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I loved Delphi. It was amazing. But then they ate their own future by going to the stratosphere with enterprisey tool acquisitions nobody remembers the names of any more; then they fell back down to earth, and flirted with Kylix -- Delphi for linux -- but at a time of great upheaval in the linux desktop world, and it never really took off either.

Meanwhile, the former creator of Delphi had left for MS and created C# that at the time was already beating Delphi at its own game.

By the mid 2000s Delphi was already dead in the water: poor unicode support, no 64-bit compiler, and a language that hadn't innovated much since the 90s.

It's a shame, really. Delphi in the 90s was on its way to rule the world. Only then suddenly it wasn't.

> flirted with Kylix -- Delphi for linux -- but at a time of great upheaval in the linux desktop world, and it never really took off either.

It's worth noting that Kylix's failure to take off had a lot more to do with Borland's variously stupid, obnoxious and immoral business decisions than it had to do with the upheaval in the Linux desktop world. It was a strong enough concept for a product, and the base technology was implemented well enough, that all they had to do was not screw it up... and guess what they did?

All these years later I remember saying "fuck it" when Borland decided to wrap up some important bug fixes into the (full price) upgrade for Kylix, rather than just giving them to existing users. The smug uselessness of the one or two Borland employees who liaised with the community online has kind of stuck in my memory as well. The technology deserved to survive but the company sure didn't.

In the bubble they definitely thought they could not die; they were shooting up people who were aware of Linux made a lot of money from their shares at that time (if they sold in time as they never recovered). The CEO at the time acted like it would last forever and I guess he took the employees with him on a smugness ride. Such a shame as they could've gotten far as you say.

My first paid programming job was Delphi. Worked with 1, 2, 4 and 6 I think. Then it went extremely enterprise. And I'm saying that even though it was used for an accounting application.

RIP. You were great once.

I had the same experience and I often wonder about the tendency to "go enterprise" - it seems more like sabotage than idiocy after enough coffee. Probably just the consequence of excessive profiteering /shrug.

I organized the Borland developer conference in my country as a marketing intern in 2004 and it was still quite popular, but it's true the web was just around the corner to eat desktop apps.

I also remember a coworker had been approached by MS to work on the DotNet marketing campaign and he declined, as it was seen as kind of a failure with a very uncertain future. Hindsight is 20/20.

edit: personally I have found memories of Delphi3.

I still remember interbase, now called firebird. Of course, sqlite is much more prominent today for an embeded database, but for the times without sqlite...

Sadly i have to use that piece of shit called firebird.

It has all the downsides of service based DB without all the advantages of file based DB.

And the documentation is way below average, backwards compatibility is a joke.

Not to mention the 3rd party software had to design their own(horribly bad) way to handle geometry in firebird... and they keep transactions open forever - and bloody firebird prior to 2.5 had no way to drop the dead connections.

I’m genuinely interested in your frustrations, because I’ve been using Firebird to great satisfaction for about a decade. Some more substance would be required, however...

Interbase was a proper client server db. If you wanted embedded you needed Paradox. Ah, I have many happy memories of pulling all nighters repairing corrupted Paradox files...

Heh, good memories of hitting ^Z in the Interbase command line client app to suspend it, and it pausing the entire server until the client was unpaused or killed. I'm not even sure how that could possibly happen (unless there was some blocking heartbeat thing), but it was 100% reproducible.

No, you can (dynamically) link Interbase into your app, so the server runs in-process. You can also do it with Firebird: https://www.firebirdsql.org/pdfmanual/html/ufb-cs-embedded.h...

Was it always that way? My memory is failing me.. I'd hate to think those nights in the 90's were completely wasted!

I vaguely remember that Interbase was a proper client/server thing at first. I'm pretty sure we were using Paradox databases with all their quirks in 1998-2000, including support people fixing broken db files for customers.

Firebird is still actively developed as open source software:


Firefox was originally to be named Firebird, but they had to rename it because the name was already taken.

An it was called Phoenix before that because, you know, "Netscape, reborn", but they had to rename it because of a trademark complain. And that's why Firebird was choosen.

Exactly. Phoenix bios company made the complain. That said, I think Firefox is the better name.

I always thought NexusDB was the database to use in Delphi days?

My impression was they had already lost the race before they went down the enterprise route. If anything it was their general failure in the market that pushed them down that route.

They were under pressure from Microsoft (Visual Studio, FoxPro, Access and others) as well as from the web which was disrupting everything at the same time.

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