Another Doomsday Article for Delphi

For the last decade I’ve been reading blog, newsgroup, and IT articles either predicting, or announcing the death of Delphi.  It’s amazing how obviously uninformed parties seem to think they can predict the future, when all they really introduce is more FUD (Fear - Uncertainty - Doubt) into the marketplace.

I think EMBT’s last sales figures contradict I. Programming in which this article says Delphi/Object Pascal is an older language being phased out, and that “basic” programming (what they mean by this I don’t know…since I wouldn’t consider any of the work I do in Delphi to be “basic”) will be outsourced beyond the US.

They also mention the explosion of the mobile market space, but seem ignorant to the fact that EMBT has introduced FireMonkey and expanded compiler support to enable Delphi to flourish in this space.  It’s amusing that this article is published under GlobalKnowledge….do they know something I don’t?  I was under the impression that the future actually looks rather bright for Delphi developers…

13 Responses to “Another Doomsday Article for Delphi”

  1. François Says:

    Reading the “I. Programming” paragraph, it is obvious the writer does not have a clue regarding programming languages:
    “Transact-SQL ColdFusion” (sic) is an older and phased out “traditional” language, but “MS.Net”, “RESTful Web Services” are up and coming languages…

    Oh well… another incompetent rambling.

  2. Cameron Says:

    I remember in the late 90s it was VB, 2001 ASP, 2005 C#, 2009 comes the Silverlight drum and now HTML5 and JScript that will obviously be shipped overseas for cheap development.

    I am sure one day it will happen but we are still going strong in Delphi while VB, VB script and Silverlight are staring down the “true death”.

  3. Leonard Says:

    Wow, that GlobalKnowledge article is a total fluff piece… breaking news: Cobol is in decline! Here is a short summary “I think everything is moving to the cloud so traditional IT jobs won’t be around much longer or they will only be done ‘overseas’”. What people like that always seem to miss is that hardly ever does one technology 100% replace another. Want to buy a brand new double edge safety razor like your dad had - no problem. Want a whip for your buggy - yep, still made. Sure lots of stuff are moving to the cloud but are you ready to do ALL of your critical computing on your Internet connectivity (which is a factor of a 100 to 10,000 times less reliable than a local network & server)? For most people today, the answer is NO. Sure that will slowly change over time as cheap, reliable data connectivity extends it’s reach (or maybe never if we have to rely on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint cell phone data plans ;-)). In the meantime, there is plenty of work and plenty of time to adapt these ‘legacy’ platforms to the new technology (like Firemonkey and the Pascal to Javascript compiler; Smart Mobile Studio).

  4. Warren Postma Says:

    The author of that article is a moron. They have zero technical insight.

    However, they’re actually right, in a sad way; Lots of formerly delphi shops are transitioning off of Delphi.

    I don’t believe the doom and gloom, and I hate to see articles like this (that are so blatantly written by a non-clued-in person) going around.

    However, it’s possible that the author is right. I don’t believe Delphi is dying, but there is a slow war of attrition, and it’s critical that Embarcadero do something to attract new, young, delphi Developers.

    I am upbeat about Delphi’s future, but the author’s perceptions are not far from the general perceptions out there in the world; Most people are unaware that Delphi XE2 is selling really well, and that the product is alive and doing great.

    I love Delphi and always will. But there is a PERCEPTION out there that delphi is dying, and that perception is driving stupid people to make the decision to rewrite in java or .net.


  5. Jolyon Smith Says:

    Whatever the merits or otherwise of the article, it is impossible to ignore what Embarcadero has done to enable Delphi to “flourish” in mobile markets since ignoring any “thing” requires that “thing” to exist.

    What Embarcadero did was just enough to enable Delphi to stumble and grope and maybe, just maybe, find a handful of people that can make something useful with it in the mobile space in a practically viable and sustainable way.

    Oh - as long as by “mobile space” you mean “iOS” and or Win32/OSX laptops, because as of right now Embarcadero have done nothing - and shown us nothing to establish they have been DOING anything - in Android or Windows 8 Metro spaces.

    12 months ago FireMonkey was a long looked for light at the end of a very dark tunnel for Delphi.

    Sadly that light increasingly appears to have been an oncoming train.

  6. JonR Says:

    Have you not seen the C++ Builder roadmap?

    Here’s something to think about. Mobile devices are being targeted via FireMonkey. FireMonkey is written in Delphi. So if C++ Builder will be able to target Android…

  7. Fabian Says:

    I think much of the aforementioned perception problem (which I too think exists) has to do with Delphi not being associated with the big and shiny end customer programs, like games, bigger office suites or mobile apps. For good reason: It’s rarely used for those, and I also think that Firemonkey was quite unable to address the app domain sufficiently.
    Not too long ago I was at university making my bachelors degree, and not a single professor knew that Delphi was indeed NOT good ole procedural Pascal in a console window with a new name, but a rather modern and handy tool for big things, even today. Hence there was not a single time that we used Delphi/Pascal, it was 80% Java, some C# and a hint of C and ASM. Things like these are probably a big reason for why there appears to be a lack of young devs growing up with Delphi. The just get to hear rumors of a “dusty old language of the 90s”, and that’s all there is to it.
    Point being: With Delphi, you may be productive, but you are not “hip”.

    I work for the producing industry and came to learn Delphi (or Pascal initially) through my Dad. In this area Delphi is going a looot stronger than most would think! I would estimate a rough 30-40% of all software I encounter from other companies in the field is written in Delphi, at least partially. The rest is equally scattered across C(++), VB, Java and C#.
    And that is software, that controls often safety related and big plants and machinery, that is used to produce our dearest every day goods. But as that, it is being state of the art in an area, that very little people get to see, and even if, mostly are not concerned with what programs are being run there and where they came from.

  8. Yota Says:

    “While coding and basic programming will be outsourced beyond the U.S…” - ow geeez will I have basic programming in Poland? Pliiiizzzzz…

  9. Delphi Contractor Says:

    As a contractor all my Delphi work is gone at this stage. Last year I did mostly C# with one (awful) Delphi app on life support, this years it’s all M$ tools. It’s just not worth following, there are so few choices, most of the stuff left is on life-support and the rates are below those of other tools as there is so little demand.

    My hobbyist stuff is in Delphi and I’m XE2 registered (and certified) but it’s just not worth the hassle, C# demand is through the roof. Would love to be doing some good Delphi work again (not life-support spaghetti mind), but that’s not where the market is :(


  10. Michael Thuma Says:

    Amen. Lets have a look at this in 2020:) First I think the article fits to the business of Global Knowledge - called advertising, second this is an old idea that is no longer true. The sole arguments can be observed but the numbers, also the communicated numbers tell another story. In short - Gartner Dreaming, Big Vendor Thinking … cut the costs of labor in order to sell expensive products to new customers - the data center. Hardware vendor driven … their margins are too low. So they have been seeking for attractive alternatives and found it via stuffing data-centers, afterwards something puts existing things on top …. afterwards - we have invested we cannot escape. Oldest game in IT. Windows C/S was one of them.

    Customizing - also a data-center idea. Local Reseller Structures, just consulting and solutions adopted in the data-center in the backyard. (Cloud EPR for example). This article does represent dollhouse thinking from this perspective.

    Jolyon +1). Honestly a good sales show is ok … but times changed. When you are late and you align, the other are already years away, everlasting keep up game.

  11. soren Says:

    Delphi is not dying.. it’s already dead.

    It’s best shot of living again is for it to be sold to JetBrains… and I doubt they would want it.

  12. Rhino Says:

    lots of M$-agent on the way 2 proclaim dead of competing products?!?

  13. farcodev Says:

    Yeah, forget the freepascal/Lazarus community… but OK, open source projects doesn’t count for all these IT professionals.

    About the, I’m a canadian and ashamed of such incompetent article.

    @Rhino: it’s always the same depressive comments, since many years, about the future/current death of Delphi, we should get over it.

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