Cross-Platform Polls – The Results.

linux-mac-windows2Well, here they are. First of all, thank you once again for voting on the polls. More to come, of course… ๐Ÿ˜‰

But now, let us have a look at the results and make some comments accordingly:

Cross1

That’s it. Delphi is and IMHO will remain primarily a Windows tool. A Windows tool forย native programming to be very clear. It seems that .NET strategy as a primary development platform wasn’t quite a success. As you can see, more from you wants to have Linux as a primary platform than .NET.

So, I do think that it will be useless to have a Linux / MacOS Delphi. But a Delphi which will produce without too much hassle binaries for other platforms in addition to Windows native makes a lot of sense. Why do I say that? Let’s look at the results of the 2nd question:

Cross2

Linux. With a gap. Mobile and .NET together (!). Followed closely by Mac OSX in the 3rd place. After this, native Windows XP and newer. It seems that almost all the guys which voted in the 1st place another platform have the native WinXP as 2ndary platform. So, it’s safe to say that Delphi is a native Windows tool. Period. (Well, isn’t so surprising anyway…)

Linux is 25%. Great. But how many from the ones who voted here are ready to pay for this feature? This is the question.

Also worth mentioning is that ‘Don’t have one’ is only 9%. So, yes, the biggest part of you want cross-platform. It will be interesting tough to see how Embarcadero will tackle the ‘red slice’ above – the ‘Mobile’ because from comments in the ‘Others’ section at least some of you imply iPhone. Bring in some popcorn because…

cross3

Mobile! Again in front of Mac OSX. Now just by 1 (one) percent. And again Linux with 20%. And I still wonder… it will worth it from financial point of view? Also, on Linux there is another interesting question: To GUI or not to GUI.

Also, worth mentioning that some of you target two platforms only hence 19% said that aren’t interested in a third one.

Very interesting is that there is no interest in Windows 2000 (and earlier) versions. Hence Embarcadero’s decision to have as a requirement for the IDE at least WinXP was the right one. Guys, get it right: IDE require WinXP and newer, your applications will run on Win2000. Thank you.

Also, from the ‘Other’ land, there were very few of you which mentioned Win64 there. But I do think that many of you included it in the WinXP and newer option, isn’t? Or perhaps we should make another poll for this? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also some of you mentioned Web development. Hmmm…

Hence:

  1. Native Windows (Gold Medal)
  2. Linux (Silver Medal)
  3. Mobile (Bronze Medal)
  4. MacOSX (Special Mention)

…and of course, I think that they certainly should continue to improve Prism and simultaneously to minimize the gap between it and Delphi Win32’s language specifications.

Your thoughts?

27 thoughts on “Cross-Platform Polls – The Results.

    • Enough. Really. And isn’t ‘marketing speak’. I leave the polls till they stabilize to a natural (Gauss) distribution – that’s why I give the percentages. If you’ll do a line plot with the results you’ll see the “Gauss bell”. After this point, only a statistical earthquake will alter the results. Eg. on my first poll – see in the ‘Polls’ category – there are people which still vote. But the percentages are the same with a very small jitter (+/- 1-2%).

      HTH

      • So, how many votes?

        Seriously, as interesting and valid as your description of the process is, dodging to answer that simple question does not give a good impression… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  1. “to minimize the gap between it and Delphi Win32โ€™s language specifications.”
    What’s the benefit? To tie again Delphi native to the .NET bandwagon? To wait to add new features to the native side fearing they won’t be compatible with .NET new features? To be always late waiting for .NET adding new features first, and then porting them to the native side, losing any competitive advantage?
    Embarcadero can’t change an inch .NET battleship course, thereby minimizing the Prism/Delphi gap can only mean Delphi be towed by Prism. Is that what Delphi developers needs? Delphi must evolve and improve on its own – filling the native development needs gaps, not the ones with Prims.

    • Not really. There is R&D invested in Prism language. In order to gain time they can leverage what they have there. Also, why do you think that they must “wait for .NET adding new features first”? No, not at all. My point is to borrow the cultural achievement of a platform in another one. Or do you think that’s better to reinvent the wheel?

      • ” why do you think that they must โ€œwait for .NET adding new features firstโ€. Re-read my post. Embarcadero can’t drive in any way .NET future. Only MS can. Thereby if they want native Delphi to be Prism compatible they can’t implement anything their own way, because if .NET implement it in a different, incompatible way what they do? Change .NET or change Delphi?
        The only way to keep Delphi and Prims compatible is to wait for .NET implement something, implement it in Prism and the port it to Delphi. Great! Delphi will be always a couple of years late, what it really needs to gain more market share, especially on other platforms.
        And believe me, the less Prism R&D stays away from Delphi the better. Or in some releases there will be more reserver keywords than available identifiers name. Hejlsberg was much more better at designing languages than those working on Prism.

        • No, I didn’t meant (necessarily) .NET features. No need at all to make Delphi native yet another .NET language. Is a contradiction of therms, isn’t? For example, Aspect Oriented Programming isn’t a .NET feature and it is present in Prism. Same stands for Programming / Design by Contract. OTOH, Garbage Collector is a fundamental .NET “feature” and I’m very reserved (like others, I’d say) to have such a thing on the native side, especially in the way in which is present in .NET.

        • “Embarcadero canโ€™t drive in any way .NET future. Only MS can.”

          So what? As I recall, RemObjects Chrome (the predecessor to Delphi Prism) had a commercial release with LINQ support *before Microsoft did*. And Prism has several features that C# doesn’t. Three notable examples: the colon operator, Aspect Oriented Programming, and the ‘notify’ keyword (there would be a lot fewer questions about implementing MVVM if C# had that one). What they don’t have is a price tag comparable to MS’s, but that’s a whole different issue.

          Microsoft moves slowly, it’s true. But Chrome/Prism has done a great job of not just keeping up, but getting ahead. Don’t assume that the slow pace of Borland’s original Delphi/.NET approach will apply to Prism as well. Keep in mind, Prism doesn’t need to write their own IDE, their own visual designers, or a second version of VCL, like Borland did.

  2. I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in these numbers as this is very un-scientific.

    You didn’t get a random sample of developers. You got a sample of Delphi developers. These are people (me included) that have always primarily developed for Windows because of the development tools we used. We like Delphi a lot…so much so that we read Delphi blogs.

    I believe that if you would’ve included current JBuilder and C++ Builder developers, your answers would be more accurate..

    • Yes, I certainly do understand what you mean. But unfortunately the things aren’t quite like this. The Delphi community nowadays is a very closed circle with very skilled members. Even if I’m certain (IMHO of course) that Delphi 2010 is the best Delphi ever, I don’t see that the percentage of the newcomers will influence this (even from sister products like JBuilder and C++ Builder). I do in parallel a research on Delphi community and there are very interesting things to see. Perhaps I’ll do a post on this.

  3. Looks like, in general, many people wants a multiplatform Delphi, but judging by the numbers, the investment (by Embarcadero) may not pay itself. Well, only Embarcadero can know that, but I’m really afraid to see something like what happened when Kylix was released (everybody seemed to want a Linux Delphi, but the product failed to survive, by several reasons). I agree that it is nice to have the possibility of generating code for Mobile, Linux and Mac, but right now, crossplatform would be just for my personal “fun” (ie: creating share/freeware utilities, etc). My customers are all running in Windows, and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Anyway, if the investment will not compromise the resources ($$$) allocated for other priority features (like quality, language/ide improvements, etc), go ahead.

    • Hmmm… wouldn’t be a nice option to have rich Linux clients for Firebird? ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially if the national economy goes down? Of course, I don’t the nature of your application though but I try to adapt at what you know better than me ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Yes, it would be nice to have this “option”. But the point is: Is there enough demand for it right now that justifies (Embarcadero) putting all the efforts involved to create the solution? One of the reasons I think Kylix failed (among several others reasons that I’ll not mention here) is the fact that there was not enough demand for “commercial” Linux rich-apps in that time (maybe it is different now).

        It would be really cool to hit CTRL-F9 and have my app compiled for Windows or Linux, but it just makes sense to compile for Linux if my customers requests a Linux version of the app, otherwise, it would be just for my fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. This is, of course, self-reported by a sampling of Developers whose one common thread is that they read a blog focused primarily on Delphi.

    With that in mind, there are absolutely no surprises here. Do the same thing on a C# blog or a mac development blog and you’ll get very different (although equally predictable results).

    • Yes, sure. But the question is: Will they buy the next Delphi? This is the gist of the problem. I humbly think that it would be a huge mistake from Embarcadero’s side to base its decisions on what C# programmers will say – unless if they will prepay the product of course :-).

      • Of course it’s important to ensure that the next Delphi is something that is attractive to current Delphi developers, and for that reason, it would be a huge mistake not to improve the native windows development side.

        But it’s also important to attract new customers who were not previously using Delphi. If expanding into other platforms that Delphi currently doesn’t serve would do this to a significant degree, then by all means they should do it.

        • “But itโ€™s also important to attract new customers who were not previously using Delphi.”

          Concrete ways?

          Can you ‘advertise’ this blog? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. May be i get some downvotes for this comment but i think someone has to say this.
    What are that poll results? Simple: the results of a decimated (by many factors) community of Delphi developers that replied in that poll, so the results wont give you exactly what you need to attract a lot of developers that flyed away from the community or to attract new developers of other platforms to the community. May be some clues, but not exact information.
    In fact, sometimes seems the Kylix ghost stills around… well, at least I think MacOSx is a far more interesting platform than Linux. The regular Linux user dont use to buy what he needs (usually its available for free), but the MacOS regular user does. Its a cultural issue, and an historical fact.
    And what about all the marketing around?… Apple did and does a great job putting their stuff inside a wild market already perverted by Microsoft. Its a big fight, and if Embarcadero already supports Microsoft, it should support now Apple to reuse (in its own profit) the Apple effort. There are so many Apple machines out there, just sit in a cafe and look around… seems fancy stuff attract people huh?, and thats ok for me. But lets be reallistics, Linux does not have that.
    MacOSx native development with a RAD tool like Delphi should rock… or im wrong?
    Now, look around in the street and you will see the Mobile platform in the hand of many people… and there is nothing more to say. It is a really good investment to support that platform too. Again, Linux does not have that neither.
    So, BESIDES satisfying the needs of the Linux server-based software market (which is really important for sure), where should Embarcadero focus? I think in improving the quantity of developers using its tools (the quality its not under discussion, its a really highly skilled community, and we should preserve it by extending their scope! New platforms please! We need to reach newer markets), and that means a strong “MacOSx + Mobile + Linux” support. Yes, all of them, since they are parts of the whole current market picture. Yes Embarcadero, i think you should fight in every front this time. So good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

    • “think MacOSx is a far more interesting platform than Linux. The regular Linux user dont use to buy what he needs (usually its available for free), but the MacOS regular user does”

      Your partially wrong, because it depends on what market you look at. If you look at the desktop market, you’re right. But if you look at the server market there are serveral expensive applications for Linux too. There are people buying Oracle licenses to run them on a Linux box. Or IBM ones. Even MySQL is not free if you can’t comply with its license.
      Many free Linux applications are often the foundation of more complex, and not free solutions.

      And another question: how many desktop applications the average MacOS user buys?

      Mobile is a very fragmented market, without a clear winner yet – you get Blackberries, Windows Mobiles, Symbians, iPhones, Androids – some running Linux under the hood.
      Some more used in business environments, others more common in the consumer one – what to target?

      • “if you look at the server market there are serveral expensive applications for Linux too”

        Sure, thats why i wrote BESIDES with capitals ;). Embarcadero knows that market really well and should give the community the chance to build tools for it as soon as possible.

        “how many desktop applications the average MacOS user buys?”

        May be i was not clear enough. What i mean is that really cool desktop applications for Windows are built with the RAD power of Delphi. I think that if we have it too in the MacOS platform we can attract many new customers just giving them new products in their own world, even if they have already some commercial solutions in the market of your product, you can start to compete.
        When they realize “hey i can do this with my Mac by using this product”, they can pay for it just like a Windows customer does. Even some current Windows customers can migrate as (may be) they wish to the Apple platform if you give them your product in MacOS, and thats another license you can sell (of course, it depends on which kind of market you are on and how you manage your products, but its more than a “nice to have”, if someone thinks that, IMHO he is loosing businesses).
        I dont see that in Linux, thats what i mean, the particular variety of desktop apps for Linux makes you usually (not always, of course) find an open-source freeware alternative to your Windows desktop product, and if it does not exist you have good chances that some gnu developer to say “hey, lets make a free alternative for this”, and he will be just happy coding it heh. Thats a cultural thing especially of the Linux world. For the Linux desktop user the words Linux and Free look just fine together.
        Anyway, what I say is that im convinced that a skilled community like this, with a good RAD tool like Delphi, can make some noise joining a growing market like MacOS.

        And about the mobile market:
        I agree with you that is a fragmented one and that means that its not easy to target, but you know, in this moment we are in the worst possible scenario since we can not build a solution for it at all. Targeting some at least will help for start. My point can be expressed in just a few words: You can not sell what you can not offer.
        Anyway, im confident that Embarcadero has the potential to fulfill this community need.

    • “May be i get some downvotes for this comment but i think someone has to say this.”
      Why do you think that? ๐Ÿ™‚ …See, you have an up-vote (when I’m writing this) – and is not mine.
      About the polls: Our target is to enhance the Embarcadero’s focus. Do you think that they don’t need this? Also, I think that these polls with your comments are more accurate than perhaps one can think. If you did statistics and community management then you know what I mean. But of course if you can spread the word to attract more people, do it, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yes, thats what i mean with a perverted market. The Apple strategy involves things we could not like at all, but its just like Microsoft’s. That Steve is evil just like Billy its not news at all. And if people suffer abuses like this is just because big monsters like IBM, Microsoft and the alike, have had the same attitude in the past. Again, we have cultural issues everywhere influencing customer behaviour.
        Of course they dont use to abuse of abuses heh (thats controversial i know), or people flyes away (ask Borland about its abuse over this community for years -that is why i used the word “decimated” in my original comment-).
        But the fact is that lie is a major problem SINCE Apple has sold so many iPhones, and we have to accept they does a great marketing job selling iPhones (i dont know if telling lies or not, but people buy their stuff, and that means many more iPhone OSes out there). Btw, I dont have one (im not an Apple fan, but i prefer it as a market than Linux one -thats why i talked about downvotes since the polls shows something different-), but many friends do.
        The point is they are seeding a platform we need to reach to make businesses, thats it.

        Btw, you do a great job with this polls, hopefully they will help Embarcadero to succeed. Ill continue spreading the word for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I’m a Turbo Pascal/Delphi 1 to 2010 user.

    Before, i was a Mac User too in the old good time for Mac PLUS, Mac SE 30 etc. For mac i used Thinck Pascal and Think C/C++, ASM. I read the million words of the Mac Books about Quickdraw and the ToolBox. I don’t talk about Hypercard…

    I think i am enought experimented to think that it appears to very relevant to maintain Delphi grammar which could be compiled for differents platforms (Code/Visual elements/Data separation!). The core problem is the CPU OPP Asm langage+the API of OS used.

    Many developpers could be interested to work on this project, maybe in a first time as open projetc just to circonspect and evaluate the ratio Man/time to achieve it. Then, when objectives can be determinated, a developpement process could gather.

    In the 80th, this approach made Macintosh to be the more performant and advanced system..

    Didier

  7. I second the notion of having a poll that evaluates the demand for 64 bits.

    When you do, make sure to mention that 32bit DLLs won’t load into a 64bit host process.
    That realization sure changed my view on the whole 64bit discussion…

  8. “So, yes, the biggest part of you want cross-platform”

    This is a typical case of jumping to conclusions.

    Yes, Linux would be my second platform. But no, in no way did I mean I would want to do this in Delphi.

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