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Günther Schoch

Are we just "Cash Cows"?

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Dear Delphi developers,

first of all, I do not want to have any "Delphi Development Team" bashing here. I just try to summarize the current big picture and show the dilemma.

 

Not going to much into details, the today status of 10.4 is:

  • 10.4 went clearly into the right direction
  • the development team is highly motivated and shares information
  • the development team is open to arguments and suggestions of the community

 

Why I am not really happy?

  • a lot of issues have to be fixed (which are BETA level but should not be in a final product)
  • fixing takes several n-months using the full resources
  • until then 10.4 cannot be considered fully productive
  • Macro, Bruneau, Dmitry etc, … they all know the problems and work really hard. The performance of the team is great but the output limited
  • I cannot agree with the argument that 10.4 had too many new features. It's more the minimum to survive
  • new basic strategic developments (modern language elements, compiler optimization, etc) not even started

 

The real problem is that the resources are far too small for the real-world challenges of a full development environment. Why is that the case?

  • Are the sales to small? (I would say no)
  • Is the percentage of reinvestment into R&D just too small? (I would say yes)

The numbers under https://medium.com/@sammyabdullah/successful-saas-companies-spend-23-of-revenue-on-r-d-3602e9dc2de are rather interesting (marketing driven versus technology driven companies).

 

But what does the Embarcadero management and owners think, given these private equity companies bought Idera/Embarcadero for some crazy amount of money?

  • As long as the sales (software renewals) are still flowing … why should they invest more?

 

This means we come to the cynical conclusion that paying "as long as we pay the software renewals, no additional R&D resources will be hired". But If we do not pay anymore then they just freeze the product?!

 

Ideally there should be a contract form that assures "software renewals go for 50% into R&D". Why? No-more marketing is needed. The renewal is (should be) a fully automatic process without large handling costs.

Not easy!

 

regards Günther

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Still on 10.3.3 with all its quirks and instabilities, since 10.4 is unusable to me. 
I try to focus on writing code while I curse at the unstable IDE and debugger.

 

Since I depend on EMBT fixing those issues, at least my subscription renewal increases the chance that there will be funds to do that fixing.

Other than that, I refrain from speculations on corporate strategies since they are well and truly outside my control.

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3 minutes ago, Lars Fosdal said:

Still on 10.3.3 with all its quirks and instabilities, since 10.4 is unusable to me. 

we are in the same deadlock. But I think we all pay the software renewals exactly to "not end in this situation".

 

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1 hour ago, Dany Marmur said:

A more prompt release of 10.4.1 would be a boon!

10.4 was very late, so (I estimate) 10.4.1 will be late, too.

 

It seems where is a shift from 2 versions a year to an version every 2(+) years. (With less new features btw.)

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1 hour ago, Dany Marmur said:

A more prompt release of 10.4.1 would be a boon!

We all know that it still takes some time (at least based on all the open serious issues). 

But my topic was to change something for the future. I am sure that Marco and the team is clever enough to solve a lot more problems and enhance the product if they get more money (very simple calculation). But the money is "used" elsewhere and this should change.

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16 minutes ago, Günther Schoch said:

But the money is "used" elsewhere ...

Can you substantiate this claim?

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30 minutes ago, Dany Marmur said:

A more prompt release of 10.4.1 would be a boon!

Like 10.4.2 or 10.3.3 or 10.2 or ......or 7.1 or ....  !!! they put the bar so low that you need to compare with Delphi 1-5, when it was compared to VB of course.

 

 

As Gunther said it is deadlock, i don't blame Idera because Delphi is simple product, to be exact just like your favored cold drink on supermarket shelf, nothing more.

I blame every one in Embarcadero for their short sighting and agreeing to the imbecility of Idera all of these years, by agreeing to all what is going on, here i want to say, as we are all afraid for our beloved language and IDE, they also ( Embarcadero guys ) afraid for their jobs, as their jobs is at risk just like ours, and all are simply attached to marketing decisions made by Idera, and guess what ? Delphi as product does have kill switch and Idera ( or may be some on in Emarcadero) touching that switch right now every day and thinking about flicking it.

 

I don't know if those decisions are completely by Idera or Embarcadero or mixed, but whoever was and is part of those decisions he ( or they ) should go, Rad/Delphi is not going to do better any time soon, same mentality and messed up logic decision, failing to do right marketing even by doing real entertaining farce, FreeAndNil was the highlight of changes the RTL to be more attractive for new developers or to be motivation for current developer to be happy with their application and developing speed and quality! WT..

 

Even if you pour trillion of $ in R&D if that fund will go in theming and LiveBindings or ... the LSP ( it will need few years to be stable, history shockingly does tend to repeat itself) ..., or building something new, a cutting edge technology that never had been seen before, like Rad Server at stealing tag price 4500$, for real try to visit its homepage to understand what it does!, with all those big words you will feel like you need it to live, but not quit, if you fail to understand it will not help you go to the moon then let me explain, imagine mormot library with debugger or Mars with debugger or RTC with debugger or... for goodness sake, all the mentioned there with many more others are better supported( literally any bug will be fixed over night), stable and cheaper if not free, what a waste of time !, time of capable people with great talents to be wasted on pile of ****

 

How much time had been lost in farce and useless piles (of code of course), instead of doing something useful and meaningful, Marco answered a question about Right-Left language support in FMX by it will hinder/affect the speed, really !?.. because we all render millions character in text on Android huge screens, and they went ahead to enhance LinveBinding to make it faster, while fixing that RL for text rendering can take less than two hours and can be left as optional, just let any developer want to shoot himself in the foot and cut his toes then toss them in Cesar salad, where is the problem in that ? his foot, toes and salad.

 

Deadlock you called it, it is more like spiral movement into void, nothing new to be expected, except new product or some useless feature some thing like the IDE will detect errors and control the lights in the room to reflect some sad emotions ( and here we must mention that it will use cutting edge REST protocol, forget about TLS Indy sometimes has it, security is not important the important is REST), and we all can be proud our application are written in better language than VB 1995, easily could and can beat it in speed too.

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3 minutes ago, Lars Fosdal said:

Can you substantiate this claim?

Ask EMBT directly if that statement is not true. I cannot share more. But assume 15-20% R&D.

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11 minutes ago, Kas Ob. said:

I blame every one in Embarcadero for their short sighting and agreeing to the imbecility of Idera all ...

Hi Kas, 

I understand your frustration as after all you love Delphi and would like it to have a future.

But I really want to avoid a general bashing. That will not change anything for the future. 

I am pretty sure that today some developments (e.g. RadServer) would not be started anymore. But the purpose of my thread here was "how to semi-softly push Embarcadero to deliver something in time for the money we pay in the "software assurance". And I argued that they need to use more of the income for R&D to change something.

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7 minutes ago, Günther Schoch said:

Ask EMBT directly if that statement is not true. I cannot share more. But assume 15-20% R&D.

Unless substantiated, this is just FUD. 

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2 minutes ago, Lars Fosdal said:

Unless substantiated, this is just FUD. 

Hello Lars, I accept that you see it as FUD. And you have to accept that I cannot say more here. 

But we can turn the question and say:

- if Delphi does not earn enough money to make the R&D speed and quality "acceptable" then it's dead anyway

- if Delphi does earn enough money to make the R&D speed and quality "acceptable" then the money is spent probably somewhere else.

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If you cannot say more, you should not have said anything in the first place, IMO.

If you are making statements based on "private" information, you are betraying someone's trust.

 

Nothing constructive comes from posts like these.

None of the commentary here will affect Idera/Embarcadero's way of doing business what so ever.

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1 hour ago, Günther Schoch said:

I am sure that Marco and the team is clever enough to solve a lot more problems and enhance the product if they get more money

It's far from that simple. I take it that everybody has read this:

 

Mythical_man-month_(book_cover).jpg

Edited by David Heffernan
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That reminded me of

Quote

"What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months."
Fred Brooks

 

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1 hour ago, Günther Schoch said:
2 hours ago, Dany Marmur said:

A more prompt release of 10.4.1 would be a boon!

We all know that it still takes some time (at least based on all the open serious issues). 

But my topic was to change something for the future. I am sure that Marco and the team is clever enough to solve a lot more problems and enhance the product if they get more money (very simple calculation). But the money is "used" elsewhere and this should change.

I get that, sorry for pitching in a frustrated comment. I did read your OP and will say the following; i appreciate that "Delphi-lovers" of all levels and colours are putting a lot of energy and thought into the "product" at different levels and from different perspectives. If it was not for a "handful" of "gurus" i'd have left this "world" a long time ago myself.

 

Thanks!

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40 minutes ago, David Heffernan said:

I take it that everybody has read this

Sure, but how is that relevant?

Are you saying that they have enough resources or that more resources will lead to more problems?

I'm sure that they have plenty of problems besides resources but surely their ability to solve them isn't improved by this shortage?

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IMO, the development resources are probably sufficient, but as for most organizations, there simply isn't enough resource dedicated to testing - manual or automated.

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4 hours ago, Lars Fosdal said:

my subscription renewal increases the chance

 

Yet a good chunk of users with subscriptions are sticking with Berlin or even earlier..  certainly since 2015 debugging and related issues are worse/dangerous.. just a few days ago I saw `ReportMemoryLeaksOnShutdown` fails in 10.4 with Patch.. surprise.. never mind the ongoing saga of users unable to move their paid versions to new hardware..

 

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We usually hold off moving to new major versions until Update 1 is out, but we do make the move.

 

As far as I am aware, nobody on my team has ever had a problem with moving their IDEs to new hardware after XE4, and we use the regular named user licenses w/o any license server.

 

Apart from the quality of the initial release, my biggest Idera/EMBT gripe at the moment is understanding why the f..k they keep spamming me with emails suggesting that I order 10.4 with a discount.

Not only do I get these from EMBT, but also from the local reseller.

 

I am on a subscription, FFS!

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4 hours ago, Günther Schoch said:
  • As long as the sales (software renewals) are still flowing … why should they invest more?

I see that from two sides.

  • VCL-Side
    Is quite mature, bugfixes and new features OK, but who REALLY  needs that ?
    No time pressure, low investment is maybe argueable.
     
  • FMX-Side:
    Is under high pressure from more and more platforms (including Windows-10).
    Much more buggy than VCL, less mature, needs a lot of care in the future.
    Always time pressure, by Android/iOS time schedules, high investment is needed to cover all that.

From the VCL-Side I feel quite relaxed, here and there a new language feature will do the job.
Nothing is really missing here for my daily work.

From the FMX-Side I can spot a massive under-investment.
I regularily check the changes and additions to the feature API or mobile platforms.
No or very little investment i to new API's and API changes there, only when its absolutely necessay.

Why don't we have full API support for the platforms already, or at least 80% ?
Why not simply put a task-force to translate all platforms API into Delphi, where mostly this would be routine work for mobile experts ?
For example, why is not yet the cool AR/VR added, why did sensor-date had (maybe still have), why is camera still so slow, why not yet full Maps support,
why not included full SSL-solution, ... ?

Ok, there are solutions like TMSMaps, but why should I use them when Maps already were in the package.
Thats what I always also have seen in VCL very sadly, why are many basic components so poorly and minimal designed, not meeting a minimum requirement in real world, just good for demo purposes.

 

I want to use a Delphi FMX-Function, and want forget about the issues and problems behind.
Embarcadero should flatten our way, and fix Location, Sensors, Permissions, etc. etc., so that the developers can use and rely on any function.
Still there is too much special-knowledge needed, to get a many things running.

I'm a lazy developer, want to use API's that do what they promise, don't need to know all details behind.

 

The FMX-Side would be the right place to turn Embarcadero's future, if they could profile themself well as all platforms solution.
In marketing yes they do already, but in realiity many of the promises were missing, and I can see not much work on this.

A good indicator are also the demos and samples, which were revolutionary at those days, but getting lame and non-functional nowadays.
Why is no ony improving, cleanup these features and add new demos permanently, because this is the main entrance for new customers too.

I hope everybody understands, that when newbies checking an IDE where 50% of interesting demos don't work,
they immediately take a step back and look elsewhere ( at least I do that with new technologies ).

If everything works as expected, and without a lot of fumbling around, then the newbies will be catched more easy.

 

These are only a few points where I would like to see a lot more investment.

Still I hope for the time factor, so that it might get better in the near future, but for me an IDE which can support platforms out-of-the box
should have a good weight in the market.

 

For me mobile, cloud is clearly the future, combining with front- and backend desktop this is a killer feature.

There are other nice boys in town, but they all have their pros- and cons as well, and IMHO RadStudio does not so bad in comparison.

For the goal to achieve less "investment" gaps, I would like to see a much faster system of updates, patches and hotfixes,
to keep us developers up running with high and accelerated pace against all other solutions.

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Anders Melander said:

Sure, but how is that relevant?

Are you saying that they have enough resources or that more resources will lead to more problems?

I'm sure that they have plenty of problems besides resources but surely their ability to solve them isn't improved by this shortage?

The point of the book is that adding programmers won't necessarily result in a better output.

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I didn't read the book, but I'm guessing that only applies when you add those programmers to the same problem. Luckily Delphi has a ton of problems, that could each feed a programmer for at least a month :classic_biggrin:

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10 minutes ago, Rollo62 said:

I see that from two sides.

  • VCL-Side...
  • FMX-Side...

For the mobile area more resources would be essential. We actually never used FMX for production as we considered the delay of supporting platforms as too risky.

The VCL side ... well, getting better but still smaller issues.

But my main concern is the language itself, the compiler(s) and the testing. IMO for all these aspects additional development resources are essential.

 

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