Where do I begin ? I suppose in 2002. BoldSoft was a small but growing company with a clear vision and a cutting edge product that was already very mature (in development since 1996). It was/is a UML compilant MDA framework with a wide range of unique features, too many to list.
So in 2002 Borland purchased BoldSoft and TogetherSoft (visual modeling) , and I remember being excited, expecting Borland to merge these into an even better product. It was the logical next step (Bold lacked the actual visual modeller and instead had an import from Rational Rose,Modelmaker, etc).
At that time Borland jumped on the .NET and so the former BoldSoft team was directed to write a .NET version of Bold, which soon became ECO. So all development of Bold ceased, never to be continued. In a typical Borland fashion, no statements were issued of the direction taken. It was never (to this day) announcned that Bold has been terminated. Bold team did mange to release Bold for Delphi 2005 and 2006, (which was basically just recompiled source from 2002) so that pakages are compatible with those IDEs, but that was all.
In the meanwhile, ECO was developed and reach version 4 before the turbulent times of Borland/Codegear and eventually Embarcadero transition ensured that former Bold team left and formed CapableObjects and continued development independently.
During all this time there was an impression that Bold/ECO team had half harted support, wasn't given proper resources or freedom to influence the direction. Bold (Win32) was terminated and all focus was on ECO yet, as eventually became evident, Delphi .NET was a failure. Together modeler felt like it never left beta testing stage, Delphi 8/2005/2006 were all poor releases quality wise.
And so we come to the present day, an awkward situation where CapableObjects is an idependant company developing ECO, while Embarcadero still holds the rights to both ECO and Bold. Borland kept Together. Delphi.NET was discontinued. Codegear/Embarcadero focused on unicode, language improvements, and according to current roadmap, cross platform and x64. There are plenty of buzz words in the road map, from Cloud computing to Social networking, but only "Agile modeling support with Sequence diagram generation" sounds like it could be somewhat related.
Now, the main focus of Embarcadero bussiness is database tools. The goal of the modeling movement, OTOH, is to change the paradigm from database centric to model centric development, so I'm afraid this is somewhat conflicting.
The global development trends changed a lot in the past 8 years, there has been the emergence of .NET, growing number of web platforms/frameworks, cloud computing, multi core/threading & parallelization, testing frameworks, open source movement, etc. While these are all significant, and tackle a wide range of issues, the typical application still ends up using SQL, database triggers, stored procedures and other db specific technologies. Picking a database is still one of the first decisions taken. UML is still mostly used in informal way for planning or fancy documentation, but is rarely used for actual execution specification of the application. I am not aware of any tools/frameworks that cover the whole process from diagrams to code generation, db generation/evolution, gui generation, etc.
There is, however, a growing number of ORMs for various platforms. Even Microsoft seems to flirt with DDD in Entity framework. But, again, none of these cover the whole process. So what about ECO ? Well, it is not open source, nor is it backed by a major company, and I believe the CapableObjects team currently consists of 2 active developers. So while it's an excellent product, it's market penetration is minor.
So back to Bold, fortunate few customers who purchased complete source while it was available, before BoldSoft acquisition, still use it. Some of us have improved it, but these are now separate branches. Most others, without source access, either continued using it with older Delphi versions, or moved on. There is however constant interest in OPFs and I believe the number of users would increase significantly if Bold was once again available, and if it's future wasn't uncertain.
Embarcadero owns Bold (and ECO) and hasn't done anything with it for years, and the roadmap suggests that is not likely to change. So for Embarcadero it's a useless frozen asset, it's not available, and doesn't bring in new customers. It makes no business sense to continue this status quo. Releasing it as open source, would however, present the community with a chance to continue development, and cover another market segment not directly developed by Embarcadero. So just like DevEx, Indy, ICS, and other popular 3rd party components (free or not) contribute to the sales of Delphi, an open source Bold would surely, also benefit Embarcadero.
I have therefor been asking this question for years now, only to receive vague answers, even though I fail to see how the current state benefits Embarcadero or anyone else.
So on the behalf of Bold community I would really appreciate a concrete answer from whoever in Embarcadero is responsible for decision making concerning Bold.
I would be grateful to you Tony, if you could raise this matter internally or direct me to people who could.
And sorry for such a long post, but you did ask :)
Regards, Daniel Mauric