February 3, 2006

Where is the Kylix Community Project?

Over a year ago Borland announced the Kylix Community Project... but nothing happened after that. It is now time for the company to have a Kylix strategy, even if an exit strategy.

At the 2004 Borland Conference, the company announced that it was forming a Kylix Community Project to involve a number of leading Kylix developers in decisions involving how to keep the product alive and how the developer community could contribute to the project. Apparently one of the ideas at the time was that if Borland kept the compiler up to date, the community could take care of the libraries, as the CLX library is already in a sort of open source state. I was involved in this project. Apart from a few emails asking when things would get started, nothing happened. We apparently waited forever while someone in Borland's legal department figured out the issues with Trolltech regarding the use of Qt. Since the project head, Chad Hower, moved to Microsoft last year everything has come to a complete stop.

Now I'm asking Borland (and its new CEO, who has/had an involvement with Trolltech) to take some steps regarding this product, which I still use almost on a daily basis and I'm quite happy with. We need a roadmap, along with the Delphi one. Or, as an alternative, an exit strategy. If we know Borland doesn't care any more for sure, we'd at least like to know whether there is anything they can release open source and figure out by ourselves what to do next.

But if Borland is smart, in my opinion, they will indeed keep the product alive. Does this meaning creating a new Linux IDE (the current one refuses to start on most recent distributions)? Not at all. Does it mean update CLX to Qt3? Not at all. All I need (and I think I'm not alone) is an updated compiler. One that solves a couple of subtle issues with recent kernels and (more importantly) updates the language to Delphi 2006 for Win32. I hate being unable to use inlines, strict private, for..in loops and features like these in a server side project I build both on Windows and Linux.

Udpating the compiler will be enough. The libraries, even the core ones, can be taken care of by the community. As for the IDE, I use Delphi 2006 for Linux development, not even with third party plug ins. I have the source code on a shared directory on the server (using samba), open the directory directly from the IDE (benefiting from all of the smart editing features of Delphi 2006), and then use a terminal session (with putty) to compile. OK, I have to manually jump to error lines and I have no debugger, but that's something I can bear.

Anyone from Borland? Can I have a one-to-one interview with the CEO even if I'm not an employee? But please, no whining posts or Borland-lousy.marketing posts in the feedback... I guess for other posts we've had enough and I mostly disagree with the tone! Here I want to hear your positive proposals.



Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

My positive proposal is http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/
Comment by . [] on February 3, 11:13

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

I very much agree with this post. I'd love to have the
IDE working, but lets face it, even on a supported
system it didn't work that well to begin with.

It needs something to happen with it, even just an
updated compiler would be a start.
Comment by hulver [http://www.hulver.com/scoop/] on February 3, 11:13

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

 I would have your opinion:
We have to adapt a large control/command astronomical
software written by foreign (dutch) people.
This is part of a project for 3 years.
The software is Linux, C++, with distributed real-time
What's about the GUI for high level tests programs for
engineers and astronoms ?
- Is it reasonable to try to use Kylix 3 (Borland
France said me today it was impossible to buy Kylix
today ) on a platform Linux RedHat 9 (which can move
maybe later to Debian or ...)
- or use Delphi (I really enjoy it) on a windows
platform for GUI, user processes, ...and communicate
with the linux platform and processes.
In this case, what are the possibilities to
communicate (messages, ...) between windows/delphi
platform etd linux/C++ application ?

Comment by Patrice on February 3, 13:10

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

Marco, I agree with your ideas and support them.
Comment by Burhan [http://http://www.burhanmt.com] on February 3, 13:32

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

Borland needs to settle the CLX licensing issues just
as much as the compiler needs updating.  It's
apparently still not legal to have a public version
control system with the latest CLX+Unvclx patches, so
while the CLX community might not be quite as blocked
as the lack of a compiler is, it's still a whole lot
harder to make enhancements available than it should be.
Comment by Craig [http://www.scootersoftware.com] on February 3, 18:00

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

from what I've been reading from Nick and other guys 
from Borland, it would be an absolute NO to continue 
the development of Kylix, being realistic, Kylix 
wouldn't bring much money to the table (if any at all)
Comment by Eber Irigoyen [ebersys.blogspot.com/] on February 3, 21:46

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

You are right on.  Borland is TOTALLY missing the boat
on Linux.  They need to have a measured Linux strategy
(ala HP for example).  By measured, I mean that they
need to invest in it proportionally.  Having one or
two compiler guys updating and tweaking is probably
about right given the current demand.  I think they
have ZERO folks updating Kylix.  One would think that
at some point the GLOBAL Linux development market
would be able to support a commercial Linux RAD tool.
Comment by Tom Wilk [] on February 4, 05:59

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

Why would anyone invest in something if there is no
return. I think Borland's stand on Kylix is right.
Most people using linux use open source tools to
develop applications. I think there is hardly any
market for a tool like Kylix. I think Borland should
concentrate on Windows(I am no windows fan or favor it
in any way) as it has the biggest market share and
that's where the money is.

Comment by Sandeep Chandra on February 4, 13:47

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

IMHO just upgrading the compiler would not be the 
right way to go. Without a debugger and other 
features I guess productivity would be too low to be 
a feasible path.
But the idea of having a Windows IDE capable of 
compiling for Linux, and something alike remote 
deployment and debugging could be interesting, at 
least as a temporary solution.
Borland should not develop a full native IDE under 
Linux, just some modules to communicate with the BDS 
IDE - not very different than developing for the CF 
or the like.
One would have to use two machines, or WMWare or the 
like, but it's a small issue nowadays.
Comment by Luigi D. Sandon on February 4, 15:40

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

Maybe Google starting with its own Linux distribution
could help making it re-newed and interesting
market...for Borland too?

Comment by Zlatibor Boro Urosevic on February 6, 13:01

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

I mostly agree with you, Marco. 
By the way, Borland should release also source code 
for dbexpress drivers and for midas.dll (no rocket 
science inside.. agreed?).
About profitability of kylix.. pragmatically 
speaking, well, the great part of money needed to 
create Kylix has already been spent.. renouncing to 
enhance the product now means say goodbye *for sure* 
to that money, while a limited investment in compiler 
(and maybe some sort of debugging to exaggerate?) 
could help to come back some already-spent money.
Comment by Roberto Icardi on February 8, 21:29

Where is the Kylix Community Project? 

Comment by Xmmm Bad news... on February 9, 16:51

Βοrland is selling the department of IDE's... 

Rather bad news


What can i say...

PS: Marco please delete above post, sent by accident.
Comment by objectref on February 9, 17:17

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