Do you remember Bold for Delphi, the model driven architecture and object persistence framework that was first developed by Boldsoft, then purchased by Borland and included in Delphi 7 Architect?
Roland Bengtsson has started this online petition asking Embarcadero to release Bold as open source.
I know that there is at least one senior Embarcadero manager who is watching with interest what happens with this petition so it’s probably now or never time for Bold.
Bold is already available for free download for Delphi 2005/2006/2007 (you can use the D2006 version in D2007 due to the binary compatibility of those two versions), but it seems unlikely that Embarcadero will ever do anything more with it. Their focus is now on DataSnap, a great technology in itself but one that’s very different and quite incompatible with Bold.
Releasing Bold as open source would give the community the opportunity to try to move Bold across the unicode and 64 bit chasms to be able to run in the latest Delphi versions. It could be modified to make use of the new RTTI capabilities and attributes. Bold was years ahead of its time even without these capabilities, imagine what it could be like running in today’s Delphi.
Embarcadero’s last excursion into open sourcing a product, Interbase, obviously didn’t live up to their expectations but with Bold I believe there is very little for them to lose and potentially a lot for the community to gain. I know of only one commercial third party object persistence framework for Delphi but I doubt its sales would be negatively affected as Bold has been freely available for download for years now.
I’m guessing it would be big job for the community to port an open source Bold to XE2/XE3 but if it happened it would be a very valuable contribution in an area that Delphi has traditionally been quite weak.