With the lack of any easily available information from Embarcadero, in yesterday’s post I had to speculate as to the cost that might be involved with the new Delphi for Linux. According to comments it seems that I was being overly generous by suggesting that only a Pro Edition of Delphi would be required (so much for people who think I go out of my way to criticize). Unfortunately this does now appear to have been confirmed in the latest “amnesty” email from Embarcadero.

My emphasis added, but this does seem quite clear that the Linux support that is coming is destined only for Enterprise and Architect editions. Which means that your ticket to this particular game is going to cost you a minimum of US$2,400 (the cost of an upgrade to 10.1 Berlin Enterprise). Or US$3,500 for a new user

Anybody already on a subscription is covered of course, but if this is supposed to attract new (or returning) customers then it is the cost of (re)admission that counts.

It’s almost as if Embarcadero are hearing the people complaining at the prohibitive cost of Delphi … and deliberately goading them.

To make matters worse, as also pointed out in the comments, as things currently stand the Linux support will impose ARC memory management on Delphi for Linux code which at a stroke breaks compatibility with any existing Kylix or FPC based server code already out there. So not only is the cost for a returning customer seriously increased compared even to the 15 year old Kylix, but any legacy code they hope to maintain in this new iteration of Linux support won’t even work “out of the box”.

But apparently it all works quite well with FreePascal. I haven’t myself tried the Linux support available in the beta’s of Elements (Oxygene, C# and Swift compilers from RemObjects) since May/June last year, but if anybody has it might be interesting to hear from you. The Linux support in Elements is still in beta but anyone with a subscription has automatic access to the beta builds, which are usually updated every couple of weeks or so.

And I have to mention, again, that I am still getting these damned emails from Embarcadero despite having unsubscribed, opted out and otherwise done everything possible to make it abundantly clear that I do not wish to receive any communications from their begging bowl marketing department. Ignoring these directions is actually an offence under New Zealand law – specifically the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act – but Embarcadeo don’t seem to care about that.

12 thoughts on “Delphi for Linux: Enterprise / Architect Only + ARC Imposed = … ?

  1. I just want to say that since Idera bought Embarcadero things have change a little, still is pricy, but the Sarter edition is for free and there are academic program. Amd it is clear that Embarcadero is beting for its Datasnap support in linux and its brand new RAD Server. You are right about there are several tools for all those platforms for free, that’s why I start to learn Python which is something that I enjoy using. Best Regards

  2. “but any legacy code they hope to maintain in this new iteration of Linux support won’t even work “out of the box”.”
    Well we did not have such problems when we had to use ARC because of Android. Our legacy code worked as it was as long as it was compatible with Android. So my experience is completely different to yours.

    What was the problem when you migrated old code to ARC?

    And regarding Enterprise… It is the same for Android and other platforms and DataSnap is also only in Enterprise and higher. So why on earth should they change this for Linux?
    They target only server side… so I never expected anything else than Enterprise as edition to include it…

    1. There was no “legacy” Delphi code for Android when Android support was introduced because Delphi had never previously had Android support. However there is plenty of legacy Delphi/Pascal code for Linux from the Kylix days (and since, in the form of FPC code that people might like to start maintaining in Delphi).

      As I noted, the problems with ARC have been pointed out by others, not direct experience.

      As regarding SKU and platform support expectations, Linux isn’t a mobile platform. Pro supports all the “big iron” platforms – Win32, Win64 and OS X. The only additional FMX platforms covered by the “Mobile Add-On” are Android and iOS.

      Now I guess you could argue that Android is built atop a variant of Linux, but to use this as the basis for suggesting that you would therefore expect it to be treated as a “mobile platform” in terms of support in Delphi SKU’s is frankly ridiculous.

      Does this mean that Pro users will get the opportunity to purchase yet another $500 “Server Add-on” ? I doubt it.

      1. Yes, you are right about mobile vs. desktop.

        But Pro supports Win32, Win64 and OS X as desktop platforms *and* server. But Linux with desktop support won’t come with this release. And client/server support always was limited to Enterprise AFAIK.

        1. You’re thinking – I think – of the fact that client/server database access (in the provided db drivers) was limited to Enterprise+. With the ridiculous result that you couldn’t use Pro edition Delphi to develop desktop clients for database servers without using 3rd party solutions for the “client” side of the client/server equation.

          Things like CORBA were also limited to Enterprise+, and that at least did fit with the “Enterprise+ is for server-side development” rationale for carving up features for licensing purposes.

          Of course, with 3rd party libraries you could always develop whatever you liked in Pro (although Embarcadero would prefer that you didn’t have that right). Their mindset about what you can/should be able to do with a Pro license is what lies behind their decision to restrict Linux support to the “server” editions, not the practical realities.

  3. As stated on the Embarcadero Community blog “Preparing for Linux” (https://community.embarcadero.com/blogs/entry/preparing-for-linux): “#5 Get on Enterprise where all the server side technology is included. Since Linux is focused on Server, the Enterprise (or Architect) edition is where all the action is going on.” During one of the presentation videos, there was talk about *maybe* bring Linux support to Professional editions, but I don’ think that is going on happen day 1.

    1. I didn’t say the information wasn’t available at all, I said it wasn’t “easily available”. In the deluge of communications I have been swamped with about the forthcoming Linux support this has not been mentioned (until that “Amnesty” email, and even then it is implicit rather than clearly explicit) and numerous googles for “Delphi Linux editions” (and similar) failed to turn up anything other than old references to Kylix (!!). The fact the information was out there and yet not discoverable by relevant google searches only serves to illustrate how obtusely the information has been “communicated”.

      Even that blog you reference, whilst it is somewhat clearer that Linux support will only be in Enterprise and Architect editions, that information is buried in the 5th and last of 5 points, 4 of which talk about “preparing for Linux” without having once mentioned the unavoidable pre-requisite step #1 in “preparing for Delphi for Linux” involves being on Delphi Enterprise at a minimum.

      And even when they do mention it they seem to go out of their way to avoid crystal clarity.

      The point talks about the “Enterprise and Architect being where all the action is going on”, leaving it to the reader to infer that “all the action” includes even so much as the most basic support. Why not simply say “For the new Linux support you will at least need Delphi Enterprise. Linux will not be supported in Delphi Professional“. Is that so hard ?

      Besides, talking about Linux as being a server technology just goes to show how out of touch the people at Embarcadero still are (as if we needed reminding). The significant growth area for Linux these days is in IoT and SoC devices, not servers. Anyone who still thinks otherwise is living in the 1990’s.

      These IoT/SoC devices are beloved by the hobby/open source community, for which Delphi still has nothing to offer.

      Please, don’t claim that Starter Edition caters for that market, just because it’s the cheapest edition of Delphi. It completely lacks support for the types of projects (among those that Delphi actually supports) that the majority of current hobbyists/community developers are involved with.

      1. >Besides, talking about Linux as being a server technology just
        >goes to show how out of touch the people at Embarcadero still are
        >(as if we needed reminding).

        Thank you. I had the same reaction.

        >The significant growth area for Linux these days is in IoT and SoC
        >devices, not servers. Anyone who still thinks otherwise is living in
        >the 1990’s.

        Let’s not forget that it’s huge in The Cloud, even on Azure. And we’re not just talking about massive cluster computing… micro-services are all the rage today as well.

        You’ve got Linux running Valve’s Steam boxes (games) and $80 “media sticks” and set-top boxes that plug into TVs. Stack Overflow’s survey says that 20% of developers do their development on Linux. Many government municipalities are switching their corporate desktops to Linux to avoid the “Microsoft tax”.

        Today Linux is *everywhere*, from supercomputers to the Raspberry Pi.

        >These IoT/SoC devices are beloved by the hobby/open source
        >community, for which Delphi still has nothing to offer.

        They do talk about IoT a lot, even adding about 56 IoT drivers to their GetIt package management system (which doesn’t offer much else besides those drivers). But you’re right; Linux is dominating in this area. That they’ve talked about Internet Of Things so much but are only offering Linux support in Enterprise makes little sense. They either have no clue or are financially hurting and still desperate after the EULA fiasco to drive Pro users to the Enterprise SKU. Of course, it could be a little of both.

    2. Why are official policies still buried in blog posts rather than communicated in an official way on the main page? I swear Delphi often feels like the (old) stereotype of an open source product.

      Here are the front pages of two open source languages:



      Note that both have news and announcement sections (as well as their own newsfeeds, etc.). That’s where this stuff belongs, not in a blog section that contains posts such as “#ILoveDelphi, How About You?”

      I had seen this blog post, but when I started reading it it seemed like a fluff piece, When I got to “brush up on your Linux terminal commands”, I stopped reading since I’d been using Linux full time for six years.

      They did this when they switched to the six month release cycle too. The first hint was someone on the forum saying they’d heard it at a World Tour event, and then the only (wishy-washy) confirmation appeared later in a response on one of David I.’s personal blog posts. Between that and the refusal to give release dates for products releases, it’s very hard to stay on top of what’s going on with the product. This not how things are supposed to be with Enterprise-grade products.

  4. So it would cost me *only* $2400? That’s exactly double what I spent for my entire home desktop system, including monitor, etc.! Meanwhile, I can target Linux from any other language for… well, nothing extra, and in fact most languages today are free.

    I’m writing this from a Linux box right now, nicknamed “The Beast” (less for its internals and more for having the biggest case I’ve ever seen). I’d said before that today one could just stick a flash drive in a new PC and install Linux and every development tool one could imagine for free. When I built The Beast two years ago I decided to prove my point by doing just that. There are no closed source programs on The Beast right now outside of Flash and a driver or two. Languages I have or can install for free include C, C++, D, Rust, Go, Erlang, COBOL, Java, Scala, Groovy, C#, F#, Haskell, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, R, Scheme, Nim, Ceylon, Julia, Haxe, Lua, node.js, OCaml, and of course the FreePascal dialect of Pascal. Oh, even Swift. From databases and data mining software to virtualization, containers, accounting, reporting, documentation generation, mathematical computation, etc., all are provided by open source. The Beast has far more powerful and capable software than what I was given when I worked at the HQ of a major retailer with 600+ stores doing data analysis a few years ago!

    The question becomes who they imagine is going to pay $2400+ more or $3500 new to target Linux? Heck, if I’d waited and stuck with Windows The Beast could have gotten Windows 10 free along with Visual Studio Community. That offers C++, C#, ASP.NET/Javascript/Typescript, F#, Python, and soon R in a “data analysis” mode for VS. From bare-metal to dynamically typed languages to cutting-edge functional, VSCE gives you all the main categories in one package along with the tools you need, such as profilers, all for free Soon this will include Linux support.

    It boggles the mind what they’re thinking. I guess there really is a small group left who have never programmed in anything but Delphi and unless/until it exists on the Delphi Tool Pallet it doesn’t exist in their world. They’ve never used DVCS, Unicode, and now Linux until it comes to Delphi and they’re too afraid to try to learn anything else. Meanwhile, I imagine all those who truly needed to target Linux began using something else a long time ago. What I suspect is that sales continue to fall and this is yet another pitch to try to move the Pro SKU holders to Enterprise. When Marco Cantu wrote a catty email to Arnaud Bouchez refusing to offer Mormot in the GetIt package manager because it competed with Embarcadero offerings, he insisted that the “spirit” of the Pro SKU was that you’re not supposed to target c/s databases with it (another outdated idea, that c/s databases are still “enterprise” only). They’ve never gotten over that beat-down you gave them! 🙂 Sadly, they’re still taking it out on honest Pro SKU holders.

  5. IMHO the Linux compiler is simply an off-spring from the Android one. Once they had it, they basically had a Linux compiler. That’s why you’ll get ARC, despise the issues it could bring to highly parallel code. There’s a reason no compiled language uses ARC for server applications – only desktop one. But Embarcadero still thinks in terms of Windows 3.1 and desktop applications – 22 years later.

    They needed to port it to x86 code – which may mean bye-bye to many IoT devices, which get much hype, but are still a niche, and may need specific toolchains anyway.

    Let’s see which distro will be supported, and how. And let’s see what server application it could deliver – it is true there’s a lot of Linux servers, but a big share of them are web servers, running web applications written with languages and frameworks better suited than Delphi.

    Then you can get the heavyweight data crunching applications, or very specialized ones – were the compiler optimizations, memory management, and 3rd party libraries availability matter a lot.

    IMHO once again they are arriving late to the party with an absurdly expensive and sub-par product. Good for the last dinosaurs who speak Pascal only.

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