Having just installed Delphi XE4 “Professional”, provided as part of my employer’s current SA, the initial “Welcome” to the new version, and seemingly the “baked in” Start Here landing page invites me to set-up Delphi for iOS development:

"Welcome"

And this for a product that doesn’t actually include this capability because we haven’t paid for it.

Cute.

Is it really so difficult to contrive to “welcome” your customers in an appropriate fashion ?

Part of me suspects that this apparent assumption built-in to the product might indicate that the decision to screw-over the (non-SA) customer base by making them pay almost as much for this capability as they paid for the previous upgrade, less than a year ago and which was previously indicated as to be a “low cost” addition, came rather late in the day or against the wishes of the team actually putting the product together who were therefore unable or unwilling to tailor the “welcome” experience to be relevant to the product actually installed.

But on recent evidence I find it frankly more likely to indicate that Embarcadero really just don’t care if they offend their customers, and this is just “two fingers” at anyone who has decided not to play the part of docile cow in their increasingly blatant game of Milking The Customer.

33 thoughts on “Adding Insult to Injury

  1. >But on recent evidence I find it frankly more likely to indicate that
    >Embarcadero really just don’t care if they offend their customers

    This is really only becoming evident now? If they really cared about their customers they might do something about the steady stream of people complaining on their forums. Apparently one solution is already being put in place as REM Objects’ Marc Hoffman said that they’re canceling his posts left and right, to which the usual suspects replied that EMBT shouldn’t have to enable others to slam their product.

    I complained to a cereal company a few days ago that only my first bowl of their “pecan and cinnamon” cereal had any pecans in it and they took all the information from the box to track down the problem and sent me a coupon for a free box of cereal today. That’s just cereal, and they surely have a million customers. People paid $1000K+ and complain that FireMonkey was shipped unusable and… not even a verbal apology. No, I think it’s already quite obvious they don’t care about offending their customers… or being offended. If I were a customer relations professional I think I’d have stepped in at some point before customers openly made jokes about my products on our own web forum.

    >who were therefore unable or unwilling to tailor the “welcome” experience
    >to be relevant to the product actually installed.

    They often don’t have time to ship fully functioning features; I’m not surprised by this omission at all.

  2. This is nothing near the issues you would find on this “new” iOS support.

    I have been testing and lot’s of performance issues and big executable.

    I’m going to xCode, free, way better and I’m not hostage from Embarcadero

  3. To all of you Delphi dinosaurs out there: it’s time to move to new technology…. For a looong time already. Improve yourself and move on. There are loads of way better and non-vendor-locked alternatives.

  4. Dude, it’s time you saw someone about your anger issues. Of the many issues worth getting upset about, you are starting to stumble into a few that really are not worth a blip in your blood pressure.

    Sure, Delphi & Embarcadero have issues – no question. But you seem to have a few issues yourself, issues you would definitely be happier without.

    And remember, this is coming from someone who has ALSO ranted at the machine, just like you.

    1. Just blogging a “stream of consciousness”. This was literally very first experience of the “new” Delphi XE4 (after the installation itself) and thus my first impression and first impressions, as they say, last.

      What can I say? It p*ssed me off. That’s not “anger issues” it’s just anger, plain and simple (albeit also tinged with disappointment that finally the writing truly does seem to be on the wall).

      1. I’d agree with C Johnson. That is an anger issue. By the time you rant about the Welcome screen (seriously?!), your priorities seem seriously out.

        “That’s not “anger issues” it’s just anger, plain and simple (albeit also tinged with disappointment that finally the writing truly does seem to be on the wall).” – Reread that when you’re calm. That’s not a rational response. Anger is anger. Anger against a welcome screen is silly. Writing being on the wall because of a /welcome screen/… is going off the edge.

        It’s worth noting that iOS support is a major part of this release and it seems quite reasonable that the default welcome page is about it rather than, say, the all-new VCL allowing you to develop native Windows applications, wow 🙂 Whereas iOS support – absolutely yes, makes sense to be on the front page.

        1. I am angry. I suppose you might see that as “an issue”.

          To me, it seems perfectly reasonable and understandable that when we are sold one thing, have that taken away from us and replaced with a promise of something else which in turn is not delivered (the “low cost” add on), then we already have reason to be angry.

          To have our noses then rubbed in it by the gleeful parading of features not available to us… how else do you expect someone to react ?

          And, as I pointed out, this isn’t a case of sitting down after hours and hours of exploring the new release and then finding this to be the only thing to complain about… it’s the first thing you see after installation and at the time of writing, was the only aspect of the new release that I had experience of. It made me angry. It gave me cause to complain. This is my blog, and if I choose to express the way I feel about things on here then that is my business.

          The fact that I choose to complain about this does not reflect any “priority”. This is a FIFO, not a prioritised, queue.

          The fact that you choose to deliberately misrepresent or fail to comprehend this and characterise it as something that is is not, speaks more about your unwillingness to face reality and an unhealthy compulsion to bend that reality so that it better aligns with your chosen perception.

          As evidenced by your assertion that iOS is a major part of this release. Perhaps you should consider that iOS is not any part of this release for anyone that has had it denied to them. It is not a part of the product that I installed even though that product is a direct SKU upgrade of product that just 2 versions ago was also being sold with an iOS capability. A capability that was a deciding factor in a purchasing decision at that time.

          Now, it may well be a major part of some new product which is speciously and disingenuously being sold as somehow “the same yet also other”, and which some people have paid to purchase. But having not paid for it, I do not expect to be presented with information about it that is useless to me. And the very idea that it is effective and sensible to include such information, let alone throw it in the faces of people who by definition have declined to purchase it, flies in the face of anything remotely resembling reason.

          It is at best incompetent and at worst deliberately insulting. In no way is it reasonable.

          But then, your and C Johnson’s position is anything but reasonable let alone rational.

          If anybody has “issues” that might be considered unreasonable, I would suggest it is those people who insist on burying their heads in the sand and denying that there is anything amiss with the way Embarcadero are treating their customers, like a battered spouse who continues to profess their love for and deny any wrong doing on the part of their abusive partner. And like such unfortunate people, it is a sadly recognised trait that they turn on the people who try to point out what is going on in order to try to help change the situation.

          No, I am not the one with “issues” here.

            1. We all know the state of the support in that release, but the product was marketed and sold on the basis of iOS support as a feature. The fact that the iOS support in XE2 was in beta state does not alter the fact that the product was being sold as including iOS support “in the price”.

              “Deploy to Windows, Mac and iOS

              Not

              “Deploy to Windows and Mac, and play around with an iOS capability that isn’t ready and will cost more when it is

      2. I can’t argue that there are things to be angry about, but I would argue that your levels are off. Annoyance might be appropriate, but you can click on another tab, and the IDE remembers that – so while it might annoy you, but this much anger is way out of proportion.

        That’s an issue. One you should take seriously. I’ve been there, so I know how much it affected me. I was much happier when I was able to put stuff like this into it’s proper perspective.

  5. I had an SA for professional … as soon as I heard I had to pay agian for iOS, while it was in XE2 when I bought my SA … I was furious. I even asked for a refund… Stupid bugs still are not fixed. I like Delphi but it is getting ridiculous … Instead of iOS support we should have windows 8 app store compatibility, which isnt’t planned so far as I can see :/

  6. Maybe Delphi is defective on purpouse, for that, I have lost my faith on Embarcadero. They were fine in the time when their only product was DBArtisan, excellente tool if you ask me.

  7. Switching the display back to “recent projects” takes a couple of seconds. Writing this blog-post, taking the screenshot takes a couple of minutes. Time well spent. 🙂

    Daniel

    1. There were no “Recent projects” to “switch back” to. This was my “welcome” to the new version – no work yet done in that version so no projects, recent or otherwise. Just an instant raise TTwoFingers.Create;.

      Also worth mentioning because those people lucky (or gullible) enough to get the iOS support wouldn’t necessarily be aware of this shoddy aspect of the product “packaging”/presentation/implementation which would also perhaps be reflected in other areas of the product quality that might have yet to be uncovered. Though it seems a few less than impressive things have already crawled out of the woodwork.

      Now I could, like so many of the Embarcadero apologists and sycophants, have just ignored it and continued to profess undying love for the abusive half in this relationship. Or I could raise the matter of just how p*ssed off even the little things like this now make long-standing customers feel. Maybe at some point somebody in Embarcadero might even take their head out of their rear orifice long enough to take a look around and really appreciate just how badly they are screwing things up.

      Also, I think you over-estimate the length of time required to create these posts. I’m a pretty good typist you know, and grabbing screens on OSX is a breeze, as is posting them via the excellent WordPress. 🙂

      1. I am a “lucky” one that has iOS support but decided to not install it (didn’t require it) and I also get the “advertising” screen.

  8. Oh, and FWIW, this welcome screen takes a constant 5% of CPU while it’s displayed for some reason, a bug that goes back to the first Delphi welcome screen, and that they never bothered to fix.

  9. I also was frustrated from the first launch of my XE4 Pro: iOS this, iOS that, iOS movies, iOS wow, but…uuuups…no iOS support in there…
    Then I read the info in Emba’s site – they made it non-obvious that Pro’s have to buy an “add-on”, because all their materials say “Hey, you can do iOS dev with XE4!!!”. These “marketing” fish hooks are very frustrating, misleading and disappointing! We are not Fishes!
    They (at least) could add appropriate materials for each edition. Is it so hard to do: if IDE = ivPro then showBuyBrochure() else showHowToDo_iOS_stuff()?

    Their Joomla based marketing s***!!!

  10. I always look forward to these posts Jolyon. I’m also in the “writing on the wall” camp. Any anger or frustration I feel is pretty much directed at the continually increasing hubris shown by Embarcadero. The writing was really on the wall for me when I was lied to by a certain senior person regarding the beta for XE2 and 64 bit.

    As I type I have yet another email landing, titled “Last chance to register to see David I and RAD studio XE4 in Action, Live!”. Oh, I do hope so…..

  11. This is not a bug of malfunction. This is only a free advertisement and I can fully understand it. Maybe it doesn’t catch you, but some other PRO customer may be interested and decide do explore XE4 iOS capabilities. You may not like it but it doesn’t hurt either. Posts posts like “oh that’s why I changed to xcode” doesn’t make any sense. Many commercial and free software comes with tons of advertisements these days… relaxxxx!

    1. It’s not an advertisment, it’s a set of “how to” guides for features that the product installed does not support.

      It’s equivalent to buying a DVD player, opening the owners manual and the “Getting Started” guide providing instructions on how to set-up a washing machine. Sure, the DVD manual may be in the next chapter, but it frankly beggars belief that anyone can, with a straight face, defend the “Start Here” introduction to this product containing – to the exclusion of all else – information only on features that aren’t even included.

      Start Here” should be the release notes for the release, detailing ALL the changes. In the case of XE4, part of that content might then legitimately have been “For purchasers of the iOS edition, please refer to this Getting Started with Delphi for iOS

  12. Now that I use Lazarus and FPC I don’t have any of these
    Borcadero issues, move on to Lazarus you can do it…

  13. I have no interest in iOS … is XE4 for me or should i wait for XE-android?
    I have recently move to JetBrain IntellijIDEA – what a nice and fast IDE! – already doing Android on it from inspired from some Delphi code i had.

  14. After the continual problems from XE 1 on, the EMBT people have lost my account. Nothing seems to be done to correct problems with the IDE, just another upgrade, which has the same problems. And a yearly upgrade? Or less than a year?? My company is dirt cheap. I buy my own tools. I can NOT afford this product anymore, nor does it provide value. Sad to see it has become a PR product instead of a PRoduction product. I still follow the newsgroups because there are still people providing interesting solutions that I eventually find I need. I may be behind the curve, but at least I am providing benefit to the people I program for. I will never be a component creator, but I do use components to get the job done.

  15. Emb. keeps rotating their product manager which is some indication that they know they are not doing a very good job, yet all of them seem to have the same problem (deafness) which suggests that the problem(s) lie one layer up (or more) in the organization.

    But, instead of extreme hatred towards the customer as we hear from the Angerratti, its likely a simpler explanation: they just are not doing their job very well. Conspiracy theorists seem to always find cynical or mean conclusions to every nit or defect when 99% of the time, its just screwed up.

  16. And the prohibition on client server database applications is back, maybe you should redirect your frustrations in this direction ?

    “ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS APPLICABLE TO RAD STUDIO, DELPHI AND C++BUILDER, PROFESSIONAL, PROFESSIONAL WITH MOBILE AND PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC EDITIONS

    In the event Licensee has obtained a RAD Studio, Delphi or C++Builder Professional,Professional with Mobile or Professional Academic product license then the following terms apply.

    Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Licensor grants to Licensee as the licensed user of the Product the limited right to use that portion of the Product identified as “dbExpress”, in executable form only, to access a local database installed on the same machine as the Work. Licensee may not use that portion of the Product identified as “dbExpress” in association with a database located on a different machine other than the machine on which the Works are installed.”

    1. That’s not quite the same. The EULA debacle was about an attempt to prohibit the use of a Professional license to do ANY client/server development using ANY technology. i.e. you would have been in breach of your Professional license if you had used “pure” ADO (directly coding against the ADO library, with no intermediate “wrapper” library) against a client/server or N-tier back-end provider.

      This limit applies to the technology “in the box”, and in fact was always the case. Even with the BDE, Professional users were not able to use the BDE to access remote databases. But what you could do was use any 3rd party technology you liked to do that instead.

      Embarcadero tried cynically to close-down that capability and force people to buy a “client/server add-on” simply to obtain the right to use other software they had paid for. This limitation on dbExpress is merely the continuation of the old thinking prevalent at Borland and perpetuated by the same management-o-saurus now that they are at Embarcadero, just applied to the latest replacement for the BDE.

      It isn’t “back”. It never went away. 🙂

  17. Come on, folks! Just say “No!” to the the yearly groin-kick that is the Delphi/RAD Studio update. There are smarter options out there.

    I started with Turbo Pascal 2 way back on CP/M. I was there for Borland Pascal (still have the disks.) I have Delphi 1.0 somewhere in a box!

    Embarcadero does not respect us. They aren’t releasing quality products. They only care about our money and would bleed this community dry if they could. Their marketing is deceptive and their practices ethically questionable.

    I took a leap of faith and purchased Oxygene on Monday. I emailed Marc and he answered all of my questions quickly and honestly. At this point, I’m more than willing to move on from Delphi. Based upon my brief interactions with Mr. Hoffman, I feel that the spirit of Philippe Kahn’s Borland has been reborn in RemObjects.

      1. If you have SA then you will have received 2 releases within the calendar year. Or you can choose to update only when a new version has enough features to fork over the cash. Nobody is forcing you to go for either option.
        And I remember back in the day paying SA and not getting a release within the 12 months .. ouch. It’s nice to be able to complain about too many releases 🙂

        1. Except that this isn’t a genuine new release. It’s an exercise in re-jigging the pricing structure, breaking out a significant feature into an “add-on” pack in the same way that they tried to do with client/server rights (which they have fully realised in the FireDAC framework) and disguising it as a new release to obscure that fact.

          The list of changes for anyone not taking the iOS “add-on” is pitiful. The fact that they are charging for it at all instead of simply providing it as a hot-fix or update is offensive.

          They must think they are so very clever, but the only people they are really fooling are themselves.

  18. wow.. I read the first few line then it’s too much to read of the same,, sure you guys have a lot of time in your hand..

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