It looks like the recent preview of RAD Studio XE didn’t met expectations of many developers resulting in a massive popular outrage.

Beleive it or not, but ranting and shouting will not change anything about the upcoming release. I suggest to calm down and start talking decently with each other.

Obviously the people at Embarcadero have something to explain and just missed the point to do it properly in advance. That might have been the wrong way, but honestly, we are all human and talking about bad news is nothing we are keen to do.

So be generous. Imagine you were in their position. Let DavidI and Mike Rozlog take a breath, wait what they have to say and then decide on the information you get.

Staying with Delphi or going away is no decision that has to be done today or tomorrow. It should neither be done during a heated situation like we have now.

After all we are still developers. We are used to tackle a problem with logic instead of speculating and ranting. I am not aware of any bug that has been fixed by shouting at it.

There is something going wrong, no question. Lets start a debugging session and find out what it is and how to fix it.

Author: Uwe Raabe

Addicted to Pascal/Delphi since the late 70's

27 thoughts on “Anticlimax”

  1. They’re entering a spiral of very bad PR. First Hodges, then Kissel, now this “strange” way to introduce a new product, it’s not anticlimax, if they were thinking about creating a climax they really choose the wrong way – being laughed at it’s the wrong way to create a it – you really need something that creates expectations, not disconcern.
    Can’t they take a marketing course? Could you image MS introducing Windows 7 telling, “hey, we have new icons!”??

    1. I was not going to defend how they did it, I’m only interested in finding a solution, not punishing the responsible as well as the irresponsible. Being upset is OK, but chewing it over and over again doesn’t help.

      1. The solution is easy. Move over to Qt. They’ve got 150 developers working their asses off. Supporting Win, Mac, Linux, ARM, Webkit. Their new QML stuff looks pretty awesome too.
        Oh – did I mention it’s free (as in beer)?

          1. Michael, it’s not. It’s LGPL, so as long as you don’t modify the Qt Source itself or require static linking, you can do as you please.

      2. Although there’s good common sense in what you wrote, they should ask themselves why we got to this situation. It is clear that there is an increasing divergence between expecations and deliveries. They look unable to communicate in the proper way what’s happening and why, and in turn Delphi developers feel siegeed and are desperately looking for a way to break it with a release meeting most expectations.
        Are you sure it won’t change anything? Probably not this release, but unless they are really stupid, they should acknowledge issues are getting bigger – and a solution must be find.

  2. IMHO, only one thing that can save RAD Studio now: LLVM + NASM.

    Embarcadero needs to leverage commercial-friendly open source projects like LLVM and NASM because:

    1. Embarcadero doesn’t have to share changes to LLVM (non-GPL license)
    2. Embarcadero can save development costs due to ongoing progress in LLVM
    3. Embarcadero can reduce time to market by not having to reinvent the wheel
    4. LLVM and NASM are 64-bit capable and cross-platform already

    Last year, I predicted:

    1. 64-bit Windows desktops will become more important than cross-platform this year
    (the number of 64-bit Windows desktops/laptops exceeded my expectations)
    2. WINE will become good enough to run unmodified Windows binaries on Linux
    3. Trying to create a cross-platform compiler from scratch in such a short period is unlikely to succeed, especially when trying to provide a VCL or a VCL-replacement

    Now I make another prediction:

    * Someone at Embarcadero will read about LLVM and pass it along to someone who can bring it up to decision-makers. But that someone will have too much vested interest in the “let’s build a cross-platform compiler from scratch” idea, so management will never hear about LLVM.
    * Delphi users, like myself, will switch to C/C++ using QT as our customers start screaming about our 32-bit DLL’s not working on their shiny new 64-bit Windows 7 laptops.

    I hope my new prediction is wrong, and a decision-maker at Embarcadero takes a serious look at leveraging LLVM.

    1. @compiler: They started years ago.
      Forget it – What makes the 60% of the whole paying customers are tiny shops – they are no longer the prime market. They complained to much too long and the other are sufferning because they said nothing and just were happy with what they got.

      This league Embarcadero is targeting is what was the CASE tools in the 90s. Quest has reduced their efforts long time ago in the area of IDEs and Embarcadero maybe gets this market and will write other things.


  3. What EMB needs and the customer base needs is a total reset. It needs to find the WIN-WIN plan to get everyone out of this. I read all the BLOGs and have come to the conclusion that no one thing, no big feature, no great words of wisdom is going to correct this. LDS (above) said being laughed at it’s the wrong way to create… EMB is now being laughed at, since years of anger has fallen on deaf ears. Laughing is all that is left. So what is the total reset. Easy, let’s look at the 2 sides real quick.

    EMB – has some 2 million users (I don’t know, just what I heard) using flavors Delphi 3 to Delphi 2010 and other EMB programming products. They want to move everyone to the next level (XE). EMB would like to see recurring income to sustain the company. But, is spending half its resources chasing its tail because of PR flops.

    Customers – Stuck using Delphi or whatever EMB product that they have invested years into with products and training. Can’t find jobs or work with companies because everyone wants their stuff written in C# or Java.

    For EMB, the monster is too hard to tame. Promises to the Romans aren’t working anymore and the croud is getting restless.

    For Customers, were just pissed from the failed promises. We’re just looking to pounce on EMB. We use the excuse of some BIG/NEW feature to satisfy us to justify our long term investment that we made. We need that ONE BIG thing to say, “this is why I stuck by them”. Truth is, 64 bit (my excuse) is not going to save my world or even shut me up one and for all.

    In the current state of affairs, both sides is not going to immediately get what they want. And if this continues will probably never get it. Even if EMB does come out with something, too much anger exists.

    Give the croud a bone. Create a special 1/2 price to move everyone to XE. It will be agreed that this release is not going to give the customers what they want. That gets everyone off EMB’s back. EMB can probably double, triple their sales to make up for the lost revenue in price. Call it the “Let’s Build Trust Again” price. This is only a one time offer. It brings a major portion of the user base up to current standards. Retire D2007 and earlier releases. And, then formulate a plan that can make a subscription plan attractive. The one is place, I will never buy into. It based on a model that was around 5 years ago (different world then). Current conditions will never go for it now. And just because some big corporation told sales that it works for them, does not mean it works for everyone else.

    Now, what does the customer get? First, a new product. Second, a new roadmap that is truthful and clearly outlines what is going to be in each release that they will be paying money for. Lastly, trust in the company that has been selling itself off to others for the last 5 years.

    That’s the reset. It might not be exactly what everyone wants, but it can be a starting point to the trust rebuilding that is going to have to happen before we all can start to move on again. It must come in the form of a WIN-WIN or EMB and the Customers will all lose.

  4. When I see a product that I don’t want to buy, I simply won’t buy it (if I have the choice). At the moment I have a choice. I’m waiting 5 years already for the 64 bit compiler and I am not seeing anything in the near future. At the moment more and more of our core products (millions of lines of code) are reimplemented in C# and C++ and not in Delphi anymore; we simply cannot wait. The longer Embarcadero waits, the larger the chance they won’t see another purchase from us or our customer using our codebase (and that counts to approx 25 licenses) because everything is converted to other languages.

    To put it bluntly: if Delphi fails it’s their doing by not listening. I won’t rant or bitch or stream, I am just a potential customer and will probably skip another version. Better luck next time Embarcadero.

  5. Where have you heard ranting and shouting? May be you mean embarcadero discussion forums, but after the “Kissel affair” I try to avoid them as much as possible because talking on the official embarcadero forums is the same thing as talking with the TV set.
    I don’t know and don’t want to know why they failed with cross platform support (currently I don’t need MacOS at all), but it is absolutely evident that the guys lack the simplest communicative skills. They just cannot explain anything to the community (aka customers). Instead, they PRETEND that all is OK and is getting better all the time, though everybody sees that the things went wrong.

  6. @LDS
    Yes I myself experienced the “They’re entering a spiral of very bad PR” during the “Kissel” part indirectly on a thread they finally set up to answer newsgroup policy when I queried the way policy was operated.

    The responses I had from some of the EMB Staff were unprofessional,rude and in some cases arrogant in my opinion and continued to be. Won’t go into all he gory details here those can be found elsewhere if you know where to look. This Episode was final straw for me after enduring delay after delay delivering Win64 support to name but one issue.

    The end result was I requested my EDN account removed completely, All my remaining posts on newsgroups removed and any customer relations related data for me also deleted.

    I have walked away completely from Developing in Delphi and gone back to VC++. I had had to start coding a contigency ‘Plan B’ anyway due to the repeated none delivery of Win64 support.

    I am now watching this developing saga about Delphi XE from the Outside and thinking thank goodness I walked away from it all when I did.

  7. >>So be generous. Imagine you were in their position. Let DavidI and Mike Rozlog take a breath, wait what they have to say and then decide on the information you get.
    –> They had enough time to breath, my friend. Look at both in video – father and son – Walton Holy smoke is raised This is the end of all hope.

    Look straight to what XE means and compare it, calculate it, I know the whole Embarcadero Product Line and what their Pro editions are aware of. This means in the end All Access Silver at least. Then you have too many tools bound to one machine.

    I personally have no problem with this – but the existing Delphi customer base is 60% tiny shops. Hopefully they can afford beside the MSDN at least 1200 USD per seat per year in case of silver 2500 a year or little less.

    I smelled this priorities long time ago – there is one thing – delphi will not develop into the direction of its original customer base – Windows developers just on Windows for a long time.

    I understand why – but this is what peopel smell and what the rumor is about too.

    “Open your eyes, open your mind
    proud like a god don’t pretend to be blind
    trapped in yourself, break out instead
    beat the machine that works in your head” (Guano Apes)


    @LDS: I think we see things the same way … You are too nice. Correct me if I am wrong with my assumptions.

  8. Brett Graffin’s idea of a special 1/2 price of Delphi XE is really good and will certainly provide something for the Delphi crowd to chew on while EMB resets to a new roadmap.

    How about $399 for Pro versions – to get everyone to move to this new version, then a plan to release service updates every months or so with incremental features. And 64-bit command-line in 6-12 months max. Followed by integration of 64-bit in XE2.

    David I, Mike R and everyone else needs to come out and say EMB missed the point and is changed. Delphi has never been the same since the “Borland” name went away.
    Someone stopped listening to what their LOYAL customers want.

    I personally dont think cross-platform should be the priority now because Apple will keep making XCode better, Google will ship new frameworks for Andiod, Linux devotees will stick to their bunch of tools and everybody else will jump onto VS2010.

    I say we make 64-bit (including multicore as easy as ABC), rich Win7 UIs and integrated database tools that look just like Delphi the priority. Then reduce the price and create the free/entry level products everybody has been asking for.

    Then, we move on to greater things.

    Please, please, please.

    1. Some at EMB might think the 1/2 price idea is really a bad idea. But, it is has UNIVERSAL appeal to everyone. They haven’t sold any XE’s yet, so nobody should be alienated for buying early. Right now a new PR campaign is necessary. Please put your bag of XE features away and just call this the release that finally brings everyone to XE release. That will do wonders for EMB (not to mention, a lower price will double sales). A lower price (this year only) would go far to reaching the customer base. Autodesk (makers of AutoCAD) offers their entire product line for FREE for 13 months to people who have lost their jobs. Do you know how much PR fixing that did for them? As a big complainer of Autodesk (user of the product for 25 years), it was an overnight turnaround. Why did this work? Because it showed that Autodesk, has the power to show empathy to it’s customer base. Right now, EMB coming out with another lack-luster release, at the same high price, does not show any. If anything, it generates disdain.

      Fixing one thing isn’t going to solve the problem. Example: D2009 had Unicode. Great for X% of the users while the others said OK, but where’s everything else. Same with Gestures. Unicode and Gestures did not move me to purchase updates. They need (especially now) a UNIVERSAL feature that will appeal to everyone. And from the sounds coming from the blogs. It might be the one idea that saves this release.

  9. Wow, I am not mad but saddened, because it is very likely that XE will (once again) be an edition everyone skips. I already have Beyond Compare (excellent product) and Subversion is just a download away (haven’t bitten the bullet on doing that yet) so while integration is nice, that is all it is, nice.

    The bottom line (literally for EMB) is that unless this upgrade is VERY reasonably price they will get few takers and that might put our beloved (I have used a variety of development tools and my all time favorite is Delphi, worts and all) Delphi at risk.

    You know that Nick’s leaving (haven’t met him but he seems to be a great guy) could be related to this version being such a flop. Maybe EMB tried something that didn’t work and then had to scramble to correct and come out with something to generate revenue. Now that is just a guess (I don’t have any inside info), but it is a possibility, so I am not willing to throw them under the bus for personnel changes just before releasing this lack-luster version. Quite frankly someone probably needs to go for this situation.

    I am just hoping that EMB gets its act together (no matter who is at fault for this wimpy version) and we get a Delphi we can all love again. Like many other posters, I feel time is running out.

  10. Why people are so negative?
    Embarcadero is not microsoft, but it works people who need to earn money to live.
    There are many applications developed using Delphi.
    What’s new in office 97, or 2000, or xp, or 2003, or 2007, … a ribbon?….
    This is a business, and we’re all in it.
    Delphi is a great product, a great community.
    Please let’s give it a try.

    Sorry 4 my english.

    1. For example lot better charting in Excel … concerning trend lines and many other extensions. If you don’t need this then you don’t need the Office product and feel free to switch to Open Office.

      I agree in one point – there have been improvements in Delphi and we will see in the next two weeks.

  11. I would like hear some words of excuse from David I (he is the overall boss of the Delphi product): “we did bull shit recent years, we treat Simon in a very bad way, Delphi XE is free of charge, in 6 month we will have Delphi 64 bit” 😉

  12. What Embarcadero needs to do is go after volume sales. How do they do that? Lower the price of Delphi/RAD Studi…whatever. Make it affordable to the solo developer and regain that cult following Borland used to have. They don’t need to try to compete with Visual Studio, they’ll never win. Provide the easy-to-use tools we all have knowned and loved at an affordable price and they’ll end up making more money and having more testimonials from a more loyal client base. The 64 bit compiler will get there. Cross-platform? Pshaw! Who cares. Delphi apps run faster, are developed faster and support the most used databases out-of-the-box, what more do you need?
    I’ve been making a living with Delphi since 1995 and I have almost no complaints other than the damn price! Sure, the IDE has bugs, all IDEs do, but I still say, there’s nothing you can do with C# that you can’t do with Delphi and probably faster.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  13. For the people saying QT is free…

    I looked into it. They use LGPL 2.1 and that means “your own terms” (EULA) is required to allow reverse engineering and binary modifications. If “your own terms” doesn’t allow these things, then you cannot distribute under “your own terms” according to LGPL 2.1.

    Also, keep in mind if QT uses C++ templates in their header files, you may be considered to be static linking even if you are dynamically linking to their DLL. If you don’t understand why, read up on C++ templates.

    If QT had a BSD, MIT, Mozilla, or zlib license, then I’d drop Delphi and switch to QT immediately. I’d be tempted if QT’s commercial license dropped below $1,000.

    As it stands, RAD Studio XE (aka 2011) better be a fraction of the price of 2010 if it doesn’t have robust cross-platform support or 64-bit support. Otherwise, it will become a PR disaster that’ll cost far more a 1-year price reduction to $1.

  14. There’s obviously been a serious shakeup at Embi. I assume some announcements will be made.

    Also, Delphi isn’t Embi’s only product. But don’ t they use Delphi themselves for their own development work?

  15. @Rich: “IMHO, only one thing that can save RAD Studio now: LLVM + NASM”

    Delphi’s main unique selling point is that it targets native windows.

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