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#1 Rob Atherton

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 11:22 AM

Dear VIP Users,

You must all have the patience of saints

I admire you all

#2 SteveHoughton

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:48 PM

It might not be perfect but it is the best Pro-IV delevopment tool at the moment. The productivity gains against using Native are just massive. I have used it for 21 months now and on the rare occasion that I have to use native it's like being back in the dark ages!!!

And no I do not work for Northgate!!!

#3 Matthews Estrice

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:11 PM

I have worked with ALL and Superlayer for 6 years.
I have worked with (VB) for 2 years.
I have worked with the whole of JAVA umbrella for 3 and half years.
I have worked with Developer Studio for 1 year.
I am integrating Java, .NET and VIP.

VIP is so fast in delivering.Even Object Oriented IDEs do not come close to VIP.
VIP is about 199 percent than the NATIVE PROIV. i.e cut and paste.

#4 Lewis Mccabe

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:54 PM

Mathew,

Do you consider yourself knowlegeable enough in the various environments you list to make educated comments about the strengths and weaknesses of each? Can you be impartial (are you a Northgate employee at the moment)? Please comment on:

1. Programmer productivity
2. Quality of code
3. Maintainability
4. Robustness of project once complete
5. Would you take one over another for a project or particular pieces of a project and why?
6. How are the different languages in the hands of experienced vs inexperienced programmers?

Thanks.

Lew

#5 Rob Donovan

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:41 PM

Hi,

In my experience over the years, VIP slows my development down by at least 3 times, compared to using ProAIDE or my ProIV IDE.

Along with the added development time, I also find it very irritating and awful to use and is totally un-intuitive.

So I get no pleasure from coding using VIP, it just infuriates me.

When VIP first came out many years ago, we were promised that navigation, layout, standards and usability would be improved, but nothing much has been done to redesign it since it first came out.

I suppose if your site used purely @MOD and your site had not written any utilities, then going to VIP would be an improvement, but if you had not written your own utilities, I doubt you were coding at a good speed any way in @MOD.

Going from ProAIDE to VIP, has very little point, unless you are looking more into the GUI side for ProIV. And even then ProAIDE is very quick to use. If you were highly proficient in ProAIDE, then you would never code as quickly in VIP.

Then there is my ProIV IDE, which of obviously I think is the best. It’s been developed with ProAIDE in mind, and how coders actually code. I've talked to many very experienced coders about how it should be designed, and I've researched Windows applications and standards for a long time. From the people who have been using it, I only hear great things, and they certainly don’t want to go to VIP, they are staying with ProIV IDE.

As for other languages, yes you can produce screens in ProIV quicker than in VB or other languages, but only if you just try very simple screens. If you try to do anything too clever, or make your app work like windows is supposed to, then it can take a very long time to get it right in ProIV, with navigation etc.

My opinion is that ProIV is absolutely brilliant for back end updating and storing of data, and no other language even comes close to it, but the front end should be left for another more rich / windows compliant language.

If I had used ProIV to write ProIV IDE I would not be able to offer the rich windows environment and flow that it currently has.

Well, there’s my 2 cents,

Rob D.

#6 Lewis Mccabe

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:32 PM

Thanks Rob. I have heard good things about your IDE.

#7 Rob Donovan

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:40 PM

Thanks, thats always nice to hear :)

Rob.

#8 Matthews Estrice

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:00 AM

Hi Lewis,

I was challenging the projects I have written such as the following URLs, using IDEs,
http://www.jse.co.za/index.jsp
http://www.safex.co.za
http://www.satrix.co..._plan/index.jsp
http://sens.jse.co.z.../SENS_Index.asp
http://www.fin.jse.c...ndata/index.asp

Compare to the time I would spent writting same applications in PROIV @MOD.
Compare to the time I would deliver writting same applications in Dev Studio.
Compare to the time I would do the same application using VIP.
I have re-written the whole Financial Application for One of our client from PROIV 2.2 to VIP on ORACLE.
I was amazed the the speed of delivery done.The system is stable and fully functional.Based on my comparisons,
I am enjoying in developing in VIP.

My favourate IDE is Netbeans,but it takes ages to deliver else I have to stay awake for nights.

I cannot tell lies as many of my ex colleages will be reading this thread.I have initiated&/written HUGE applications for various companies in the country.

I do not work for Northgate.If the client is happy and I am also.

For me to train other guys on VIP,expirience and inexpirience was fast.They enjoy program in VIP now.

Cheers,
Matthews

#9 Rob Atherton

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 10:57 AM

Compared to @MOD and Dev Studio - VIP is great

Compare to Stalin and Hitler - Robert Mugabe isn't such a bad person

#10 Lewis Mccabe

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 05:23 PM

Mathews,

How have you found VIP stacks up against other development languages in its ability to get an application to market/done? What are your likes and dislikes of associated IDE's in those languages? If you had to write an app you already wrote in VIP in the other languages/IDE's, how would you fare? Better or worse product? Maintainability vs. PRO-IV? Stability of product vs. PRO-IV?

Why I am looking for additional IDE information:
We are not moving away from PRO-IV. We have 20 years of code which we ported to VIP and are enhancing. I am looking to augment our system with other pieces which may be better served in other languages. I say that but I rarely find a distinct advantage in moving away from PRO-IV except for specific device related issues.

Why we continue to stay with PRO-IV:
We are running our 20 year old code now as a GUI application. It was originally written for pro-isam but now has SQL Server as the backend as well. PRO-IV Version 6 is on the horizon. It will permit us to easily call functions in web pages. We will be able to deploy solid, tested, backend functions which were written 20 years ago, through the web. How can my competition compete with that?


Mr. Atherton,

You hammer VIP broadly but you don’t back up your statements with reasons. Please explain to us why you feel the way you do with some concrete examples. If you have an axe to grind, don’t respond. If you don’t, I really do want to know.

Lew

#11 Rob Atherton

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:13 AM

Wow, I only ever get called Mr Atherton by law enforcement authorities.

I can accept everyone has their own preferences when it comes to development environments. I use ProAide and IDE (GBP50 for saying that please Rob) but I was forced to use VIP as I needed to make a change to a GUI function (we have green screen and GUI functions here). I could have made the change using ProAide but as it was an exisiting function and had been loaded into VIP previously, the changes would be lost if the function was loaded in VIP at a later date.

When trying to sell a product first impressions are important and VIP fails miserably. Its ugly and slow to develop in. They try to use GUI features in the development tool when they shouldn't.

Examples:
1. First screen trying to load a function. There is a combo box to select the function name. We have around 6,000 functions in our system, a Combo box is neither designed for or capable of displaying this many functions. This should be a selection window so you can narrow your choice. Enter the function name, hit and it enables the 'Edit' button - brilliant. Why didn't Microsoft thing of that

2. Clicking between the tabs - Structure, Dynamics, Statics etc is slow. When I say slow, I mean compared to moving around a function using ProAide. Compare to a glacier, it's quite quick.

3. All the terminology has changed (again) - Why ???? Changing names is usually done when a company is trying to change a bad image of something.

4. Not intuitive. I was trying to get into the field properties (help message, tooltip etc). There was nothing to tell me I needed to 'right-click' to pop up a window. When I finally have the window open, have made my changes and want to close it, I click on the 'X' in the top right and I get a message "Window Close Not Allowed"

5. The Events tab looks like an explosion in a paint factory although at least the logic editor has finally been upgrade to behave like a proper editor with different text colours to identify commands etc. A definite improvement on the pink, proportional font of Developer Studio.

I could go on. It was only a brief liason with VIP, an IT one night stand but I don't wish to repeat the experience in a hurry. A bit like waking up in the morning and realising how drunk you really were last night. I saw nothing to tempt me to start using it further.

However, if people want to use VIP, thats their choice. Some people go to Iraq on peace missions and they think its a good idea.

The worst thing is that ProIV are trying to force people to use VIP. Surely, if the ProIV language is to progress, why not allow people to use whatever they want.

ProAide was originally developed as an independent development tool and was miles ahead of anything ProIV had at the time. Since then, ProIV bought ProAide and have made the genius decision to stop developing it.

For some reason, ProIV seem intent of stangling the market rather than letting anyone create their own development tools, which would lead to better development tools for us all.

OK, I have to cut the post off here as I need to insert a field in a GUI function and I need to finish the work today.

#12 Lee Mulheron

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:15 AM

How have you found VIP stacks up against other development languages in its ability to get an application to market/done?

Pro-IV is the development language NOT VIP. Its ProIV that gives us our edge in terms of development speed.

Of course VIP is an improvement on @MOD/@MODX and Developer Studio and 'maybe' an experienced VIP user could keep up to speed with an experienced pro-aide/Rob's IDE user. But, in my opinion, VIP is really unintuitive its first time users (experienced in Pro-IV or not) and quite frankly, the development team should have defined some screen standards before they all went their own way. I sit in a room with more than a century of Pro-IV experience between us and theres a LOT of cringing every time one of us needs to use VIP to change one of our GUI screens that uses active X controls. As soon as Rob's IDE supports active X I know I'll be supporting a decision to drop VIP.

It would be interesting to know if there are any experienced Pro-Aide users out there who prefer VIP. Or if there are any VIP supporters (who have used native in the past for two years or more) that have tried out Rob's IDE and still preferred VIP. Maybe we should have a poll :)

#13 Chris Mackenzie

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:17 AM

Mr. Atherton,

You hammer VIP broadly but you don’t back up your statements with reasons. Please explain to us why you feel the way you do with some concrete examples. If you have an axe to grind, don’t respond. If you don’t, I really do want to know.

I'm tempted to use the word 'Reactionary' here, it seems the people
that use VIP least have the worst opinion of it - I wonder why that is?


Our host, Mr Donovon may have some good points in his post but there
are also some odd comments like

In my experience over the years, VIP slows my development down by at least 3 times, compared to using ProAIDE or my ProIV IDE.

I'd like to see the test project you used to get the evidence to make that statement.
How can you rely on your years of experience to compare your product that is still
in beta as far as I know, with VIP which is relatively new and which you admit
you have not used much?

and this

As for other languages, yes you can produce screens in ProIV quicker than in VB or other languages, but only if you just try very simple screens.


That's a very odd remark - I completely disagree, I've developed much more
complex screens faster using VIP than I could using DevStudio or ProAide.
In practical terms I can't compare with your new IDE but I've seen it and it
doesn't seem better than VIP.


Going from ProAIDE to VIP, has very little point, unless you are looking more into the GUI side for ProIV. And even then ProAIDE is very quick to use. If you were highly proficient in ProAIDE, then you would never code as quickly in VIP.

There are lots of points like integrating your Change control, function fragments, templates,
object tag xref capability, function backup and a host of other utilities. And moving to GUI
is pretty essential - if you're interested in selling the sofware you write...


And the point that irked me and made me send this post:

If I had used ProIV to write ProIV IDE I would not be able to offer the rich windows environment and flow that it currently has.


'rich windows environment' - oh please. The most problems I've had with P4
are down to the crap windows operating system. IMO both RobDon IDE
and VIP have the same fundamental problem - they must run on windows.
I want a dev tool that can run on a Unix client. Throw out the VB and rewrite
it in Java and you'd have converts immediately.

ok so that was a bit more than 2 cents...
The content and views expressed in this message are those
of the poster and do not represent those of any organisation.

#14 Rob Donovan

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 09:02 AM

I'd like to see the test project you used to get the evidence to make that statement.
How can you rely on your years of experience to compare your product that is still
in beta as far as I know, with VIP which is relatively new and which you admit
you have not used much?

I've been using IDE for the last 3 years full time, on all my ProIV development. Lots of software remain in Beta stage, and is still in a usable state.

I'm actually going to drop the 'beta' label soon, as I've decided to go with a model of 'rolling' updates, that is used more and more nower days, rather that releasing huge new versions every 2 years. This will allow me to quickly enhance and add new features, and keep up with my users needs.

VIP was for many years in a state that was not even worth a Beta level, but it was being forced on us.

I used VIP 3 years ago, for a 6 month project to convert a ProIV GUI system to use more of the 5.0 features. That project failed due to the condition of VIP and slow development times.

Since then I have kept up with the new version of VIP just to see how its going, and what has changed. VIP is now alot more stable and not too many bugs in, but the overall design is still very bad in my opinion.

I even converted a huge system to VIP and gave it to all the developers I was working with for a week to look at, and not one of the developers had anything good to say, and they certainly did not want to move their system to it.

I would hardly call VIP new now, since its been around for 5+ years.

People who I've given IDE to, have taken to it immediatly with very little learning curve, where as we keep being told with VIP, that we need to persist and after a while we will like it.

I have coded in many languages, and using VIP to code ProIV has been the worst experience I've had for 20 years.

'rich windows environment' - oh please. The most problems I've had with P4
are down to the crap windows operating system. IMO both RobDon IDE
and VIP have the same fundamental problem - they must run on windows.
I want a dev tool that can run on a Unix client. Throw out the VB and rewrite
it in Java and you'd have converts immediately.


That kind of explains why you like VIP so much :), since you seem to not like Windows.

Windows is here to stay, for the foreseeable future at least, and although OSs like Mac OSX are better looking, Windows UI is the next best thing in my opinion.

What problems have you had with ProIV, that are down to Windows, rather than the way that ProIV is working?

I had to make a decision of what language to write ProIV IDE in, and it made sense at the time to use VB, since it offered all the things I need.

Writing IDE in Java, may well gain a few 'converts', but it certainly would not be on my priority list. Since most people around the world use Windows, and know how that works, I'll kept it in VB, until the Unix Client world becomes more 'main stream'. Then maybe I would convert it.

Just out of interest, what advantages would I get from writing IDE in Java, instead of VB? Apart for winning over people who hate Windows.

Thanks,

Rob D.

#15 Lewis Mccabe

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 01:20 PM

This has obviously hit a nerve - and was not at all my intent. People's decision as to their PRO-IV IDE is a contentious one. People want to think they made the right choice with something they use so often. I can understand the loyalty. I appreciate everyone's thoughts and views.

Pro-IV is the development language NOT VIP.


Yes, I hope I am aware of that. I should have said VIP/PRO-IV. My point was that I wanted the comparison between VB, Java, Delphi, Progress, etc. and VIP (not @MOD or another PRO-IV IDE).

Mr. Atherton - I call you that to distinguish you from our moderator. Nothing more implied. Thanks for taking the time on your most recent post.

Mathews - At this point you might be afraid to touch this one but I am curious about your views regarding my last post.

Thank you all.

Lew



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