43 – Simon Kissel

In episode 43 I have a nice conversation with Simon Kissel about his projects:

Thanks to Simon for his time and my apologies to him and everyone else that this took a while to post.

Update: The links were broken due to server issues.  They are working now.  Simon reported over 1000 downloads of CrossKylix since the update.

This entry was posted in Audio podCast. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to 43 – Simon Kissel

  1. …links are broken?!

  2. Rob H says:

    Well done Jim – good to see.

    And thanks to Simon

  3. Jan Derk says:

    You actually interview He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

    Team B, also known as The Embarcadero black ops team, is probably deleting all your posts from the Embarcadero newsgroups as we speak.

    But seriously, nice interview. Simon can be harsh (and acted childish 6? years ago), but Embarcadero should really get over it and embrace smart and talented supporters like him.

  4. vicente says:

    The links are broken.

  5. I “got mad” with the Lazarus developers in 2003/2004, not the FreePascal core team.

  6. Simon Kissel says:

    Andreas: Sorry about that. As hinted, my brain really could need some ECC memory sometimes. 😉

  7. RichardS says:

    Good interview. Simon comes across very well and is obviously a very clever guy – we should welcome him back into the community, regardless of the past.

  8. Larry Hengen says:

    Great interview Jim! Kudos for not shying away from a controversy, and interviewing someone with some interesting opinions on how the Delphi community could be leveraged more by Borland and now EMB.

    I share Simon’s view that the strength of Delphi is the strength of it’s community, and that EMB should think seriously about incorporating the some of the best effort’s of the community into the core product, and get the community involved in maintaining the expanded VCL, etc. In short, leverage the strength of the open source and agile movements.

  9. Larry Hengen says:

    EMB does in fact appear to be censoring the newsgroups. I posted in the delphi non-tech group suggesting people checkout your podcast Jim, and although the post remains thus far, I can not reply to the newsgroup on that thread. I get a Server Rejected error, yet I can still create new posts to the same newsgroup (at least I’m no banned…yet! 😉 ).

    Just thought I would test Simon’s assertion that posts even mentioning him or his project were being cancelled.

  10. @Larry Hengen interesting that EMB does this kind of stuff.
    I’m really stunned of their recent reactions, what’s next?

  11. To say they are Censoring the Newsgroup is in my opinion a bit of a understatement to put it mildly.

    They have locked that thread. At least now they arent just deleting threads/posts within minutes as I witnessed first hand and started to query.

    I asked question in the now locked thread about
    newsgroup policy (Which people were directed to by Moderation team may I add ) at :-

    https://forums.codegear.com/thread.jspa?threadID=40424&tstart=0

    The responses from some Embarcedero Staff was in my opinion unprofessional and rude. This was final straw for me. So I asked to be removed from forums and Began removing my own posts as I was told I could do if I wished.

    The in my opinion unprofessional and rude responses from Staff continued so I said right remove my EDN profile/account entirely and made my mind up to walk away from future Delphi development entirely.

    At this point a Polite and Professional Embarcedro Staff Member urged me not to have my EDN profile deleted entirely.

    So what happened next ? I find I was Banned till 31st July ! How was that supposed to help situation ? I contacted various Embarcedero staff as to what was going on and was told by one of them they would look into it. The rest apparently couldnt be bothered to reply.

    Shortly later it was posted on that thread mentioned above that ban should never have happened and had been lifted. NOT TRUE MY BAN WAS NEVER LIFTED ! I contacted various Staff members again about it and got no response.

    Meantime I contacted EMEA support to get my EDN account removed and had no success getting them to do it over 6 days or so despite various email exchanges back and forth.

    So I contacted a senior Embarcedero staff member over this and my displeasure over my overall treatment. Initially I had what I found pretty good response. After a couple of email exchanges between us I was ultimately told they would investigate and find out what was going on.

    They eventially responded after I had to prompt them for feedback with what I consider a throughly unsatisfactory reply and thats been polite about it !

    To make matters even worse I thought before I did this prompt for feedback I would check if my Ban might had been lifted. FAR from it ! I now found my EDN login came up password failed. Yet profile is still there and email password still worked ! Why would this be done and the timing of it ( It was just before the Forum Ban I was no longer supposed to have would have expired) ? I leave that to reader to decide.

    My final response reiterated my request to remove my EDN account and and ensure I have no more contact from Embarcedero or its UK suppliers EVER.

    Good Luck everyone left in the Delphi community I have a feeling on recent evidence your going need all the luck you can get !

  12. Simon Kissel says:

    Derek: While I understand you feeling frustrated about Embarcadero, their rather weird behavior doesn’t change anything about Delphi still being a great tool.

    After getting the treatment I got back 4 years ago I also was frustrated, and walked away from the Borland-controlled part of the community, and stayed away since then. That helped a lot, I’m still in love with my Delphi. You could consider doing the same – stop communication with Embarcedero, as they are unable to perform in this area, but keeping using your Delphi.

    And in case one day they finally change to the better when it comes to how to treat the community and customers, there is always the option to thank them by buying an Upgrade.

    Even I still plan to buy a bunch of Licenses/Upgrades once they release a cross-platform Delphi, and that after being labelled a non-person for half a decade.

    I’m no longer loyal to Borland/Embarcadero, but I’m still loyal to Delphi.

  13. Thanks to Simon for his great contribution to the Delphi community. The TeamB censors – you know who they are – should be banned for life, not Simon.
    I did the same Simon did: Walked away from the Borland-Controlled part of the community. EMB forums, specially the non-technical – the playground of the TeamB censors, are a real waste of time.

  14. @Simon Kissel
    „Even I still plan to buy a bunch of Licenses/Upgrades once they release a cross-platform Delphi, and that after being labeled(correction 😳 ) a non-person for half a decade.¯
    I’m NOT so sure about the cross-platform compiler, D2009 and D2010 are pretty sloppy, they are hiring cheap developers these days – this can result to only one thing: IDE will be “crapier” with each new release and many of the new features will be useless.

  15. Simon Kissel says:

    Dorin: Should this happen I’ll just stick to Delphi 7 + CrossKylix / Delphi 7 + CrossFPC. Luckily I’m in a quite good position – I have everything I need to today, as I’m able to target Windows 32 Bit, Windows 64 Bit, Linux x86 32 Bit, Linux x86 64 Bit, MacOS and Linux ARM. If Embarcedero brings out a quality cross-platform product, I’ll have more choice when it comes to the compiler for at least two platforms. Of course I’d like to see some added benefit – for example I’d expect their cross-platform offering to have a remote debugger for MacOS and Linux.

  16. @Simon Kissel believe me I cant wait for the Linux compiler, but it seems that it will take another year of patience at least 🙄

  17. Chris says:

    This is getting ridiculous (the comments that is, not Jim’s excellent interview). Embarcadero (and before that, Borland) operate their own newsgroups/forums, which Simon sought to take down some years ago in a fit of pique (that’s right – take down!). Since then, it appears he has never apologised for his actions, and indeed, will not even countenance such a thing on the evidence of this interview and similar remarks made on various blogs. Given this, how on earth is it unreasonable for him to remain banned from the very forums he sought to bring down?

    If as a corollary of this, Embarcadero don’t want any messages on the forums mentioning the matter – well, it’s their property. In short, the repeated attempt by supporters to post forum messages about the matter is extremely childish. If you want to make public your disagreement with Embarcadero’s decision, you should stick to posting on independent blogs like this one (or indeed, blogging about it yourself), not behaving like spoilt brats who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

  18. Simon Kissel says:

    Chris: Who has told you that I have “taken down” Borland’s newsgroup? That’s a bold lie.

    What I have done back then was repost all the messages they had deleted from me automatically using a Delphi-written bot, which they then again cancelled, which got them automatically reposted and so on. As they were unable to block me from doing this (the tool used open proxies, so an IP), they decided to disable web access for everyone so they could enforce the ban.

    I’ve never “taken down” any forum, I’ve never “spammed” and I’ve never run a “DoS attack”. I’ve simply reposted cancelled on-topic messages in protest. If someone is claiming that I’ve “taken down” something, they are lying.

    I’ve documented all of this years ago. If you really care about this 4 year old topic (I don’t), read up here:
    http://delphiroadmap.untergrund.net/codegear_newsgroup_censorship.html

  19. Simon Kissel says:

    “(the tool used open proxies, so an IP)” = (the tool used open proxies, so blocking the posting IP didn’t help)”

  20. Simon Kissel says:

    And a general remark to everyone: Should Embarcadero employees or members of TeamB respond to your blog posts by private mail to explain you what an evil person I am, please consider they simply might be lying in your face.

    History seems to be repeating, with two differences: This time they won’t manage to provoke me becoming the bad guy, and this time they won’t manage to discredit me inside the community as that has long spread outside of their control.

    (And now I need to find out a way to get my EDN account deleted.)

  21. Zlatibor Boro Urosevic says:

    @Simon,…

    Although I am not judging yourself, I tend to agree with Chris,…
    Actually I didn’t know about whole story happened 6 years or so…, however, given the fact you described by yourself what you actually did on Borland/… groups I am surprised you are still not calling it ‘taking the groups down, spaming, or whatsoever…’…

    Given the fact it was the Borland property and that you actually attacked the service (forcing your will on someone else’s property is an actual attack), with a bot as you said, you might be happy something worse didn’t happen, like legally charging yourslef for DoD or similar activities…

    However, people change, and most probably you would not do this again (I hope at least)…

    Given the fact you have so much to give to community it is probably better for yourself to concentrate on your creative-side …

    Kind Regards,
    B.

  22. Jim, excellent podcast. I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve listened to so far. Great topic choice as well. I’ve wanted very much to learn about the projects Simon has graciously provided to the community and also to hear of the incidents both recently and previously from his point of view.

    Strangely, about half way through I thought to myself, this guy sure doesn’t sound like the Anti-Christ and then he made it clear, that he indeed wasn’t, near the end.

    Now I know and can make my own opinion … thanks.

  23. Simon Kissel says:

    Zlatibor: “taking the groups down”, “spamming”, “DoS” all involve breaking a communication channel for everyone. I haven’t done this.

    To me this makes a difference: It would be rather silly for me to point at Embarcadero’s tendency to delete opinions they don’t share if on the other hand I’d advocate destroying communication channels. I love communication, you know 😉

    Anyway, most things are said now, and thanks to Jim those who were interested in the backgrounds of the whole Borland/Crosskylix/Simon Kissel story now know my side of it.

    Next I’ll try to make news in the Delphi community with a CrossFPC release instead of this sorry drama. Should be more fun.

  24. Ali says:

    Thank you Jim! It was a nice interview.

    I think Embarcadero’s treatment of Delphi community is inappropriate nowadays. It is silly to ban anybody who mentions a particular 3rd party product in “3rd parties” forum, just because that newsgroup is owned by Embarcadero and ruled by them!

    Even if we accept deleting Simon’s posts for creating that bot, why are they treating the rest of community that way? Why are they reacting so harshly?!

    In fact I feel it is Embarcadero which is acting stubborn and childish! Instead of improving customer relationship, they are actually saying, that is their newsgroup, and they treat anybody any way they like. Anybody has any complain, should get out of there!
    They do not understand they should have a mutual relationship with Delphi community. They need the community as the community needs their products. If they treat the community in a bad way, reasoning that is their newsgroup, the community can also react by leaving their newsgroups and stop buying their products.

    If they want all praise for their management and products in their newsgroups, and no complain, then why don’t they ban everybody, and limit posting to just a group of Embarcadero’s staff, and TeamB members?!

    I don’t know why is their public relationship managed this way. It is all ridiculous to me!

  25. marc says:

    Simon,

    “What I have done back then was repost all the messages they had deleted from me automatically using a Delphi-written bot, which they then again cancelled, which got them automatically reposted and so on. As they were unable to block me from doing this (the tool used open proxies, so an IP), they decided to disable web access for everyone so they could enforce the ban.”

    first time i hear about this, but your sympathies have suddenly turned upside-down. what you describe having done sure sounds like an attack on the server, and IMHO warrants you being banned from the forums for good. i surely would have done the same had this happened on my property.

  26. Simon Kissel says:

    marc: I’ve never said that the ban back in the Borland days was unwarranted (even though the other side did all it could to make it escalate back then by making sure communication didn’t happen).

    What’s more, I’ve also never said that today’s Embarcadero ban on my person is unwarranted. It seems silly, it seems to be not really constructive, but I sure have accepted that, too.
    I’ve only ever posted two messages in the Embarcadero forums – one CrossKylix release announcement in the 3rd-party newsgroup, one “I’m back” message in the non-technical newsgroup. Both getting deleted was a clear sign I’m still not welcome and that there hasn’t been a change of mind, and I’ve accepted that without complains.

    None of this however warrants deleting messages from people who try to discuss CrossKylix on a technical level, and IMHO it also doesn’t warrant Embarcadero to delete other peoples opinions on the issue in forums where it is on-topic. It’s a bad sign that the community has absolutely no influence in regards of moderation/censorship in a peer-supported technical forum. I haven’t seen this anywhere else (ok, let’s forget about Apple for a moment ;).

    And that’s what quite a few bloggers have pointed out in the last week, and rightfully so.

    This is not about me (both Embarcadero and I can live with not communicating with each other anymore), it’s a matter of Embarcaderos treatment of the community and (non-)respect for other peoples opinions in general that some people worry about.

    In regards of “would have done the same if it happened on my property” – I for myself would respond to such a problem far earlier, because I’d care for my main customer communication channel to be working effectively.

  27. marc says:

    Simon:

    “In regards of “would have done the same if it happened on my property” – I for myself would respond to such a problem far earlier, because I’d care for my main customer communication channel to be working effectively.”

    that goes without saying, yes. But Borland/Embarcadero’s newsgroups are what they are. i certainly have my issues with how they work, as well. But it’s What Embarcadero provides, we know how well (or or badly) the medium works, and we need to live with it, if we want to participate, and work within the confines of the infrastructure that is provided.

    not being happy with the system does not, imho, justify taking the sort of actions you just described, creating a bot system to interfere with and work against the guidelines and procedures (no matter how wrong they might seem to you) that are in place, to get your messages in – to the extend that, as you say yourself, it interfered with everybody’s use of the forums.

    money quote from you: “they decided to disable web access for everyone so they could enforce the ban.” you say yourself: you left Borland no choice but to take (part of) the forums technology offline to prevent your abuse.

    this is the equivalent of me telling you i don’t like you to play loud hip hop on your boombox when you come visit my house. and after you repeatedly disregard my wishes and i tell you yo go home, you buy huge speakers, set them up on the street and BLAST it at me at volume 11.

    keep in mind that a company’s forums are their property. they can do with them as they please. no-one has a right to post on them, and they have the right to cancel as they please (and doing so is not “censorship”, as your right to free speech does not extend to a company’s private property, but only to the government not keeping you from voicing your opinion using your own means and infrastructure). this is true, again, no matter how much you (or i) might disagree with their policies. what “warrants deletion” is entirely that company’s prerogative.

    your bot system was an attempt to fight for a right that you simply didn’t have.

    but enough said, i wasn’t intending to get into a long discussion about this. simply pointing out the obvious.

  28. Marc,
    See my previous post above and the thread on newsgroups it mentions. Would you behave in that way on your forums ?

  29. marc says:

    Derek,

    i would now, no, but that is entirely besides the point. the point is, forums are a company’s property, and the company as the *right* to behave on that forums as they please. the customers, in turn, have the right to take their money elsewhere, but that is as far as it goes.

    by all means, i encourage anyone who feels mistreated by a vendor to give them the boot and go elsewhere. that’s how the system works.

    welcome to capitalism 😉

  30. MrPerfect says:

    “what you describe having done sure sounds like an attack on the server, and IMHO warrants you being banned from the forums for good”

    For good is a long time, I have seen people get suspended sentences for manslaughter.
    If Simon has not done anything to undermine the forums in the intervening 4 years since he was banned then continuing to ban him after such a duration is petty vindictiveness of the worst sort. Especially when he was using his return to publicise the free release of his work to the community.
    There’s some in positions of influence on the forums who seem to be on power trips with the fora being their little empire.

  31. Marc,
    fast response 😉 Did you look at my original post here or the newsgroup thread concerned ?

    If so you will see what you encourage people to do who feel mistreated by a Vendor is exactly what Im doing.

  32. Simon Kissel says:

    marc: You are completely right about the “it’s their forum, nobody besides them has rights”-party (well, with one exception – at least inside the EU we have the ‘right of counterstatement’. Back then representatives of them were posting claims about my person, and at least under EU law I would have had the right to defend myself using a counterstatement. Dunno the legal situation on that in the US).

    But that’s not my point really. They may have any right in the world to do whatever they want, including “Dear customers, GO AWAY” in big red letters.

    It’s just that it doesn’t make business sense. Bad business decisions of Borland in the past have affected us customers/community members a lot, and Embarcaderos business decisions today still do. After all, many of us have invested lots of time and money into Object Pascal source code and the Delphi platform.

    IMHO therefore for me the “they can do what they want” part is not of much relevance really. It would be nice if they could be made to listen to the community (and I’m not only talking about newsgroup censorship, I’m talking about working far more closely with their customers, including the ability to accept well-funded critic. Like, if customers tell them “your documentation/help isn’t good enough, you need to improve it”, instead of sending an army of TeamB zombies who tell everyone for a few years they just got no clue how good the documentation is, accept the criticism and try to work with it in an open fashion.

    Or, simply put: Embarcadero’s communication with customers and community is as broken as Borland’s was. They should finally try to work on fixing that. They show absolutely zero intention to do so right now, and that I find frustrating.

  33. Simon Kissel says:

    Oh, and let me add this: Yes, this is capitalism, but they aren’t good at it. They aren’t the ones eating others, they have been and still are at the risk of getting eaten.

    And they are making their situation far worse by stomping on their own food chain, their customers, and by giving up the security being the respected part of a herd (the community) is.

    They are effectively making themselves losers in that game of capitalism, and I feel sorry for them.

  34. marc says:

    Last comment on this :

    “Oh, and let me add this: Yes, this is capitalism, but they aren’t good at it.”

    exactly. the one nice thing about capitalism (and, by god, i’m not a fan) is that it’s a self correcting system, in the sense that if you’re not very good at it, you’ll end up paying the price. but that, too, a fate that is every participant’s prerogative to tempt. 😉

  35. Simon Kissel says:

    Jim:

    “Update: The links go off line from time to time. I am guessing under server load. Simon reported they had over 1000 downloads.” – you can remove this remark. The server had an issue yesterday, but this meanwhile has been fixed, so everything should be stable again. Sorry about the confusion.

  36. BWhite says:

    > For good is a long time, I have seen people
    > get suspended sentences for manslaughter.
    Sure. And he can get a suspended sentence if he wants one. He just has to apologize and say he won’t do it again. Seems fair to me. But so far he hasn’t and it appears that he won’t.

    > If Simon has not done anything to undermine
    > the forums in the intervening 4 years since
    > he was banned then continuing to ban him
    > after such a duration is petty vindictiveness
    > of the worst sort.
    How so? A murderer that hasn’t killed anyone in the last 4 years doesn’t get credit for good behavior. He knows what he needs to do.

    > Especially when he was
    > using his return to publicise the free release
    > of his work to the community.
    Community service does not make up for a DoS attack.

    > There’s some in positions of influence on
    > the forums who seem to be on power trips with
    > the fora being their little empire.
    That could be, so long as you are not talking about TeamB. They are just acting on John’s
    instructions.

  37. Hmmmmm.
    Just went to Embarcedero Newsgroups using IE (Which I rarely use) and found to my suprise that as I must have left myself logged in on it last time I used it I was still logged in now ? This is strange as I have options set to delete web cache contents of IE on exit. So what files does it leave on your computer to do this ?

    Anyhow Found a private message reply from a Staff member from 30th July responding to my query about Ban it seems . By this date I had of course found logging in from scratch no longer worked as discussed previously.

    Tried to open this message several times and browser crashed. Same occurred when I tryed to do anything else. Has now lost my login on IE as a result and of course login from scratch doesnt work.

    What it does tell me ( And why I was checking in first place ) is they STILL havent removed my EDN account completely as requested after 9 Days of trying to get it actioned despite emails saying it is been actioned or had already been done ! 🙄

  38. Simon Kissel says:

    Brad: This is the final time I ask you in a friendly manner (aka not involving a lawyer) not to make the libelous claim in public that I’ve ever done a DoS attack on a server system. Thank you very much. Please be so kind and save us both the hassle.

  39. MrPerfect says:

    @BWhite

    >Sure. And he can get a suspended sentence if he wants one.

    He has already served a 4 year sentence of exile from the forums. Isn’t that enough?

    >He just has to apologize and say he won’t do it >again.

    No, that would be just rubbing his nose in it. Apologise to who exactly? The head of Borland at that time, perhaps?
    I think most people would believe if anyone needs to apologise for anything, it’s Borland.

    >Community service does not make up for a DoS >attack.
    Firstly, afaik, it wasn’t a DoS attack.
    At the time of his ‘offence’ he was responding to the heavy handed moderation by simply reposting deleted posts.
    Secondly community service is a well recognised method of dealing with offenders.

    >That could be, so long as you are not talking >about TeamB. They are just acting on John’s
    >instructions.
    TeamB are unpaid volunteers, it’s doubly pathetic then if they just blindly follow ‘instructions’.

  40. Jim McKeeth says:

    I don’t want any trouble in here. We have had a good conversation, but some people are getting frustrated and I don’t want things to escalate. So I am going to lock this thread for comments, but not deleting any comments. No censoring, just helping everyone keep their cool. Please email me jim@ if you have any further concerns about this.

    Thanks for all the kind words and glad you enjoyed the interview.

Comments are closed.