Delphi and the #Code2014 Rankings

The Twitter #Code2014 ranking have become a bit of a tradition. At the end of the year everyone votes for the  programming languages they used, or were their favorite for the year. Then they all get tabulated up to see how they rank. Once again Delphi did quite well, coming it at #9, just ahead of other mainstream languages like C and C++ as well as niche languages like Objective-C and Swift (developing for only one platform is so 2013). It was neck and neck with C#, ending with only 11 votes different.

Delphi finished 9th in the #Code2014 rankings on Twitter
Delphi finished 9th in the #Code2014 rankings on Twitter

There are actually still people voting, but the deadline was Friday, so the votes don’t count. I still appreciate the enthusiasm. Watching Delphi climb the charts was a real treat, and shows two things:

  1. Delphi is still a very popular language
  2. The Delphi community is amazing

I believe this second point to be the most important one. The community really came together to vote for Delphi and move it up the rankings. Makes me happy to be part of such an amazing community.

 # Language Count
 1 javascript 2414
 2 python 1355
 3 java 1317
 4 ruby 1044
 5 sql 936
 6 php 882
 7 bash 871
 8 c# 814
 9 delphi 803
 10 c 692
 11 c++ 598
 12 go 566
 13 clojure 504
 14 haskell 452
 15 scala 449
 16 objective-c 375
 17 swift 343
 18 livecode 280
 19 coffeescript 262
 20 f# 246

Looking at the top languages, they mostly have a web development theme. I’ve heard before that Twitter seems to have a web development bias, and this seems to reinforce that. Also since you are allowed to vote for more than one language we see SQL with a very high ranking, even though I imagine it had very few votes just for it (I may be wrong, but it seems like the kind of language you use with a general purpose language).


14 replies on “Delphi and the #Code2014 Rankings”

Very cool to see Delphi so well represented. I imagine it would be much higher if the development environment wasn’t so expensive. I also agree that I wouldn’t consider SQL a development language on it’s own so it is weird to see it so high in this list.

Great to hear from you again John. Delphi Starter edition starts at $209 USD, or you can pick up Appmethod starting for $25/mo. So while it isn’t free, it is affordable.

@Jim McKeeth
Delphi Starter edition! Would you mind sharing aproximately how many starter editions did Embarcadero managed to sell?
Based on the verry limited features that Starter edition offers I’m wonderong who might even be interested in it:

– no 64 bit support: Nowadays every computer already comes with 64 bit CPU. So why would programmers be limted to 32 bit development. I mean if I would be deciding to try a new programming tool today I would definitly expect that tool to alow me to make a 64 bit application wheter I realy need it or not. Lets face it 64 bit applications are the future.

– no source code for VCL library: The main benefit of Delphi for newbie developers is the ability to look into part of its source code as this alows you to better understand its inner workings not to meantion easier way to make your own components. For a newbie developers insight into source code can be the main source of knowledge. I myself had learned a whole lot from it. And wihout it I would be forced to find this on the web which actually isn’t as easy as you might think at first.

– no visual livebinding support: Visual live binding is one of the verry promoted features that Delphi supports and yet you prevent potential new Delphi developers to even try it. Yes you can actually try it in trial versions of Delphi but 30 days for a newbie developers is definitly not enough)

– limited code editing functionality: While I could understand that you stip some of the previously mentioned features from the starter adition I can not understand why would you strip the code editing features. I mean the code editor is the most important part of a development IDE and its features will play the most important role in someone deciding wheter he or she will decide to use such IDE or not.

– limited debuggind: Debugging is the important step of any software development and therefore you would want it to be as powerfull and as intuitive as possible especially for newbies so they don’t lose their interest right from the start.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a Delphi supporter and I think that overal it is a great develoopment tool. But on my opinion the Starter edition is actually an insult to potentional developers.

By far the biggest problem with the Delphi product is that the price is too high and the entry level product is out of reach of the hobbyist/open source developer.

As a Delphi developer I cannot now communicate code solutions to anyone else other than the closed community of Delphi developers who can afford the license.

The starter edition or something similar needs to be FREE.

I think you are right. When there is not some sort of free version to get started it makes it very difficult to introduce Delphi to new people and it will also make it practically impossible to see it used in education.

For the time being the best way might be to assure that you code can also compile with FreePascal.

I’ve got to agree with the others on here. With even Microsoft open-sourcing their compilers and frameworks, the business model built around Delphi is feeling more and more like a relic of a bygone age with every passing year. As unfortunate as that is for the fine folks at Embarcadero whose livelihood is based around developing and selling Delphi, it’s true. Something really has to change, drastically, if the language we all love so much is to remain relevant.

Probably everyone knows this but I still thought I’d mention it, the Visual Studio Express edition IS FREE. And from what I’ve been reading here it does a lot more than the Delphi Started Edition.

So is Free Pascal which supports most of the features that Delphi does and then even some that Delphi diesen’t like Linux development, ability to actually develop your applications on other systems besides windows. If you need visual components then you go and use FPC with Lazarus IDE which is also multiplatform compatible.

As for comparison betwen Visual Studio and Delphi goes you need to realize that there is a major difference.
While Delphi is made by Embarcadero as final product Visual Studio is actually internall tool used by Microsoft which was made available to public.
And the main reason for this was not for Microsoft to earn more money since they earn it enough with the rest of their prodicts. Instead it was for Microsoft to actually see how good their own development tool is when used by public and a free chance to find additional talents and new ideas.
So you see you can’t go and directly compare the Delphi with Visual Studio especially not their prices.

@Silver Warrior: That difference is relevant to the companies that make the products in question, but utterly irrelevant to end users. Like I said, it’s very unfortunate to the people who work at Embarcadero, but it’s still true. (Much in the same way that the advent of the automobile was unfortunate to people in the horse-drawn buggy business.)

Have a look at the programming language ranking at the top of this post, and the main site it was derived from. Delphi is an outlier there; almost every single other language, especially the most popular ones, are either open-source or have their toolchain available entirely for free. (Or, as with SQL, are part of a language of families where many of the most popular options are available in open source.)

With all due credit to FPC, this is simply not the case for the Object Pascal language, and the longer it takes for Embarcadero to understand this, and to understand the implications of it, the worse it’s going to get for all of us.

QUOTE: That difference is relevant to the companies that make the products in question, but utterly irrelevant to end users.

@Mason Wheeler
I don’t agree with this. As a end user you can’t expect to get something for free if that means that the company that will be selling or giving you that product would be creating big loses by doing so.
That is just like you would expect to get free food all the time just becouse once you had a chance to get a free meal in some public event.
At the time to you that food was free but the organizer of the event had to pay for that food. And they did it becouse with that event they gained certain gain probably not monetary but still.

So when Microsoft is offering their Visdual Studio for free it actually isn’t really for free. While Microsoft doesent directly earn any money they do get lots of gain by this. What sort of gain:
1. As I mentioned ago Visual Studio is in a way a drafting system for microsoft becouse they can quickly find pepole who make excelent software and then offer them a job. And since all those potentional developers are already using Microsoft tools thre is no aditional expeses on teaching them to use those tools, as it would be if Microsoft would for instance hire a Delphi developer.
2. Second big gain is that becouse Visual Studio is being used by the mases Microsoft gets good feadback on what can be done with it, what can’t be done, where are some bugs etc. Now this is invaluable information for any software development.
3. Becouse main supported platform for Visual Studio is still Windows Microsoft is guaranteeing itself the good popularity of Windows.

So you see Visual Studio is far from being free. It just doesent cost you any money directly. But you stil need to buy Windows to run Visual Studio from.
Yes I know there are virtual enviroments for Mac OS and Linux that alow running of Windows applications without the need to have Windows installed. But there are currently alowed by Microsoft only becouse in most cases software developers uste them to test if their software is compatible with Windows despite the fact that they don’t use Windows as their man OS.
But mark my words as soon as this cahnge and the virtual windows eviroments will become more comonly used for simply running windows comatible programs in other OS’es in order so that pepole avoid paying for Windows these will quickly be banned and there will be another big patent war out there.

The main error in your and many other pepoles thinking is that you consider Delphi as a final product. Now to Embarcadero Delphi is indeed the final product. But to you, me, and any other Delphi developers Delphi is actually an investment. How good investment soley depends on your succsess of selling your software.

If you manage to sell one licence of the program that you made for about 3K USD and you spent one year developing it then buying Delphi would be a bad investment for you as you wouldn’t even cover all of your expenses.
But if you would be able to sell let’s say ten licences of your program then the buying Delphi would be a satisfactoy investment.
And if you manage to sell even more copies of your program then buying Delphi becomes even better investment.

@SilverWarior I am not arguing the Delphi should be free just that the Entry level product should be free so that those who aren’t selling software for a living can use it.

@SilverWarrior: Almost everything you say there is true, but none of it changes the fundamental reality of what I wrote.

One thing you got very wrong, though, was the implicit assumption that “to you, me, and any other Delphi developers Delphi is actually an investment. How good investment soley depends on your succsess of selling your software.”

That works fine for you, me, and any other already trained professional Delphi developers, but under this model, where does the new blood come from? Where does the Delphi open-source community that doesn’t sell software to recoup their development costs come from? Where do new ideas come from? Assuming that a product doesn’t need to be affordable to newcomers because everyone’s using it for lucrative commercial work is a self-fulfilling prophecy of the worst kind.

Selling a product as a source of revenue: good. Revenue cannibalism: not so good.

Me “trained professional Delphi developer”? Sounds great but I’m not.

I’m just a self taught Delphi developer whose investment in Delphi still hasn’t payed off. While I did some helping jobs on a few projects I haven’t managed to earn a lot by programming so far. Actually I haven’t even earned enough to cover my initial purchase of Delphi XE2 proffesional, and definitly not nearly enough to pay for all the money that I have invested into maintaining my SA subscription since buying Delphi XE2.

Now I do understand that for a compleete newbie paing of 200€ for a development IDE you don’t even know if you will like which alows you to make applications in a programming language that you also don’t know if you will like is compleetly unacceptable. I’m not trying to deny this.

But since I’m an edicated sales clark and comercialist I do understand the Embarcadero point of view and why they are afraid to offer any free version.
You see while a free version of Delphi would definitly help bring up new pepole into Delphi comunity it could also seriously hurt Embarcadero sales despite the increasing size of Delphi comunity. How? Third party components. It seems pretty strange doesen’t it.

Imagine that there is a third party dtabase component which has practically same features like FireDac (full network database support) but it fully works with starter edition of Delphi. Would you ever consider buying the Enterprise edition or would you rather buy starter adition and this third party component with it? I’m willing to bet that you would chose the latter.

That is what many companies did when Boarland started offering the free personal editions of Delphi 6 and Delphi 7 which inpacted the higher tier sales to go down quite a bit.

So what would I suggest that could be acceptable by both delphi comunity nad Embarcadero? I suggest changing of bundling system that is currently in use.

Currently you have several Delphi editions but I bet that there are probably bunch of components and several libraries that ship with the Delphi edition that you have but you never use them as you have no need for them. This in the end means that you are paying for something that you don’t need.

Now if there would be option for you to exactly chose which components and libraries you need and then pay the price based on the components you chose this would make Delphi generally much more afordable for professional developers, since they would pay just for what they need as well for beginers becouse what they would require to start programing is just the ide and some vasic VCL components which devfinitly wouldn’t cost much.

And at the same time this would give Embarcadero good insight into which of their components are realy needed by comunity so they could focus development on them and thus potentionally decrease the expenses that they would have by maintaining some components that are rarely used.

Yes I can hear you now saying: “Here he goes again and talks about what is good for professional developers.”
Yes I do. Why?
If you make Delphi more atractive for professional developers more of them will go and buy Delphi.
The more licences of Delphi does Embarcadero sell the more income it produces.
More income means bigger profits for Embarcadero.
Bigger profits means bigger chance for Embarcadero to actaully decrease the overal price of Delphi. And that would benefit both professional developers as beginners.

Not to metnion that inceasing popularitiy of Delhi amongst professional developers would also cause increase of the Delphi based programming jobs available. And that mr Wheeler is a win win situation for everyone.

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