XE3 Pro EULA changes and MVPs

So I was made an Embarcadero MVP about two weeks ago, an achievement I’m quite proud of. It was, I believe, largely for my work on the TIndex and my off-line ADUG activities more so than my blog entries here.

Meanwhile everyone’s favourite grumpy old uncle (well he reminds me of a grumpy old uncle anyway) has made a few comments here and there about the impartiality of the new MVPs. Come on Uncle Jolyon, can’t we MVPs have the benefit of the doubt for a few weeks at least.

It is an important question though and one that the community at large deserves an answer on. If the MVP program has the effect of muzzling a whole bunch of enthusiastic and well-regarded community members then we’re better off without it.

This issue is one that I feel so strongly about that initially I declined the invitation to join the MVP program. There is a clause in the MVP agreement that states that MVPs won’t criticise Embarcadero or its products. That clause was way too broad my liking and so I declined the invitation to join. I later reversed my decision when I was assured that the intention of the clause is not to muzzle all criticisms, rather it is there as a way to eject an MVP who has gone rogue and does nothing but criticise.

I knew this would have to be tested eventually although I didn’t expect to happen quite so soon. This most recent news of a leaked EULA agreement brought to our attention by grumpy old uncle Jolyon and now all but confirmed by David I is something I don’t feel I can let pass, in particular now that I am an MVP.

I’ve been of the opinion for quite some time the Delphi SKUs aren’t really appropriate for the software development world of today and it’s obvious from today’s news that Embarcadero has also come to this realisation.

Their intended way of addressing this problem though, requiring an add-on pack for any sort of client/server database access including via third party libraries or databases, is an extremely retrograde step.

I won’t bother going into too much detail about why I think this is a bad idea as plenty of other people have already expressed their opinions and I’m hard pressed to find anyone with an objection that I don’t agree with (and to be able to say that for a delphi.non-technical thread is really quite surprising).

What I will say is that as an MVP I signed on to promote Delphi and its community, in particular my personal interest is in finding the next generation of Delphi programmers. That job just became quite a bit harder when the cost of an already expensive Delphi licence just jumped substantially if you need to do something as ordinary and day to day as connect to a database.

As an Embarcadero MVP I appeal to Embarcadero to abandon this plan and I encourage other MVPs who share this view to speak out also.

14 thoughts on “XE3 Pro EULA changes and MVPs

  1. Lachlan, with the sole exception of your good self (bravo – I hope you don’t lose your MVP status over it), the silence of the MVP’s on this issue is deafening.

    • Indeed, and even if they speak now, the fact will reamin you’re the first that did so prominently. Kudos.
      (actually others reacted in the non-tech thread, but not so clearly and publicly)

      • Thanks but I’m more concerned about this issue than my own status. I’m pleased to hear that other MVPs have spoken out in non-technical already.

    • Now that it’s been confirmed by Embarcadero I’m confident that I’ll prove to be just the first MVP to speak out on this rather than the sole exception.

  2. Well that sounds like baloney. All they need to do is to declare in the agreement that they can retract your MVP status for any reason of their choice and I am pretty sure that they have such clause anyways.

    “There is a clause in the MVP agreement that states that MVPs won’t criticise Embarcadero or its products. That clause was way too broad my liking and so I declined the invitation to join. I later reversed my decision when I was assured that the intention of the clause is not to muzzle all criticisms, rather it is there as a way to eject an MVP who has gone rogue and does nothing but criticise”

    • Well ultimately it is a marketing program designed to assist the MVPs in their work of promoting Delphi (which they were doing anyway), so I don’t have a problem with an agreement that ensures that the MVPs and Embarcadero are on the same page.

      That doesn’t mean we have to become obedient mouthpieces of the Embarcadero marketing department though. First and foremost I’m sure all the MVPs would say they’re concerned about the greater Delphi community.

      You should also know that the benefits of the program aren’t anything amazing either (it will save me a few dollars each year but not much else) and are far outweighed by the obligations placed on each MVP. I don’t see many MVPs sacrificing their integrity to avoid being kicked out.

      Lastly why would you want to remain an MVP or even a Delphi programmer if you had nothing but negative things to say?

      • Pure, sheer impotence. The tool you love so much you pay out from your own pocket just to do hobby stuff (because *no one* is adopting it nowadays) is being taken away from you. Kicking and screaming is only normal.

  3. Well said Lachlan. As you mentioned, the unanimity on this in non technical is deafening. As it stands, this looks like a cash grab and not a well thought out re-alignment of SKU’s and their price points. If it was the latter, there has already been plenty of terse one line replies by David I where he could have calmed things down by mitigating the EULA change with mentions of price drops for “Pro minus C/S” etc…

    As a small ISV we have a 99% Delphi commitment, with the 1% being VS. The Delphi and Turbo range have been with me in business for 15 or more years and personally for over 20 years – right back from college. Looking at the next 10+ years of our business, do I see Delphi being strategically with us at that point ?

    We had serious wobbles around the 64 bit debarcle and stuck with it – the future started to look reasonable again once we could do something in the 64 bit area (I might add at this point that a Midas bug effectively stops you dead in the water creating useable client side 64 bit applications, but at least we can make great use of it on the server side). Lack of roadmaps, half implemented frameworks, a scattergun approach to development (“something for everyone, but little that is 100% fit for purpose”) and now of course the EULA change all add up to me looking very negatively on Delphi’s long term future and specfically it’s future with me and my business.

  4. MVP and similar status awards are designed by the giver for the benefit of the giver.

  5. Well nobody made me an MVP but I’m a rabid Delphi fan. And I think this change by Embarcadero is going to hurt Embarcadero, hurt Delphi, and drive away new users.

    And that makes me upset. You can write WHATEVER YOU WANT with the FREE VISUAL STUDIO Express.edition. And Embarcadero’s Pro edition is now to be considered a TOY version that you’re not allowed to use for real business uses? Bah.

    Warren

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