Future direction of the XDK

Future direction of the XDK

Forgive me if this has been asked/answered before, but I could not find it. Is the future of the XDK for the use of building apps for the store still a major focus for Intel, now and in the future? I ask because based on the traffic on the forums, the future seems bleak for what I am hoping to do. I didnt to a ton of research, but it seems that the number of actual Intel employees responding to forum posts is dwindeling. Can anyone confirm this? What happened to everyone else that was helping users? I just want to know what I am getting myself into should I select the Intel XDK as a platform for development.

Any and all advice would be greatly welcomed before taking a dive into the XDK.

 

 

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xdk d -- The Intel XDK is changing to focus on the development of IoT apps and IoT companion apps.

An "IoT Companion App" is a mobile Cordova app that's been optimized for use with IoT devices and IoT cloud services. What that means, regarding mobile apps, is that our system will focus on creating Cordova mobile apps that use Cordova plugins that are useful for communicating with apps running on IoT devices and for communicating with cloud services that designed for use with IoT devices.

Mobile apps that you create with the XDK are standard Cordova mobile apps. As the IoT focus of the XDK progresses, if you need to leave the XDK we will provide you with the means to move your mobile app to Cordova CLI. The XDK creates a standard Cordova CLI application, so any app you create with the XDK can be easily built and developed using standard Cordova CLI tools.

Regarding Intel support personnel, none of us works full time on providing support. It has always been this way, we all have other duties we must attend to, beyond support. We are in the process of adding some new support personnel to the forum. Additionally, there are quite a few regular developers who answer questions on this forum. We do try to restrict our support to issues that are specific to the use of the XDK; we are not here to teach people how to write a mobile app or an IoT app. For general help regarding programming problems there are many blogs and forums that provide much better information.

Paul, does this mean that we will no longer be able to use XDK to build standard mobile apps (apps not needing or utilizing IoT)? Or can we continue to use XDK to update our existing HTML5/Cordova apps and/or build new standard mobile apps?

Really LOVE using XDK to build mobile apps and hoping to continue using it in the future.

 

"Mobile apps that you create with the XDK are standard Cordova mobile apps. As the IoT focus of the XDK progresses, if you need to leave the XDK we will provide you with the means to move your mobile app to Cordova CLI. The XDK creates a standard Cordova CLI application, so any app you create with the XDK can be easily built and developed using standard Cordova CLI tools."

John -- an IoT companion app is a mobile app.

As this post and several others indicate, we are changing our focus to supporting IoT apps (apps that run on IoT devices) plus what we call IoT companion apps. An IoT companion app is simply a mobile app that augments, supports, interacts with, etc. an IoT app. We are no longer focusing on enabling gaming apps and generic mobile apps (e.g., we recently deprecated the Game Asset Manager tool, which will be removed in a future release). We’ve actually been supporting IoT apps in the XDK for two years now, so this is not a new feature of the XDK, simply a refined focus regarding our mobile efforts.

The features we’ve deprecated (announced for retirement) can all be replaced by existing well-supported open source and free tools. We’re in the process of adding documentation on how to use those free and open-source tools to perform the same functions. So we don’t plan to leave anyone “out in the cold” as features are retired from the XDK. Using some of these alternate tools may not have the same level of convenience that the XDK provided, but they are generally more current and up-to-date than what is being provided by the XDK, and are, for most developers, the better tool to use.

:-(

Paul - Thanks for you open and clear answers about the direction of XDK

I agree that most of the features which are deprecated can be replaced by existing open source or free tools. The XDK was providing us a very complete and nice IDE with all features in one place. Especially the BUILD option is very nice and important, there are not so many alternatives where you can make and build your app for Android or iOS so easy. Are there any plans to deprecate the BUILD option too?

We are using the XDK for many projects, we really like it and we hope to the BUILD support will remain in the XDK (forever ;-)

Ad

 

Hi Ad -- sorry, but I cannot comment on future product plans and roadmaps, it's against company policy to share information like that on a public forum. We will keep you informed, via release notes, in product notes, and on the forum as the product moves forward regarding changes, additions and deletions in the product.

 

Sorry, I never use Cordova CLI, sorry if someone asked you before.

About Cordova CLI, is it the url that we can use to run Cordova CLI ?

https://cordova.apache.org/docs/en/latest/guide/cli/

Thanks,

 

 

Muhammad -- Cordova CLI is a Node.js tool you install on your system to perform the sorts of builds that we build in the cloud with the XDK. It also requires installation of Android Studio to build for Android, Xcode (on a Mac) to build for iOS and Visual Studio (on a Windows machine) to build for Windows. If you are interested in using Cordova CLI directly, please see this post > https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/685326#comment-1... <

This is a very bad news.

Me and many have developed teaching modules and syllabi and now turn out to be dark future.

Removing ionic is a bad decision. As many still using the App Designer, Intel should really consider having ionic or at least 2 framework support.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the honest answers to these questions.

I have been using Ionic 2 recently for mobile app development which uses the Cordova CLI and it is not a big deal to use it.

Can you explain in more detail, or provide a link that explains, what the benefits of developing for IoT are compared to developing for mobile devices?

Geoff -- it's not that there is a benefit for developing IoT apps over mobile apps, they are quite different apps; the point is that we are focusing the tool to emphasize IoT app development, especially since the free and open-source tools available for developing, debugging and building Cordova mobile apps have now become quite mature. We will continue to support the development of Cordova mobile apps, but will rely more heavily on these freely available tools, rather than try to compete with them. The product today supports the creation of two basic types of apps: IoT apps and mobile Cordova apps. When we say "IoT companion apps" we simply mean a mobile Cordova app that is focused on working with an IoT app and any supporting IoT cloud services. As the product progresses it will make more sense.
 

Hi Paul, I have one question.

I am very pleased with what Intel XDk has now,I don't need IOT, I only need the App Designer and I want to stay at this version. If I don't want to upgrade to the future versions, will I be forced to upgrade or can I stay at this version as long as I want?

                                                                                                                         Thank you, and sorry for the question

We cannot guarantee that older versions will continue to work. We only actively support and document the most recent versions.

You are certainly welcome to continue to use older versions, but some features, especially those that rely on our backend services, may quit working or work incorrectly when those backend services they rely upon change.

引文:

Paul F. (Intel) 写道:

Geoff -- it's not that there is a benefit for developing IoT apps over mobile apps, they are quite different apps; the point is that we are focusing the tool to emphasize IoT app development, especially since the free and open-source tools available for developing, debugging and building Cordova mobile apps have now become quite mature. We will continue to support the development of Cordova mobile apps, but will rely more heavily on these freely available tools, rather than try to compete with them. The product today supports the creation of two basic types of apps: IoT apps and mobile Cordova apps. When we say "IoT companion apps" we simply mean a mobile Cordova app that is focused on working with an IoT app and any supporting IoT cloud services. As the product progresses it will make more sense.
 

 

ok this part: "We will continue to support the development of Cordova mobile apps, but will rely more heavily on these freely available tools"  Can you name 1?

Rafael -- see the release notes for today's product release. It contains references to a variety of free open-source tools that provide the same functionality as those functions that were deprecated and, with this release, have been retired > https://software.intel.com/en-us/xdk/docs/release-notes-information-inte... < These same tools were already referenced during the deprecation phase by following the deprecation notices in the product or by inspecting the relevant pages in the documentation.

引文:

Paul F. (Intel) 写道:

Rafael -- see the release notes for today's product release. It contains references to a variety of free open-source tools that provide the same functionality as those functions that were deprecated and, with this release, have been retired > https://software.intel.com/en-us/xdk/docs/release-notes-information-inte... < These same tools were already referenced during the deprecation phase by following the deprecation notices in the product or by inspecting the relevant pages in the documentation.

 

I see cool, I hope I can make any debugger work cause I depended on that tab :(

Just visited the iot intel site I see where this is going now sad :(  http://store.reconinstruments.com/Recon-Jet

 

 

Ok last question, should we be looking into migratin out of Intel XDK if we are not planing to develop iot stuff?

Rafael -- the XDK is still very useful for building mobile apps, which it will still support. Our focus will be mobile apps designed to support IoT devices and IoT cloud services (in addition to IoT apps). If you are developing games, you may not be happy with the direction of the XDK. If you are developing straight forward HTML5 mobile apps the XDK should continue to be of value to you.

Ultimately, you'll have to be the judge of whether or not the XDK will work for your mobile app development needs. Keep in mind that the XDK mobile app project always has been a front-end for standard Cordova apps. So moving between the XDK and a Cordova app is not that difficult (because an XDK mobile app is a Cordova app) -- we'll be publishing some detailed docs on how to move between the two. For now, here is a summary of how to move to Cordova CLI, if that is your preference > https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/685326#comment-1... <

引文:

Paul F. (Intel) 写道:

Rafael -- the XDK is still very useful for building mobile apps, which it will still support. Our focus will be mobile apps designed to support IoT devices and IoT cloud services (in addition to IoT apps). If you are developing games, you may not be happy with the direction of the XDK. If you are developing straight forward HTML5 mobile apps the XDK should continue to be of value to you.

Ultimately, you'll have to be the judge of whether or not the XDK will work for your mobile app development needs. Keep in mind that the XDK mobile app project always has been a front-end for standard Cordova apps. So moving between the XDK and a Cordova app is not that difficult (because an XDK mobile app is a Cordova app) -- we'll be publishing some detailed docs on how to move between the two. For now, here is a summary of how to move to Cordova CLI, if that is your preference > https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/685326#comment-1... <

 

Thanks as long as the Cordova supports remains it is still very useful, I'm developing games, but never had use for game assets and none of that, to me XDK is most valuable because of the building capabilities and the centralized enviroment, Thanks again.

Big corporations like Intel might change their business focus thereby impacting users of such useful tools.

My only humble submission is as and when HTML5 mobile app support is deprecated, why not make it open source.

So I've read a bunch of this ... 

Really disconcerting ... a few months ago a developer in another forum recommended Intel XDK as the best tool for building hybrid apps. Once I downloaded it and understood what I needed to do next, I went about getting all the coding done I needed to get to the stage where I could actually build an app and see it operational on my phone and ipad.  Really thrilling to see my app working on my own ipad for the first time.

I've been excited to move forward with plugins ... then I find this thread.  Just in shock.  So much invested here.

I realize this is free software and from the beginning, I was amazed such a great tool was available for free but grateful for it. Great public service. 

However, the solutions offered for alternatives are just really disappointing.  For novice developers like me who have enough to learn as it is, the extra abstraction of multiple tools, etc., is a bit more than daunting.  

I'm really surprised that Intel would push away so many people who have come to rely on its tool.  I'm not surprised by the bitterness and discontent in the forums.  The executives responsible for this decision might want to research Richard Thayler on the "endowment effect." 

Hi Paul F.

It is a pity that Intel chose such a direction for XDK. For many construct 2 developers, this is bad news. Why did Intel not consider the possibility of making the build service paid? I think many would agree to continue to use it paid, rather than move to a new platform.

引文:

Konstantin R. 写道:

It is a pity that Intel chose such a direction for XDK. For many construct 2 developers, this is bad news. Why did Intel not consider the possibility of making the build service paid? I think many would agree to continue to use it paid, rather than move to a new platform.

Given the excellent free build alternatives, it is very unlikely that we could generate sufficient revenue to justify the cost of engineering and maintenance.

As has been noted in other posts, blogs and marketing materials, Intel delivers a wide range of development software, mostly free or at very low cost. Those free and low cost Intel software product offerings are designed to enable the use of Intel hardware and systems built around Intel hardware. Therefore, our software products must change to reflect the changing focus of Intel hardware and systems based on Intel hardware.

Ultimately, any free product needs to drive company revenue, directly or indirectly; I'm sure you would agree that even independent developers need a revenue stream. So like most developers, and virtually every company on the planet, a key focus of any product is to enhance revenue or profits or both; sometimes those products support and enable other products and sometimes they are direct revenue-producing products. Obviously, free products do not generate revenue directly, so they fit into the category of revenue enhancing products.

引文:

Howard O. 写道:

I realize this is free software and from the beginning, I was amazed such a great tool was available for free but grateful for it. Great public service.

However, the solutions offered for alternatives are just really disappointing.  For novice developers like me who have enough to learn as it is, the extra abstraction of multiple tools, etc., is a bit more than daunting.  

I'm really surprised that Intel would push away so many people who have come to rely on its tool.  I'm not surprised by the bitterness and discontent in the forums.  The executives responsible for this decision might want to research Richard Thayler on the "endowment effect." 

Our focus on IoT started in September of 2014, with the release of the XDK IoT Edition. In August of 2016 we merged that product into the mainstream XDK Edition and announced our intention to focus on IoT app development, moving away from a focus on mobile app development. Please see the release notes for details.

It is understandable that those who are newly introduced to the XDK may feel like this is a sudden change. We have consciously made gradual changes to the product so that our mobile app developers can easily transition to this new focus on IoT. Unfortunately, it is impossible to capture every developer at every phase of their experience and use of the product.

 

引文:

Paul F. (Intel) 写道:

Quote:

Howard O. wrote:

 

I realize this is free software and from the beginning, I was amazed such a great tool was available for free but grateful for it. Great public service.

However, the solutions offered for alternatives are just really disappointing.  For novice developers like me who have enough to learn as it is, the extra abstraction of multiple tools, etc., is a bit more than daunting.  

I'm really surprised that Intel would push away so many people who have come to rely on its tool.  I'm not surprised by the bitterness and discontent in the forums.  The executives responsible for this decision might want to research Richard Thayler on the "endowment effect." 

 

 

Our focus on IoT started in September of 2014, with the release of the XDK IoT Edition. In August of 2016 we merged that product into the mainstream XDK Edition and announced our intention to focus on IoT app development, moving away from a focus on mobile app development. Please see the release notes for details.

It is understandable that those who are newly introduced to the XDK may feel like this is a sudden change. We have consciously made gradual changes to the product so that our mobile app developers can easily transition to this new focus on IoT. Unfortunately, it is impossible to capture every developer at every phase of their experience and use of the product.

The alternatives you suggest are causing big issues for us and it is no longer a clear development path for us. I feel really let down by Intel on this, having invested a lot of time and effort to make it work. I fully understand that as the software was free, there would be limitations going forwards, but this is such a huge change in the development cycle that we are struggling to continue the development of our existing products designed and developed on XDK.

I would have fully supported a paid subscription model for XDK because the product was so good and to be honest there was little to compete in the market place. The alternatives such as Telerik are extremely expensive and Xamarin is nowhere near a cross platform development tool because of the lack of cross platform designer. XDK was the tool of choice for a reason. Everything was in one place.

You have successfully alienated those that have supported this product over the years and to be honest left them high and dry. This is bad PR for intel.

Why not make XDK for mobile app development Open Source. I've been experimenting with local installs of Cordova, If I could like it to XDK this might be a way forwards. 

As far as I know I still need local installs of Android Studio (CLI or full) and Xcode (CLI or Full) to be able to complete the builds.

I'm finding the process clunky but might work, but also means about 10gb of downloaded files to make it work.

引文:

Nick F. 写道:

Why not make XDK for mobile app development Open Source. I've been experimenting with local installs of Cordova, If I could like it to XDK this might be a way forwards. 

Please see this earlier post in this thread > https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/700951#comment-1... <

It seems that intel has taken advantage of the growth of mobile application development to build its user base. Then changed the course of the project to your real interest, which are iot solutions. Unfortunately the vast majority of mobile app developers are not interested in iot.

For us XDK users, it would be nice if someone did a video walk-through of using Cordova CLI in place of the tools Intel has deprecated. Basically how to compile/build the apk with all the resources (icons, images, etc.) and get it ready for the Play Store.

I think I understand the steps but there is nothing like watching exactly how it is done.

引文:

Márcio 写道:

It seems that intel has taken advantage of the growth of mobile application development to build its user base. Then changed the course of the project to your real interest, which are iot solutions. Unfortunately the vast majority of mobile app developers are not interested in iot.

We understand that not all mobile app developers are also IoT app developers. Nothing underhanded going on, simply a change in hardware and software business focus. As stated earlier, we are trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for users of the Intel XDK as our focus changes.

You may not recall, but Intel was heavily invested in mobile phones and tablets (from vendors like Asus, Samsung, et al); thus the interest in providing mobile app development tools at that time. Unfortunately, our hardware investment focus has changed since then, thus the appropriate change in emphasis for our software products, as stated in this earlier post > https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/700951#comment-1... <

引文:

John L. 写道:

For us XDK users, it would be nice if someone did a video walk-through of using Cordova CLI in place of the tools Intel has deprecated. Basically how to compile/build the apk with all the resources (icons, images, etc.) and get it ready for the Play Store.

I think I understand the steps but there is nothing like watching exactly how it is done.

There are many blogs already written covering how to use Cordova CLI, as well as many YouTube videos.

引文:

Mark N. 写道:

My only humble submission is as and when HTML5 mobile app support is deprecated, why not make it open source.

A decision has been made by our product and engineering management to NOT open-source the Intel XDK project nor any of its deprecated components. In addition, we will not change the license terms that are already in place for existing or prior releases of the Intel XDK source code

A new thread specifically discussing the loss of the cloud build tools: https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-xdk/topic/734632 

Posting here to get more input from the community that commented here. Hoping to ask again about open sourcing the build server setup specifically as well as for recommendations for others tools that may offer this cloud build functionality or to figure out a way to perhaps crowdfund and BUY this code from Intel to offer continued support for this capability.

I have been using Intel xdk for the last two years and do understand that it is not possible for Intel to provide the build service for free as the number of users increase. But I have a request for the Intel xdk team. Currently the folder which is generated for phonegap and Cordova build only contains the www folder. But when *simulate* tab is used the entire Cordova project consisting the folders plugins, platforms,etc are also generated in the *appdata* folder of the xdk. It would be very nice if we could get that project instead of the one we get at present for building locally. Also please update Cordova to version 7 in the next release of Intel xdk. Hope what I said is understood

引文:

Bilin D. 写道:

I have been using Intel xdk for the last two years and do understand that it is not possible for Intel to provide the build service for free as the number of users increase. But I have a request for the Intel xdk team. Currently the folder which is generated for phonegap and Cordova build only contains the www folder. But when *simulate* tab is used the entire Cordova project consisting the folders plugins, platforms,etc are also generated in the *appdata* folder of the xdk. It would be very nice if we could get that project instead of the one we get at present for building locally. Also please update Cordova to version 7 in the next release of Intel xdk. Hope what I said is understood

If we provided the additional Cordova plugins, platforms, etc. folders with each export of a project you would experience many subtle issues with the exported project. Each release of Cordova CLI by the Cordova project team includes tweaks and changes to the structure of those folders, the files and the template projects that are used to perform the builds. The XDK includes only one specific version of CLI (built in) to perform the "project prepare" process that is needed to allow the Simulate tab to run. If we did what you suggest your exported project would be limited to using only that one specific version of CLI that is built into the XDK (in this case, 6.2). Thus, in order to insure a greater degree of compatibility, we export only the build instructions (the config.xml file), the source files (in the www folder) and the package assets (in the package-assets folder) needed to reproduce your application in a standard Cordova CLI environment.

I have written some instructions on how to export your project once into CLI and then use that in conjunction with the XDK (so you could then do further edits and work with the XDK but not have to keep exporting), please give it a try and let me know if it works for you. I'm sure it can use some refinement. You'll find it at the end of this doc page > https://software.intel.com/en-us/xdk/docs/build-xdk-app-with-phonegap-co... <

If anyone is having challenges with maintaining a mobile app that is already on app stores, contact me and I can provide a professional assistance. I am not limited by Intel XDK or any other tool whatsoever. 

React Native has a cool IDE called envo. You might want to check it out and get native apps that perform better than Cordova apps.

May I request a point of contact regarding potential licensing for the XDK codebase?

Thomas.rivette@gmail.com (407) 242-1263.

Thank you,

Thomas

 

 

引文:

Thomas R. 写道:

May I request a point of contact regarding potential licensing for the XDK codebase?

Thomas.rivette@gmail.com (407) 242-1263.

I've forwarded your request to the appropriate product manager.

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