I absolutely LOVE version 1.0 releases. Yeah, it’s just a number but it’s a critical number. One that says “this is no longer just a toy and we are ready to stand behind it!”. It’s not really the product that changes, but the attitude attached to it.
Well, RoboVM just hit that critical milestone. What the heck is RoboVM you may be asking, especially if you aren’t a Java/LibGDX developer. Well, from a game centric perspective, RoboVM is the technology that enables the Java based LibGDX to be run on iOS. Basically it’s a set of tools that allows you to compile Java code, using the various Java libraries, and have it run on iOS. If you think “Hey, that sounds a lot like Mono from Xamarin!”. Well yeah, the Mono VM is basically the same thing for the .NET runtime instead of the Java development stack.
Well anyways, RoboVM just turned one yesterday. Now one really crappy thing about software turning one is that’s often when they start charging for it. This is “kinda” the case with RoboVM, but not in a bad way. Basically you can use it as you use it today free of charge. There are now some value add and support related options for commercial licenses…
Heck, why don’t I just post the announcement after all…
After months of hard work we are proud to announce our first stable release, RoboVM 1.0! This would not have been possible without the help from our fantastic community who provided feedback, filed issue reports and worked with us to track down bugs. A big THANK YOU to all of the over 2000 beta subscribers!
With the 1.0 release, we hope to grow our community even further. For this reason, we’ll also take a look under the hood of RoboVM today, giving newcomers a bit of insight what RoboVM is, how it works, and what our motivation behind it is. If you want to know more, jump to “What’s RoboVM?”
Many new features and bug fixes went into 1.0:
- The debugger has received another round of updates. All JDWP functionality is now implemented.
- Support for RAM disk caches. This can help speed up the compilation and linking process on slow HDDs.
- Support for HFS+ file compression. All files put into the cache are now compressed, further speeding up the compilation process and reducing the amount of space used for the RoboVM cache.
- Initial project template and Maven archetype support.
- A new Eclipse project wizard, using the templates project
- Support for invoking tools via robovm.xml. We currently support the TextureAtlas tool, with more to come.
- Cleanup and simplification of Objective-C bindings, see the binding status page
Announcing Commercial Licenses
First off: nothing will change for users of our OSS core! You will continue to be able to create apps without any artificial limitations, free of charge. With our new commercial licenses we add convenience features and support services on top of the OSS core. This will allow us to support our work on the free OSS core and ensure the longevity of the project as a whole.
Our commercial license scale with the size of your business, covering solo developers, startups, SMEs and big enterprises. Depending on your plan, you’ll get access to the following features and services:
- JDWP compliant debugger for both simulator and on-device debugging
- Improved crash reporting
- Private e-mail support, with and without SLA
- JavaFX support
- Hotfix support
- Alpha channel access to new commercial features
Our full pricing information is available at http://www.robovm.com/buy.
Over 2000 developers have subscribed to our beta program over the last few months. You have provided invaluable feedback for which we’d like to thank you with more than just words.
All beta users are eligible for a discount of 50% for the solo and startup license tiers (one year subscriptions)! Please sign up for a trial with the e-mail address you used for the beta. We’ll get back to you with a discounted license in the next 14 days!
The 1.0 release marks an important milestone for us. But we are far from being done. We’ll continue with our fast paced releases, with the following features scheduled for the near term future:
- Improved documentation, users guides and screencasts
- Intellij IDEA & Android Studio integration, a preliminary Gradle-based plugin is available
- Interface Builder integration (commercial feature)
- Support for extensions (dynamic libraries) to enable peripherals like Apple Watch
- Support for statically linking RoboVM into Objective-C apps
Exciting times ahead! With all of this out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s under the hood of RoboVM.
All told, good news for the LibGDX community and congratulations to RoboVM on the critical release!