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CyberPeter

Systemic failing of Embarcadero development and support or am I just paranoid ?

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Posted (edited)

I recently upgraded my old C++ Builder 2009 to C++ Builder 11.  It was time .. and I wanted to make use of the new GUI improvements (Styles, Scaling, High DPI etc).  GUI stuff in other words.

To that end I spent a lot of money to get a license.  Everything is relative, but to me this is the biggest investment in quite some time and the biggest software investment ever.

 

I have always been happy with Builder 2009 and yes, there were some issues that I had to work around, but not too many.

Since I have upgraded I have already reported close to 20 bugs.  Never ever did I have to ..

It's also making me nervous as to when these things will get fixed, if at all, as it impacts my work.

 

The silver lining at least was that my bugs triggered interaction.  I saw them being escalated to development or they were assigned to me again to provide more information.

All that has stopped in the last few weeks.  For all the last bugs there has been zero interaction.  Nothing, as if nobody cares.

 

The GUI work involves custom controls for which I need the help files, to be able to apply the Styles properly etc.  In itself already poorly documented but for 3 weeks now docwiki has predominantly been unavailable.  There are already other posts about that, so I won't get into the specifics of that, but it adds to what looks like a systemic failure.

 

- Many bugs in the very features they're touting about and that convinced me to upgrade

- Nothing appears to be done about it, nobody seems to care

- Docwiki offline, nothing seems to be done about it, nobody (at embarcadero) seems to care

 

The person most responsive in QA before and who has not responded anymore has a Ukrainian name.  Perhaps coincidence, perhaps my paranoia but how exposed is Embarcadero development and support to Ukraine.  Is this the reason for all the recent issues ? If so, communicating about it would at least renew confidence.

 

All this nonsense would not be necessary if they would just COMMUNICATE about the issues (docwiki for instance).  The silence only feeds the idea of a failing company or at least a failing product and I feel bad for having invested my time and money in this at this stage.

 

My 'happy life' with Builder 2009, the type of work I'm doing with it and the low exposure to issues may have made me blind to something that is well known and has been happening for years ?  I don't know ?  Maybe I shouldn't worry because this is business as usual ?  In which case I wish I had done my homework though.

Edited by CyberPeter
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In the quality portal you get response while they validate your report and try to prove it's how the product works and not a bug. After that unfortunately there is no response at all (not even in which version and time frame when the fix will be shipped). Usually you will get no response about the issue at all. Do I think this is the right way? Of course not. As sometimes it's critical to us to know how to communicate with our clients as we have also to plan and communicate to clients when we can ship the fixed product.

 

For some unknown reason who ever decides the future of the product cuts off the communications with the developers (there was a brief period when even on this forum you was able to get honest answers). Instead of a clear communication we can get only promotion materials how everything is nice and shiny (and that's true when you try hello world applications, but as soon as you try to do something more complication you will discover bugs).

 

For me the latest bad sign is that they abandoned the idea that we should have a roadmap. Now you can only read the future of the products only from your coffee mug and that's not a fun thing to do when my managers asks me what is the next step.

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2 hours ago, Lajos Juhász said:

and that's true when you try hello world applications

Hear hear!!

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AFAIK, they have outsourced at least some parts of their development to a huge center in Ukraine - maybe that's an explanation.

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8 minutes ago, M.Joos said:

AFAIK, they have outsourced at least some parts of their development to a huge center in Ukraine - maybe that's an explanation.

Someone at EMB or IDERA should communicatie then why problems are not solved as expected.

But communication besides sales spam is the biggest problem for EMB. 
(this is again a plus point for moving to another dev platform, the minus points are not holding it for many years i think)

 

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11 hours ago, Lajos Juhász said:

For me the latest bad sign is that they abandoned the idea that we should have a roadmap. Now you can only read the future of the products only from your coffee mug and that's not a fun thing to do when my managers asks me what is the next step.

 

They have a roadmap and have been updating it about once/year.  Here's the info I've collected on it: https://github.com/ideasawakened/DelphiKB/wiki/Future-Releases-for-RAD-Studio-and-Delphi

 

Marco covered the roadmap in the last DelphiCon.

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9 minutes ago, Darian Miller said:

They have a roadmap and have been updating it about once/year. 

I'm sorry but that is a joke not a roadmap. A couple of years earlier they have had real roadmaps. With information like when will be the next release and what we can expect (sometimes even a couple of minor versions). Now just Now / Next with no information. I'm sorry but that is not enough to plan release cycles and upgrade path for a production environment where you've to plan time for the upgrades in the code base. It's not always enough to install the new IDE, recompile and ship to the customers.

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I must agree with @Lajos Juhász, it looks more like the support notes of a newly employed pundit about do do a sales-pitch. So sad.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, M.Joos said:

AFAIK, they have outsourced at least some parts of their development to a huge center in Ukraine - maybe that's an explanation.

It would explain a lot.  But they owe us transparency.  It should be part of the 'contract' we entered when we paid the license fee.  We're not a knitting group, we're all professionals trying to get our work done.  We need to know what is happening (to some extent) and what is being done about it (to some extent) so that we can properly plan and communicate to our 'dependants' (customers, management, ..)

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Posted (edited)

Have you received the "What's coming in RAD Studio" webinar?
Having to answer to everyone is very time consuming, repetitive and unproductive task.
Maybe it's easier for Emb to address the public from a single place: The Webinar.
Hopefully they will tell us what's going on and what they are planning to do (Wiki, roadmap, next update, etc... )

 

Read more

Edited by Clément

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1 hour ago, Clément said:

Have you received the "What's coming in RAD Studio" webinar?

Sadly that's at an unholy hour for people in Australia, certainly for those with kids. (2:30 am in South Australia)
I dread having to wait for an edited video on YouTube.

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And what about us who don't know English?

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2 hours ago, Stano said:

And what about us who don't know English?

So what do you expect a roadmap being written in?

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7 hours ago, Clément said:

Having to answer to everyone is very time consuming, repetitive and unproductive task.

They don't have to answer each and every question here and elsewhere. They just need to issue a statement. Once.

 

After having endured the amateurish execution of the last few webinars I for one will pass on this one. They badly need a professional, grownup to handle these events.

After DelphiCon 2021 my client asked me if I could suggest which replays they should watch. I've pretended to forget about that because I'm frankly embarrassed about it.

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24 minutes ago, Anders Melander said:

After having endured the amateurish execution of the last few webinars I for one will pass on this one. They badly need a professional, grownup to handle these events.

After DelphiCon 2021 my client asked me if I could suggest which replays they should watch. I've pretended to forget about that because I'm frankly embarrassed about it.

I also got the impression that quantity of content is preferred over quality of content. This may be based on the way social media works these days. I mean, how would they be able to even detect quality with their algorithms?

 

Beware the day when MVP turns into an abbreviation for Marketing Voluntary Populist :classic_huh:

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8 minutes ago, Uwe Raabe said:

I also got the impression that quantity of content is preferred over quality of content.

I've got no beef with the content itself. Sure the content could be much better, for me personally there was almost nothing of interest, but I guess that's more a case of what speakers they're able to sign up.

 

The problem I'm talking about is the production of the sessions. I mean how difficult is it to ensure that sessions doesn't run over time, that the sound works and there 's capacity to handle everyone signed up. And when things go wrong we don't need to hear every random thought that goes through the moderators head, spoken out loud as he fumbles with trying to resolve the issues. It's just not professional and it's disrespectful to the audience who has taken time out of their busy schedule to participate. I have no patience for amateurs who don't know they're amateurs.

 

Maybe if the production improved then the content would also improve.

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2 hours ago, Uwe Raabe said:

So what do you expect a roadmap being written in?

I would welcome that. I could do it with Google Transaltor:classic_smile:

I read a few articles that sent me a link to them. I have to agree with the discussants above. It was not interesting there, specifically or new. And I'm a lousy amateur.

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3 hours ago, Anders Melander said:

The problem I'm talking about is the production of the sessions.

In fairness, I have yet to be involved with a technical company that does webinars well. Technical problems are endemic, basically because a) they expect everything will work and b) no one does a pre-test. As to timing, I suspect no one is particularly concerned, on the production side.

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5 hours ago, Uwe Raabe said:

Beware the day when MVP turns into an abbreviation for Marketing Voluntary Populist 

That day was many years ago in various forms, your actions keep you recognized as a technical MVP.

 

You @Uwe Raabe , and several (many) others here, demonstrate, by your actions and responses, that MVP can still be more than a marketing position. You will always get recognition as an MVP in my view, and I am sure by many others.

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On 3/7/2022 at 6:16 PM, CyberPeter said:

All this nonsense would not be necessary if they would just COMMUNICATE about the issues (docwiki for instance).  The silence only feeds the idea of a failing company or at least a failing product

I totally agree. It frustrates me to no end to see and hear about problems in the product but not have any response or idea when they'll get resolved, if a feature is dropped, what the priority is, or ANYTHING. Just someone saying, "sorry it's late, we're working on it but are slammed" or something would be better than silence. So often, I see businesses just trying to pretend everything is OK when customers are clamoring for answers. I always give my customers reasons for being late, even if they've heard them before--they appreciate knowing I'm still alive and are listening to their cries.

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10 hours ago, corneliusdavid said:

I totally agree. It frustrates me to no end to see and hear about problems in the product but not have any response or idea when they'll get resolved, if a feature is dropped, what the priority is, or ANYTHING. Just someone saying, "sorry it's late, we're working on it but are slammed" or something would be better than silence. So often, I see businesses just trying to pretend everything is OK when customers are clamoring for answers. I always give my customers reasons for being late, even if they've heard them before--they appreciate knowing I'm still alive and are listening to their cries.

As an Ingress player, I always have to check whether I am in a Niantic or an Embarcadero forum, when I read stuff like this. :classic_blink:

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On 3/15/2022 at 6:54 AM, Anders Melander said:

The problem I'm talking about is the production of the sessions. I mean how difficult is it to ensure that sessions doesn't run over time, that the sound works and there 's capacity to handle everyone signed up. And when things go wrong we don't need to hear every random thought that goes through the moderators head, spoken out loud as he fumbles with trying to resolve the issues.

That happens during the convention too? Dang. I signed up for one of their "TCoffee and Code" sessions a while back with the topic of "Real-Time Financial Software Development with Delphi". I'd been talking to someone about possibly working with them on some financial software to test some investing ideas they had and I was curious what the state of financial libraries for Delphi was. I wasn't aware of any, so I thought this would be interesting.

 

I set aside my lunch time to watch. Jim McKeith had decided to try hosting the webinar via YouTube and it was not going well. Jim struggled to get everyone's audio working. I suggested the next event be moved to OnlyFans, but he and the guests decided against that idea. :classic_biggrin: What followed was half an hour of the attendees offering advice to Jim to try to fix the problems. If you've ever wanted to see Jim McKeith's head shrink and fly around your screen (and who hasn't?) feel free to click here. The next half hour saw the guest tell war stories about what it was like trying to create financial software in the 1980s. Now I enjoy 80's tech nostalgia as much as anyone, but this wasn't exactly what I'd expected to get out of this webinar. About 1 hour 10 minutes in my lunch time was past done and I had to log out, never actually learning anything about financial software development with Delphi, real-time or not (guest was still talking about Turbo Pascal). The final cut of the video on YouTube shows the talk ran just shy of two and a half hours! (Coffee must have gotten cold). Sadly I never made the time to watch the remaining hour and a half to see if it got better. And now I'm hearing that even CodeRage or DelphiCon or whatever it is nowadays has the same kind of issues, even after staging it all these years. Shame.

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4 hours ago, Joseph MItzen said:

I suggested the next event be moved to OnlyFans

🤣 Well that me actually laughing out loud after a day from hell, thanks 😂 

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