Embarcadero purchase KSDev

As I can’t see the news up on DelphiFeeds.com yet, I thought I’d just post to report Embarcadero have purchased KSDev, or at least, hired the indie developer behind it and all the intellectual property involved (link). Perhaps the most significant piece of the latter is VGScene, a cross-platform, WPF-like visual framework written in Pascal. According to the man himself,

While at Embarcadero we are not bringing VGScene, DXScene, or ImageFX code forward. I am working on a very exciting next generation App Development project that will go beyond what the KSDev products were providing. It is safe to say that similar functionality of these frameworks will be made available in future Embarcadero development products. I believe it will be well worth the wait.

On the one hand, this is pretty bad news to people who have recently purchased a KSDev product, and quite a few have been venting their feelings in non-tech. On the other though, this is surely excellent news for Delphi itself, strongly connected, I assume, to Allen Bauer’s recent ‘announcement’ that QT is no longer planned to underpin the revived cross platform efforts as it once was (as Jim McKeeth — the interviewer himself — says in the comments however, listen to interview for the actual formulation used). Congrats all round!

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21 thoughts on “Embarcadero purchase KSDev

  1. I’ve listened to Allen’s comments on QT more then a few times, and I am pretty sure he didn’t announce that QT is no longer planned for the cross platform efforts. He simply said that their position on using it had cooled some. I guess you could say he insinuated it.

    My point is until an official announcement they could make the decision to release cross platform widgets using QT and later replace it. Although that would be rather annoying.

    I think you are on to something though with this bit of news. I hadn’t caught it yet, but that really sounds like what Allen was describing as what they were moving towards, and honestly is my ideal as well. Curious how this will effect the timeline though. . . .

    • Hi Jim –

      ‘I am pretty sure he didn’t announce that QT is no longer planned for the cross platform efforts’

      That’s why I used inverted commas round ‘announced’. I’ve now slightly amended the sentence to make its interpretive nature more obvious however.

  2. Alan Bauer saying their position on Qt had cooled some in recent months suggests IMO that not that much progress has been made on the new GUI framework. If the new framework was going to be in XE2 then I would expect the underlying technology to be used to have been set by now !

    As a result I think we know what the next given reason/excuse for slippage of alot of whats on the latest ‘roadmap’ will be IMO . It will be along the lines of ‘we realised Qt wasnt what we needed for the new GUI framework so we are working on a new Technology that will be better for the future and so there will be a delay while we implement this’ . Overall not unlike one of the major reasons/excuses given for the last slippage over 64bit support I think.

    Not suprised one little bit by this myself. Same core staff in charge of Delphi and C++ Builder at Embarcadero as was at Borland in later years, Same old nonsense as they fall further and further behind the rest of the industry IMHO.

    • ‘Alan Bauer saying their position on Qt had cooled some in recent months suggests IMO that not that much progress has been made on the new GUI framework.’

      Well, personally, I wouldn’t see that as a bad thing, given the original timeframe was on the basis of a warmed over CLX. Better do things properly with a genuinely post-VCL framework than not.

      ‘Not suprised one little bit by this myself.’

      You’re not surprised ‘one bit’ by the decision to make the VCL a legacy framework, WinForms style? WTF?

      ‘ Same core staff in charge of Delphi and C++ Builder at Embarcadero as was at Borland in later years, Same old nonsense as they fall further and further behind the rest of the industry IMHO.’

      I find that negative spinning bizarre — going down the route they now are (native code, vector graphics UI framework) is precisely *not* to ‘fall further and further behind the rest of the industry’ as you put it. My own concern would be them biting off more than they can chew (properly working products need to be actually delivered), but we’ll see in due course.

      • ‘Well, personally, I wouldn’t see that as a bad thing, given the original timeframe was on the basis of a warmed over CLX. Better do things properly with a genuinely post-VCL framework than not.’

        I do not recollect there ever been much detail about this Post VCL Framework other than a few buzzwords and vague discussions at least in the public domain. Now it would appear they are going off in a different direction causing further delays and most likely yet again making the last ‘roadmap’ pointless with the usual excuses as to why IMO.

        ‘Not suprised one little bit by this myself’ was referring to that as you know I think 😉

        ‘I find that negative spinning bizarre — going down the routine they now are (native code, vector graphics UI framework) is precisely *not* to ‘fall further and further behind the rest of the industry’ as you put it’

        All fine and dandy if you believe they will execute this in a sensible timescale. I personally do not believe they will. As evidence I give you the Saga of Unicode and now the ongoing wait for 64 bit compilation since arround 2008 and thats been charitable I think 😉 Same core management involved in those as this and same nonsense again IMO.

        They are not falling further and further behind when they deliver the vision physically to use in developers hands working not a Sales/PR or in yet another ‘roadmap’. You allude to this yourself to an extent with

        ‘My own concern would be them biting off more than they can chew (properly working products need to be actually delivered), but we’ll see in due course.’

        Thus I stand by my comment above namely :

        Same core staff in charge of Delphi and C++ Builder at Embarcadero as was at Borland in later years, Same old nonsense as they fall further and further behind the rest of the industry IMHO.

      • ‘I do not recollect there ever been much detail about this Post VCL Framework other than a few buzzwords and vague discussions at least in the public domain.’

        What are you talking about? By ‘post-VCL framework’ I meant what seems to be their new direction. Before, there were various ‘hints’ that a revived CLX would be basis of the UI part of the cross platform work, and I do not call CLX a ‘post-VCL framework’ – rather, it’s a ‘VCL-like framework’.

        ‘Now it would appear they are going off in a different direction causing further delays’

        I restate my earlier point: if it means *not* taking the warmed-over CLX route, then that’s all for the better.

        ‘As evidence I give you the Saga of Unicode’

        What saga? The introduction was pretty timely IMO, if largely made possible by externalities – i.e., like with the 16->32 bit transition, the change when made could be done as a clean break. Cf. 64 bit, which is needed in parallel to continued 32 bit support.

        ‘Same core staff in charge of Delphi and C++ Builder at Embarcadero as was at Borland in later years’

        Correct.

        ‘Same old nonsense as they fall further and further behind the rest of the industry IMHO.’

        Be honest with yourself: you would be saying that *regardless* of the direction taken.

        • ‘What are you talking about? By ‘post-VCL framework’ I meant what seems to be their new direction. Before, there were various ‘hints’ that a revived CLX would be basis of the UI part of the cross platform work, and I do not call CLX a ‘post-VCL framework’ – rather, it’s a ‘VCL-like framework’.’

          How can it be defined a new direction when they never gave much information on the original direction ?
          This is precisely the problem IMO. They come up with one approach then before anything much is done another Idea comes along that they think is cool and thats is suddenly the replacement. It is then delay after delay as a result as there is no real direction and they hop from one concept to another, we get the usual excuses about it and the tools fall further and further behind as result IHMO.

          ‘I restate my earlier point: if it means *not* taking the warmed-over CLX route, then that’s all for the better.’

          If yet another change of direction causes yet further delays I dont see how it is for the better. The clock is ticking 😉

          ‘‘As evidence I give you the Saga of Unicode’
          What saga? The introduction was pretty timely IMO, if largely made possible by externalities – i.e., like with the 16->32 bit transition, the change when made could be done as a clean break. Cf. 64 bit, which is needed in parallel to continued 32 bit support.’

          Unicode implementation was Timely ? I do not think so it was YEARS late compared with other mainstream toolsets and I remember well the complaints about the delays implementing it , Same is happening with 64bit Bit now only more so IMO. Its 2011 now not 2008 when I seem to remember it was originally going to be delivered in some form and that is been charitable saying it was 2008 I think.

        • You’re just whinging for the sake of it — as I said, you’d be complaining whatever they did. What on earth is wrong with trying different things (essentially in private, as you say) before settling on the path that is actually then properly taken? Don’t tell me you’re so perfect as to know the One True Path as soon as a major decision is to be made.

          ‘Unicode implementation was Timely ? I do not think so it was YEARS late’

          Er right, that’s why when it was done there were a load of complaints saying no one really needs Unicode. You forget that people were still vocal about needing Win9x deployment support even in the BDS/D2006 times.

        • ‘You’re just whinging for the sake of it’

          And I could argue you are wearing the rose coloured sunglasses for the sake of it. Not that I would mind you everyone is entitled to an opinion and I don’t get personal 😉

          ‘What on earth is wrong with trying different things (essentially in private, as you say) before settling on the path that is actually then properly taken?’

          Nothing if they did that and then stuck to the path chosen and brought it to a working product. Trouble is they dont IMO as Ive said and why in previous posts.

          ‘Don’t tell me you’re so perfect as to know the One True Path as soon as a major decision is to be made.’

          Of course not . But then I also don’t keep changing path and priorities all the time while not making alot of progress as they Do IMO.
          I dont have the luxury of doing that 😉

          ‘‘Unicode implementation was Timely ? I do not think so it was YEARS late’

          ‘Er right, that’s why when it was done there were a load of complaints saying no one really needs Unicode.’

          As I remember alot of that was caused by the way Unicode was implemented with no way to switch back to ANSI . Quite a few found their applications werent easy to move to Unicode and where they were selling to a single country were not happy as a result and thus comments along lines of ‘No really Needs Unicode’ in annoyance more than anything else IMO.

          Strange how most other mainstream tools in 2009 had by that stage had unicode support for Several YEARS if ‘no one really needs unicode’ was the case at that point in time I think 😉

          ‘You forget that people were still vocal about needing Win9x deployment support even in the BDS/D2006 times.’

          Still the case in D2007 times and especially start of D2009 times ? News to me and quite a few other people I think 😉 Also Vocal doesnt always equate to large numbers 😉

        • You are getting on my nerves. I have never said everything is wonderful, but neither do I believe the world can become a perfect one. You plainly disagree.

          ‘Quite a few found their applications werent easy to move to Unicode’

          Partly a function of Delphi traditionally never properly deprecating anything, which built up a mass of kudges that continued to be supported. People even complained when that ‘with’ bug was finally closed!

          ‘Still the case in D2007 times and especially start of D2009 times ?’

          Er? I said the BDS/Delphi 2006 times. What part of that don’t you understand?

          ‘Also vocal doesnt always equate to large numbers’

          Do you have a better empirical measurement to hand that complaints from different people on the official Delphi fora/newsgroups? It may not be a perfect yardstick by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it is one.

  3. In regards to the purchase KSDev IP and employment of the Developer. The way its been handled is IMHO very poor both by developer concerned and Embarcadero.

    If you look on forums for KSDev the developer just seems to have disappeared off face of earth arround 13th January (incidently the date on front page he says all products were considered ‘final release’ and ‘feature complete’ ). Then some time arround 3rd Feburary that front page went up stating whats happened.

    Meanwhile between those dates, while not posting on the forums there was apparently no trouble answering someone by email on 26/01/2011 to direct them to a link to purchase an upgrade when some one found the purchase link not working !

    See http://www.ksdev.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=956&start=10

    In addition they were recently selling lifetime component licenses that werent cheap to say the least !

    So I can understand the people using the components concerned ‘venting’ on EDN about it after reading that statement on front page of KSdev site !

    Which comes to Embarcadero part in all this that is also IMHO very poor.
    Note that that front page statement says :

    ‘KSDev’s intellectual property has been purchased by Embarcadero Technologies’

    and

    ‘While at Embarcadero we are not bringing VGScene, DXScene, or ImageFX code forward. I am working on a very exciting next generation App Development project that will go beyond what the KSDev products were providing’

    If that is case what was the need to ‘purchase the intellectual property’ ? IMO it looks like the opportunity couldn’t be resisted for an indirect premptive strike on the Lazarus/Freepascal community as they are now considered a future competitor in the cross platform/64bit space , especially if VGScene/Dxscene was still available.

    If that is the case they should remember that freepascal is indirectly helping them in a number of cases to keep Developers using Delphi by supplying at least a stopgap capability to compile 64bit code when required while they time after time fail to provide it themselves.

    In the case of the abandoned Delphi/C++ Builder users I wonder how many of those will think twice about upgrading, continuing SA or even implementing their next project in Delphi/C++ Builder when the position they find themselves in is apparently caused in the most part by Embarcadero ?

    Will be interesting to see if the thread/s mentioning KSDev on EDN ‘disappears’ on Monday morning PST . Wouldn’t be the first time would it ? 😉

    • Something like that happened I meant of course. I can remember one infamous instance last summer of the mysterious ‘disappearing’ threads on EDN 😉

    • ‘The way its been handled is IMHO very poor both by developer concerned and Embarcadero.’

      Whatever. Myself, I think it’s a bit dubious of the developer to have still sold licences right up until the point he bailed out. However, I’m not particularly inclined to criticise a talented individual who is now guaranteed both a fixed regular income and wider support for his efforts.

      • What did I say in my post? ‘On the one hand, this is pretty bad news to people who have recently purchased a KSDev product’. A very basic utilitarian calculation can be made however: the proportion of Delphi users who have purchased a VGScene licence is tiny.

  4. Have to say Nokia fails to make Qt as wonderful as it may be. Therefore, if Embarcadero finally “gives it up” I won’t be surprised.

    • My own reservations with the ‘warmed over CLX’ possibility were for the opposite reason — CLX would add neglible benefit (and some pain) to just programming QT directly.

  5. As a long time user of KSDev ThemeEngine (and before that SkinEngine) I’m more than a little worried about support now. An updated version 9.20 of ThemeEngine was announced to me a few weeks ago. I downloaded it and it broke components that I used successfully before. The thought of being stuck with 9.1 for the indefinite future is not very appealing to me either. Sigh, so it goes.

    Congrats to KSDev though for the move and I hope you prosper under the Embarcadero umbrella. Without a doubt Eugene is a savvy and hard working developer. If he has some proper QA people backing him up he will rock.

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