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Peter Dunne posted a suggestion in the Delphi Developer group on Facebook that a kickstarter project could be started to fund the acquisition of Delphi by the community itself (assuming that Embarcadero or Idera put it up for sale, of course). How realistic is this ?

Numerous people have chipped in with “calculations” to determine the level of investment needed by a given number of backers of such a project and a strange sense of purpose seems to have descended on the resulting exchange of more or less random numbers that this exercise has produced, ranging from as little as $40 to $4,000.

As attractive as this might sound (to paraphrase: for the price of a license each, we could acquire the whole business), I hate to cast a shade of reality over this little fantasy but it’s not just a question of the purchase price. There is also the small matter of funding the on-going business once it has been acquired because it seems unlikely that it is self-sustaining on its own.

OSS vs BAU

Even if the plan were to turn the whole enterprise over to a community supported, open source project, there would almost certainly be wind-up costs to deal with, not least in cleaning up legal issues around licensed technology in the tools (which could easily thwart any OSS ambitions entirely) and of course then laying off the entire current work-force.

Or perhaps we would just turn the enterprise into a community owned co-operative, running it as an on-going business ?

Of course, being a private company we have no real idea of the true financial health of the dev tools business and to what extent it is perhaps propped up by the DB tools side of things. But we do have a number of available indicators we can consider.

First of all, it is widely known that the sale of the dev tools business to Embarcadero was valued at around $25-30 million at the time. We also know that the Idera acquisition of the entire Embarcadero Technologies business is being bankrolled to the tune of $425 million. Even allowing for (imho) Borland having sold the tools short or an optimistic assessment that Embarcadero have overseen a doubling of value of the dev tools business, this means that the entire dev tools business accounts for perhaps $60 million of an anticipated $425 million valuation. That’s just 14% of the business.

So what commercial value does that 14% represent ?

Have I Got a Deal For You!

Well the never-ending “special offers” (not so special when they run more or less continuously), changes to upgrade pricing criteria (the limit on upgrade pricing to the 2 previous versions has now been lifted) and continual waving of big sticks to coerce if not force subscription uptake… all of this does not exactly indicate a business that is doing well.

Without the numbers it is of course impossible to say for sure, but whilst there are businesses where the underlying commercial model is one of perpetual sales, special deals and sharp practice, this is not typically a feature of profitable technology businesses and certainly not of tools vendors.

Even within Embarcadero it is interesting to note that the DB tools do not seem to be subject to the same sort of aggressive discounting, dealing, bundling and license tweaking that the dev tools are, so this practice w.r.t the dev tools is not simply a consistent part of a strategy adopted across the Embarcadero business as a whole.

It seems to me that any purchase of the dev tools business is likely to be more akin to the purchase of a house with a mortgage: An initial exchange of funds to secure the change in title but with an on-going and potentially much larger financial commitment attached.

Mortgagee sales occur when on-going commitments can no longer be met, not on the day of initial purchase.

A Potential New/Old Home for Delphi

Of course, if all this is accurate, then there remains the question of what Idera might do with the dev tools business if they are interested only in acquiring the seemingly more profitable DB tools. It certainly does not seem to be the sort of business interested in branching out into development tools.

If they have no appetite for continuing to financially support the dev tools they might choose to sell them off much more cheaply which might make it an attractive proposition for some of the larger ALM tools vendors, especially those operating in the legacy space rather than fighting it out on the cutting edge.

In other words, it’s exactly the sort of business that might be of interest to Micro Focus.

😉

30 thoughts on “No Seriously – Let’s Buy Embarcadero”

  1. That’s interesting but there also needs to be product development planning and management. It needs to be a real business with salaries. Everyone using Delphi will still need to pay in order to pay the salaries and maintain motivation.

  2. I don’t think it’s viable. Way too many unknowns at this point in time, and I’m pessimistic about how well the vital metrics will be revealed in the future. There’s a lot of huff and puff in Delphi marketing (I’m being polite).

    A move to Lazarus FPC is a much better alternative IMO.

  3. I’d still like to see the Borland/CodeGear etc team end up in Microsoft’s stable.

    Say what you will, MS has the pockets and the will and tho people did not believe me before, but you can’t ignore MS’s actions – they just want you to run their software. They don’t care how. Linux gets popular? THey are developing a linux distro. Android’s software eco system blows theirs out of the water? They are developing an android bridge.

    They are developing more and more of their software to run on other OSes.

    People forget – Operating systems are only a part of what MS does. Dev tools help them get there.

    Oh, and they guys that make their dev tools? Some of them were the people that make Delphi great before it was nearly Interprised to death.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Delphi actually had a dedicated compiler guy again? You ever wonder why YEARS later, they still don’t have a 64 bit IDE?

    They need to end up being owned by MS or Google in my mind. I would prefer MS to Google, but hey, even that would be good.

    1. MS has the pockets yes. But the will ? If that were the case why have they not already dipped into those pockets ?

      It seems to me that all the evidence suggests that they don’t have the will at all. They already bought the bit of Borland they wanted. They have already invested in the tools that give them the reach onto other platforms (Xamarin). Delphi offers them nothing that they need or want.

      As for the 64-bit IDE… I would ask the question “Why do you need it?” Just for the sake of having it ? Really ? That’s where you want effort to be expended ? On unnecessary activities ?

      And I’m not sure why you think Microsoft would have any greater inclination to deliver a 64-bit IDE for Delphi when they haven’t yet even done so for Visual Studio.

    2. Let’s be honest. The people who work for EMBT are people who weren’t good enough to get hired at Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, or Facebook, or all the other tech companies in that area. EMBT has had across-the-board 10% paycuts to avoid layoffs, wage freezes for several years now, etc. They’re no one’s first choice. Also, when Microsoft was poaching people, they hired away the people they thought (and those who they hired thought) were talented. Whoever was left they didn’t want. And then EMBT laid off most of the developers and replaced them with fresh-out-of-school Romanians. A post on Glassdoor from an EMBT worker said their job had just been outsourced to Spain.

      Unless you want to sabotage MS from within, there’s no need to try to send them to Microsoft. 🙂 All of the talent was stripped away years ago through those cumulative actions. Even Joel Spolsky wrote “When it comes to Delphi, let’s just say that the talent has left the building.”

      >Linux gets popular? THey are developing a linux distro.

      1) They already have, apparently, for their cloud service, a recent article revealed. 25% of those using Azure are running Linux on it. Heck, I talked online with some MS Azure employees who developed a test service and opted to use Linux over Windows due to its better container support. 🙂

      Linux already is popular. But MS can’t make money from people running Linux on their desktop (unless they fully transition to a services company). It’s more likely we’ll see Windows go free in the near future – we’re already seeing a free upgrade to Windows 10.

      >People forget – Operating systems are only a part of what MS does. Dev
      >tools help them get there.

      But Delphi users forget – the entire world CHANGED and Borland saw it. Development tools are open source now. A recent poll showed 4/5 developers are using open source dev tools. Even Microsoft is now giving away VS to those making less than a million bucks and open sourced most of C#! That’s directly due to the phenomenal pressure from open source. At the latest WWDC Apple announced that they would be open sourcing Swift, would have OS X and Linux versions out by the end of the year, and claim they will actively solicit code contributions from the community! Even MS and Apple are getting out of the proprietary language business. It’s an old, Big Iron, dead model and enterprise today isn’t going to risk their company on a costly, proprietary code base with a single vendor – especially not when they have so many mainstream, open source choices. The birth of LLVM shows the cooperation rather than competition in the dev tools area is now the order of the day.

      >Wouldn’t it be nice if Delphi actually had a dedicated compiler guy again?
      >You ever wonder why YEARS later, they still don’t have a 64 bit IDE?

      EMBT’s owners squeezed Delphi like Borland had done, in this case to make numbers to generate a sale. And if it’s being bought, that company will have debt it’ll need to pay off so ROI is still going to be big. Just like with the EMBT acquisition, I’m not sure this will be a big improvement.

      >They need to end up being owned by MS or Google in my mind. I would
      >prefer MS to Google, but hey, even that would be good.

      The question becomes: why would MS or Google want them? MS has C# and TypeScript and ASP.NET. Google has Go and their own Java VM. They don’t need an old, proprietary language. MS isn’t going to want another framework in addition to .NET and Google wants Android software to be written in Java – even when they employed the creator of Python they had him stop a side project of implementing Python for Android!

  4. Yeah – open sourcing Delphi, now that would be a great idea… not. Look at FPC/Lazarus at what snail pace they improve because usually the proposal of anything new results in never-ending discussions. And in the end if nobody implements it never gets done (enhanced RTTI and anonymous methods anyone?)

    1. Yep.

      Just to be clear, I was just relaying the ideas mooted in the original thread on FB, the open sourcing one being the initial idea of the original post – “buy it to set it free” (as in taxes) or even “make it free”, as in beer. I don’t think this idea was actually offered as a serious proposal, but the idea of the community buying it seems to have grown legs despite there being no evidence of any real consideration for “what happens next”.

    2. Your vision of FPC/Lazarus is biased, I’m afraid.
      FPC improves at an amazing pace. It supports a lot more targets than Delphi. It supported Win64 YEARS before Delphi. Years. Remember.
      It is ready for IoT solutions. Not just via marketing slideshows, as with Delphi. It is USED in real IoT embedded solutions, even without OS, since years.
      FPC discussions are worth reading. I always enjoy it. Sometimes, it goes a little rude – but hey, did you read Linus emails? Thanks to such discussions, they would never implement such nasty “features” like zero based strings, or getting rid of 8 bit strings. Common sense, and pragmatism is still there. Their decisions have the wisdom of experimented developers.
      And if someone implements something viable and useful in a branch, they usually work very hard including it into the trunk. Just take a look at the “Objective Pascal” mode, or the “JVM target”. There is nothing close to it in Delphi. How Delphi integrated iOS and OSX, via Interfaces and a lot of generated glue code, is much less elegant and viable.
      Sometimes, they do reject ideas, like introducing Javaism or C#ism in the language. But they eventually add them, in “Delphi” mode.
      The language is IMHO a small part of a compiler. You can do wonders with the actual state of FPC language. And I’m confident they would not break compatibility, just because of marketing/trend influence, as Embarcadero did.

      1. You could also have mentioned that without FPC Embarcadero would not have had been able to introduce their iOS support preview in XE2.

    3. You can’t look at the management of one open source project and then condemn the model. On the other hand, I could name gcc, LVM/clang, Ruby, R, Python and several other compilers/interpreters that have been highly successful and that even dominate certain niches. If we expand it to non-languages, the list becomes huge – Apache, Linux kernel, Firefox, etc.

      FPC’s problems are not really knowing what it wants to achieve and not having a formal governance model. I could also point at the endless hand-waving among Delphi users when new features are proposed – heck, didn’t you write a great blog post about that? – and suggest that this is inherent in Pascal users in general. Delphi’s commercial development hasn’t been a fount of innovation during CodeGear/EMBT’s tenure either. David I. and Allan Bauer were talking up language-level parallel programming improvements for 8 years before we saw anything at all. Even then, Bauer had originally made claims about adding LINQ-like functionality, etc. that simply never materialized.

      Proprietary language development (which is practically a non-existent concept today) has to always consider marketing and sales. Even Bauer once mentioned on his blog regarding new features he was suggesting that it needed to be understood that he would need to make a case that they would directly lead to new revenue before being allowed to implement them. In an open source model, the only question is: will this make the language better? This is why commercial languages – and languages in general that sought to capture a market – have fared poorly, and those that initially sought to “scratch an itch” have been long-lived and done well. Today, open source development tools are written FOR developers BY developers, not for middle management, IT directors or CIOs. There is no other type of software more suited for open source development than development tools. The latest poll shows 4 out of 5 developers today are using open source tools.

      Borland saw the writing on the wall a long time ago. Development tools are commodities today. Even Microsoft and Apple have thrown in the towel and are open sourcing C# and Swift. No one WANTS to be a proprietary language tool developer.

      Any model that tries to continue the “Big Iron” model of Delphi development is a non-starter. Expensive, closed, single-vendor solutions are a non-starter at the enterprise level in the new post-Windows era, and there aren’t enough Delphi developers left to go back to Turbo Pascal pricing. And then you’re left with the same question Borland couldn’t answer many years ago – how to you grow the product market? How to you replace users? And if you can’t answer that, no one’s going to want to buy into a market that’s only going to shrink over time.

  5. I guess this “brilliant idea” is some “Let’s just write on Facebook whatever crosses my mind and later I think about it”, kind of idea. Just consider it sounds to me like a huge waste of time…
    About the “It certainly does not seem to be the sort of business interested in branching out into development tools”… you know that this is just plain FUD. Embarcadero was also a DB tools only vendor, and bought CodeGear from Borland and here we are.
    Another example: Oracle, a GIANT from the DB world bought Sun, 5 years ago. They were competitors in many areas, and people said at that time that Oracle just wanted the hardware stuff from Sun, meaning: Java would be dead in a few months. And here we are again.
    This kind of stuff is pure speculation. Not even EMB employees know what is happening behind their office doors…

    1. An opinion is not Fear, not Uncertainty and not Doubt. It’s just an opinion. In this case based on the public face and history of a database tools company and taking that as a guide to their possible intention in acquiring another database tools company.

      The target of the acquisition also has a 5-14% (depending on valuation) component that is also development tools, a toolset that has been and is in terminal decline and lacks any form of support for the enterprise platforms that the database tools compliment (i.e. .NET). So how likely is it that the acquisition is intended to kick-start an interest in this area ? Seriously.

      Embarcadero’s database tools focus was quite different from that of Idera. EMBT’s tools had a definite developer focus, where Idera’s are firmly DBA focussed. As such, the acquisition of a broader set of database tools for a database tools company makes perfect sense. Spending $425m to get a dev tools business worth (at most) $60m… not so much.

      Bottom line: In the absence of hard facts, the only basis for dismissing any speculation is of course also just speculation. So your anti-FUD is actually just more FUD. 😉

    2. >Embarcadero was also a DB tools only vendor, and bought
      >CodeGear from Borland and here we are.

      Apples and oranges. EMBT’s owner is a venture capital firm whose specialty is taking companies it believes have synergy, buying them, merging them, removing redundancies, and hopefully selling again for a profit. The business term is “roll-up”.

      Idera is a database tools company. EMBT is also a database tools company. The odds are incredibly likely that they’re interested in EMBT for its database tools, not because they want to get into language development.

      Point two: NO ONE wants to get into language development. Borland correctly saw years ago that proprietary language tools are an anachronism. Even MS is open sourcing C# and Apple announced it will open source Swift by the end of the year. Even MS and Apple don’t want to be bothered with closed source language development!

      >Another example: Oracle, a GIANT from the DB world bought
      >Sun, 5 years ago. They were competitors in many areas, and
      >people said at that time that Oracle just wanted the hardware stuff
      >from Sun, meaning: Java would be dead in a few months. And
      >here we are again.

      Sigh… who said Oracle wanted the hardware from Sun? It was the opposite, really and Oracle threw the hardware away. What Oracle wanted were the Java patents to go after Google with. And well – there we are. People said Oracle was not a friend of open source – and they were right! Sun had open sourced Solaris. Oracle began keeping the development closed, refusing to publish unit tests, etc. They killed off OpenSolaris development and took Solaris development internal. OpenOffice preemptively forked after that to form LibreOffice. Oracle’s response? Instead of turning over the name to the new community, they decided to cut OpenOffice loose but give it to Apache instead, thus creating a competing fork. And what happened? Most developers went to LIbreOffice, all of Linux did, IBM eventually stopped supporting OpenOffice, they only had 16 developers and the top 4 were all IBM and now the project is practically dead. They also created a lot of tricky licensing and closed source features for MySQL and now again everyone is starting to move to true open source fork MariaDB.

      Moral: EMBT was out of the frying pan into the fire for Delphi, and Oracle was disastrous for Solaris and OpenOffice and soon for MySQL.

      >This kind of stuff is pure speculation.

      GOOD. This community has something wrong with it where no one ever wants to talk about anything going on and just ignore it all. We should have been having a conversation about whether even the concept of a closed source language was still viable at least 7 years ago. The community should have been talking about “fall back options” and “plan B”s. A consensus on FPC should have been achieved. Instead the luminaries of the community might just have been saying “Everything’s fine!” right up until the apocalypse. 🙁

      We need lots more speculation, and we need it seven years ago.

      1. > Sigh… who said Oracle wanted the hardware from Sun?

        Really? Let’s see… http://www.businessinsider.com.au/oracle-hp-sun-microsystems-hardware-split-2012-6
        This is from 2012, 2 years AFTER acquisition, and at least 4 years after the first talk between Oracle and Sun. The fact that 2 years later people writes that “What that means is that Oracle never really wanted Sun’s hardware”, means in fact that since the first talk, most people believed quite the contrary, and that’s what I was saying and these are the facts, want it or not.
        What I think more intriguing is the energy that the horsemen of “apocalypse”, like yourself, put in these kind of pure speculation discussions. Reminds me that retired DH guy…

  6. “An opinion is not Fear, not Uncertainty and not Doubt.” Definitely not. FUD is what some people feel after reading “opinions” from people that they consider some sort of insiders, experts, gurus, visionaries, whatever… I’m sure you remember CodeGear times and how many left Delphi not because of some bug, missing feature, cost, whatever. You remember that lots of people decided to jump off the boat because they were uncertain (U, maybe?) about Delphi’s future. You can twist the words, but from someone writing one or less per month, you decided to write 2 posts in the same day and create a new poll just to speculate about Delphi’s future? Hum… So let’s ask you a direct question: What do YOU wish in this case? Do you want it do die so you can say to David I. “See, I was right all the time!”, or do you want some different outcome?

    1. First of all, be careful of falling foul of your own prejudices. You seem to be ascribing some sort of agenda onto me and misinterpreting the timeline to fit that perceived agenda/your prejudice. Far from your apparently pre-formed conclusion I am still very much interested in the future of Delphi. Otherwise I really wouldn’t give a toss now, would I ?

      Yes my recent activity on the blog has fallen off in recent months, but consistent frequency of posts is not something that I could ever be accused of. Not that it’s any of your business but I have had a lot going on in my life recently, things that are not relevant to the subject of the blog. It’s a personal, blog albeit primarily a technical one, that I contribute to when I a) feel like it and b) have something to post.

      Do you also attribute the fact that I posted on the completely unrelated reflection on Seth Godin’s blog to some sort of “campaign” on my part ?

      3 posts in less than a week !!?!?! What could I possibly be up to ? Clearly simply “feeling like it” isn’t explanation enough.

      As for these specific posts …. I posted the initial news on the evening of day 1 then a follow-up post the next morning, after a bit of time to consider and reflect on other peoples reaction to that news (not to mention having slept on it). That’s 1 post per day. Not 2 posts in 1 day, although that may be how it appeared in your timezone (there are others).

      The poll ? I created that because I have always had polls (and haven’t had one in a while, and here was something eminently pollable) – it’s a bit of fun and provides a bit of insight into how other people may be reacting to the news. But gauging how people are speculating isn’t speculation in and of itself. Perhaps it is inviting speculation, but nobody is forced to participate so only those inclined to speculate (or already speculating) will do so.

      Bottom line: It’s my blog. It reflects my views, interests and opinions. Certainly it’s not part of any effort to prove anything to anyone, least of all David I.

      As for your other comments. I certainly do remember the CodeGear times. My recollection of that period seems somewhat different to yours however. For me it was a time of far greater optimism regarding the future of Delphi.

      The reasons for people leaving (in my experience, which is currently in servicing the needs of companies that have made that decision) have very little to do with uncertainty over its future and much more to do with problems in the present. Primarily the fact that developers have been moving on to .NET causing companies to become concerned at the availability of the required skills to maintain that code.

      A more recent problem has been the obsession with FireMonkey and the mobile platforms with a fundamentally flawed technology at the expense of neglecting the enterprise platform of choice – the aforementioned .NET.

      It isn’t uncertainty that is the problem, but these certainties: That availability of skills is dwindling faster than ever and the technology is increasingly irrelevant in the core markets where Delphi has traditionally enjoyed success.

      As for the FUD and uncertainty, I’m flattered that you think I am so influential. But really I’m not. And even if I were, it is sadly not in my gift to make a difference in that respect in this case.

      On the other hand, Embarcadero could make a huge difference in this respect. It is not my fault that nobody has provided any sort of official response or reaction to their (potential) acquisition by another company with unknown intentions w.r.t this very small part of Embarcadero’s business that affects us so disproportionately.

      1. “neglecting the enterprise platform of choice – the aforementioned .NET”

        Sorry, but you should remember they tried, and utterly failed. .NET was designed from scratch to be a fully controlled MS platform, including the development tools. There are very, very few reasons for not using VS and C# for .NET development.

        Also, I could argue today an enterprise platform of choice is also Linux. They failed utterly there too, with their stubborn desktop app focus never realigned since Windows 3.1 – and now transferred to mobile “desktops”.

        There are niches for native compiled applications in the enterprise market as well, just they need a level of features and performance Delphi could never achieve – the “lowest hanging fruit” policy that’s been driving development for years never allowed them.

        1. Borland tried and screwed up .NET by focussing on legacy compatability at the expense of making a true .NET variant of ObjectPascal.

          RemObjects tried and have been very successful, technologically speaking. Commercial speaking… ? Unfortunately Borland poisoned the Pascal well.

          True, MS control the platform when it comes to .NET. But how was that any different with Win32 ? (which, lest we forget, large parts of .NET still rest upon). And they hardly control the development languagees. Other companies successfully created tools that play very, very well in the .NET space indeed. RemObjects being a prime example of how even a relatively small player can lead the way in many respects.

          Swift, Pascal and even an alternative C# (should you want it) compiler for .NET. If RemObjects can do it, then clearly it can be done and neither Borland nor the same people now that they are at Embarcadero (and that is a huge part of the problem) can whine about Microsoft “owning the platform” as an excuse.

          At the other end of the scale, the relative behemoth (mammoth?) Micro Focus (now owners of Borland) also produce .NET compilers, specifically an impressive (technically) implementation of COBOL (I kid you not) for .NET

          Linux ? I really can’t speak to that. The only times I come across that is as a platform for large RDBMS servers and/or Apache “silo’s” running highly specialised server products, and I can’t see how Delphi could make a difference there. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t opportunities, only that they do not seem to figure in the environments I have been exposed to over the past mumble years (which is broad and diverse in terms of both scale and industry).

          1. You’re saying that Microfocus achieved what Delphi failed in the .NET space, make a backward compatible product for COBOL applications. Just COBOL applications were a different type.
            Anyway, even Prism failed, and RemObjects is mostly unheard of by .NET developers.

            About the Win32 API, MS controls it far less because it has to be some sort of C (lately sort of C++) API, language highly standardized, which MS can’t control, and don’t rely on the .NET VM as well. With .NET, MS can tweak the VM, the framework and the language(s) whatever it likes.

            But how much real .NET development is not made with C# and Visual Studio? Why rely on the compiler of a small company (today is here, tomorrow?) and write code in another, now far less known, language? Who really cares about a .NET ObjectPascal, but some old greybeards refusing to learn any other language? Delphi was Delphi because it wasn’t just Pascal – it was the IDE, the language/compiler and especially the VCL. It was used *despite* being based on Pascal.
            Reduce it to the language, and it’s just another .NET compiler among many others few people care of, based on a language perceived as outdated. No thanks, I’d use C#, full support and less issues.

            Well, Linux is used in several areas beyond RDBMS and web servers. For example, there are good chances your networks security and monitoring software is running on Linux, maybe delivered as an appliance. But even there would be very difficult to dent into the predominance of GCC, especially with ascal. There’s also a lot of middleware, usually implemented in Java, but that’s another story.

            1. COBOL: The reason a backwards compatible approach works with COBOL is because COBOL is a very different beast than Delphi.

              With COBOL there is a “virtual machine”, defined by the language, rather than as a separate platform. i.e. there is no direct interaction with the system for I/O or even screen interaction. All of that is handled with services provided within the language. So to implement the compiler you also have to provide all those services. The language is completely abstracted from the underlying OS in a way that Delphi isn’t.

              Delphi was a (great) OO wrapper around Win32. So was .NET. But a completely different kind of wrapper. Delphi.NET tried to wrap a wrapper in way that made it compatible with it’s own wrapper.

              Prism didn’t “fail”. Embarcadero ditched it when it chose to go down the FireMonkey route for mobile development.

              As for your comments about why Delphi succeeded where Prism failed, vis a vis “not just Pascal”, all those same or similar reasons apply to RemObjects Elements. It’s not just a language, it’s a choice of languages with a sophisticated compiler technology stack that targets a variety of platforms whilst providing first-class citizen status and interoperability for all front-end languages on each of those back-ends, all in a mature, functional and very well supported IDE.

              As for the idea that “greybeards” would choose Oxygene only because it is some antiquated Pascal, I’m afraid this reveals how little you know about Oxygene. Yes, it’s Pascal, but it is a vastly more sophisticated evolution of Pascal even than even FPC, let alone Delphi.

              Fundamentally Oxygene is about as much ‘Pascal’ as C# is ‘C’.

            2. That opinion is widespread but does not match reality anymore. The only problem the Delphi ECO System did have in the past was simply the idea of being in the position to setup self financed third-party component providers which binds the talent of the entrepreneur to the product offered.This way you get to know the growth potential of you product but never make money except from a certain potential offered by the underlying growth of the technology or culture. The size is irrelevant per se. Agreed. To a certain degree it’s very likely that you buy a ‘best’ product from a self-contained plot acting according to communist economic principles. In that case money is just information = money at an interest rate of zero and by this cannot be used to picture or drive growth. That’s where private equity does come into play. There is so much money looming around in the world in order be invested almost no one can imagine. The problem is that it’s very hard for investors to get back the capital invested that’s why they need a go-live or something similar. Economy is pretty simple in a first place, ‘You give away money in order to recollect the money later by providing goods’. The simple reason for economy independent if planned or market economy is about moving raw materials from the source to the place where a demand is covered in whatever fashion (raw material, semi finished parts or end products). Luigi you see it almost everywhere – Market economy simply does make products more expensive and in order to compensate this increase in valuation more pieces are sold. That’s the process that makes everyone better off – the decomposition of the activities on the former self-contained farm just valued by money at 0 interest rate called information. ‘Bring me the 3 planks over there’. The problem is that information does value the planks but not the provision (function of money in general). The whole insanity behind comparing component sets and prices.

              The problem of the private equities described in fashion of the call before does say, ‘Bring me the 3 planks I’m going to put there tomorrow just right now’. That’s why self financing does not work except form the view cases it does. The planks are the programmer’s input and not carrying those. Credit does not have a problem with planks provided on an another plot because money is credit. The purpose of money is also about organizing the transfer of raw materials :). The only way to somehow handle, ‘Bring me the 3 planks I’m going to put there tomorrow’ is open-source. Money does allow location transparency and credit does offer time transparency when we come to exchanging goods.

              You are right. There is no such thing as ‘the’ Software as a general well defined good. Only raw materials are pretty well defined and the only scarcity in software is knowledge in whatever fashion. If someone looks at San Francisco capitalism from the perspective of market economy he will think, ‘That’s paper money communism and just expensive’. From the perspective of material oriented industry information is valued the first time. Information is the capital bound to data at the first time of occurrence and then this pretty huge amount is divided by occurrences of data reproduced (copying).

              Wondering where Delphi fits into the overall picture.

  7. “wouldn’t give a toss…”–spoken like a true Englishman!

    At the end of the day, buying, building up, and selling companies is what private equity does (and who owns Embarcadero BTW) and is their lifeblood. I have some concerns about what this means for Delphi having been around since the Turbo Pascal (actually Borland C++ if I have to date myself) days, but Jolyon’s points are not only salient but relevant to someone who has had to try to hire programmers who know Delphi in the U.S. This is to say nothing of trying to hire someone younger–they all want .NET, Angular, Node.js, Swift, etc. and have never heard of Delphi or Object Pascal.

    The real bummer about the possible acquisition is that Delphi Seattle is the first version in a while I have actually been excited about (FireMonkey is a dog that don’t hunt–we are a Xamarin shop for mobile) since they paid at least some attention to the VCL. I hope it works out well and we still do some new development in Delphi since our flagship product is written in it, but all the new stuff here is web/mobile based and frankly those are areas that Delphi was left in the dust some time ago.

    Not sure if it has been advanced yet, and by all admissions probably a silly idea, but what about RemObjects grabbing Delphi? I would think that having the license to incorporate the VCL (after some significant cleanup) into Oxygene and convert Delphi devs to Oxygene–at least those not already converted–could be a good move? This is to say nothing of the cost advantages that RO offers in the marketplace. And yes, I do understand the delicious irony this raises given the past relationship between EMB and RemObjects 🙂

  8. I remember some initiative in the past to gether money, buy and open source what was the owner of Delphi at time of writing. The fun thing was that some money was actually collected (of course, far from being enough, but still huge amount) and went who knows where. Embarcadero already bought CodeGear at the moment of reading.

    Good business for someone.

      1. I recall browsing their website and even sharing the link somewhere on Russian forum, but cannot find where did I discuss it and how was this initiative called exactly.

  9. Eureka! We are DEVELOPERS! Why can’t we program an AI software which controls management, marketing and development from the power of a 64-core 32 TB server? Wouldn’t this be a lot cheaper than paying many millions to a board of directors?

    BTW, this is called self-replication…

      1. Politicians can’t replicate themselves through software, because their DNA is made from another material… (you know what material I mean)

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