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.

12 Responses

  1. I tried to convince them already several times. No success. The owner of the also unclear.

  2. strong open source project in Delphi for support of effective programming are an essential add on’s for Delphi. EMB will not losse much. If I can’t get them in DELPHI PASCAL I can get them for free in JAVA . Lazarus will not kill the DELPHI sales – no, no, no !!! A strong second source of a pascal compiler means for me as an software project leader … when ever EMB will fail somewhere … I can get my projects running with the second Source. My Project will have success even with some problems. If FreePascal is stable and good for development on IOS, I will buy XE3 any how, because I will gain time and money with the FAST and better IDE DELPHI RAD.
    In that sense pls. make BOLD FREE OPEN SOURCE you may protect some parts against be used by other compiler vendors

  3. Embarcadero’s last excursion into open sourcing a product, Interbase, obviously didn’t live up to their expectations.

    …if by “Embarcadero” you mean “Borland, almost a decade before they sold their dev tools to Embarcadero.” 😛

  4. Thanks for a great post Lachlang!
    Also thanks all that have voted on the petition.
    But please continue to spread the words about this in forums, blogs, email, whatever.
    As you wrote it is probably now or never for Bold.

    We must tell Embarcadero the fact that the only way to earn money on Bold is to release it as opensource.

    1. This isn’t the petition Rolphy. Follow the link in the blog post above to the petition and sign it there or your voice won’t be counted.

  5. Unfortunately we have a major application written in Bold and we are not going to be able to consider upgrading to Delphi XE2/XE3 until there is some mechanism for migrating this application across other than completely re-writing it.
    We have approached Embarcadero employees on many occasions by email and have decided that they must have an email rule set that sends all Bold enquiries to junk mail, because they have never at any stage responded to a single email. Even a reply to say that Bold is completely dead in the water would give us some feeling of satisfaction, but we can’t get anything at all from them. We have signed the petition but the lack of response from Embarcadero leaves us with little confidence in the future of bold.

    1. Hi Graeme and thanks for signing the petition. Yes it’s a frustrating situation with Bold and I have heard many stories like yours. First discovered Bold with Delphi 7, Liked it and start using it to build applications. Then frustration over frozen support from the owner of Bold. I believe many have left Delphi for C# and Java because of lack of support.

      I and some in my team have been in contact with Embarcadero about this. We promised to not say anything about it to the public. But it was some time since we got mail from them so I guess we have to remind them about this. It’s in our all interests (including Embarcadero) that this is solved.