My last post on the rationale for having a Trial Version of Delphi 2006 and a Personal Edition has generated a flurry of comments, on the blog and on Delphi's non-tech newsgroup, and even a blog post by Allen Bauer, Delphi's chief architect, with its own readers' feeback.
Here I have no intention to comment each of those posts, but only to clarify further what I mean. Notice that what triggered my post was the request for a trial from a customer to whom I had given a 3-day .NET development class earlier this week. They have MS tools but also a lot of Delphi experience and were deciding where to go next (possibly ASP.NET in Delphi 2006).
First, I'm not among those predicting doom days for Delphi unless Borland follows my suggestions, or even despite they do so. Today I see Delphi as a very strong contender. It is the only Win32 RAD tool on the market, and boy, Win32 development is far from dead. It is the only Win32/.NET migration tool on the market, and this is even more relevant. It is the only .NET tool that doesn't lock you into a single vendor strategy (one SQL server, one Web Server, one Version Control, one version of the operating system -- Vista -- one of everything... with Microsoft's name invariably on it). Delphi is one of the few tools that allows me to write high-performance Apache modules with DB backends for both Windows and Linux in a rather easy way. So, I'm sorry, I'm not with the many who posted on my blog implying "MS is leading, Delphi is useless". I'm with the few who said, Borland is doing a great job. Keep on doing it, and do it even better if you can... Come on, MS can give away VS2005 as they are making so much money elsewhere... Borland cannot provide us with free tools. Period.
Second, regarding Allen's post, I'm happy he spent time to give some rationale for the "Delayed Trial Habit": piracy, friendly impluse buyers, and so on. I think that now I and the community can understand better. About the " nefarious individuals ", they have already posted the full Delphi 2006 on their warez sites (I've been told), so the trial won't do much more harm. Also, AFAIK, the " Borland 30-day return policy " doesn't hold in many countries outside of the US. On the account I'm not 100% convinced, but I'm very happy for the openess. That's mostly what I was looking for (understanding Borland, helping them clarify, and maybe push them a little) and I'm happy that I contributed to getting this information out.
I'm also now very intrigued to see how " just as BDS2006 is a very different product from previous releases, so too will be the marketing ". And finally, I have to thank Allen for his kind words about me (" on behalf of the BDS team I'd like to thank Marco... "). Rest assured I'll keep using, promoting, and writing about Delphi as long as you keep feeding us with great technology as you have been doing over the last 11 years. And my Delphi 2006 free ebook will be out in a few days...