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Kylix in Limbo 443

IgD writes "Kylix, Borland's Linux port of their popular Delphi compiler has been covered on Slashdot before. LinuxWorld is reporting that Kylix development is in limbo. Many speculate this is a politically correct way of saying the project has been abandoned. There hasn't been any updates to Kylix 3.0 in well over a year. One user who attended BorCon this year wrote in his blog that Borland didn't have any updates to Kylix planned for 2004. This is really disheartening news. Why didn't Kylix sell? Does this say something about the application or about the difficulties of marketing a commercial Linux application?"
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Kylix in Limbo

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  • Delphi? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qweezle ( 681365 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:04PM (#7413941) Journal
    I don't know much about Delphi, but I know a good deal of Java, and it seems that the "new thing" for Linux is Java.

    I'm sure there's a market for Delphi, but why not just use C or C++?
    • Re:Delphi? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omibus ( 116064 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:14PM (#7414021) Homepage Journal
      It is called ease of use, also known as a RAD development. Fact is, using delphi you can get a program done in roughly half the time, complete with a gui ui. That is why Delphi/Kylix is importaint. That is why C# exists (and looks like delphi).
      • Re:Delphi? (Score:5, Informative)

        by leapis ( 89780 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @02:39AM (#7414939)
        I've been a fan of Borland Delphi for many years now. After trying VB, MSVC++, and Delphi, I found Delphi the easiest to use. Its native code dependencies make it easy to deploy applications without worrying if the user is running the latest version of the MS C++ runtime libraries (MFC), and the ever growing library of natively written code makes it easy to deploy all kinds of applications. I do have one giant complaint about Borland, though. They make little effort to fix known and documented bugs in their software.

        About three years ago, I found a bug in the implementation of the virtual list view. I filled out their online bug report, giving in excruciating detail an explanation of what the problem was, why I thought it was happening, and exactly what had to be done to reproduce it. Three days later, I got a response that the bug was verified as existing, had been cataloged, and would be fixed in the next update. That was in Delphi 5.0.2. Now, 3 years later, they're on Delphi 7, and the bug still hasn't been fixed. Talking to colleagues of mine, I have found other examples of the exact same pattern: Bug gets reported, bug acknowledged by Borland, bug never gets fixed.

        Borland really needs to fix these kinds of problems, as they only lead to frustrations for programmers. If they're going to take the trouble to catalog and verify bugs, they really need to go one step further and fix them.
        • Re:Delphi? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Glonoinha ( 587375 )
          I used Delphi for several years. If they had adopted ODBC database connectivity instead of their Borland custom database connectivity I would still be using Delphi and Builder.
      • Re:Delphi? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kaffiene ( 38781 )
        RAD tools are pretty dodgy - at least, Delphi certainly is. Yes, it's quick to wack together simple GUI programs, but the code produced is often brittle and difficult to maintain. The company I work for has some Delphi products, and the original architect of those admits that Delphi makes them hard to maintain or change.

        I come from a background of using emacs and the command line for building my code, and for me, Delphi sucks big time for being very restrictive and rather stupidly focused on the graphica
    • Linux users by their nature are averse to paying for software. I would rather roll my own stuff using Java, Tcl, PHP, etc. and then not be dependent on a company like Borland.

      I looked at Kylix as it looked cool but now it appears I was correct in avoiding it. I pity companies who try to sell software to people like me who are addicted to free (as in beer) software.
      • I pity people like you who are addicted to free (as in beer) software and thereby never will get many professional grade graphics and audio applications, even games for your platform of choice.

        Flamebait/Troll? Nah, not really. Choice is good, and by refusing to buy available commercial software for open platforms, you make it increasingly less likely for other companies even to conscider develop anything for that platform.

        Now, hit me with that laser beam. :)
      • I pity companies who try to sell software to people like me who are addicted to free (as in beer) software.

        I pity the companies who tried to develop Linux software using Kylix and are now orphaned. I'd say that this is the reason why Linux users try to avoid non-free (as in slavery) software.

        If Kylix were free (as in freedom) software, at least the users who still wanted to use it would have the option of paying for a team to continue support and upkeep. Now they're a SOL if they need anything fixed/ca

      • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @03:52AM (#7415103) Homepage
        You are off the mark my dear.

        Linux users may be averse to paying software.

        Companies designing products for linux or under linux are not. There it is a bang for the buck. They will pay without a second thought if the product will save the same amount of money in in-house time and/or development.

        Kylix in essence is a corporate product. So there is no aversion in question.

        I think that the problem with Kylix is:

        1. It was both early and late. Too late for the entusiasts and too early for the companies. Companies are just starting to be interested in Linux as a client and starting to look for RAD. Till now they though of it as only a server.

        2. There is a considerable dislike towards borland in the professional development community. The general consensus is that their products are not up to the mark. As a result it is usually not even shortlisted (at least this was the case where I work).

        Overall, if they want to ever sell in this market they have to continue keeping the barrier to entusiasts low or near zero and continue trying to sell. They are handicapped by selling against a negative opinion, but it is their fault at the end of the day so it is up to them to deal with it.
    • Re:Delphi? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Object Pascal is a beautiful language. It is rationally designed and easily readable without being overly wordy or obsenely terse. It works constistantly, it's a fast language to compile and it's a compiled language, no virtual machines. There are at least three free compilers for Pascal, in addition to the somewhat pricey Delphi. Why in pascal? Why in C? There's little enough you can do in one that you can't do in the other. It's personal preference. Of the fifteen or so languages I've written code
  • by TechnoGrl ( 322690 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:07PM (#7413970)
    Maybe it had something to do with the 1000+ price you had to pay for the full developer version? You think?

    Oh yes, Borland has come a long way since Phillipe's idea of a full blown compiler as good (if not better) than anything on the market for 99 bucks. Gone are the days of Turbo Pascal and Turbo C ... hello to increasing "Shareholder Value".

    And Helloooo to you too linux you're looking better by the minute!
    • Maybe it had something to do with the 1000+ price you had to pay for the full developer version? You think?

      Isn't that about the price of many of the more popular IDEs? VS.NET Professional sticker price is also $999 ( check amazon for instance ).

      Oh yes, Borland has come a long way since Phillipe's idea of a full blown compiler as good (if not better) than anything on the market for 99 bucks.

      Borland has one of the best IDEs I've used, definately the best Java IDE I've used as a *free* download. I hav

      • includes everything one componant (like VC) is not nearly that expensive. Anyway, i wish turboC existed for linux. I love that IDE.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          The old-style Turbo C IDE does exist for Linux. A clone called RHIDE [] provides a very similar look and feel, and many new features.
      • by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:41PM (#7414182) Journal
        Isn't that about the price of many of the more popular IDEs? VS.NET Professional sticker price is also $999 ( check amazon for instance ).

        Apple, meet Orange.

        You're comparing a Win32 development tool to a Linux development tool. Now I'll pretend you know this, and debate it anyways-- with Visual Studio .NET Professional you don't just get one language, you get access to four. You get Visual C# .NET, Visual C++ .NET, Visual Basic .NET and Visual J# .NET. With Kylix all you get is Delphi (Pascal) and C++ (which I'm not entirely sure, but I think the backend uses gcc-- I may be wrong on this point though).. two languages vs. four languages in VS.

        Of course the odd thing is, Kylix has an "open edition" that's free as in beer for GPL work, IIRC. It doesn't make sense that Linux developers wanting to try it out wouldn't try the OE version then pay for the retail version if they wanted to do commercial apps down the road.

        Borland has one of the best IDEs I've used, definately the best Java IDE I've used as a *free* download. I have never needed to use anything that's not available in the JBuilder Personal edition.

        Agreed, their IDE's have always been a winner with me, but their marketing skills leave loads to be desired. Just check out some of the prices at vs. the prices list at for examples of the travesty going on at Borland today. *shakes head*

        • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:00AM (#7414282)
          > their marketing skills leave loads to be desired

          I don't think the marketing and development departments at Borland have ever met. They've had some of the best developers over the years, yet especially in the last few years their marketing and PR was filled with arrogant know-it-alls. And the hordes of apologists for whom Borland could do no wrong don't help. Microsoft may have done VB first, but Borland did it right, yet ironically it's Microsoft reaping the benefits of much of that hard work at Borland.
        • Apple. Orange. Meet the Fruit Fucker 2000! []
        • You seem to know something, but you refer to Visual C#.NET, Visual C++.NET, Visual Basic.NET and Visual J#.NET as four languages. Only one of these actually allows you to use the CRL to its full capacity, and that's C#. Visual Basic.NET is a joke, as even the Visual Basic people will attest. Visual J#.NET is an even funnier, but more esoteric joke. You really get just one language, C#, its CRL engine, and some more or less half-baked alternative front ends.
          • You seem to know something, but you refer to Visual C#.NET, Visual C++.NET, Visual Basic.NET and Visual J#.NET as four languages. Only one of these actually allows you to use the CRL to its full capacity, and that's C#.

            Sure, if all you're targetting is .NET and the CLR, C# is the only language that matters-- but back to the price debate, if all you want is C#, go buy Visual C# .NET Standard for $99 at your local Best Buy or what have you. However, if you want to do native x86 Win32 development, Visual C

      • Development environments are becoming a commodity. There are piles of good tools available, many of them are not only free, but are Free Software as well.

        Kylix was a half-baked attempt at a Linux IDE, using a language that is losing marketshare. The fact that the enterprise version cost over $1000 was certainly an issue. I can get buckets of Free tools that are less buggy than Kylix, and they don't put me at the mercy of Borland.

        The fact that Microsoft can still get folks to pay for VS.NET is irrelev

  • Not surprised (Score:3, Informative)

    by rabtech ( 223758 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:08PM (#7413977) Homepage
    Delphi, with its ability to write Windows programs, was having trouble enough. Once Visual Basic came along, it really stole a lot of their thunder in terms of making it easy to write windows programs.

    So now you look at a platform like Linux, with a minority marketshare, and look at Delphi with its already small marketshare.... that adds up for ..... yup, small marketshare.

    Oh, don't forget dotnet and java, both of which have a lot of muscle behind them.

    • IIRC, Visual Basic is released much earlier than Delphi. I remember using VB3 in Win3.1 before Delphi 1 was even out. It's already pretty good. The breakthrough was IIRC the speed of Delphi. That forces the VB to fix its speed.

    • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by djmurdoch ( 306849 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:26PM (#7414095)
      Once Visual Basic came along, it really stole a lot of their thunder in terms of making it easy to write windows programs.

      Actually, Visual Basic came out before Delphi did. Delphi was designed later and was for many years a better product than VB, but:

      - It was based on Pascal, not C, so lots of people thought it was a toy.

      - It wasn't standard Pascal, so Pascal bigots didn't like it either.

      - It wasn't a Microsoft product, so people didn't think it would stay around a long time.

      There were lots of other problems too: Borland financial mismanagement, MS hiring away designers, etc., but I think "Not C" and "Not Microsoft" were the big ones.

    • Bzzz. Thanks for playing.

      VB pre-dates Delphi. Early VB versions existed at about the same time as Turbo Pascal for Windows, but TPW was little at doing Windows programs than was C. If you wanted RAD GUI development under Windows, VB was it, even with all it's, ahem, pecadiloes. Delphi came second, and was a welcome breath of fresh air because it could do the RAD GUI stuff, but was still based on a real language.

    • This article is kind of interesting:,4149,1370394,00.a s p []

      In particular, read: 'In 1999, Borland and Microsoft settled the lawsuit in a private agreement. Microsoft made a $25 million investment in Borland, and the companies entered into a $100 million alliance through which Borland would license core Microsoft technology. Borland continues to license core Microsoft components, becoming the first and only licensee of .Net Framework last year.'

      This is similar to Corel dro

  • Well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jbardell ( 677791 )
    When you have a multitude of free (beer), easy to use dev tools already out there for a platform, it's gonna be tough to push a product such as this. The biggest use I can see for it is to port apps, and even that doesn't seem to be quite popular.
    • Exactly. Why pay good money for development closed source development tools that leave you at the mercy of Borland when there are piles and piles of excellent Free tools with active communities and a guaranteed future. I bet that the folks that did pay for Kylix are upset that they trusted Borland.

      Development tools have become a commodity boys and girls.

    • exactly. If porting borland apps to GNU/Linux was important to anyone, there be an LGPL'd BoredLand project (or some other pun-ish name).

      5 years ago, I used the Borland compiler in college, and it was great. For the last three years, I've used only Free Software, and it's great. But this year I've returned to college, and I'm faced with the Borland compiler again, and it SUCKS!

      So what changed? I accepted what I got back then. Now I expect:
      1. to use my editor of choice, and still have access to docs
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:08PM (#7413983)
    I've been using Kylix for about 3 months now, and I've reached the stage of considering completely abandoning Kylix and continuing with linux native C++ and Qt.

    I've been developing a file manager which makes use of the components below. With every component I've described issues I've found with them.

    - Some very weird bug caused spontaneous segmentation faults during the command. I traced the cause of the segmentation fault the a line similar to Form1.Edit1.caption := ''. If I remove that line there is no problem. This is definately weird stuff.

    - Assigning and reading the top and left properties during form creating will give wrong results and in some cases cause the form to be put in the wrong place.

    TMainMenu, TPopupMenu:
    - The BeforeDrawMenuItem gets buggy if boldfaced characters are used.

    - Drag and Drop implementation is completely screwed up. Whether I use CLX OnDragStart kind of commands or code which calls Qt directly, drag and drop operations will give rise to strange mouse behavior.
    - Multiselect and Drag 'n Drop is not compatible. I've had to rewrite all the mouse handling in order to be able to drag 'n drop and select items. I had to deny all mouse events to CLX in order for everything to work.
    - Multiple columns and an Imagelist will cause images to be displayed in the subcolumns even if the imageindex is -1.
    - OnDrawItem fails miserably. In the first place there is no direct way of knowing what column your are drawing the information for. In the second place the canvas provided to draw on stretches beyond other columns. If you drag the scrollbars the drawed data gets screwed up.
    The TTreeView has all the same problems as the TListView, as they both are based on Qt's QListView

    -TCoolBar & TToolbar
    A Ttoolbar on a TCool bar gives a wrong height property for buttons on the toolbar. A Toolbar sometimes spontaneously gives itself another position on my form. This is not reproducible and happens occasionally.

    General Problems:
    -The FindFirst command is very limited. Instead of providing all items available in a TStatBuf buffer it does some translation to windows which eliminates some of linux's cool aspects like symbolic links. Directories and System files are indistinguishable because of bad code in CLX.

    - On my Redhat 7.2 computer using Kylix is one big Illegal Operation festival.
    - On my Redhat 7.1 computer I can't use the debugger because it WILL crash after 4-9 debug cycles.
    - Icon support is really bad. The kylix code is unable to decode almost all ordinary .ico files.

    These are just some issues which I can think of at the moment. There are more. During development of this program I've spent more than 50% of my time solving problems with Kylix. This consists of either looking for workarounds, changing CLX code, calling Qt directly, or rewriting components entirely. So many functions provided by Qt are not available in Kylix, which in some cases severely limits the functionality of the Kylix components. The only things which went well were calls which bypassed CLX or used LibC. I'm seriously considering dumping kylix and using Qt directly. I've gotten fed up with having to debug Borland's attempt at a layer between Qt and their compiler. I don't feel like waiting for Kylix version 3.0 or whatever in which they've hopefully solved all these issues. I hope someone will convince me otherwise because I believe Kylix has great potential. I've been using Delphi for some time now and I love Delphi. It has been a great disappointment to see Kylix fail.
    • I've never used Kylix, but there are similiar bugs in C++ Builder which make it unusable. I've never found a bug in the Graphics components, but the C++ standard library is FULL of bugs, even in trivial functions like strcpy(), the istream implementation is so bad its a joke. Even simple programs are impossible to write.
    • by RandyF ( 588707 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @01:50AM (#7414778) Journal

      I hacked it for about 5 months working on a cross-platform idea I had (2 months on K2, 3 on K3). The interface to QT was to shallow and they installed an older patched QT version to link statically. The C++ learning curve is smaller than the K3 bug stomping exercise. There were too many features that you just couldn't use because of minor bugs or incomplete interfaces. Just try manipulating fonts on a TPrinter canvas and you'll see what I mean.

      The concept was great. I drooled for the chance to get my hands on it. I would have gladly paid the $1K if the test/GPL version had proven a little more robust. I eventually had to abandon it too. If the finished shipping product had that many problems, I wasn't going to wait for the fixes. Now, I'm glad I didn't.

      It's really a shame. Borland used to be the best there was on compiler/IDE usability. Their vision wasn't lacking on Kylix, just their engineering. Oh well. Back to the fish tank.

    • Try KDevelop. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:57AM (#7416786) Homepage
      .. Namely, the new Gideon coming out with KDE 3.2( KDevelop 3.0 ). It's by far the best IDE available on Linux IMO, closed OR open. You've got code-completion, integrated debugging, integrated leak checking, integrated CVS, and it all works like a snap. And if you're dveeloping KDE or QT apps with it, it integrates with QT designer so you have a visual UI editor as well. Also the new version has support for Java.

      I tried Kylix before, and seriously, KDevelop royally kicks its arse. I don't know why anyone wanting a graphical linux IDE would use anything else.

      Of course, there's always VI for the non-grpahical peeps.
  • by ShwAsasin ( 120187 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:09PM (#7413985) Journal
    The problem with Kylix was it's price. Borland was charing a ridiculous price for a product that albeit good wasn't worth the price. It's also hard to convince your boss (atleast in my situation) that Linux was free and came with C/C++ compilers but I had to pay for Kylix.

    If they had a reasonable price perhaps it wouldn't flown but lets be realistic, it's not going to get a lot of support without having a cheap price or an open source version available.
  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by keesh ( 202812 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:10PM (#7413990) Homepage
    Kylix didn't sell because it was a pile of crap. I used to do a lot of stuff with Delphi (paid lots of money to Borland too), but when I ditched Windows I felt no incentive to carry on with Kylix. I tried the Open Edition, and it wasn't a patch on Delphi. Klunky, buggy, lousy unportable code. Not worth it.
  • by hherb ( 229558 ) <(horst) (at) (> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:10PM (#7413997) Homepage
    On Linux, there is a cornucopia of free programming languages and tool boxes ready to use. Why then should I use a commercial closed implementation of a proprietary non-standard language with non-standard libraries, not portable beyond merely Linux and Windows, and then only some versions of those?

    I don't mind spending big bucks on good tools. After all, it is magnitudes more expensive to familairize oneself with new tools than actually buying them. But I do mind when my favourite tools suddenly become deprecated at the mere whim of a corporate - and Borland has a poor track record here.

    Thus, no matter how good the performance of Kylix, and no matter how excellent and slick the IDE and libraries, I would not touch it with a ten foot pole unless I have some guarantee that I will be able to access the full source when I really need to.

    Most people knowledgeable enough to develop on Linux have been burnt in the past by proprietary tools, have learnt expensive and painful lessons that way. Never more! Our freedom is too precious to sell out ever again.
  • hey borland... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxinull ( 685219 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:13PM (#7414008) Homepage Journal
    GPL it! :)
  • I think kylix didn't catch on for a few reasons
    1. kylix was using winelib

      linux users don't like using apps which were half-ported using a windows emulator (see wordperfect, winamp3)
    2. better alternatives exist

      you want to make gui apps? use the qt or kde libraries. use gtk even. you want a gui app in an easier language? use pyqt, pykde, or even pygtk. perl-gtk if you're really desperate. kylix doesn't offer anything over these. I personally made a few pyqt apps in a matter of hours (see pysp [])
    • kylix was using winelib

      linux users don't like using apps which were half-ported using a windows emulator (see wordperfect, winamp3)

      Bzzt! Wrong answer. Kylix used winelib. The applications themselves didn't. I've used kylix, and it was really barely noticable.

      There were other issues however. It's a shame. JBuilder really didn't become usable until versions 4 and 5. Kylix should get the same chance.
      • There were other issues however. It's a shame. JBuilder really didn't become usable until versions 4 and 5. Kylix should get the same chance.

        You are quite correct. A new product comes into this market, but attacks it like it was MS. Borland is doing the same. I own it, but I do not care for it (I am back to kdevelop and simple vi). Borland stands a good chance if they pour resources into it and chase after the Novell/Suse platform. The question is will they? I suspect not.
  • Kylix had been in the running as the tool we'd use when we start a complete rewrite of our companies flagship product. cross platform is one of the major requirements set down by the boss and kylix seemed quite good. When testing/evaluating it had a few bugs and we also had the issue of the majority of our programmers are not C++ gods, but it was still quite high on the list. The high license cost was another issue that we had to consider. $25,000 in licences for a company that sells $1,000,000 a year
    • Might I suggest you take a look at wxWindows []? It is a full featured toolkit for Windows, Mac (Classic and OS 9/X Carbon), Linux/UNIX (GTK, Motif, and also plain old X11 using wxUniversal to draw the widgets), and now Cocoa (the native OS X framework). (NOTE: I am the lead (sole?) developer of wxCocoa)

      AOL has used it for their new AOL Communicator. I have used it to write PhotoFlair [] and several other people in the same line of work as you use it on a regular basis. Support via mailing lists is excellent

    • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:13AM (#7414360)
      I've been a huge fan of Delphi for years, but seeing Borland's attitude lately, and especially their PR double-speak and kowtowing to Microsoft, I think it's time to move on. They seem to be spending a lot more time dot-netting Delphi than evolving the langugage.

      For native Win32 apps I still think Delphi is best, even in arrested development. But for cross-platform apps I'm very intrigued by Python and wxWindows (or wxPython). The apps seem to be truly portable, and wxWindows has such good binding to native widgets that you can create truly nice-looking and seamless GUIs. For most business-type applications I think it's a really viable option.
      • I came through Pascal -> Delphi -> Java -> Python. I can tell you that Python and wxWindows are great. Python alone is especially great, and although wxWindows has its quirks, it's not bad and works well for me.

        Add to that the fact that you can create Python executable files (.exe) for Windows, and Win users will never know it's not a C++ or Delphi program.

        I assume from your post that you are new to Python. Welcome! It is very Delphi-type-of-Pascal-like and you'll probably feel right at home.
        • > I assume from your post that you are new to Python. Welcome!

          Thanks. I've been playing with it for a few months now, looking for some meaty project to throw at it. I'm still looking for a decent free IDE with code insight-type functionality, because memorizing huge class frameworks isn't my thing. I've tried Boa, which is pretty nice, but I think they went a bit tab control crazy there.

          With so much of the functionality of a modern GUI provided by the native widgets nowadays, the speed penalty of an in
  • kylix (Score:3, Informative)

    by HBI ( 604924 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:18PM (#7414041) Journal
    Some of the problems might have been that you had to run one of the mass market distros to even get the installer to run.

    Obviously Gentoo was out - so I couldn't install it there.

    Atop RH 8 it ran like a dog, slower than molasses. Turning off the antialiasing helped, but not that much. The Win32 version was much more responsive. It appeared like the environment was running in some kind of emulation layer.

    It didn't use the GNU toolchain so porting the apps was nigh unto impossible.

    It didn't seem like a winner, and I happen to like Delphi...
    • Some of the problems might have been that you had to run one of the mass market distros to even get the installer to run.

      Obviously Gentoo was out - so I couldn't install it there.

      Hm. I've installed it at verious times on various Gentoo boxes. No issues. I had some font issues on a Debian box, but so far Kylix and Gentoo has been a very comfortable combination for me.
  • Kylix doesn't sell?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by millette ( 56354 ) <> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:19PM (#7414047) Homepage Journal

    IgD writes:

    "Why didn't Kylix sell?"

    I didn't see a trace of that in either the article or the blog...

    Then in the blog:

    "Simon did come out and flatly said there were no plans to update Kylix in 2004 [...] Simon was clear that Kylix has not been abandoned..."

    So no, it hasn't really been abandoned. It's just Borlands usual way of releasing stuff.

  • I own a copy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nurf ( 11774 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:20PM (#7414053) Homepage
    I bought Kylix 3.0, and my biggest complaint with it is that it feels like a Windows program forced to run on Linux. Not just the IDE (which uses WINE to run), but the language implementation itself.

    It feels like the developers have hardly used it itself, and I guess that's why it just isn't as much of a pleasure to use as (say) Turbo Pascal was.

    I love having a decent pascal compiler for Linux, and I like the fact that I can recompile my code on Windows, but I keep bumping into things that just shouldn't be the way they are.

    For example: I have triggered segfaults when exceeding boundaries on arrays. Excuse me? I'm using a typesafe language with bounds checking specifically enabled. I expect the program to halt on the line of code that is attempting to access an out of bounds address BEFORE said access happens. I expect all variables to be current and correct. I expect to be able to see exactly what went wrong exactly as it happened. That's one of the reasons to use pascal. I'm paying 5% overhead for that luxury, now hand it over!

    The other reason to use pascal is the fast compile times, which is great.

    I'm happy to have a pascal compiler with a nice IDE and neat rapid application development stuff for applications, and I use it by preference. It just feels unpolished and rough.

    Oh, yeah, shipping apps sucks too - they require you to make wrappers and point LD_* things to shared libraries that you have to identify yourself. VERY MESSY and STUPID. Let me make static apps if I have to, but I get pissed off when the recommended solution for messiness is to wrap every executable I make in a script. Yuk. Not likely.

    *sigh* So I guess Love/Hate it is.

    Love pascal. Loved Turbo Pascal. Like Kylix. Hate icky stupid bits in Kylix.

    Kylix devs should be forced to eat their dogfood. When they release a fully functional IDE written in Kylix, I will be willing to believe they have actually used it. Until then, I'll use it anyway, and occasionally rant in public. :-)
    • Re:I own a copy (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you like Object Pascal so much, why not use Free Pascal [] or even GNU Pascal []? Both have support for Delphi's language, though there are no fancy IDEs.

      Anyway, I like Free Pascal better.
  • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:20PM (#7414058)
    When it comes to selling stuff, my old man always says "there's a lot more people with 5 bob in their pocket than 5 quid."

    I like Delphi, but having to spend $1,500+ to buy it means I tend to skip versions nowadays.

    I remember buying Turbo Pascal for about $90.

    Perhaps Borland would sell a lot more copies of Delphi and Kylix if it was $150 instead of $1,500.
    • Part of the arguement for the higher price is, get this, that Borland wasn't being taken seriously by corporations because the lower price seemed to indicate that their tools were meant for hobbyists and not serious enterprise development.

      Yes, you can stop laughing, it's not funny anymore.
  • Alternatives.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by robnsara ( 135532 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:24PM (#7414081)
    Not my area really, but I know I've got a buddy working on the Lazarus project:

    Might be of some interest to some Delhpi folks.
  • by Spyky ( 58290 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:25PM (#7414085)
    I've done some commercial development work in Delphi. It's a great environment in Windows. It's easier and faster to write than C++, it runs faster than Visual Basic or Java, and it compiles ridiculously fast. Hundreds of thousands of lines a second! Coming from C++ that is amazing, and the execution speed is pretty comparable to C/C++. It nicely wraps the Windows API and UI development is very easy.

    Unfortunately, Delphi is a marginal product on Windows (for various reasons), and Windows is the platform most software development efforts target. Move it to Linux, even if you can capture the same percentage of the development market on Linux, you now have a marginal product on a marginal operating system. Not gonna work.

    An additional problem is: Linux runs on a myriad of platforms, x86, PowerPC, unix workstations, you name it. Kylix/Delphi work on x86 ONLY, so although code will be portable between windows and linux, it will never be portable to any other platform. This is a problem that would be very difficult to fix, if you look at the VCL much of it is written in x86 assembler, it will take a long time, and require much effort to port it to another platform. This portability problem further reduces the market share that Kylix could ever achieve.

    And then there is the problem of price, enough other people have pointed this out, so I won't repeat them. But yeah, expensive.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • by Dalroth ( 85450 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:31PM (#7414129) Homepage Journal
    Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in Python using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?

    Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in Perl using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?

    Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in C/C++ using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?

    Notice a trend here? Oh, but there's more...

    Linux is found on Open Source software. Why on earth would I write a program in a propietary language than costs $$$ that would be pointless to distribute to the rest of the Linux community because only *I* could compile it? Quite simply, I wouldn't. I'd write it in Java or Python because I know other Linux developers would have Java or Python.

    I do not know a *SINGLE* developer who has Kylix, and I only know of one application our company uses that was written in Delphi. That application is a very specialized mortgage application and is not usefull to anybody outside the mortgage industry (and I even question it's usability inside the industry). To add insult to industry, they're planning a complete rewrite in C# for 2005.

    Finally, we all know that Borland has been wishy-washy at best when it comes to their support of the Linux environment. The Interbase/Firebird fiasco is proof enough.

    I wouldn't trust my money with them. They've been made irrelevant by Microsoft, SUN, *AND* Linux. They consistently and stubbornly refuse to get with the program. That's why nobody users their software anymore.

    And Turbo Pascal used to be a really really damn good product. It's sad, really.

    • You forgot: Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in Ruby using wxWindows, GTK, FLTK or QT for FREE?

    • >Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in >Python using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?


      >Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in >Perl using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?


      >Who needs Kylix when you can write your GUIs in >C/C++ using wxWindows, GTK, or QT for FREE?


      In other words the exact same reasons why the bulk of the professional programmers on Windows doesn't use this.

      Kylix was not targeted at the hobbyist programmer, _OR
  • ...which has strong sales on Linux?

    I don't think Linux was Kylix's problem, I think .NET and Java is Kylix's problem.

    But still, I can't think of a commercial application that seems to have strong sales on linux. Either the desktop or server.


    • I can't think of a commercial application that seems to have strong sales on linux. Either the desktop or server.


      Probably Winex, but they broke their promise about freeing the source when subscriptions got to a reasonable level and never let us see the subscription levels. But they're still in business.

      You kind of have a point though- the software market right now caters to idiots who don't realize they can demand the source code and only pay for real improvements. The reason people don't buy a
  • Came too late (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StarTux ( 230379 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:37PM (#7414164) Journal
    Borland simply came too late to the Linux market, I see many more people using QT/gtk and other native tools now and Kylix probably did not have anything that the developers wanted.

    It even came too late to have the Neverwinter Nights Toolset ported and usable in Linux.

  • The only really good use I can think of at all for Kylix is reusing old code, not written with modern development tools in mind. But Kylix didn't work for that, since Windows Delphi and Kylix were apparantly incompatible.

    Who in all the world would want an application development suite that thus had absolutely no use, especially given its price?
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:43PM (#7414195)
    No, maybe it's a sign when you take a Windows program and make a half-assed attempt to 'port' it using Wine, it doesn't work right, you slap broken registration code on top of that, and the bosses shout "SHIP!", hopefully over the objections of the engineers.

    The failure of Kylix is just another example of the free market working, and in this case the value of Kylix to the consumer is less than zero. That's right, Borland would have to pay me quite a bit to 'switch' to Kylix for anything. And it still might not be enough, if it kept crashing unexpectedly.

    But hey, YMMV; that was just my experience with it. And note that I managed to restrain myself to the point that phrases like 'flaming piece of festering monkey shit' never escaped my lips!
  • I've expected this since Delphi for .NET was released.

    It's too bad. Delphi's version of Pascal is a wonderfully simplistic yet capable language. If the compiler was more widely hosted, I'd pick it over C++ any day.

  • by justins ( 80659 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:06AM (#7414329) Homepage Journal
    The PostgreSQL drivers and IDE updates I figured I had coming when I bought Kylix 1 Desktop Developer never came. Requests for information were always met in their newsgroups with vagueness, subterfuge, or condescension. The old Borland which I remember from the Turbo Pascal days is long gone, apparently.
  • and found it to be a very reliable, fast, and decently-supported IDE that produced apps that ran well when compared to other binary compilers. When D1 came out, it was a truly OO environment that left VB in the dust. It supported the Windows API better than VB did. Until MS got forms into their non-VB products, Deplhi was by far the fastest way to prototype or build a real Windows EXE that did something useful and performed respectably. It was this excellence that got Delphi any market share in the first p
  • Stop your bitching. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:14AM (#7414366)
    People didn't buy Kylix so the're dropping it, big deal it was never that good to start with. Use C++BuilderX which can cross compile to Windows, Linux x86 and Solaris x86. Kylix was never as good as Delphi and I for one would rather use C++ with VCL objects.
  • Because it was ugly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:16AM (#7414376)
    I started using it right about the time that geramik came along. I finally had some unity in application appearence. After using Kylix for a while I came to the realisation that anything I wrote with it would not only look out of place among everything else on my system, but in my opinion at least - look pretty ugly. I had a program I was working on in Kylix up when a friend came over, and the first thing she said after walking by the computer was "Hey! That looks like a Windows 3.1 program!". Perhaps they've changed this behavior since then, but since finding WxWindows I havn't had any motivation to check back.
  • by MadAndy ( 122592 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:27AM (#7414424)
    When I heard about Kylix I was pretty interested - we have a portfolio of stuff we've written using the VCL, the native library that comes with Delphi. When Kylix and its associated version of Delphi came out suddenly we had TWO libraries to choose from: the original VCL and this new thing, the CLX. The CLX is VCL's poorer cousin, which you must use if you want to port to Kylix. To port our apps we'd have to go through it all replacing all the VCL stuff with CLX stuff. Could've been very different if they'd managed to let us continue to use the VCL. Impractical, I guess.

    In addition using CLX means you've got to distribute DLLs with the app. Until now we've managed to avoid this. Something you don't often hear about but in our eyes a major advantage of Delphi is that for many apps the EXE is all you need - no DLL hell for support staff to worry about.

    Price wasn't an issue for us: Kylix 3 came free with our copy of Delphi 7.

  • Delphi vs Kylix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Catharz ( 223736 )
    I've been using Delphi since one of the beta versions of Delphi 1.0 (when they were still considering calling it AppBuilder). I've developed in Java for a number of years, and recently have been doing a little Delphi work.

    AFAIC Delphi is a great product. As said before, the only problems with it were: It's not Microsoft. It's not C++. And it's not VB. I've worked on government tenders that had a 3rd party company endorse our design and product recommendations. Then the customer's IT department ignor
  • by big.ears ( 136789 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @12:59AM (#7414588) Homepage
    In Julian Smart's recent announcement [] of the wxwindows foundation, he noted that Borland is supporting wxwindows development and that an employee of Borland is on the Board of Directors at the foundation. This is probably behind Borland's 'neglect' of kylix--expect the next generation to support wxWindows. This doesn't sound like abandonment to me.
  • Kylix isn't all bad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by VagaDragon ( 28522 )
    I've actually done quite a bit of work with Kylix and for what I'm using it for it's wonderful.

    I'm working on a MMPORPG, mostly working in Delphi and OpenGL, but the server runs on Linux. The complex data structure libary that represnes the Player's Data was written in Delphi and when moved over to Kylix to build the server it compiled without needed a single line of code.

    I also used it to write a Apache Runtime Module so I could link the same data structure, account information, etc. inside Apache withou
  • when it first came out.

    Incomplete, db connection thread die-offs, Borland's refusal to admit obvious, documented bugs.... fixes appeared in version 2, months later. I downloaded version 3 and noticed things hadn't improved, they got worse. Version 3 wouldn't run on my box.

    All the usual problems with proprietary software.
  • Everybody who has purchased a commercial software product for Linux, please raise your hand.
  • That's easy: there is lots of competition in the IDE market. Why would people buy Kylix if they can get so many IDEs for free?

    Furthermore, it's Qt-based and Qt isn't doing so well: IBM, Sun, RedHat, and other major players are putting most of their efforts into Gtk+.
  • by Frodo420024 ( 557006 ) <henrik&fangorn,dk> on Friday November 07, 2003 @05:23AM (#7415297) Homepage Journal
    This is really disheartening news. Why didn't Kylix sell?

    Because noone shells out that kind of money for something that's arguably the _least_ mature Linux development environment. I've done lots of Delphi development and love it - elegant language, good extensions, garbage collection, nice IDE, good 3rd party components. A shame the MS tools have an unfair advantage, but that's how it goes.

    I had great hope and expectations when Kylix was announced, and the good fortune to get Kylix 3 with my Delphi 7 package. But that didn't go very far. Delphi is a mature and feature-rich environment while Kylix feels dummied-down. Partly because the CLX is a subset of VCL, partly because hardly any 3rd party components exist, and partly because it's closed - that doesn't go down well on Linux. Kylix has a huge uphill battle to win - against tools that are FREE (GPL), are being developed rapidly, and have large communities around them. Alternatives like KDevelop and Qt Designer are hard to beat on their home turf - and an order of magnitude harder, the gcc.

    Kylix is dependent on a revenue stream to afford future improvements, while the competition does fine without, and you start fearing that Kylix might not be around for long - another reason to stay away until it's proven itself. A chicken-egg circle.

    Does this say something about the application or about the difficulties of marketing a commercial Linux application?"

    Well, both. They've entered the market late with an overpriced and immature product. That's the application side of it.

    The other side is that competing with mature GPL'ed products is very difficult. You're not going to win over many of the existing Linux developers, they'd have to rely on hordes of Windows people moving. That just didn't happen.

    Kylix was a neat concept, but closed source development tools are (IMO) a dead end on Linux. I'm headed off to learn Qt.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!