By Thom McGrath on
I keep hearing from the community "great, but what about bug fixes?" - well they are still happening, but here's what is really going on.
Years ago, REALbasic stood pretty much alone in the cross platform arena. Web apps weren't in existence, phones were just phones, and the desktop was all that developers cared about. Spending lots of timing only fixing bugs was an option.
Today, not only do we see more competition, but we also see more platforms. Mobile phones (and iOS in particular) has taken the world by storm and web apps are also becoming all the rage. Developers are moving away from the desktop. They are moving away from our core and only product in search of these new opportunities. While not in droves, we have customers who want to support these new platforms and wait for us to do it, and customers who won't wait.
These new platforms and competition have reduced our resources. We need to be very wise about where we put our time. If the only thing we did was fix bugs in REAL Studio, it is almost certain we would not survive. While only fixing bugs would reduce our customer loss, it would not stop entirely and would also barely impact our new sales.
So resources are placed into R&D. We have to grow the product, it is not an option. We still fix loads of bugs - just look at the release notes since late 2009 when I started on the web edition, still about 3 times the fixes to features ratio. We're absolutely tackling a lot at the same time, but we have to. We need the web to attract new customers, we need Cocoa and eventually 64-bit just to maintain the desktop, and now that Apple will let us, we need iOS support. We don't consider these optional. We have to do these things. But the order in which we do them makes a huge difference. So we're going after web and Cocoa at the same time. If all works out, the web edition will help us grow and we can bring in more engineers who can help us with 64-bit and iOS.
While we're all aware how important bug fixes are (and we cram as many as we can into a release) we cannot sit back and watch the development world move without us. As the saying goes: "Go big or go home" - and we're not going home.