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View Full Version : How much would you pay for this concept for a "Light" Delphi Edition?



WILL
01-08-2013, 07:51 AM
How much would you pay for this product based on the below feature set and packaging? Is $199--same cost as Delphi Starter--a good price?

I'm looking to get some good feedback to present a proper "business case" to prove that this would be a good product and something that people would actually invest in if treated the right way.


Delphi Light Edition which includes the following:



Native Compiler/Linker
Debugging Tools
IDE Standard with Full featured Code Editor (no Form Designer!) w/ Refactoring, highlighting, look-up, navigation, etc.
Full RTL (minus Component stuff)
Documentation
Probably included: Indy and XML libraries
Possible bundles/products: Delphi Light for Windows, Delphi Light for Mac* & Delphi Light for Linux*


* Plus or minus IDEs for these versions until later (command-line compiler only until then)...


Things NOT included:



No license limitation on earn-able profits! (no strings attached!)
VLC or any "components framework" (TComponent or TDataSet or any of it's children)
DB Components or any other business related component stuff (you can use other 3rd party libraries)
Form Designer (just the Code Editor!)
FireMonkey



The key points of this theoretical edition is no components concept, low cost, but NO strings attached. You can use whatever 3rd party libraries, just like other tools. You can make as much profit with it as you are able. They sky is the limit. You still get the same quality of tools as you got before, it's just lighter.

de_jean_7777
01-08-2013, 08:29 AM
While it does sound like a great idea, don't think I'd be willing or able to invest 200$ into Delphi. But, I may be biased towards fpc/lazarus. I'm quite sure a lot of people would need and want such an edition of Delphi.

Ingemar
01-08-2013, 09:33 AM
In the world of freebies, $200 is a lot to many people, not least students, but it is nothing for me if it does what I need. But it has to work on OSX, and give me something more than FPC already does.

Super Vegeta
01-08-2013, 10:24 AM
I don't really care that much for the IDE - I write most of my code in simple editors; syntax highlighting is enough, I rarely even use autocompletion. So unless the packages included something FPC does not have, the compiler produced better executables, or it had better multi-platform support, I don't think I would be anyhow interested.

laggyluk
01-08-2013, 10:58 AM
I wouldn't buy it unless it had some bitchin features which I don't see listed here

wagenheimer
01-08-2013, 11:11 AM
I would pay more than $200 if it would be backwards compatible with old Delphis and truly really cross-platform (Win/Linux/Mac/iOS and Android) with easy installation.

I do use FPC for cross-compiling for Windows/Mac/iOS. And it works very well.... But, for iOS for me it still a pain because :

- It was a pain to make it works first time, I had to apply lot of fixes and configure everything by hand. Until now I had to compile everything using command line scripts (thanks Andrey Kemka) before using the XCode. I upgraded twice my Mac OS, and I would like to format my Mac and reinstall everything, but I'm very afraid of doing this and does not be able to make everything works again!
- Debugging for iOS is still a pain! I have to "use my imagination" to be able to set breakpoints, and the Stack Call Trace sometimes simple does not works.

SilverWarior
01-08-2013, 11:13 AM
Yes but only if it does support both 32 bit and 64 bit compiler/debigger. The biggest advantage of current Starter edition is absence of 64 bit compiler/debugger.
Also I would expect to have fully featured code editor and not limted as in current Starter edition.

laggyluk
01-08-2013, 11:45 AM
I would pay more than $200 if it would be backwards compatible with old Delphis and truly really cross-platform (Win/Linux/Mac/iOS and Android) with easy installation.true. If it had one button deploy on each platform it would be worth saving time and nerves for $200

WILL
01-08-2013, 05:15 PM
I wouldn't buy it unless it had some bitchin features which I don't see listed here

Do you mean in the code editor? Does language features and code manipulation/navigation features count?

WILL
01-08-2013, 05:18 PM
I don't really care that much for the IDE - I write most of my code in simple editors; syntax highlighting is enough, I rarely even use autocompletion. So unless the packages included something FPC does not have, the compiler produced better executables, or it had better multi-platform support, I don't think I would be anyhow interested.

Really? Not even code navigation to jump from declaration to implementation and back? My game projects get so big with all the different "systems" it supports I would die if I had to find everything without this feature.

dazappa
01-08-2013, 05:34 PM
They do already have a product named Delphi Starter Edition priced at $199 usd: https://store.embarcadero.com/542/catalog/product.s3364/language.en/currency.USD/?id=dQI9xhHa2E

Granted it's not ideal in many ways.

pitfiend
01-08-2013, 07:17 PM
Nothing can beat FREE, as in Free Pascal Compiler. For a bare bones Delphi compiler with some headers, 200 bucks is too much. FPC has 32/64 bits, has more targets and a very good library, and also can use 3rd party stuff. I think that 99 bucks is more affordable for any indie/young/starter developer for the extra tools like debuger. The IDE navigation features are cool, but anyone can use a good editor like notepad++ to write code as you don't have form designer, so that's not too important IMHO. If you ask me, I didn't include Indy in the packages, but Synapse could be a better choice. Again it's not important, just because the 3rd party availability.

WILL
01-08-2013, 08:51 PM
Nothing can beat FREE, as in Free Pascal Compiler. For a bare bones Delphi compiler with some headers, 200 bucks is too much. FPC has 32/64 bits, has more targets and a very good library, and also can use 3rd party stuff. I think that 99 bucks is more affordable for any indie/young/starter developer for the extra tools like debuger. The IDE navigation features are cool, but anyone can use a good editor like notepad++ to write code as you don't have form designer, so that's not too important IMHO. If you ask me, I didn't include Indy in the packages, but Synapse could be a better choice. Again it's not important, just because the 3rd party availability.

Well I understand that there are parts of Delphi that have been successfully superseded, (ie compiler platform targeting) but I'd put Delphi's debugger against GDB any day. How about you? Or would you miss your SIGSEV and other incomplete error messages? :)

And you might not use them, and that's cool, but you can't completely wave off all of the code editor features. Many of them inspired the incorporated features included into Lazarus. I find them essential for any of my serious game projects (with lots of source files and lines of code) and I personally wouldn't want to code without that. Notepad++ or otherwise doesn't do any of that so it doesn't come close to measuring up.

There could be more added to give more value to the whole package and/or pricing shift I'm sure. The strengths of course being the dev environment versus what else is available that others don't do as well. Despite Delphi on the whole (as it is now) not being up to what we've expected for years, doesn't mean that the core of the product doesn't have advantages it's self.

At face value sure the free alternatives are "better" as a concept, but it's when you start developing and getting into the deeper usage of the tools that's where the differences, pros and cons, come out. Believe me, I'm a fan of Free Pascal and Lazarus both, but I still believe Delphi can stand up to that and offer more to us if they change their strategy and thinking about indie developers.


They do already have a product named Delphi Starter Edition priced at $199 usd: https://store.embarcadero.com/542/catalog/product.s3364/language.en/currency.USD/?id=dQI9xhHa2E

True, they do, but I'm talking about a different product concept instead. Something more geared towards what our community would be interested in using. Much of it based on feedback from this community!

Carver413
02-08-2013, 12:04 AM
Really? Not even code navigation to jump from declaration to implementation and back? My game projects get so big with all the different "systems" it supports I would die if I had to find everything without this feature.
I work with very large files as well,but I never code with the Ide, it's just to busy for my liking. instead I created the fold file format. navigation is done thru a listview and I dont need to jump back and forth you can simply view them at the same time. this format is compatable with every language I've ever tried so I can use for all my programing needs. The only reason I would use delphi again is if it worked on linux and had a better compiler then the fpc. anyway this is all just a waste of time there not going to go to all that trouble for a handful of game developers.

Murmandamus
02-08-2013, 12:31 AM
Well I understand that there are parts of Delphi that have been successfully superseded, (ie compiler platform targeting) but I'd put Delphi's debugger against GDB any day. How about you?

I dunno. What, precisely do you miss from Delphi's debugger in Lazarus that makes it so much more usable? I've debugged some pretty hairy database and graphics libraries with Lazarus, and it gets the job done, which is what is important.


Or would you miss your SIGSEV and other incomplete error messages? :)

Oh, like those wonderfully complete "Access Violation" error messages you get with Delphi? :P


And you might not use them, and that's cool, but you can't completely wave off all of the code editor features. Many of them inspired the incorporated features included into Lazarus. I find them essential for any of my serious game projects (with lots of source files and lines of code) and I personally wouldn't want to code without that. Notepad++ or otherwise doesn't do any of that so it doesn't come close to measuring up.

The code editing features are nice to haves, but are not absolutely essential to banging out code, which is what I often find myself doing in notepad++, which does have some nice features like syntax highlighting and folding, btw. It can also do function completion and parameter hinting if you provide it with the definitions.

Murmandamus
02-08-2013, 12:36 AM
* No, because I don't want to pay another $199 just to get support for the first year, having it "magically" added to my checkout cart for me without my permission or with any warning.

Yeah, been there, done that, didn't want the t-shirt, either (it was another $40).

pitfiend
02-08-2013, 05:36 AM
I'm guilty for being a bit radical. I want to point that fancy IDE features are available on free libraries like cnwizard/cncomponents. To be honest, they are accessory comodities, but once you are used to them they are hard to replace (I remember the time when all my code was writen in sidekick, no highlights, no foldings, no regions, no code completion, just plain text). A good debugger, well, is something hard to find, and Delphi's one is the best (one of the reasons I still do things with Delphi).

SilverWarior
02-08-2013, 06:44 AM
instead I created the fold file format. navigation is done thru a listview and I dont need to jump back and forth you can simply view them at the same time.

That is something I have recomended for Embarcadero to include in Delphi for several times around the web (blogs, forums), but so far I got no response from any of Embarcadero personel about my idea, not even an opinion.
And that is what bothers me as I get a fealing as they have no desire for listening to my ideas.

hwnd
02-08-2013, 04:20 PM
If i personally would be very serious about games and wouldnt care about forms at all i would probably buy it.
I clicked yes without reading first post.

199 is pretty alot but because i love Delphi, i could buy it, but i personally dont create only games but lots of tools also.
And Delphi is best with that ( i mean forms, VCL etc).

I cant live without that. if i could, i would code all my apps in C++ already.


Ask David, what about stripped down VCL (only standard stuff), WIN3.1 page etc, like in Delphi 1, no database stuff.
But also ability to install third party VCL components?
And of course form designer.

marcov
02-08-2013, 07:43 PM
What I miss is an option "This is not realistic at all". If you see that Embacadero has abolished (real) discounts on the Pro product (they only give free goodies in the period just before a new version comes out, but no way you can get it cheaper than upgrade price (*)),
moreover they have stated several time that the feature richness of Turbo Delphi was a mistake.

They are essentially milking the platform for all that it is worth,hoping to sell each older Delphi user a $499 version sooner or later. Just look at the new mobile offerings. Do you see any new users? They are all old Delphians being tempted into dabbling a bit with multiplatform and hoping for mobile quick cash. (or get nagging users of their backs). That's the new business model. Anything cheap will only detract from that. Specially hoping for "no license limitation" is ridiculous.

Essentially the premise is "upgrade one more time, and we tempt you by bundling something that sounds good".

IMHO this is kidding yourself and wishing for the moon. It is essentially begging. And worse, begging for something that will never happen.

(*) the "You can't upgrade from this version" condition is luckily pretty fluid.

Disclosure: yes, I am a FPC member, but also a Delphi customer (for my day job) But that also means I have been a Borland watcher for over 15 years.

hwnd
04-08-2013, 03:14 PM
they have stated several time that the feature richness of Turbo Delphi was a mistake.


Haha, its too late..
I believe whole released that Turbo series was completely different people that now.
If it was David, he's mad probably. Maybe hundreds of users using that pretty feature rich Turbo and wont buy XE4.

I dont know who made a decision to make Turbo Series and make them free but he / she did a excellent thing.
It shows how kind people can be.
And this was Borland. I respect Borland for many things they did and still do, although i dont use their new products, they are making now. But if i look at the good "old" Turbo Pascal, Borland C++ 3.x etc, they are awesome.
And they also made a free the C++ Builder 5 compiler as commandlinetools and Turbo C 2, TP 5.5 etc.
All for free.

But Embarcadero it seems wants to even find every copy of Turbos on the net and destroy them and take them away from licensed users. They just want money now and give nothing for free.

Light Delphi without VCL and forms and form designer for 199$ is just crap.
Dunno why i clicked yes. It could stay yes, if i can get VCL, forms and forms designer.

Otherwise, forget it.

Why i should choose crippled product for almost 200$ and without ability to use forms and VCL?

I could take Lazarus and make all using that and for free.
For what i must pay 199$ ? Debugger? Fancy IDE Nice Icons?

WILL
05-08-2013, 01:22 AM
hwnd (http://www.pascalgamedevelopment.com/member.php?99064-hwnd): Everyone is allowed to share their personal opinions on PGD, but swearing in public forums is not acceptable.

Read the Rules & Conduct section of the FAQ: http://www.pascalgamedevelopment.com/faq.php?faq=rules

This is your warning and you have lost reputation points for poor etiquette.

WILL
05-08-2013, 03:35 AM
Proper public forum etiquette aside; I think we are starting to get into some pretty wild theories here. All I'm asking is if this product is something you would invest in.

Lets try to leave the other stuff out of it for this thread. I want to avoid this poll becoming yet another "big ball of hairy" like all these other Delphi/EMBT discussion seem to go. I'm not challenging your own varied opinions, but lets try to stick to the topic at hand and focus on the product as specified here, it's self. This is indeed for very constructive purposes and not fodder for the witch burners.

"You there! Put that torch out!"

WILL
05-08-2013, 07:22 AM
"This is not realistic at all"

Is it not? :)

Lets live in fantasy land, if you would be getting just what I'm asking for, would you feel it's worth it?

hwnd
05-08-2013, 08:26 AM
You can ban me also if you want. If it makes you feel better.
If you do this, then please delete all my threads and posts.

I already voted and cant vote anymore. Let it be.

I apologize of course. Honestly. Just that statement that "feature richness of Turbos was mistake" made me mad. Embarc. shouldnt say like this.

SilverWarior
05-08-2013, 09:05 AM
You can ban me also if you want. If it makes you feel better.

There is no need to exagerate.
Banning you is not required just becouse you sweared once but we also can't just alow pepole to swear all over the place. If we do we will quickly lose all those members who feel that swearing has no place on the forums.
So please chill out a bit. I know that you might feel a bit more stressed lately due to heat wave most of the Europe is expiriencing but still.



I already voted and cant vote anymore. Let it be.

If you feel that you voted wrong please tell me how you voted and how you would like to vote and I'll change the pool results acordingly so you would feel better OK.



I apologize of course. Honestly. Just that statement that "feature richness of Turbos was mistake" made me mad. Embarc. shouldnt say like this.

I can understand that this made you mad as it make me mad to but that is still not an excuse for your behavior.

Murmandamus
05-08-2013, 09:38 AM
Lets try to leave the other stuff out of it for this thread. I want to avoid this poll becoming yet another "big ball of hairy" like all these other Delphi/EMBT discussion seem to go. I'm not challenging your own varied opinions, but lets try to stick to the topic at hand and focus on the product as specified here, it's self. This is indeed for very constructive purposes and not fodder for the witch burners.

The problem is that plenty of this "other stuff" are legitimate obstacles to successfully creating and marketing such a product. Yeah, sure, let's engage in speculation about what we would like in a "Delphi Game Dev Version", then let's assume that we actually get it. Do you think all of these other issues are also magically going to go away?

Ultimately, the crux of the problem is that Embarcadero doesn't have the Borland community anymore. They simply are not interested in it. Even if you can get them to listen, there is a serious disconnect with how they perceive the Pascal developer community, and until that changes, we can wish and poll and pontificate until the cows come home, but it will all be in vain.

Maybe someone from Embarcadero can come address the issues.

pitfiend
05-08-2013, 11:06 AM
...the crux of the problem is that Embarcadero doesn't have the Borland community anymore. They simply are not interested in it. Even if you can get them to listen, there is a serious disconnect with how they perceive the Pascal developer community, and until that changes, we can wish and poll and pontificate until the cows come home, but it will all be in vain.

Maybe someone from Embarcadero can come address the issues.

I absolutely agree with you! They think we are buying luxury, when we really need good tools! In the past, Borland maybe was never a good listener over community needs, but at least they provide us with affordable tools of great quality. We need that back at least!

phibermon
05-08-2013, 02:46 PM
I suspect that this question was posed by Em. themselves via our very own illustrious PGD Don and if so then I've looked up from my breakfast cereal in interest.

Assuming such a product would be able to compile for all of the supported platforms then in my personal opinion it would be a great step in the right direction.

The price suggested is competitive, obviously the cheaper the better.

I think Em. at this stage would benefit from publishing performance comparisons between their compiler output and FPC's output in some meaningful way.

FastMM on the windows platform aside (are they still using that?) the Delphi compiler should be producing faster code which for certain CPU heavy games is always desirable and with IOS/Android devices it might even be essential in a small number of cases.

Obviously somebody there thinks their compiler is superiour or it's continual development over a switch to FPC is foolish. So some clean hard facts about why the compiler is better than FPC, performance, stability etc would go a long way to improving the image.

Not really interested in the VCL vs FCL etc as Delphi is obviously superiour on that front (apart from the lack of support for some essential platforms) As much as some people love Lazarus (myself included) - it's free and that makes it's shortcomings easier to live with. It's not a superiour coding experience over Delphi, in fact it's been a bloody pain in the backside for me on many occasions.

With a lean and mean IDE as proposed, cross platform (at the very least Win/OSX and deeply preferable IOS as well) and even marginly superior performance, then I'd say it would make for a good purchase for those developers looking to rake in some cash for their work (and if you're doing so, $200 *is* cheap).

Hobby devs with no commercial plans for their work are still left without much incentive however.

--

As stated, I really want Em. to do well on this front, I will settle for nothing less than the total dominance of Object Pascal in the gaming industry with the secondary objective of crushing C++ into the metaphorical dirt from which it rose. If that fails to happen, I will grudgingly tolerate an acceptance by the gaming industry for OOP as a viable cross platform language - but will still hurl random objects at C++ coders as and when I see them.

In a more serious tone, I do think despite some of our misgivings about Em. and past decisions that some of us resent, we should try to make a more concerted effort to support them, even if it's only providing feedback like we're doing now.

I would one day like to release games for the PS4 and XBox360*2 (or whatever they're called) in a legal way. For various reasons Sony and Microsoft are unlikely to ever allow FPC compiled submissions. Em. are our only hope of having access to platforms like these in the future and indeed as yet unknown platforms with locked in commercial style development pathways.

That's not to say that they would or are even in a position to do so but without strong commercial representation of the language then we will forever be side-lined.

marcov
05-08-2013, 09:54 PM
Is it not? :)

Lets live in fantasy land

Then please an option "I wait till Microsoft changes back to Pascal". If you fantasize, don't set your targets too low :-)

To be honest, I fail to see anything constructive in this poll, since it is all water under the bridge. They tried twice first with Turbo, then
with Starter. Both were only available for a while, and had no affordable update paths, making their versioning issues even worse than of the pro/enterprise products.

And versioning (fragmentation of Delphi users over umpteen versions) is one of the worst problems of Delphi.

WILL
05-08-2013, 10:32 PM
You can ban me also if you want. If it makes you feel better.
If you do this, then please delete all my threads and posts.

You seem to miss the point. You broke the rules, don't do it again. Don't break the rules and you are good. I suggest you read them if this concerns you.

SilverWarior
06-08-2013, 05:59 AM
FastMM on the windows platform aside (are they still using that?) the Delphi compiler should be producing faster code which for certain CPU heavy games is always desirable and with IOS/Android devices it might even be essential in a small number of cases.

Yes Delphi is still using FastMM (striplined version but you can always download full one from FastMM webpage).

As for MacOS, iOS and Android in the future, they are using new compiler (LLVM compatible) with Active Reference Conting. I have seen lots of complaints about ARC implementation in new compiler as it causes significant slowdowns, especially in multithreading applications.
Also some pepole say that there is a need to change lots of code for it to work OK with this new compiler (weak referencing, implementing of new DisposeOf command for destroying objects in some cases, etc.).
Now I stil haven't done any tsting of this new compiler so I can't talk from my expiriences but from what I have read around the web it seems that Embarcadero maybe hasn't thought that through a lot. And what is worse it seems that Embarcadero is not realy prepared to listen to comunity suggestions on this matter (had seen a few flamewars on this matter).



Obviously somebody there thinks their compiler is superiour or it's continual development over a switch to FPC is foolish. So some clean hard facts about why the compiler is better than FPC, performance, stability etc would go a long way to improving the image.

You have to understand that Embarcadero spent several years in developing of their own cross-platform compiler (currently only supports MacOS and iOS, but support for Android and Linux si planned) so it would be folish of them to just throw away all their work so far.
Now I don't belive that at this stage their compiles can even compete with FPC one but in time this might change.



I will settle for nothing less than the total dominance of Object Pascal in the gaming industry with the secondary objective of crushing C++ into the metaphorical dirt from which it rose.

Then I must dissapoint you. You see the Embarcadero isn't only developing Delphi but is also developing C++ Builder so no the C++ won't be crushed into metaphorical dirt.



I would one day like to release games for the PS4 and XBox360*2 (or whatever they're called) in a legal way. For various reasons Sony and Microsoft are unlikely to ever allow FPC compiled submissions. Em. are our only hope of having access to platforms like these in the future and indeed as yet unknown platforms with locked in commercial style development pathways.

I may be wrong on this but I think the main requirement from various platforms like PlayStation XBox and others is automated garbage colection to prevent Memory Leaks to cocuring as the OSes on theese platforms are not so fool prof for running out of memory.
I think this is also the main reason why Embarcadero is developing their own compiler which has such system already built in.



And versioning (fragmentation of Delphi users over umpteen versions) is one of the worst problems of Delphi.

I must agree with you on this.

Murmandamus
07-08-2013, 07:57 PM
I think the thing that bothers me the most is that it is so difficult to find developers, and also to get new developers interested in the language. We've standardized on Object Pascal for all of our game dev and tool chain (with exceptions where it is absolutely necessary), but the few programmers I have pursued take one look at the language, available learning documentation (ie, the "learning curve"), and the paltry community support, and just say "thanks, but no thanks".

This is one of the symptoms of the fallowness for which Embarcadero is, in greater part, responsible. The reason they have to charge so much with Delphi is because they sell so few units. Since they do next to nothing to evangelize the language (nor support anyone in doing so), there is very little "new blood" coming in under the banner, and as attrition impacts the community, there are even less upgrade sales, which are their bread and butter.

What the OP community (and the OP game dev community, by extension) really needs is another Turbo Pascal. $49 (or whatever in today's dollars) for a compiler, an IDE, and some useful starter libraries. Add to that a good wiki (which the community could build), and a community forum and management, and I think they'd have little to no difficulty moving product.

They just don't get the concept that they don't have to make money off of everyone else's success. Make a damn good roofing hammer (tool), make it affordable, and don't worry that it enables some roofer to earn a good living. Don't sell golden hammers... sell MORE hammers. Make MORE roofers out of people who might be interested in a career in roofing.

That's why FPC/Lazarus is going to succeed where they have failed, and continue to fail. As the kinks get worked out of the "free" tools, Embarcadero is going to have a more difficult time convincing anyone of their value proposition.

So, maybe we should turn this from a "tilting at windmills" effort, to focusing on what we need to improve FPC/Lazarus for our needs, which actually has a chance of happening, and is something *WE* can have a hand in, even directly, if we so desire.

Note that I am not saying "don't bother".. quite the contrary. If you can get through to Embarcadero, great! However, it doesn't have to be the sole/exclusive effort. There's nothing wrong with pursuing all routes.. and whatever positive results come from any effort are good for all of us.