Why WebDev

Firstly the choice of using WebDev – well that was pretty easy – the main reason is it’s the only platform I know!  Well, apart from Clarion, but I want to build a web application and I don’t think using Nettalk is an ideal solution.

The reasons I like WebDev:

  • The modern IDE and all the features and tools it offers.
  • The utilities that help you optimise your code and especially optimise database access.
  • The supplied Hyperfile SQL client-server database seems to work very well and it’s free.
  • PCSoft bring out new versions every year with significant improvements and new features.
  • There is a mobile IDE (haven’t tried it yet) that, I assume, will enable me to easily create an add-on to the existing web application.
  • Deployment and updating of live sites is very easy and the process is built right into the IDE.
  • Whilst the community and online resources are nowhere near what you would find for other mainstream platforms I find the community based out of the USA very helpful and I’ve known some of them for many years – lots of ex-Clarion developers.
  • The WebDev code is extremely rich and easy to use – similar to Clarion but much better.
  • The IDE for building WYSIWYG pages is very good.
  • I don’t need any knowledge of HTML, CSS of Javascript – although it does help if you want to do some more intricate integrations and behaviours.
  • It uses code points very similar to embed points in Clarion.
  • The whole way of creating applications feels familiar (to Clarion I guess) and makes sense to me.
  • There are loads of ways to hook the pages up to the data.
  • All said I think the main reason I like WebDev is that I can build applications very quickly – I would say quicker than I could even build in Clarion – and that’s saying something!  This enables me to be competitive in a world full of bright young developers.

What’s the downside:

  • WebDev generates HTML, CSS and Javascript – I’m not saying it generates bad code (I would have no idea), however I suspect (based on comments from experts who have seen the code) that it looks complex and may not be very elegant or efficient.  I would be interested in other people’s thoughts on that.
  • In the past I have experienced some annoying cross-browser behaviour which, unless you have good HTML, CSS, Javascript knowledge and can figure out how to change it in your code, can be difficult to resolve.
  • It’s not a mainstream platform which means the online resources and support are less readily available.  WebDev as a platform choice will be met with some consternation by developers of other mainstream products.  But who cares, in my opinion the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  I know I can build, deploy and support applications quickly and easily and my users certainly don’t care what the application is written in.

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