to Android 4.1. It is also important to understand that the share of Android 4.0- is very small (<1%) and in most cases can be ignored.
 
Upvote 0

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
I would love for B4A and B4I to be more compatible, ideally for same layout files to work for both.
Already possible. You can copy and paste views between B4J, B4i and B4A.
Once you learn how to work with XUI you will be able to share almost all of the layout related code as well as the logic code. I'm not talking about 66%, it is rather closer to 95%+.

Also for B4R base language to be more like B4A and B4I, so that same back-end code works in all three, eg Int and Long same size, strings work like normal.
Comparing a 2k microcontroller (1 / 32 of commodore 64) with the targets of B4J, B4A, B4i is not very practical
 
Upvote 0

annitb

Member
Licensed User
Even if setting the Android API to an old version in a NEW version of B4A in order to try and run it on an old version of Android ( lets say for compatibility or completeness multi apk purpose ), the app doesn't work in the old Android device for a myriad of reasons quoted by the Android device.

Only an old version of B4A with an old version of the API works for the old version of Android ( current expectation to be revised ). This should be possible as Android 1.6 is no different from Android 9.0 from a binary perspective, neither is armv5e to armv8, as my native static binary works across all ( without needing the linker or worse yet, failing due to the linker changes to PIE ). Yet, all biggies propose a different APK for armv7, armv8 etc, completely unnecessary.

More the reason to have the simple test cases initiative going. Both at server end which is expensive, but even a hidden service ( with a hidden test launch ) at user end.

Then it might be necessary to take the bull by the horn and "share-take" the GPU from the app developer perspective. It's simply unused.

 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
ven if setting the Android API to an old version in a NEW version of B4A in order to try and run it on an old version of Android ( lets say for compatibility or completeness multi apk purpose ), the app doesn't work in the old Android device for a myriad of reasons quoted by the Android device.
You are again wrong.
B4A apps that do not use newer SDK that are based on Firebase or Google Play Services or features added in newer versions of Android will work on Android 2.3. They might also work on Android 1.6 however talking about Android 1.6 is a complete waste of time.
Android versions distribution: https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html
As you can see Android 2.3 share is 0.3% of the devices.
For further discussion about it please start a new thread.
 
Upvote 0

annitb

Member
Licensed User
dear erel,

by any estimate, there are anywhere between 10 and 20 million new unopened Android devices that were built with Android 2.3 to Android 4.0 to Android 5.1 that didn't make it to the market due to the rampant upgrading in developed markets.

it may be time to invite a market for those, let's say for a flat $25/- fee. AliBaba is a player on that front, as are others. simply putting a phone in landscape orientation on the wall with a new b4a launcher is an all convergent IOT controller!

Or a router version of b4a that simply runs the app on a MIPS router. Should not take any effort at all. Maybe even spearhead the use of ARM quad core routers. And "service oriented" apps that don't have a GUI. ( this will need the heap size limits as a C 1MB binary with 1MB RAM can pretty much do everything that a 100 MB heap service, let alone a 320MB heap size per app! ). Latest kubuntu and XFCE running entire desktop OS GUI within 320MB-380MB RAM. Android should be with very little effort? be able to run the XFCE app either on the tablet or even remotely ( so routers won't need a screen ).

the key point to note here is that the evolution of most IDEs, be it Microsoft Office or Visual Studio becomes very very complicated as the years go by and new owners drive the need for a new version of the IDE.

it is something to watch out for.

i recommend the top-10 most useful use cases presented for the taking, then the next-10 and even the most-useful-10 or most-underrated-10 or most-obscure-10.

thank you indeed.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
the key point to note here is that the evolution of most IDEs, be it Microsoft Office or Visual Studio becomes very very complicated as the years go by and new owners drive the need for a new version of the IDE.
I'm sorry to say but there is really no point here. As I wrote three times you can use B4A to develop apps that run on Android 2.3.
Please don't continue this discussion here.
 
Upvote 0

aeric

Expert
Licensed User
What I understood is "It's time to grow (up)" as the title suggested, and move forward. There is no point to think about the deprecated and omissible quantity of device. Even though I still can develop exe for WinXP PC using VB6, that doesn't mean I have to ask MS to give an update on Visual Studio 2020 that allow me to do that. I will ask my user to use Win10. :p
 
Upvote 0

emexes

Expert
Licensed User
Comparing a 2k microcontroller (1 / 32 of commodore 64) with the targets of B4J, B4A, B4i is not very practical
Agreed, for small devices. But because there is often wireless link to a master/UI app, it would be good if the same code worked the same at both ends. Bytes, Shorts, Ints and Longs could have been same on all, without affecting efficiency. UByte would have been great too, especially if backported to B4A/I/J.

But we are where we are now, presumably - and understandably - because of differences in the underlying Java/Objective C/C of the different systems.
 
Upvote 0

emexes

Expert
Licensed User
Once you learn how to work with XUI you will be able to share almost all of the layout related code as well as the logic code. I'm not talking about 66%, it is rather closer to 95%+
Sounds great. I should make this jump, rather than keep forking from a "master" app. If it harmonizes the handling of the on-screen keyboard, that alone would be worth it.
 
Upvote 0

droman

Member
Licensed User
Incredible! I've been using B4A for many years, but I don't get money for my applications. Paying for the license in my current personal situation is very difficult and I have had to stop doing it. Now, finally, I can keep up. A great decision We will spread the word.
 
Upvote 0

Peter Simpson

Expert
Licensed User
Paying for the license in my current personal situation is very difficult and I have had to stop doing it. Now, finally, I can keep up. A great decision We will spread the word.

And also donate/contribute whatever you can afford I hope ;)
Keep on coding and enjoy the new B4A when it becomes free, because it's grrrrrrrrrrrrreat :cool:
 
Upvote 0

Mickster

Active Member
Licensed User
And also donate/contribute whatever you can afford I hope ;)
Keep on coding and enjoy the new B4A when it becomes free, because it's grrrrrrrrrrrrreat :cool:

Heck, I think I am still using the same version from 2012 but I have purchased updates to support the cause.
I have always preferred paid-for products because the quality is always better, support is better (very important) and you don't end-up with a forum that is littered with annoying ads.

I'm sure (I hope) Erel knows what he's doing.

I need to start a fresh development this year so donations will be forthcoming 👍
 
Upvote 0

MbedAndroid

Active Member
Licensed User
there is always a counterpart when a product becomes free. I hope not this will imply that you need to accept build in ads in your apk. For the moment i keep my paid version of B4a.
A private investor is always looking to get profit for the money he invested.
lets wait a see what the busniss model looks like when b4a becomes free.
 
Upvote 0

wimpie3

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
The question has already been raised in the past but might become interesting again now. For lots of free software you can buy commercial support. The software itself is free but if you have an urgent question you can call/mail support if you pay for it. Is this on your list, Erel?
 
Upvote 0

DawningTruth

Active Member
Licensed User
I agree with some of the views expressed by others. You have to have a revenue model to fund R&D and the world-class support we receive. At least have a community edition and a paid edition. Personally I think your pricing is reasonable, so don't believe that it is pricing that hinders growth. Rather the obscurity of the product. It took me many months to find B4A. So am sure others are struggling similarly.
 
Upvote 0

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
For lots of free software you can buy commercial support. The software itself is free but if you have an urgent question you can call/mail support if you pay for it. Is this on your list, Erel?
Support will be provided through the forums. Providing private technical support is not feasible.

When will it be free?
In a week or two.
 
Upvote 0
Top