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Thread: Upfront update subscription...



Permlink Replies: 92 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2015 3:41 PM Last Post By: John Kaster
Paul Vanhelden

Posts: 3
Registered: 10/6/01
Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Sep 24, 2015 4:37 AM
Hello,

With multiple releases per year, an upgrade subscription is a no-brainer right? Who doesn't take an upgrade subscription?

Furthermore: If you don't take the update subscription, you don't even get bugfixes??? So not taking out a subscription is the same as saying, "no thank you, I'm not interested even in a one year warranty". Would you buy, e.g. a TV like that?

So, the latest special offer for an upgrade on an older version than XE4 caught my attention, because you are not required to take out an update subscription But then the above occurred to me!

So you make a special offer that is actually rather bad for the user?

For me, to upgrade RAD Studio Professional (from XE2) is still $1642, since it seems silly to not add the subscription. Without the subscription, I'd have to pay $1056 again 6 months from now for version 11...

Really Embarcadero... your product is expensive especially to the world outside the US. Why not include one year (or even 6 months) of updates as standard and then give users an option to enter into a yearly subscription? That way one would feel comfortable that early bugs will be fixed and then when you are happy with the way things are going, enter into a yearly subscription. Won't you sell more licenses if you reduce the up-front cost? Isn't it a good business model to have steady yearly income from existing customers?

Regards,

Paul.
Raul Sinimae

Posts: 92
Registered: 5/8/08
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Sep 24, 2015 9:32 AM   in response to: Paul Vanhelden in response to: Paul Vanhelden
Paul Vanhelden wrote:
So, the latest special offer for an upgrade on an older version than XE4 caught my attention, because you are not required to take out an update subscription But then the above occurred to me!
So you make a special offer that is actually rather bad for the user?

I assume you're referring to the offer email ? if so then i fully agree.

The one i got says "Upgrade price available to users of any earlier version. Save up to 45% off the new user price (no subscription required)"

This can only mean you do not need to buy the subscription which is extremely poor official advice (since it's official Embacradero communication).

The other interpretation (you do not need to be on subscription in order to get the deal) is of course not applicable - if i were on subscription i had the product already so would not need to upgrade.

Product tech side has done some nice releases lately but marketing/sales side remains bad.

Raul

Ilya S

Posts: 21
Registered: 1/8/10
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Sep 25, 2015 5:53 AM   in response to: Raul Sinimae in response to: Raul Sinimae
Raul Sinimae wrote:
This can only mean you do not need to buy the subscription which is extremely poor official advice (since it's official Embacradero communication).

Agree, without subscription it is useless because of lack of fixes.

Product tech side has done some nice releases lately but marketing/sales side remains bad.

Example - it is unbelievably difficult to conceive what you need to buy with Delphi 10 Professional to stay safe with updates and fixes.
Lets say, with all current actions in action you need to upgrade from XE2 and get FireDAC. You pay for upgrade, subscription&maintenance for delphi Prof, you do get FireDAC via BOGO offer http://www.embarcadero.com/bogo-terms and you need to pay for FireDAC support&maintenance. Yeah, why would you need FireDAC without bug fixes?
So:
1) Delphi Upgrade
2) Delphi Support&Maintenance
3) FireDAC Support&Maintenance
It is x2 of Upgrade price.

If you want Mobile Addon instead of FireDAC, that will be:
1) Delphi Upgrade
2) Delphi Support&Maintenance
3) Mobile AddOn New License (there is no BOGO offer for Mobile Addon)
4) Mobile AddOn Support&Maintenance
It is x3 of Upgrade Price.
Willibald Krenn

Posts: 5
Registered: 3/8/00
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Sep 25, 2015 8:53 AM   in response to: Ilya S in response to: Ilya S
Ilya S wrote:
So:
1) Delphi Upgrade
2) Delphi Support&Maintenance
3) FireDAC Support&Maintenance
It is x2 of Upgrade price.

I was just doing the same calculation. The Upgrade plus the maintenance plan alone is over 1K Euros, which is a bit steep for a hobby. Now, I would have bought the upgrade without the maintance for my hobby usage if it wasn't for EMB saying that you won't get any proper fixes. Yes, I know technically they "plan" to provide fixes but at the same time they decide when to crank up the version number and what fixes only to provide to people on the maintenance plan. Plus, monitoring these forums made it clear that there are bugs that I'd like to have fixed.

Currently I also need to decide what framework to use for a new, simple GUI application at work (with me as a single developer). As I know from my Delphi-past that it really is a great tool to design GUIs and I am also interested in Firemonkey I could probably convince the people there to have a look at Delphi. However, I'm not sure I can argue the cost of a new user license plus maintenance plus the "why such a niche thing"-argument all at once. Hence I am looking at QT now.

It is unfortunate but I think I am going to spend the ~1k euros on a gym subscription, which is better for my health anyways.

Cheers,
Willibald
Joseph Mitzen

Posts: 392
Registered: 6/9/02
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 12:22 AM   in response to: Willibald Krenn in response to: Willibald Krenn
Willibald Krenn wrote:

I was just doing the same calculation. The Upgrade plus the maintenance plan alone is over 1K Euros, which is a bit steep for a hobby.

It's the Golden Age of Open Source. Delphi lost the hobby market many, many years ago. That's why there's so little Delphi open source. Delphi was 34th in new projects created on Github in 2012 and 39th in 2013. I calculated the numbers myself for 2014 and it dropped again to 44th. Anyone buying Delphi has to try to sell their components to recoup their cost. That makes Delphi the only language with so many paid components that everyone else has for free.

On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200 computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for small(er) businesses, the only place it still had a niche. That only leaves enterprise, but there are many factors that make Delphi unsuitable for enterprise use and it has never had a foothold in that market.

They've priced themselves out of every niche other than cross-platform mobile right now (comparable in price to Qt and Xamarin).

Yes, I know technically they "plan" to provide fixes

Many bugs were fixed in Delphi 10. Have you seen an XE8 update that incorporates any of those fixes? No? So much for getting extended support in exchange.

However, I'm not sure I can argue the cost of a new user license plus maintenance plus the "why such a niche thing"-argument all at once. Hence I am looking at QT now.

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey. On the plus side, there are bindings for many different languages. It is expensive if you need the commercial licence vs. LGPL 2 but unless you're distributing code, want to change Qt but not distribute the changes, LGPL is fine.

It is unfortunate but I think I am going to spend the ~1k euros on a gym subscription, which is better for my health anyways.

On the project I'm working on now the price for a new license of Delphi plus c/s plus support plus things you need like profiling and logging and document generation plus the 3rd party libraries came out to almost $5000 USD! We spent $1100 on a totally new PC and are using open source for all of the development instead. So thanks EMBT for my new widescreen monitor, new keyboard and mouse, 16GB more memory, 3TB drive, SSD cache, etc. :-)
Willibald Krenn

Posts: 5
Registered: 3/8/00
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 9:59 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:
It's the Golden Age of Open Source. Delphi lost the hobby market many, many years ago. That's why there's so little Delphi open source. Delphi was 34th in new projects created on Github in 2012 and 39th in 2013. I calculated the numbers myself for 2014 and it dropped again to 44th. Anyone buying Delphi has to try to sell their components to recoup their cost.

Very true. At work we're also using open source software mostly: Clang, Eclipse, BOOST, LLVM to name a few products. The only "real commercial" tool I'm relying on is Intel's VTune Amplifier... Will be interesting to see what happens to Delphi if Embarcadero is sold to Idera.

On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200 computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for small(er) businesses, the only place it still had a niche.

Actually, I'm using VS Express Desktop as my Windows C++ compiler, which provides everything I need for the library I'm working on right now. Main development actually happens in a Clang/Linux setting. For non-GUI stuff this is great - now I need to figure out how to go about adding a sexy/shiny GUI...

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey. On the plus side, there are bindings for many different languages. It is expensive if you need the commercial licence vs. LGPL 2 but unless you're distributing code, want to change Qt but not distribute the changes, LGPL is fine.

LGPL would probably work for me. Not sure yet about the look and feel of Qt applications though... Since I'm owning an XE2 license I thought about putting together a small Firemonkey prototype to get a feeling of what is possible and do the same with Qt.

On the project I'm working on now the price for a new license of Delphi plus c/s plus support plus things you need like profiling and logging and document generation plus the 3rd party libraries came out to almost $5000 USD! We spent $1100 on a totally new PC and are using open source for all of the development instead. So thanks EMBT for my new widescreen monitor, new keyboard and mouse, 16GB more memory, 3TB drive, SSD cache, etc. :-)

Nice :).

Cheers,
Willibald
Markus Humm

Posts: 5,113
Registered: 11/9/03
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 1:50 PM   in response to: Willibald Krenn in response to: Willibald Krenn
Am 04.10.2015 um 18:59 schrieb Willibald Krenn:
Joseph Mitzen wrote:
It's the Golden Age of Open Source. Delphi lost the hobby market many, many years ago. That's why there's so little Delphi open source. Delphi was 34th in new projects created on Github in 2012 and 39th in 2013. I calculated the numbers myself for 2014 and it dropped again to 44th. Anyone buying Delphi has to try to sell their components to recoup their cost.

Very true. At work we're also using open source software mostly: Clang, Eclipse, BOOST, LLVM to name a few products. The only "real commercial" tool I'm relying on is Intel's VTune Amplifier... Will be interesting to see what happens to Delphi if Embarcadero is sold to Idera.

On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200 computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for small(er) businesses, the only place it still had a niche.

Actually, I'm using VS Express Desktop as my Windows C++ compiler, which provides everything I need for the library I'm working on right now. Main development actually happens in a Clang/Linux setting. For non-GUI stuff this is great - now I need to figure out how to go about adding a sexy/shiny GUI...

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey. On the plus side, there are bindings for many different languages. It is expensive if you need the commercial licence vs. LGPL 2 but unless you're distributing code, want to change Qt but not distribute the changes, LGPL is fine.

LGPL would probably work for me. Not sure yet about the look and feel of Qt applications though... Since I'm owning an XE2 license I thought about putting together a small Firemonkey prototype to get a feeling of what is possible and do the same with Qt.

On the project I'm working on now the price for a new license of Delphi plus c/s plus support plus things you need like profiling and logging and document generation plus the 3rd party libraries came out to almost $5000 USD! We spent $1100 on a totally new PC and are using open source for all of the development instead. So thanks EMBT for my new widescreen monitor, new keyboard and mouse, 16GB more memory, 3TB drive, SSD cache, etc. :-)

Nice :).

Cheers,
Willibald

Hello,

the FMX included in your XE2 is a first FMX version and is way less
capable than the current one is. It lacks vital things like Anchors or
on some platforms the ability to use native controls for some of the
controls.

A comparison of that old FMX version with a current Qt version is an
apples vs. oranges comparison. You might rather like to compare the FMX
version of the current trial version of Delphi 10 with Qt.

Greetings

Markus
Willibald Krenn

Posts: 5
Registered: 3/8/00
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 6:10 AM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:

the FMX included in your XE2 is a first FMX version and is way less
capable than the current one is. It lacks vital things like Anchors or
on some platforms the ability to use native controls for some of the
controls.

A comparison of that old FMX version with a current Qt version is an
apples vs. oranges comparison. You might rather like to compare the FMX
version of the current trial version of Delphi 10 with Qt.

Thanks I'll keep that in mind. Not sure though if I could convince my co-workers to buy Delphi 10 if Qt turns out good enough :(.

Willibald

Joseph Mitzen

Posts: 392
Registered: 6/9/02
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 10:11 PM   in response to: Willibald Krenn in response to: Willibald Krenn
Willibald Krenn wrote:

Very true. At work we're also using open source software mostly: Clang, Eclipse, BOOST, LLVM to name a few products.

That's quite a good collection of software. I'm finding that PostgreSQL, at least for data analysis, is a great piece of open source software as well.

Will be interesting to see what happens to Delphi if Embarcadero is sold to Idera.

There are so many ways I can see that going. They may completely leave EMBT alone and let it continue to manage itself... I don't think this is terribly likely, and probably one of the worst scenarios. They could absorb EMBT including Delphi and leave the same folks in charge. On the other hand, they may absorb it and clean house (my favorite scenario): "Why the heck is your company in California in Texas, your developers in Romania and your product manager in Italy? Why do you have a forum and not read it? Why do you have a Delphi manager, an AppMethod manager, and a desktop applications manager?!? Why isn't your chief scientist an actual scientist? Why are your products not priced with any consideration for the rest of the market?" etc. They could cut Delphi loose - CodeGear 2.0. They could also just kill it off. It's amazing that in the face of this uncertainly Marco et al. are carrying on as if nothing's going on, making blog posts about CodeRage, etc. At this point CodeRage could be a farewell party for all we know. :-( Even if they can't talk about it, letting us know when they can would be something.

Actually, I'm using VS Express Desktop as my Windows C++ compiler, which provides everything I need for the library I'm working on right now. Main development actually happens in a Clang/Linux setting.

Very nice.

LGPL would probably work for me. Not sure yet about the look and feel of Qt applications though... Since I'm owning an XE2 license I thought about putting together a small Firemonkey prototype to get a feeling of what is possible and do the same with Qt.

That's an excellent idea. YouTube has a lot of good tutorial videos with Qt. This is from 2 years ago, but it's a very nice video of an actual Qt demo program (the code for which is up on GitHub):

https://youtu.be/vhWS_bN-T3k

QtCreator, the Qt GUI tool for designing UIs, isn't quite as good as Delphi, but it's still very usable. You'll find that things like Delphi's "live bindings" have been around for many years in Qt as "signals and slots", etc.

Quentin Correll


Posts: 2,412
Registered: 12/1/99
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 11:33 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph,

| On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for
| companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200
| computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for
| small(er) businesses ...

Bull-puckey!

--

Q -- XanaNews 1.19.1.372 - 2015-10-04 11:32:22
Bruce McGee

Posts: 1,716
Registered: 9/30/99
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 5, 2015 6:30 AM   in response to: Quentin Correll in response to: Quentin Correll
Quentin Correll wrote:

Bull-puckey!

And Joseph returns to his natural state...

--
Regards,
Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Quentin Correll


Posts: 2,412
Registered: 12/1/99
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 5, 2015 2:38 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce,

| And Joseph returns to his natural state...

<g>

--

Q -- XanaNews 1.19.1.372 - 2015-10-05 14:38:40
Joseph Mitzen

Posts: 392
Registered: 6/9/02
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:24 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:
Quentin Correll wrote:

Bull-puckey!

And Joseph returns to his natural state...

Stating what everyone in the world outside of this forum knows to be true? That people won't pay for what they can get for free?
Bruce McGee

Posts: 1,716
Registered: 9/30/99
Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 4:35 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

Stating what everyone in the world outside of this forum knows to be
true? That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Stating that no one will use commercial software because of open source
isn't some great truth. It's lazy reasoning. And a certain amount of
wishful thinking.

--
Regards,
Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Joseph Mitzen

Posts: 392
Registered: 6/9/02
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 10:54 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

Stating what everyone in the world outside of this forum knows to be
true? That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Stating that no one will use commercial software because of open source
isn't some great truth.

No, it's objective external reality and a truism everywhere else. It's sad that I have to defend the idea here like it's something controversial.

It's lazy reasoning. And a certain amount of
wishful thinking.

It's reality. The latest poll reported by ZDNet shows that 4 out of 5 developers are using open source development tools. Info World recently announced they're stopping their "open source" column because, in their own words, "all software is about open source today". O'Reilly's submission guidelines say that they don't even want manuscripts about expensive, proprietary software. Major tech publications have been reporting for five years on the challenge to make money in software anymore given the rise of open source:

http://blog.codinghorror.com/we-dont-use-software-that-costs-money-here/

http://readwrite.com/2012/12/31/tech-jobs-in-2013-open-source-open-data#awesm=~oCeymrA8Rq57zF

http://www.cio.co.uk/news/supplier-management/open-source-taking-over-software-world/
"It's been recognised that software is eating the world," said Michael Skok, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. "Our survey points to the fact that open source is eating the software world."

http://www.zdnet.com/article/survey-indicates-four-out-of-five-developers-now-use-open-source/
"Forrester Research's survey shows that most developers, even ones who usually stick with Microsoft Visual Studio, are now using open source....
The majority of them have switched to open source because they perceive open source development programs as having better performance and reliability. This, as Hammond observed, is a change. 'Open source used to be popular because of the lower cost. Now the cost of tools is the least important element for developers.'
This popularity, said Hammond, means that 'open source is taking over. This is a golden age for developers.' A consequence from this is that 'We are now seeing open source tech compete with open source tech; it's no longer open-source software vs proprietary.'"

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2014/12/2014-open-source-tipping-point
"On every layer of the stack a major open source project is defining the segment: Big Data (Hadoop), OS (Linux), IoT (Allseen), SDN (OpenDaylight), IaaS (OpenStack), PaaS (CloudFoundry), database (Mongo, MySQL, etc.), containers (Docker), etc."

http://radar.oreilly.com/2015/04/open-source-won-so-whats-next.html
"Twenty years ago, open source was a cause. Ten years ago, it was the underdog. Today, it sits upon the Iron Throne ruling all it surveys. Software engineers now use open source frameworks, languages, and tools in almost all projects."

http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/open-source-has-won-3592314/
"But as far as this column is concerned, it's easy to summarise what happened then: open source has won. "

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2914643/open-source-software/rise-and-rise-of-open-source.html
"The survey reports that 78 percent of its respondents are now running their businesses with open source software, and two-thirds are building software for their customers that’s based on open source software. More significant, the percentage of respondents actually participating in open source projects has increased from 50 percent to 64 percent, and 88 percent say they expect to contribute to projects within the next three years."

Lazy thinking? Wishful thinking? Really?

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2838415/open-source-software/open-source-has-won-let-the-infighting-begin.html
" Today virtually all essential innovation -- at least, at the infrastructure layer of software -- is open source. In fact, Cloudera co-founder Mike Olson has declared, “No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last 10 years in closed-source, proprietary form.”

Repeat: None."

Please feel free to write to Mr. Olson and let him know about his wishful thinking.

http://insights.dice.com/2012/11/02/navigating-the-vast-ocean-of-open-source/
"Open source is no longer relegated to the discount software vendor that serves cash strapped startups. In enterprise software development these days, open source is not only immensely valuable, but increasingly crucial to stay competitive in releasing high quality software at regular intervals in a world where technology is changing so fast and every edge matters.
Today, rolling your own logging package instead of using something like log4j is as silly as trying to build your own web server instead of using Apache httpd was 10 years ago. Still, there are other components like guava that are less well known, but are currently making a name for themselves as libraries that can take the solution you are building to the next level of sophistication and quality. Just knowing they exist—and knowing where they fit—can help you design and build better software at a lower cost."

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2928610/database/why-your-next-database-will-be-open-source.html?nsdr=true

http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Your-next-language-or-how-open-source-changed-programming-1858734.html

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/microsoft-moves-toward-open-source-linux-fills-cloud/

And the most important one to read:

http://redmonk.com/sogrady/2013/11/21/selling-software/

As opposed to "lazy thinking", I've done quite a lot of research on open source and modern software development. I also defend my arguments with actual facts and research.

We live in a world in which proprietary languages have almost all died off and none are thriving (in the top 10). Microsoft is open sourcing most of .NET, and the driving reason is that much of the enterprise isn't considering proprietary solutions that come with vendor lock-in. Apple announced at WWDC they're open sourcing Swift by the end of the year and will actively seek code contributions from the community. Even MS and Apple recognize a proprietary dev tool is at an inherent disadvantage today. Every big data solution is open source. Every one. Linux dominates on supercomputers at the top to embedded at the bottom. In fact, Linux has never failed to take the majority share of any market it's ever entered in which a pre-existing monopoly doesn't exist. 65% of Internet-facing servers run Linux. 75% of the cloud runs Linux instances. 25% of Microsoft Azure's instances run Linux! Docker is the hot new container technology and of course it's open source (where all innovation has come from over the last 10 years) and it only runs on Linux right now. MS is paying the folks behind it to port it to Windows! In fact I had an exchange with a Microsoft Azure employee a few weeks ago was part of a team that had just written a free service to show off Azure and he openly wrote online that Windows' support for containers isn't very good right now so they'd written their service on Linux! In the enterprise IT world, starting a new project now often begins with examining the open source options available and then deciding whether to contribute to a project or write "glue code" around an existing set of libraries. Heck, even Embarcadero didn't bother writing new compilers but leveraged LLVM instead! Welcome to the new world and consider that exhibit A and realize it's not unique but actually the norm today.

We have "free Express" editions of DB2, Oracle and MS SQL Server. Why? Because open source was eating Big Iron DB's lunch at the less-than-massive-scale end. VS Community Edition is also the result of pressure from open source. JetBrains open sourced a version of IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm. Their YouTrack software is free for <= 10 users. The Plastic SCM version control system is also free for small teams. Why? To try to win them away from Git and Mercurial and hope that if they grow in the future they'll stick with the product. I have a hard time (outside of EMBT) thinking of a commercial dev tool that doesn't have a free version available. Combined with pure open source, again the question becomes - why would people pay when they can get the same thing (or often better) for free?

Sorry, the only lazy thinking is when I get one-word "Bull-pucky" rebuttals and then I remember that we can't have adult conversations about the programming world here.

Bruce McGee

Posts: 1,716
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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 3:47 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

I also defend my arguments with actual facts and research.

And a great deal of misinformation, distraction and verbal diarrhea.

Who has time to wade through all of that crap to look for the
occasional nugget of truth?

--
Regards,
Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Nick Hodges

Posts: 2,414
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 6:00 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Yet people pay for Delphi, so much so, that Embarcadero remains a
profitable venture.

How is that possible?

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 6:32 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:

Joseph Mitzen wrote:

That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Yet people pay for Delphi, so much so, that Embarcadero remains a
profitable venture.

How is that possible?

As the saying goes, open source is only free if your time has no value.

Sometimes it makes sense to use open source software, sometimes it
makes sense to use commercial software.

No sense being dogmatic about it.

--
Regards,
Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Dalija Prasnikar

Posts: 2,325
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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 6:36 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:
Nick Hodges wrote:

Joseph Mitzen wrote:

That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Yet people pay for Delphi, so much so, that Embarcadero remains a
profitable venture.

How is that possible?

As the saying goes, open source is only free if your time has no value.

Sometimes it makes sense to use open source software, sometimes it
makes sense to use commercial software.

No sense being dogmatic about it.

I fully agree.

--
Dalija Prasnikar
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 6:51 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

No sense being dogmatic about it.

I know.

And then there always seems to be this notion that Delphi either has to
be wildly popular or it's a failure.

Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable. That's all. Delphi own's a
small but "big enough" portion of the market. It makes money.
According to the ALT+TEAM screen, it employs a not-insignificant number
of people.

It's modern and capable and expanding what it can do.

What's the problem here again?

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 7:12 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:

Bruce McGee wrote:

No sense being dogmatic about it.

I know.

I know you know. You weren't the one being dogmatic.

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Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 10:21 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable.

Delphi is successful if -Users- can make a profit with it.
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 10:24 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable.

Delphi is successful if -Users- can make a profit with it.

That's kind of my definition as well.

And for me, it has been EXTREMELY successful.

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Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 8:50 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable.

Delphi is successful if -Users- can make a profit with it.

That's kind of my definition as well.

And for me, it has been EXTREMELY successful.

Same goes to Open Source Projects no matter what genius is behind it, the
only way to proof it success, is what developers are doing with it.
Delphi has its limitations and in some areas it is a great tool in others
not so.
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 3:32 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Delphi has its limitations and in some areas it is a great tool
in others not so.

In those areas, I use something else.

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Bruce McGee
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Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 11:59 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Delphi has its limitations and in some areas it is a great tool
in others not so.

In those areas, I use something else.

yes, but some times it just become a tedious journey.
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:33 PM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Delphi has its limitations and in some areas it is a great tool
in others not so.

In those areas, I use something else.

yes, but some times it just become a tedious journey.

How so?

Right tool for a given job, right? No one in their right mind has only
one tool in their tool box.

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Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 7:21 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Delphi has its limitations and in some areas it is a great tool
in others not so.

Well, I love my car and it can do a lot, but for some things I'll have
to get someone else's van or truck. But generally, I use my car. <g>

--
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"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality,
for one very rich man; there must be at least five hundred
poor."
-- Adam Smith
Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:20 PM   in response to: Rudy Velthuis (... in response to: Rudy Velthuis (...
Well, I love my car and it can do a lot, but for some things I'll have
to get someone else's van or truck. But generally, I use my car. <g>

That is a suggestion to use a superior tool? <g>

The truck or van can serve as a car and accomplish tasks the car can't do.
Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 1:37 PM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Well, I love my car and it can do a lot, but for some things I'll
have
to get someone else's van or truck. But generally, I use my car. <g>

That is a suggestion to use a superior tool? <g>

I see my car (analogous to Delphi) as the superior tool, but sometimes
I need other tools (other vehichles).

And AFAIK, Delphi cannot cure cancer yet.

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"I hate those men who would send into war youth to fight and
die for them; the pride and cowardice of those old men, making
their wars that boys must die." -- Mary Roberts Rinehart
Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 7:20 PM   in response to: Rudy Velthuis (... in response to: Rudy Velthuis (...
And AFAIK, Delphi cannot cure cancer yet.

nor prevent cavities ;-s
Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:42 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

And AFAIK, Delphi cannot cure cancer yet.

nor prevent cavities ;-s

On the contrary, it is pretty sweet. <g>

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John Kaster


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:24 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Gilbert Padilla wrote:

Delphi is successful if -Users- can make a profit with it.

Delphi's users makes at least 1000x what Embarcadero does on Delphi.
You don't even need to tally up that many of the bigger businesses that
use Delphi to achieve that.

--
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Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 11:48 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Am 06.10.2015 um 15:51 schrieb Nick Hodges:
Bruce McGee wrote:

No sense being dogmatic about it.

I know.

And then there always seems to be this notion that Delphi either has to
be wildly popular or it's a failure.

Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable. That's all. Delphi own's a
small but "big enough" portion of the market. It makes money.
According to the ALT+TEAM screen, it employs a not-insignificant number
of people.

It's modern and capable and expanding what it can do.

What's the problem here again?

Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

Greetings

Markus
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:08 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:


Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

Delphi Programming is fun!

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Delphi Programming is Fun
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:16 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:

Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

6 this month

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Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:16 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

Markus Humm wrote:

Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month
;-)

6 this month

And last month

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Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 8:32 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

Can we buy some real cheap likes and followers? :-S
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 11:33 AM   in response to: Gilbert Padilla in response to: Gilbert Padilla
Am 07.10.2015 um 05:32 schrieb Gilbert Padilla:
Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

Can we buy some real cheap likes and followers? :-S

It would have helped, for a start, if Nick had posted his answer in some
puiblic forum where Google could pick it up ;-)

Greetings

Markus
Gilbert Padilla

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:51 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Now let's help it climb from 11th to 10th rank on Tiobe next month ;-)

Can we buy some real cheap likes and followers? :-S

It would have helped, for a start, if Nick had posted his answer in some
puiblic forum where Google could pick it up ;-)

Then we have to wait until someone writes - The Complete Guide to Growing
Your Organic Fun Base Using Delphi - ;-S

Joseph Mitzen

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 1:15 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:
Bruce McGee wrote:

No sense being dogmatic about it.

I know.

And then there always seems to be this notion that Delphi either has to
be wildly popular or it's a failure.

Delphi is successful if EMBT is profitable.

Now that's a revealing statement. Delphi isn't successful if EMBT is profitable. The users are not Delphi users to make EMBT profitable. Delphi is successful if the people who use it are successful.

That's all. Delphi own's a
small but "big enough" portion of the market. It makes money.

Sigh. I hoped you misspoke but I guess not. Delphi needs to own a "big enough" portion of the market such that its ecosystem is large enough to support its users' needs. Just the very fact that EMBT's goal is "making money" rather than "meeting users' needs" (and don't argue that, because they'd be violating fiduciary responsibility if it was) points out a core reason why open source languages generally have been successful and proprietary languages have not.

It's modern and capable and expanding what it can do.

It's not really modern.


What's the problem here again?

The problem is that the industry has moved towards open languages and the ability to attract new users is going to continue to rise. We're only going to get smaller as a community, not larger, if that happens, and that will drive prices up, which will force others out, and then whoever owns Delphi won't be making money any more and then it's in big trouble. Even the only currently successful proprietary general purpose language/IDE, Visual Studio, is now free for small businesses, which was Delphi's last remaining niche. EMBT ignored this development and then had their annual price INCREASE. Both within EMBT and in the community, folks didn't bat an eye. Between open source on one end and commercial tools starting to give away product on the other end, the squeeze is going to be huge for any commercial dev tools left. And as a community we've never even seriously discussed this new reality.

Read Beginend.net or Delphi Feeds. Look at the articles. You'll find product announcements (lots of those), a conference announcement here and there, lots of sale notices, and then lots of low-level "bit fiddling" posts with some exceptions from Jeroen and also yourself. But you'll see no discussion about Delphi. Ever. (The only exception being occasional posts by Jolyon Smith). The G+ group even forbids discussion of meta-issues in the primary group! Even when I tried to begin a discussion about re-organizing the Delphi community as a step towards a holy grail goal of giving it a direct seat at the table in shaping Delphi development, this line of talk was shot down by Lars with the general dismissal that the community has no power so can't change anything so we should only talk about code. :-(

I once tried to broach the idea here of creating a new generation of Delphi books. To do that, one needed to first acknowledge that commercial Delphi books were dead and never coming back. And I could barely get passed that point. Even when I tried to talk to David I. and Marco about this, they wanted to argue this point and not get to how we can make things better. :-( I proposed the idea here of EMBT putting together an online course using open source MOOC (Massive open online course) software, of course, to teach the skills required to self-author a tech book today. <Nick starts getting ideas... I hope>. Better yet, anyone who successfully completed the course would get the free service of an EMBT-paid technical editor to edit their manuscript for free. (To compete with commercial books, our self-published ones need to be just as high in quality). I even wanted EMBT to start their own publishing "brand". I wanted it called "Embookadero". :-) EMBT would also commission books on topics it thought were necessary or interesting to the community. It would also promote these books.

I thought it was a great idea, partially inspired by Steven Crist. He bought the Daily Racing Form at a time when the major publisher of horse racing books had gone out of business and authors had been burned by other publishers to the point some of the best vowed to never publish another book. Crist started a DRF Press label, got the greats to agree to publish new editions of classic works, commissioned books in which accomplished handicapping authors each wrote one chapter with the agreement that they'd share an idea they'd never put in print before, etc. More books on shelves = more attention to racing/easier entry for those interested = more sales of racing form. In my model, more Delphi books = better ecosystem = Delphi more attractive/easier entry for new users = more Delphi sales.

Honestly, this IMHO is a more useful idea than anything our "VP Of Developer Relations" has ever floated (Idera, want my resume?). Of course, the idea sunk like a lead weight here because 1) No one wanted to acknowledge the lack of commercial books because it creates cognitive dissonance with some people's idea that Delphi is immensely popular, and 2) No one from EMBT bothers to read the forum or have any way of interacting with the community. And Marco and David only wanted to argue about my characterization of the Delphi book market.

EMBT did take your book to distribute, but they only saw it as an add-in like a prize in a cereal box to try to get more sales. It's that "only think one move ahead" mentality they've constantly exhibited as they focus on next quarter's numbers in the hopes of a sale.

Meanwhile, I was searching Wikipedia and checked out an entry on Stata. Stata is a closed source math software in a world in which open source R and Python are devouring that market. SAS and even Matlab are feeling the crunch. One person's web scraping experiment revealed that during a year the most talked about topic on the SAS forum was R. :-) I found a paragraph (apparently edited out now) that described how Stata started their own publishing brand! They offered a technical editor to users who want to write books about Stata! They commission books on not only Stata, but mathematical topics they think the users are interested in (which will no doubt attract non-Stata users who will be exposed to Stata examples in the book). In short... EXACTLY THE IDEAS I HAD. I'm reading now that StataCorp employees regularly contribute to the official mailing list and Stata has its own journal now too.

Result? In the last survey of data mining software I saw from KDNuggets (most popular industry web site with a famous annual survey), Stata was the ONLY closed-source software to gain any real ground! You can compete with free - but a rich, viable ecosystem is a key way to do this.

It's frustrating beyond belief that EMBT and the Delphi community don't even acknowledge the state of our ecosystem, let alone talk about it and brainstorm ways to boost it. A lot of time is spent, however, on telling each other the sacred Myths Of Delphi, including "Why should I give away my software for free?", "Java is slow", "Delphi is one of the most popular languages", "only stupid/lazy people need memory management", and all the other stuff that just churns every few months through the forum.

We don't really even have a community at this point. Nick, your comment about Delphi being successful if EMBT makes money hit the bass-ackward nail on the bass-ackward head, something Lars refused to listen to. We have a "TeamB" - even though there's no more B. We have "MVPs", who literally sign a contract agreeing not to "disparage" EMBT or the product. We have two groups of people looking out for the company and for...well, a company that no longer exists. WHO'S LOOKING OUT FOR THE USERS? What we need is a TeamU! In the world of open source, which again we've ignored to our detriment, software products and even languages are governed by foundations. We have no organization. We have no representation. And we have no place of our own. let alone a voice (neither EMBT-owned forum or G+ "You can only talk about code" are that voice).

Looking again towards horse racing - there was a Jockey Club, an Owner's Association, a Trainers' Association, and a consortium of track owners. There was everyone at the table except the people who generate 100% of the revenue, the fans and players. Users banded together and formed a Horseplayers' Association. When tracks raised the takeout after experiments showed lowering it raised attendance and total wagering, HA published a list of all the takeouts for all the bets and tracks and users pledged not to patronize those that raised handle. That got tracks' attention. Now at discussions involving wagering HA has indeed literally gotten itself a seat at the table.

Could we form our own community? Elect officers? Adopt a statement of goals? A code of contact? Discuss issues like adults? Vote on policies if not achieve consensus? Would Delphi luminaries use their weight to help this community succeed? Would they risk their free MVP copies of Delphi to take the users' side? Could we agree to draw "lines in the sand" if necessary? Could we get a seat at the table?

These are all interesting questions. But WE NEVER TALK ABOUT INTERESTING QUESTIONS. :-( We just keep telling ourselves everything is great and, as David I. told me about EMBT, "we just keep doing what we're doing". We never get to the big stuff. On the Opera forum it's run by volunteers and there's one character who's obsessed with Opera. If anyone mentions a bug he'd tell them he never experienced it so they must be doing something wrong. If they posted data/screenshots proving the bug was real, he'd intentionally use a bunch of four-letter words. His pal the mod would then decide that due to foul language they were going to lock the thread. He did this to every single thread discussing long-lasting bugs. Mods even threatened to revoke accounts of folks who "hihacked" threads by simply mentioning crippling memory leaks. It got so bad private messages began going out telling people who complained about a secret website to meet to discuss the memory leaks without fear of having your Opera account deleted. That's when I opted to leave Opera after 15 years; it had grown toxic.

This community really isn't a great deal healthier. We need to be thinking big things and big ideas (and if an idiot like me has a whole list of them, others must have a lot more). I never wanted to be constantly pointing out problems with Delphi here. I wanted to quickly get past what I thought were self-evident problems so we could discuss how to FIX them. Of course, like a nation without a democracy, lots of people (like Lars) have become used to not thinking about the big picture because they feel powerless to change it. Every point I seemed to bring up would get derailed with inanities. I remember I raised a point about things like air conditioning now being taken for granted in cars today and users would be upset if a car didn't come with an air conditioner or radio standard. This simple point should have gotten agreement (I'd read it myself more than once in discussions of software design) and we could get to the point I was making about Delphi missing some features that were found in most of the popular languages today and users come to expect (Nick, I think you even agreed on this point). I had a detailed list of what I thought those features were and some ideas for how to implement them and wanted to hear how those smarter than me would do it. But we couldn't get to that point because someone mentioned some model of ultra-cheap car that didn't have air conditioning standard and the whole thread devolved to talking about cars! :-( I dropped out, never being able to get to how we could improve the language.

This happened over and over and over. I pointed out that Delphi was inconsistent with checking membership. We had "in" for sets, but a POS or POSEX function for substrings, another function for dictionaries, etc. I suggested we make it consistent by allowing IN to work for substrings too (as some other languages do) and ideally all containers. Oh lord. Chris Rolliston liked the idea. Rudy liked the idea BUT.... Delphi wasn't inconsistent. IN was for sets and POS was for strings, so that wasn't inconsistent. I pointed out that, I forget if it was PHP or Perl, had a different equals operator for numbers and strings. Rudy agreed that was indeed inconsistent. BUT THIS WASN'T. Chris defended my idea; Rudy said he did indeed like it but refused to concede the consistency part. Someone told me that since some of these things were added to the language later, they're not inconsistent. That's like seeing a red, a green and a blue house next to each other and then saying that since they weren't built at the same time the colors aren't inconsistent. Over and over and round and round this went and of course the idea died as I gave up, broken and defeated again.

Meanwhile... I mentioned to Eric Grange that IN ought to work for substrings too. He said "Good idea" and BOOM! It was in the next release of DWScript a few weeks later! NO fighting, no refusal to admit inconsistency, nothing. Just "good idea" and done. A functional community vs. a dysfunctional community.

The one time a thread about a wish list to improve Delphi survived I had a few DOZEN suggestions. I've had a piece of paper siting on my desk for over two YEARS (It's the back of a sample ballot for 2013 primary elections). Every time I code anything in any language, or have a problem with Delphi, or just read about something in another language, or browse the Rosetta Code website and see a code snippet that solves a problem better than Delphi, I write down an idea to improve Delphi. The paper is COVERED with ideas. The last time I counted it was almost 50! There's no real room to write on it any more and I have to write tiny inbetween other items to fit. The funny thing is that with every release of delphi since I started this one or two items from my list HAVE appeared in Delphi, even obscure ones (such as a dedicated hash library) or big ones (package management). That indicates to me that I'm not delusional and that the ideas I'm coming up with are useful and doable. Heck, a lot of my suggestions I posted in that thread got a good response... before the inevitable jousting with the windmills of reality set in. Seriously, I had one person argue with me here that type inference is, and I quote, "impossible". Impossible. Every statically typed language of the last 15 years has type inference and the algorithm was invented in the 1980s. :-( No one defended the side of reality and even Rudy got a bit dismissive about type inference. We, Just. Can't. Have. Adult. Discussions. Here.

I'd seen slides from a talk about Perl that were amazingly relevant to the state of Delphi, its community, and how to make things better. I dejectedly realize I'd never be able to discuss them here because we'd never get to admit there's anything that needs fixing in the first place. Meanwhile, Perl folks can host conference talks entitled "Perl isn't Dead: It's a Dead End" and talk about them... talk about them to the extent that the speaker was invited to another conference, even though he titled his follow-up talk "Perl: The Detroit Of Programming Languages". Python's official conference could host a talk entitled "The Dark Corners Of Python" about the worst, most obscure and forgotten corners of its standard library and see so much interest they had a sequel the next year. A Python core developer could give a keynote that was nothing but the biggest problems she saw with Python - of course, on the other hand, she could call it "Python: A Choose Your Own Adventure" because like most languages except Delphi Python is in the hands of its users and she explained what her listeners could do to solve each of these problems (such as if every listener went home and checked one Windows bug in the tracker, the ratio of Linux/Windows bugs could be brought to 1:1). They could host talks about "What we can learn from Go" and "What we can learn from Haskell" and their planet aggregator could even run the blog posts of two users, one prominent, who were leaving Python for other languages.

What the heck is wrong with this community? I gave up and walked away and I'll probably end up doing that again in a few more days as someone will try to convince me that up is down. I'll spend hours writing an essay with 16 sources, and I'll get "Bull-Pucky!" as a rebuttal. Heck, Bruce once bragged on Reddit that my reply was too long so he simply wasn't going to read it. :-( He also told Jolyon he likes to troll Delphi "haters". :-(

I think I have some idea of what's wrong with the community, but it relates back to the Perl talk so we'll never get to the point of talking about it.

I know I just went off on a million word tangent, but it's worth trying one last time to get folks to take a long hard look at things and themselves. Heck, if they'd LOOK AT ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN DELPHI, they'd gain a bit of perspective, some of the myths would stop circulating, we'd see some good examples for how to conduct ourselves, and ideas could start flowing. We've got huge uphill challenges ahead of us, whether we pretend they exist or not. Alinsky wrote that "You can't get to where you're going without first knowing where you are". We have to have the courage to face that head-on, then we can begin the real work of figuring out where we want to go and how we're going to get there. I believe the potential is in this community to make it, but we continue to drive out talent at an alarming rate at either the individual level or the corporate level (e.g. Mark Hoffman via EMBT).

We're never going to get there, though, if we decide we want to debate the obvious forever (and I'll thank you Nick for suggesting that Delphi doesn't need to be #1, rather than the more common refrain around here that it is hugely popular; David Heffernan has made a similar argument). And many people won't know what the obvious is if they never look beyond the incredibly isolated world of Delphi (somewhere between the Cuba and the North Korea of programming languages). I learned great deal about shepherding languages and communities from Perl - and I've never written a line of Perl. If we do what Perl, Python and even C# have done - embrace other opinions and even other communities - we can become much richer, diverse and stronger for it.This community has a serious case of "hardening of the paradigm" but we can cure it and become stronger as a result.

I think Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, is a crazy man, but he really had a valid point during one of his infamous talks:

There are two kinds of joiners in the world. Think of it in terms of anthropology. There are the kinds of people who join a tribe, and kind of get sucked in, like a black hole. That's the last you hear from them, unless you happen to be in the black hole with
them. And we need people like this in our tribes, if only to be cheerleaders.

But the open source movement is energized by the other sort of joiner. This sort of person joins many tribes. These are the people who inhabit the intersections of the Venn diagrams. They believe in ANDs rather than ORs. They're a member of more than
one subset, more than one tribe. The reason these people are important is, just like merchants who go between real tribes, they carry ideas from one intellectual tribe to another. I call these people ``glue people'', because they not only join themselves to a
tribe, they join tribes together. Twenty years ago, you couldn't easily be a glue person, because our culture was not yet sufficiently accepting of diversity. It was also not accepting of information sharing. If you got sucked in by Bell Labs, you might get out to
the occasional Usenix, but that was about it. If you got sucked in by the NSA, nobody ever heard from you again. Come to think of it, that's still true.

Still and all, things have improved greatly, and the bridges across the gaps have gotten sturdier. Now people can send their memes across a wider chasms without getting crucified on one end of the bridge or the other. And as we started sending these
memes across the chasms, what we discovered was that we didn't have a bunch of separate open source movements, but rather a single big open source movement. To be sure, it's a fuzzy, postmodern sort of movement, with lots of diversity, and a certain
amount of turmoil, but it's about as good as any movement gets these days. We all suck at slightly different things, but we're in basic agreement that the old way of business sucked a lot worse that whatever it is we're doing now. We've agreed to agree.
Except when we don't.

Let's bridge some gulfs. The last time I tried this I was amazed by a language called Python. Yet not one single community member said, "Really? That's fascinating. Tell us more. What could we learn from Python? How could we make Delphi better? Why do you think it's like a modern Turbo Pascal?" Not one. Instead of joining tribes, Mason Wheeler began taking pot shots at dynamically typed languages on his blog. :-(

I've since discovered some amazing ideas in languages such as Rust, D, Ceylon and Nim. I've also discovered some ideas I'm not sure about one way or the other. I've seen things that seem to offer most of the benefits of dynamic typing without the drawbacks. I've seen others that explicitly address ideas YOU had, Nick. :-) And then I've seen a few things I don't think even Larry Wall would be crazy enough to do. :-)

Maybe this community wants to honestly discuss the language. Maybe it doesn't. It's not me that will be affected one way or the other so much as this community and this language and its future. Senator Al Franken (I'll never get used to that) once wrote a book in which he stated that some people love their country like a child loves their parents. They're perfect, all-powerful and invincible. They can do no wrong. Others love their country like adults love their parents - we love them despite their flaws and mistakes, which we acknowledge. This community has to decide how it loves Delphi and which is best for the language.

And if you've read this far, I commend you for reading the ramblings of someone still typing at 4:13 AM. :-)

Off to bed, after which I'll probably look at this post and realize I could have condensed it to 10 sentences. ;-)

-JGM

P.S. If I hit "send" and the server doesn't blow up, then it really IS fixed now.
P.P.S. Who am I kidding? I'm copying the entire thing to a text file first just in case. ;-)



--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Olivier Sannier

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 2:35 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

Could we form our own community? Elect officers? Adopt a statement of
goals? A code of contact? Discuss issues like adults? Vote on policies
if not achieve consensus? Would Delphi luminaries use their weight to
help this community succeed? Would they risk their free MVP copies of
Delphi to take the users' side? Could we agree to draw "lines in the
sand" if necessary? Could we get a seat at the table?

Well, sure we could.
But who's gonna fund this? Not necessarily in terms of money, but in
terms of time spent.
And what's in it for those who get involved? I mean, sure, there has to
be a start to everything and I could boot this, but in the end, it would
only matter if that voice gets heard.

Meanwhile... I mentioned to Eric Grange that IN ought to work for
substrings too. He said "Good idea" and BOOM! It was in the next
release of DWScript a few weeks later! NO fighting, no refusal to admit
inconsistency, nothing. Just "good idea" and done.
A functional community vs. a dysfunctional community.

You should really talk to him in person like I did, he has lots of very
interesting comments about Delphi and its ecosystem. Heck, he even told
me that he made suggestions to the JCL and JVCL fifteen years ago that
would have made them much easier to use...

I think I have some idea of what's wrong with the community, but it
relates back to the Perl talk so we'll never get to the point of
talking about it.

Well, I'd love to hear about it, but then again, your voice would likely
be lost in a sea of nitpicking mermaid songs...

I know I just went off on a million word tangent, but it's worth
trying one last time to get folks to take a long hard look at things
and themselves. Heck, if they'd LOOK AT ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN
DELPHI, they'd gain a bit of perspective, some of the myths would
stop circulating, we'd see some good examples for how to conduct
ourselves, and ideas could start flowing.

Here at work, we have various peoples with various backgrounds and the
subject of "Delphi is better" or "Delphi is worst" often comes up. So to
settle it a bit, we conducted a little experiment where the goal was to
write three programs in the language of choice dealing with three things:
1. String manipulation
2. Float calculation
3. List mapping

To each his own, and so we got submissions in Delphi, C# and Go by
people who are far from noobs in each language.
In the end, Delphi was last in all three contests, to the big surprise
of the "Delphi lovers" camp. But I wasn't at all surprised, the ranking
would have been different 5 or 10 years ago, but while others
progressed, Delphi stagnated...

we continue to drive out talent at an alarming rate at either the
individual level or the corporate level (e.g. Mark Hoffman via EMBT).

I'm not saying I'm as good as Mark Hoffman is but here is for a bit of
self history:
12 years ago, I was brought into the JCL and JVCL by a man named Peter
Thörnqvist who was a great Delphi fan at that time. Then, a few years
later, he left for other things, when C# came out.
I stayed and take over his role, but retrospectively, I shouldn't have
been so condescending on this new language that everyone was so excited
about. Sure, it was Delphi in a C++ syntax, with quite bad performances
at the time.
Today, I don't have any arguments left when I try to justify Delphi over
anything else, because others evolved when Delphi "rested on its laurels".
Sure, I have made and still do my living with Delphi, but I should have
looked at what was around more closely because today, I would be in a
much more enjoyable situation.
It's not that I couldn't work with C#, it's just that I don't have the
experience that I have with Delphi and would thus need to go back to the
noob level, with the salary that goes with it...

But considering how little my voice (and others) have had any impact on
Delphi's fate, I'm more and more considering "jumping ship" and taking
the plunge.
10 years ago, I was honored and thrilled to be in a beta, expecting to
have a word in the chapter. Now, I am still honored, but I know I won't
have much (if any) impact on what's going on. And I know I'm not the
only one...

And if you've read this far, I commend you for reading the ramblings
of someone still typing at 4:13 AM. :-)

Off to bed, after which I'll probably look at this post and realize
I could have condensed it to 10 sentences. ;-)

Thanks for the commending, but more thanks to you for taking the time to
post all this. Condensing it in 10 sentences wouldn't have had such
impact, and I most probably wouldn't have answered.
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 3:50 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

could have condensed it to 10 sentences. ;-)

Holy sweet mother of blather!

It's like two dogmatic, but uninformed hamsters were wrestling on
someone's keyboard for 40 minutes.

--
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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 1:39 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

Joseph Mitzen wrote:

could have condensed it to 10 sentences. ;-)

Holy sweet mother of blather!

It's like two dogmatic, but uninformed hamsters were wrestling on
someone's keyboard for 40 minutes.

TL;DR. <g>

I guess it is what comes out if you set monkeys to produce the works of
Shakespeare. <vbg>

--
Rudy Velthuis http://www.rvelthuis.de

"Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who
did not discover it."
-- Alfred North Whitehead
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 5:03 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Markus Humm

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Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 1:44 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:


Then he should have presented those points in a much more concise way.
Reading such long texts (917 lines, according to my newsreader),
especially formatted like that, is masochism and generally a waste of
time. I did not read it, so I have no idea if there were any good ideas
in it.

Presentation does matter. And in this case, so does size. <g>

--
Rudy Velthuis
http://www.rvelthuis.de

"Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve
Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the
understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement
is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs."
-- Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters)
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 3:40 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:

Did you really read it? (yes it's a bit long)

Are you kidding?

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:01 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Am 08.10.2015 um 00:40 schrieb Nick Hodges:
Markus Humm wrote:

Did you really read it? (yes it's a bit long)

Are you kidding?

Yes presentation could be a bit better, but your answer sounds like you
didn't learn how to gallop through a text. Why not just search for your
name in the text and read the passages around it?

Greetings

Markus
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:04 AM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:

Yes presentation could be a bit better, but your answer sounds like
you didn't learn how to gallop through a text. Why not just search
for your name in the text and read the passages around it?

Because I fell asleep.

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 12:28 PM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick,

| | ... Why not just search
| | for your name in the text and read the passages around it?

| Because I fell asleep.

<giggle>

--

Q -- XanaNews 1.19.1.372 - 2015-10-08 12:28:05
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 10, 2015 8:19 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Am 08.10.2015 um 20:04 schrieb Nick Hodges:
Markus Humm wrote:

Yes presentation could be a bit better, but your answer sounds like
you didn't learn how to gallop through a text. Why not just search
for your name in the text and read the passages around it?

Because I fell asleep.

I didn't say you should do that task at midnight! ;-)
Do you ever fall sleeep when you get praised? ;-)

Greetings

Markus
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 11:53 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Hello,

after reading your long post I agree with you in a few points and we
could relly benefit if we discussed things more openly.

One thing I didn't really understand was: the Delphi book marked is
small nowadays and most if not all newer books come from the self
publishing corner. There's the XE2 foundations book from Chris
Rollinston which is a quite good start. What I didn't understand was,
why Marco had to do his own language basics book when there was
something else missing in my eyes:
A book covering the architecture and concepts of FMX!

That one was new and the new language / RTL things new since XE2 could
have been covered by a new and slightly expanded edition of Chris' book.

Ok, the EMBT one is 100% free as eBook afaik, but for that area
something usefull already existed.

Now that's 2 cent of wisdom for today.

Greetings

Markus
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:20 PM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:

the Delphi book marked

Did someone say books?

There are a few:

http://glooscapsoftware.blogspot.ca/2014/10/book-book-book.html

David I has a collection of links as well:

http://community.embarcadero.com/index.php/blogs/entry/delphi-vcl-and-firemonkey-ebooks-books-tutorials-and-courseware-a-collection-of-links

Since then, an update to Marco's book has been made available in print:

http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/2015-august-object-pascal-handbook-print.html

And Nick released a second book titled "More Coding in Delphi":

http://www.codingindelphi.com/blog/more-coding-in-delphi-2/

--
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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software

Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 4:39 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

And Nick released a second book titled "More Coding in Delphi":

And Nick is also plotting a third, though not Delphi specific, book.

hehe.

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 1:43 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:

Bruce McGee wrote:

And Nick released a second book titled "More Coding in Delphi":

And Nick is also plotting a third, though not Delphi specific, book.

And I'll buy that one, too.

--
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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 5:03 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:


And I'll buy that one, too.

You are too kind. :-)

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 6:08 AM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:

Bruce McGee wrote:


And I'll buy that one, too.

You are too kind. :-)

Kindness has nothing to do with it.

I have said that I will buy any Delphi related (or adjacent) book that
is published.

How was I supposed to know that some yahoo would start pumping them out
Stephen King style. :)

Plus they're a good read.

--
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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 1:45 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

Since then, an update to Marco's book has been made available in
print:

http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/2015-august-object-pascal-handbook-print.html


And Nick released a second book titled "More Coding in Delphi":

http://www.codingindelphi.com/blog/more-coding-in-delphi-2/

I forgot to mention that electronic versions of both of these are
available to currently registered users of Delphi or Rad Studio.

Also, More Coding in Delphi is also available in ePub and Mobi formats:

http://delphi.org/2015/10/more-coding-in-delphi-in-more-formats/

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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:09 PM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph,

| I'll spend hours writing an essay with 16 sources, and I'll get
| "Bull-Pucky!" as a rebuttal.

Is that a reference to my reply?
"| On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for
| companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200
| computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for
| small(er) businesses ...

Bull-puckey! "

I'm a "hobbiest" programmer these days and Delphi is NOT obsolete for
me! So your opinion comment is incorrect. <shrug>

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Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:23 PM   in response to: Quentin Correll in response to: Quentin Correll
Quentin Correll wrote:

Joseph,

I'll spend hours writing an essay with 16 sources, and I'll get
"Bull-Pucky!" as a rebuttal.

Is that a reference to my reply?
"| On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even
for
companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200
computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for
small(er) businesses ...

Bull-puckey! "

I'm a "hobbiest" programmer these days and Delphi is NOT obsolete for
me! So your opinion comment is incorrect. <shrug>

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of
magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Alberto Brandolini

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bullshit

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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software

Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 5:01 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce,

| "The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of
| magnitude bigger than to produce it."

| - Alberto Brandolini

LOL! Sounds pretty much like it could be true. <g>

--

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Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 1:47 PM   in response to: Quentin Correll in response to: Quentin Correll
Quentin Correll wrote:

Joseph,

I'll spend hours writing an essay with 16 sources, and I'll get
"Bull-Pucky!" as a rebuttal.

Is that a reference to my reply?
"| On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even
for
companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200
computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for
small(er) businesses ...

Bull-puckey! "

I'm a "hobbiest" programmer these days and Delphi is NOT obsolete for
me! So your opinion comment is incorrect. <shrug>

I am a hobbyist too, and I am probably hobbier than others, but you
must be the hobbiest.

I love Delphi.

--
Rudy Velthuis http://www.rvelthuis.de

"Truth is living, it is not static, and the mind that would
discover truth must also be living, not burdened with knowledge
or experience."
-- J. Krishnamurthi
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 4:59 PM   in response to: Rudy Velthuis (... in response to: Rudy Velthuis (...
Rudy,

| I am a hobbyist too, and I am probably hobbier than others, but you
| must be the hobbiest.

Could be. I really don't know how to measure it. <g>

| I love Delphi.

So do I !!!

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Georg Stegmueller

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 2:24 AM   in response to: Quentin Correll in response to: Quentin Correll
Quentin Correll wrote:


Bull-puckey! "

I'm a "hobbiest" programmer these days and Delphi is NOT obsolete for
me! So your opinion comment is incorrect. <shrug>

Would you agree that you are not the average hobbiest?

How do I define the average hobbiest? I think about somebody who at the beginning of his hobby has absolutely no prior knowledge about anything related to programming. Especially no knowledge of either Turbo Pascal or Delphi and certainly no library of code in these languages. Let's say a kid in high school or somebody in retirement or somebody who wants to get his or her mind of the problems at work at their weekend.

Why would this person choose Delphi? There are almost no books in the bookstores about it, there is little on the internet about it (at least compared to Java, C#, Python, etc) and it costs money, depending on the version you choose, it costs very much. And for this person with a clean slate and no prior experience, why would C#, Java, Python not be a better alternative?

Don't get me wrong: I like Delphi as a language. I don't like the changes, EMB made to it and I don't like their focus and price policy, but I am afraid (and I am very sorry about this), that I think Joseph's point of view has a lot of value, even though I do not agree with everything he wrote.

Bye,
Georg

Edited by: Georg Stegmueller on Oct 8, 2015 2:40 AM
Typo
Rudy Velthuis (...


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:44 AM   in response to: Georg Stegmueller in response to: Georg Stegmueller
Georg Stegmueller wrote:

Quentin Correll wrote:


Bull-puckey! "

I'm a "hobbiest" programmer these days and Delphi is NOT obsolete
for me! So your opinion comment is incorrect. <shrug>

Would you agree that you are not the average hobbiest?

How do I define the average hobbiest?

Everytime I see that word, I get a bout of lip herpes. It's hobbyist.
--
Rudy Velthuis http://www.rvelthuis.de

"Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll
get the blame." -- Bertrand Russell
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 12:33 PM   in response to: Rudy Velthuis (... in response to: Rudy Velthuis (...
Rudy,

| Everytime I see that word, I get a bout of lip herpes. It's hobbyist.

<giggle>

I can send you a tube of ChapStick. <g>

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Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 12:32 PM   in response to: Georg Stegmueller in response to: Georg Stegmueller
Georg,

| Would you agree that you are not the average hobbiest?

Yeah, I could agree with that. ;-)

And I cannot disagree with your personal "reasoning" comments. <sigh>

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Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 10, 2015 8:19 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Hello,

some whistle lately told me that more books are to come.
Unforunatelly it didn't say anything about the timeframe or the contents.

Greetings

Markus
Joseph Mitzen

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 11:39 PM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

As the saying goes, open source is only free if your time has no value.

In the world of Hadoop, Docker, Linux, Apache, Java, LLVM, Firefox, LibreOffice, Salt, Chef, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Eclipse, BSD, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Wordpress, BIND, etc., when's the last time you heard that saying? And yet you'd accuse me of "lazy thinking"? The Microsoft Azure folks built their beta Jupyter Notebook software-as-a-service on Linux because they felt Windows' container support wasn't very good!

It's quite the opposite today from what your saying suggests. No one sits down and writes an SSL implementation from scratch. Even EMBT doesn't sit down and write a compiler from scratch. No one rolls their own web server (maybe Arnaud). If your time has value, and you want to compete, many enterprises find they must leverage open source today to keep up.

Sometimes it makes sense to use open source software, sometimes it
makes sense to use commercial software.

But that "sometimes" for commercial software is getting closer and closer to the vanishing point in the world of development tools.

No sense being dogmatic about it.

There is a point in being accurate about it. This was the biggest single sea change this century in software development - bigger than mobile - and this community has never even commented on it. Now I'm realizing many of them (hello, Q!) don't even seem to recognize it.
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 3:36 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

Bruce McGee wrote:

when's the last time you heard
that saying?

Recently.

And yet you'd accuse me of "lazy thinking"?

And trolling

Sometimes it makes sense to use open source software, sometimes it
makes sense to use commercial software.

But that "sometimes" for commercial software is getting closer and
closer to the vanishing point in the world of development tools.

If that were the case, most, if not all, commercial software companies
would be going out of business.

They aren't.

No sense being dogmatic about it.

There is a point in being accurate about it.

You missed the boat on that one, too.

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Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:13 PM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph,

| Now I'm realizing many of them (hello, Q!) don't even seem to
recognize it.

And I don't even recognize what the "it" in that sentence is referring
to. <g>

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:23 AM   in response to: Bruce McGee in response to: Bruce McGee
Bruce McGee wrote:

open source is only free if your time has no value.

Still true.

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John Kaster http://johnkaster.wordpress.com
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Nick Hodges

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  Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:30 AM   in response to: John Kaster in response to: John Kaster
John Kaster wrote:

Still true.

And always will be.

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Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun
Mike Margerum

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  Posted: Oct 9, 2015 4:52 AM   in response to: John Kaster in response to: John Kaster
open source is only free if your time has no value.

Still true.

Depends. A lot of things yes. Not all though. The most important
metric is how many people are using the open source project to get stuff
done. The more people use it the better supported it is and most
important the easier it is to get answers.

I've used plenty of closed source projects cough Firemonkey that did
not have wide adoption, were buggy, and had inadequate documentation.
Josh Kelley

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  Posted: Oct 9, 2015 6:59 AM   in response to: John Kaster in response to: John Kaster
On 10/8/2015 2:23 PM, John Kaster wrote:
Bruce McGee wrote:

open source is only free if your time has no value.

Still true.

It's a true statement, but it's not helpful.

Taken at face value, it's true that open source software has a time cost
to maintain - but so does all software.

In the original context (https://www.jwz.org/doc/linux.html), the
implication is that open-source software takes more time to maintain
than the alternatives. This is true in some cases and false in plenty of
others. (I spend a lot more time maintaining my C++Builder stack than I
do Eclipse + GCC + Linux. :-) YMMV.)

I get that the point is that commercial software is worth paying for if
it saves enough time - but this old quote is either a truism or is often
false, so I just don't think it's a very helpful way of making the point.

And sorry if I'm being too nit-picky. :-)

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Josh Kelley
John Kaster


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  Posted: Oct 12, 2015 3:41 PM   in response to: Josh Kelley in response to: Josh Kelley
Josh Kelley wrote:

Taken at face value, it's true that open source software has a time
cost to maintain - but so does all software.

I wasn't even thinking about the maintenance costs. I was just thinking
about the "get up and running" costs. Open source projects that focus
on saving you setup and configuration time are very rare.

There are certainly commercial products that don't value your time
either. Some of them are even inexplicably successful, like Oracle's
products. But most commercial development solutions are successful
because they make you far more productive. If they don't, they are not
adopted.

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John Kaster http://johnkaster.wordpress.com
Software solutions
Joseph Mitzen

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 11:28 PM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick Hodges wrote:
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

That people won't pay for what they can get for free?

Yet people pay for Delphi, so much so, that Embarcadero remains a
profitable venture.

How is that possible?

As the character Donald Shimoda said in Richard Bach's "Illusions", "It's amazing how much you know if you only ask yourself the question instead of someone else."

First, Embarcadero's primary business is database tools, as the selling price for EMBT reveals. Your "so much so", however is suggesting that Delphi is what's keeping EMBT's head above water.

Second, it's possible because, as one author wrote, "Legacy 'Big Iron' companies today don't have customers so much as they have hostages." You have a small number of people who have to maintain legacy applications that they can't or won't port, and they'll pay what it takes to keep them going. This number, however, is going to continue to get smaller. Redmonk, a source you yourself once offered in a discussion on ranking the popularity of programming languages, wrote a great essay on the problem of making money with software today:

http://redmonk.com/sogrady/2013/11/21/selling-software/

The trend there, after all, is clear: the majority of available consumer software is subsidized by either advertising (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter) or hardware (e.g. Apple). More to the point, both of these models are attempting to exert pressure on the paid
software model, as in the case of the Apple iWork and Google Docs competing for mindshare with the non-free Microsoft Office or the now free OS X (non-server) positioned against the non-free Microsoft Windows. Even in hot application spaces like
mobile, it’s getting increasingly difficult to commercialize the output.

If this is your analytical context, then – and certainly Dediu’s primary focus (Asymcar notwithstanding) is on Apple and markets adjacent to Apple – the logical conclusion is indeed that software prices are heading towards zero in most categories, and that
software producers need to adjust their revenue models accordingly.

VSCE's zero price tag is indeed going to continue to drive the price for development tools towards zero.

Redmonk noted that Oracle does something quite unusual - they break down their revenue from existing and new customers. Plotted out, the trend shows a significant decline in revenue from new users over the last 13 years. Redmonk summarizes their findings:

"What this chart indicates, instead, is that Oracle’s software revenue growth is increasingly coming not from new customers but from existing customers. Which is to the credit of Oracle’s salesforce, in spite what of the company characterized as their “lack of urgency.”
It may not be literally true, as Dediu argued above, that you can’t charge for software anymore. But it’s certainly getting harder for Oracle. And if it’s getting harder for Oracle, which has a technically excellent flagship product, it’s very likely getting harder for all of the other enterprise vendors out there that don’t break out their new license revenues as Oracle does. This is not, in other words, an Oracle problem. It’s an industry problem.
Consumer software, enterprise software: it doesn’t much matter. It’s all worth less than it was. If you’re not adapting your models to that new reality, you should be."

Another article with similar findings:
http://readwrite.com/2013/07/22/its-official-legacy-tech-vendors-are-in-permanent-decline

This article repeats the findings about software-as-a-service and subscription fees becoming the dominant commercial model today and legacy firms dependent on major upfront fees are all missing earnings numbers.

Lastly, EMBT squeezed profit out of EMBT by laying off veteran developers, offshoring development to the cheapest places it could find, raising prices, switching to a six-month release cycle, mandatory subscriptions, etc.

A person you might be familiar with by the name of Nick Hodges (whose cat has an excellent blog!) once wrote:

The Thoma Bravo guys were always pretty mysterious. They never seemed very interested in any particular business needs that Delphi might have had after the Borland years. They did seem interested in making money, though. Nothing wrong with that,
as that is pretty much exactly what private equity firms do.

Heck, a company still exists selling MUMPS compilers (shudder). But that doesn't mean that the development world has irreversibly changed and undergone an open source revolution. As Infoworld's Eric Knorr put it in 2013, "Open source frameworks and IDEs absolutely dominate app dev". Bruce didn't call this lazy thinking for some reason.

So - as I documented much more extensively with a reply to Bruce - open source is indeed dominating the development world. In fact, I'd advance the idea that development tools are the type of software that benefits most from the open source development model. Since open source devs are "scratching an itch", especially in the past user-friendliness, documentation, etc. haven't been the highest priorities, which was a handicap regarding user-centric applications. However, with development tools you have developers writing for developers - not trying to sell to the CTOs and Directors of IT who purchase commercial dev tools. The only question open source dev tool coders have to ask is, "Will this make this a better tool?" No marketing or accounting to please. People writing what they themselves want - and they themselves will use, which has to have a bump in quality as well.

The question you need to ask yourself is - if proprietary development tools are a generally viable business, why did Borland conclude otherwise, and most other companies do so as well (given the time it took to find a buyer for CodeGear, and at a bargain price)? Why are even MS and Apple opening up their languages? Why has almost every proprietary language disappeared today or confined to legacy users only (COBOL, MUMPS, PowerBuilder)?

A serial tech entrepreneur who founded and sold 3 tech companies once gushed "It used to be that once a startup got their first million dollars in venture capital funding, they had to turn around and hand 1/3 of it to Microsoft and 1/3 of it to Oracle. They don't have to do that any more!" He then went on to gush about open source databases such as PostgreSQL. Friedman's "The World Is Flat" also cited open source as one of the principal developments that leveled the playing field. We're in a Golden Age of open source right now and the nature of software development has changed.

This was reflected in a recent Forrester survey:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/survey-indicates-four-out-of-five-developers-now-use-open-source/
Nick Hodges

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Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 5:58 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
OKay, in a perhaps foolish attempt to respond to this, I'll do so
succinctly.

1. No one disputes that open source tools are very popular.
2. EMBT remains profitable in the face of this.
3. You seem very, very reluctant to acknowledge #2, and keep harping
on #1.
4. Not one study you mentioned had the term "100%" in it.


And finally: nothing costs zero. Things can be priced at zero, but
nothing has zero costs. TANSTAAFL applies always. You can't beat it.
There are numerous ways to choose how to pay those costs. OSS is one.
Commercial solutions are another.

--
Nick
Delphi Programming is Fun

Quentin Correll


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Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:19 PM   in response to: Nick Hodges in response to: Nick Hodges
Nick,

| And finally: nothing costs zero. Things can be priced at zero, but
| nothing has zero costs.

On-the-mark. The act of using has a cost. That "cost" may not be in
direct dollars but the time required to use is a real cost.

--

Q -- XanaNews 1.19.1.372 - 2015-10-07 12:16:37
Joseph Mitzen

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:22 AM   in response to: Quentin Correll in response to: Quentin Correll
Quentin Correll wrote:
Joseph,

| On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for
| companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200
| computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for
| small(er) businesses ...

Bull-puckey!

Q -

Small companies with up to 5 developers, less than one million in revenue, and less than 200 PCs can get Visual Studio for free. They get a "bare metal" language (C++), a managed language (C#), Internet languages (ASP.NET, Javascript, Typescript), a functional language (F#), and a dynamically typed language (Python) in the box, along with one of the world's most popular IDEs with thousands of available plugins.

That does make it obsolete. Delphi costs $1,440 for one copy of Professional and $2,142 if you want to be able to access a C/S database with FireDAC. So for five developers, ~$10,500 vs. completely free. I worked for eight years at a company that dealt solely in B2B (business to business) sales. If you've got an argument to sell to someone for $10,500 what they can get for free, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, let's agree that it's a Carl Sagan-esque "extraordinary claim" that people are going to pay thousands of dollars when they can get a whole suite of more popular languages for free, along with all the benefits of the much larger Microsoft ecosystem.
Quentin Correll


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  Posted: Oct 7, 2015 12:28 PM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph,

Because Visual Studio may be "free" to <=5 users does NOT make my
Delphi (SA $439 last time I checked.) "obsolete." It would be
absolute pure NONSENSE for me to even consider re-writing even one of
my apps in VS. <SHUDDER!>

And it makes no more sense to "switch" to VS for my future app work!

--

Q -- XanaNews 1.19.1.372 - 2015-10-07 12:20:18
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 1:48 PM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Am 04.10.2015 um 09:22 schrieb Joseph Mitzen:
Willibald Krenn wrote:

I was just doing the same calculation. The Upgrade plus the maintenance plan alone is over 1K Euros, which is a bit steep for a hobby.

It's the Golden Age of Open Source. Delphi lost the hobby market many, many years ago. That's why there's so little Delphi open source. Delphi was 34th in new projects created on Github in 2012 and 39th in 2013. I calculated the numbers myself for 2014 and it dropped again to 44th. Anyone buying Delphi has to try to sell their components to recoup their cost. That makes Delphi the only language with so many paid components that everyone else has for free.

On top of that, Visual Studio Community Edition is now free, even for companies with <=5 developers and < one million in revenue and 200 computers. That makes Delphi obsolete not just for hobby but for small(er) businesses, the only place it still had a niche. That only leaves enterprise, but there are many factors that make Delphi unsuitable for enterprise use and it has never had a foothold in that market.

They've priced themselves out of every niche other than cross-platform mobile right now (comparable in price to Qt and Xamarin).

Yes, I know technically they "plan" to provide fixes

Many bugs were fixed in Delphi 10. Have you seen an XE8 update that incorporates any of those fixes? No? So much for getting extended support in exchange.

However, I'm not sure I can argue the cost of a new user license plus maintenance plus the "why such a niche thing"-argument all at once. Hence I am looking at QT now.

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey. On the plus side, there are bindings for many different languages. It is expensive if you need the commercial licence vs. LGPL 2 but unless you're distributing code, want to change Qt but not distribute the changes, LGPL is fine.

It is unfortunate but I think I am going to spend the ~1k euros on a gym subscription, which is better for my health anyways.

On the project I'm working on now the price for a new license of Delphi plus c/s plus support plus things you need like profiling and logging and document generation plus the 3rd party libraries came out to almost $5000 USD! We spent $1100 on a totally new PC and are using open source for all of the development instead. So thanks EMBT for my new widescreen monitor, new keyboard and mouse, 16GB more memory, 3TB drive, SSD cache, etc. :-)

Hello,

what logging needs do you have the included CodeSite Lite doesn't cover?
What kind of document generation do you need? Doesn't the lite version
of Fast Report work for you, or do you need something else?

Greetings

Markus
Remy Lebeau (Te...


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Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Oct 4, 2015 5:35 PM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph wrote:

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey.

IIRC, Kylix used Qt under the hood for its cross-platform CLX framework,
but the end effect for Delphi/C++ was not good. Kylix was dropped after
a few releases.

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Remy Lebeau (TeamB)
Joseph Mitzen

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 12:36 AM   in response to: Remy Lebeau (Te... in response to: Remy Lebeau (Te...
Remy Lebeau (TeamB) wrote:
Joseph wrote:

Qt is more mature and stable than FireMonkey.

IIRC, Kylix used Qt under the hood for its cross-platform CLX framework,
but the end effect for Delphi/C++ was not good. Kylix was dropped after
a few releases.

Qt was used at the time, but it wasn't under a proper open source language and was controlled by a company called TrollTech. They were eventually bought by Nokia who introduced an LGPL version. That, and 15 years, have produced a very stable, polished cross-platform framework that runs on more environments than FireMonkey and offers things such as an ORM and web rendering engine that FMX does not.

Kylix had a lot of conceptual problems. At the time, Linux wasn't really a viable desktop environment. Those who wanted Linux support for Delphi (I was one of them) were Windows users who wanted to push a button and cross-compile their code so it would run on Linux. Instead, we got a Linux IDE that required targeting a new framework and actually working on the Linux desktop. When I tried Linux at that time, there was only 2D support for my graphics card, no support for my sound card, the ability to read but not write to a Windows partition, etc. Kylix was the Windows IDE using Linux's WINE Windows compatibility layer to get it to run on Linux (WINE was also much less mature at that time).

So it didn't offer Windows users what we wanted, but it didn't appeal to Linux users either. They already had a great compiler in gcc and had less interest in porting their software to Windows They wanted to write open source software for Linux. Kylix's runtime library wasn't open source so you really couldn't produce open source software with it since you had to distribute a binary blob with your code. Borland's answer was static linking, but static linking is something that simply isn't done in the Linux world (defeats one of the benefits of Linux's elaborate package management).

Put together, Kylix was a chimera that didn't give anyone what they wanted.

Now, many years later, Linux is a perfectly viable desktop environment (I'm writing this reply from it right now!) and so is OS X. Developer conferences are a sea of Macbooks and many of those Macbook users are SSHing into Linux servers to compile their code. Now, when we really could use a cross-platform development tool instead of a cross-compiling solution, EMBT gives us a cross-compiling solution instead. :-( It just seems they always "zig" when they should "zag".
Bruce McGee

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  Posted: Oct 6, 2015 9:56 AM   in response to: Joseph Mitzen in response to: Joseph Mitzen
Joseph Mitzen wrote:

Many bugs were fixed in Delphi 10. Have you seen an XE8 update that
incorporates any of those fixes? No? So much for getting extended
support in exchange.

Swing and a miss.

Again...

http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/2015-october-summer-xe7-hotfix.html

--
Regards,
Bruce McGee
Glooscap Software
Markus Humm

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  Posted: Sep 24, 2015 10:46 AM   in response to: Paul Vanhelden in response to: Paul Vanhelden
Am 24.09.2015 um 13:37 schrieb Paul Vanhelden:
Hello,

With multiple releases per year, an upgrade subscription is a no-brainer right? Who doesn't take an upgrade subscription?

Furthermore: If you don't take the update subscription, you don't even get bugfixes??? So not taking out a subscription is the same as saying, "no thank you, I'm not interested even in a one year warranty". Would you buy, e.g. a TV like that?

So, the latest special offer for an upgrade on an older version than XE4 caught my attention, because you are not required to take out an update subscription But then the above occurred to me!

So you make a special offer that is actually rather bad for the user?

For me, to upgrade RAD Studio Professional (from XE2) is still $1642, since it seems silly to not add the subscription. Without the subscription, I'd have to pay $1056 again 6 months from now for version 11...

Really Embarcadero... your product is expensive especially to the world outside the US. Why not include one year (or even 6 months) of updates as standard and then give users an option to enter into a yearly subscription? That way one would feel comfortable that early bugs will be fixed and then when you are happy with the way things are going, enter into a yearly subscription. Won't you sell more licenses if you reduce the up-front cost? Isn't it a good business model to have steady yearly income from ex
isting customers?

Regards,

Paul.

Hello,

without buying subsrciption you do get bugfix updates until the next
version comes out.
It might just be that you don't get all of them and that subscription
buyers get additional things like yet another new style or some free
eBook or whatever.

Greetings

Markus
Dalija Prasnikar

Posts: 2,325
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Re: Upfront update subscription...
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  Posted: Sep 24, 2015 11:25 AM   in response to: Markus Humm in response to: Markus Humm
Markus Humm wrote:
Am 24.09.2015 um 13:37 schrieb Paul Vanhelden:
Hello,

With multiple releases per year, an upgrade subscription is a no-brainer right? Who doesn't take an upgrade subscription?

Furthermore: If you don't take the update subscription, you don't even get bugfixes??? So not taking out a subscription is the same as saying, "no thank you, I'm not interested even in a one year warranty". Would you buy, e.g. a TV like that?

So, the latest special offer for an upgrade on an older version than XE4 caught my attention, because you are not required to take out an update subscription But then the above occurred to me!

So you make a special offer that is actually rather bad for the user?

For me, to upgrade RAD Studio Professional (from XE2) is still $1642, since it seems silly to not add the subscription. Without the subscription, I'd have to pay $1056 again 6 months from now for version 11...

Really Embarcadero... your product is expensive especially to the world outside the US. Why not include one year (or even 6 months) of updates as standard and then give users an option to enter into a yearly subscription? That way one would feel comfortable that early bugs will be fixed and then when you are happy with the way things are going, enter into a yearly subscription. Won't you sell more licenses if you reduce the up-front cost? Isn't it a good business model to have steady yearly income from ex
isting customers?

Regards,

Paul.

Hello,

without buying subsrciption you do get bugfix updates until the next
version comes out.
It might just be that you don't get all of them and that subscription
buyers get additional things like yet another new style or some free
eBook or whatever.

Well, you do get some fixes even if you are not on subscription, but those
are severely limited. Even some really bad issues and regressions were not
provided in general update 1 for XE8. For instance TList<T> regression and
IDE crash while typing | in editor (due to Castalia).

Compare lists on http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/44470

Basically, not a single RTL/VCL/FMX issue was fixed in general update.

Only thing that can qualify as fix is iOS 8 simulator fix. Community toolbar
and providing files they erroneously omitted from original distribution can
hardly be called bug fixes.

--
Dalija Prasnikar
Dean Hill

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  Posted: Sep 24, 2015 2:40 PM   in response to: Paul Vanhelden in response to: Paul Vanhelden
Paul Vanhelden wrote:
For me, to upgrade RAD Studio Professional (from XE2) is still $1642, since it seems silly to not add the subscription. Without the subscription, I'd have to pay $1056 again 6 months from now for version 11...

I think the issue here is that the barrier to entry is quite high. I know of people who are on older versions of Delphi but to get on the subscription bandwagon they need to fork out a fairly sizable chunk right now which prevents them from getting up to date. They just end up getting further and further behind.

In your case, it's $1458.90 (they have special on for a couple of days). If you add the update subscription it becomes $2269.90 which is quite steep. What both you and Embarcadero want is for you to be on the $811 per year update subscription but for you to get there you need to spend $2269.90 now. I have suggested it in the past. I think the upgrade should include a 2-3 months of update subscription. That way, you need to spend $1458.90 now, and $811 in 2-3 months time. After that you are on the $811 per year option and all is well.
Paul Vanhelden

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  Posted: Sep 25, 2015 8:12 AM   in response to: Dean Hill in response to: Dean Hill
Dean Hill wrote:
I think the issue here is that the barrier to entry is quite high. I know of people who are on older versions of Delphi but to get on the subscription bandwagon they need to fork out a fairly sizable chunk right now which prevents them from getting up to date. They just end up getting further and further behind.

In your case, it's $1458.90 (they have special on for a couple of days). If you add the update subscription it becomes $2269.90 which is quite steep. What both you and Embarcadero want is for you to be on the $811 per year update subscription but for you to get there you need to spend $2269.90 now. I have suggested it in the past. I think the upgrade should include a 2-3 months of update subscription. That way, you need to spend $1458.90 now, and $811 in 2-3 months time. After that you are on the $811 per year option and all is well.

Exactly. If the first year of updates were included, I'd be on my way and become part of a long term steady stream of income for Embarcadero. Now the barrier to entry is too high so I stay on older versions and alternatives.
Gord Pollock

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  Posted: Sep 25, 2015 11:36 AM   in response to: Paul Vanhelden in response to: Paul Vanhelden
On 25/09/2015 9:12 AM, Paul Vanhelden wrote:
Dean Hill wrote:
I think the issue here is that the barrier to entry is quite high. I know of people who are on older versions of Delphi but to get on the subscription bandwagon they need to fork out a fairly sizable chunk right now which prevents them from getting up to date. They just end up getting further and further behind.

Exactly. If the first year of updates were included, I'd be on my way and become part of a long term steady stream of income for Embarcadero. Now the barrier to entry is too high so I stay on older versions and alternatives.

Agree with both. I suppose if you work for a big software development
firm, the cost of entry is no big deal. But for myself, forking out for
the upgrade plus subscription right off the bat is prohibitive. And, as
has been said, who would buy it without subscription if you know a bug
update is just around the corner that you won't get.

Dean Hill

Posts: 16
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  Posted: Sep 25, 2015 2:44 PM   in response to: Paul Vanhelden in response to: Paul Vanhelden
Paul Vanhelden wrote:
Exactly. If the first year of updates were included, I'd be on my way and become part of a long term steady stream of income for Embarcadero. Now the barrier to entry is too high so I stay on older versions and alternatives.

You won't get a situation where the first year were included. That would encourage people to go to the buy a year and skip 2 because it would be more worthwhile. That's why I said a couple of months because it just delays the subscription part for a few months which should be enough softens the blow for smaller developers.
Paul Vanhelden

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  Posted: Sep 27, 2015 3:45 AM   in response to: Dean Hill in response to: Dean Hill
Dean Hill wrote:
You won't get a situation where the first year were included. That would encourage people to go to the buy a year and skip 2 because it would be more worthwhile. That's why I said a couple of months because it just delays the subscription part for a few months which should be enough softens the blow for smaller developers.

Well, I suppose 3 months will do it for me. I wouldn't want to buy-a-year-skip-two for FMX (mobile) development. VCL on the desktop, sure.
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