Monday, 29 December 2008

The Hypothetical just became Categorical

My last post was about Microsoft’s Bizspark program. When I started that post, it’s entire premise was built on the hypothesis that I would want to start a Micro ISV. As I wrote more and more of it, I kept saying to myself, why not? Give it a go? You’ve got no excuse now.

Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the cost of Delphi that kept the idea just that, an idea. There are other things, but the fear of failure is a really strong deterrent. I guess that fear is still there, but if I do fail, I won’t have spent a few thousand Dollars/Euros/Pounds setting up my development environment.

I’ve got a few ideas for products. Some of them pretty good. I figure whatever I do, I’ll be learning, and that’s always a good thing. So I signed up for Bizspark. I thought I’d have to go through hoops. I thought it would be hard. In fact it was really easy. I just found a partner willing to back me, and I’m in, I’m now a Bizspark member.

I’m slipping slowly away from my Pascal roots. It does hurt, but I have to follow my head and not my heart. At work we are moving away from Delphi, I’ve got to keep up, and start thinking more like a .NET developer, and less like a Delphi one.

A few of the comments to my previous post, said forget licenses, use a pirate copy of Delphi 2009. Well, that just doesn’t feel right to me. Ironically though, Codegear get no money from those pirates, but they get no money from those of us who just can’t afford the price of their product either. Nobody wins.

I’m sure I’ll be using Delphi for a few more years to come (First smile since the start of this post). It’s what I’m paid to do. But the decision has been made at work. Sooner or later I’ll be doing C# full time.


LachlanG said...

I'm not sure why you expect that there should be little to no costs associated with setting up a new business.

As a Micro ISV, my budget for development tools (Delphi Architect SA and other component sets primarily) is less than a quarter of my total annual costs, yet it's the most important purchase I make and I part with the cash willingly.

If you're not willing to make the commitment to buying the tools you need perhaps you should question your commitment to the Micro ISV path.

Babnik said...

Granted, but if I can set up a development environment for much less, I would be a fool to increase my expenses just for the sake of nostalgia.

LachlanG said...

You'd be a fool if you based your decision on any other factor apart from which is the best tool for the job. Delphi or Visual Studio, only you can decide which is best for your project, but don't let just a few thousand dollars force you into making a decision you'll regret later. Be prepared to make a few short term sacrifices for longer term gains. That's what being a Micro ISV is all about.

Babnik said...

Again, words of wisdom! I agree with both your comments here. Is Delphi the better tool? I have used Delphi since Delphi 1 (Turbo Pascal before it), so I'm biased. That question used to be easily answered, but the more that time goes on, the less easy it is to favour Delphi. Cost is one of the considerations, but if Delphi gave a huge advantage over the competition, then price would be irrelevant. It no longer does, so price becomes relevant. I still think Delphi is great, and I will carry on using it as long as I possibly can, I'm just not sure if it's my heart that's holding on or my head.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last 2 post.
But if you love to develop in DELPHI why change. And also if you are more productive, why change.
Ok you don’t have the money to buy, me needier. And most of us in the freelance world don’t.
Bu as Lachlan said a part of your year revenue will be the buy a license, and to be able to upgrade whenever you fill necessary. Don’t have to do it every year.
Another question is: I don’t see any comment from codegear responsibles/evangelists.
This is one of the major reasons Microsoft as such a huge number of developers. Not only because their tools are good, but because they sometimes give stuff away, or for little.
So any comment from the big Codegear evangelist gurus? we are all waiting!.
Can you afford this migration to C# from your best developers? Bless us with a little word.

Namık Kemal KARASU said...

I'm writing programs more than 14 years, but I've not ever earn any money from this job and no body uses my programs. I'm a hobyist programmer. I had looked for an affordable Delphi a week ago just for playing. Earlier times there was academic licenses but I've not seen it around now. As you do, I don't like to use pirated software. My be some people say "what about Turbo Delphi" but i also don't like outdated software. Now i am searching for alternatives for playing...
Others has many alternatives...

Sun: NetBeans,
MS: VS.Net Express,
TrollTech: QT,
Oracle: JDeveloper,
Where is Embarcadero/CodeGear

Yogi Yang said...

Thanks for the showing me BizSpark. I never knew about this initiative by MS. I generally do not visit MS sites at all unless it is really, really necessary.


Yogi Yang

Ron Grove said...

Wow, that looks like a pretty good program. Thanks for the pointer. I just started my own business a couple months ago, looks like I'd be a fool not to get in it. The FAQ says that the program doesn't disallow open source software technology usage so I'm sure some use of Delphi is no big deal either. And since Oxygene (the new Delphi on the .NET platform) uses Visual Studio it seems like it fits fine here as well.