We’ve built it – we can make it better!
Epe: September 28 2015.
We have just returned from a VERY successful DevShare Conference in the UK. Many thanks go to Phil Hepburn, Mike Bertenshaw, Dai Darkin and their spouses Sue and Sue for organizing this great event.
Our new XSharp initiative has received as very warm welcome at the conference, but also raised many questions. We would like to take the opportunity to repeat and answer the most common and most important question over here:
Why do you want to introduce a new compiler / competitor for a small market as Vulcan.NET?
The answer to this is the following:
We never had and still don't have the intention to start a Compiler war and introduce a competitor to Vulcan.NET.
Let us explain a little bit about what happened (without revealing secrets from private email and phone conversations)
All products have their product life cycle. We feel that the product life cycle for Vulcan.NET in its current form has reached his end. The fact that that some of the developers of the product had left or planned to leave the development team also indicated that the product in its current form would have problems to survive.
Everybody knows that the number of subscribers to the Vulcan Platinum Support is decreasing every year, and also that the number of attendees to Vulcan conferences is decreasing.
Finally the progress in development has almost come to a stop. There are very few new features in Vulcan 4.
A roadmap for future development is missing, and it is no secret that the owner of Vulcan.NET has been looking for someone to buy the product for the last couple of years.
It is obvious that it is time for a successor, and to make that successor successful we think that it is necessary to broaden its user base. That is why we wanted to introduce a new product that not only targets the Visual Objects & Vulcan.NET market but the other xBase markets as well. But we also wanted to help maintain and support Vulcan.NET.
We have therefore approached GrafX (Brian Feldman) and opened the negotiations with him. We have offered to take over the maintenance, development and support (VPS) of Vulcan.NET and develop a successor at the same time (just like GrafX has done in 2002 when Visual Objects was a product from Computer Associates).
GrafX did not immediately agree with our proposal and came with additional demands.
After consulting our financial partners we have accepted the proposal from GrafX under the normal condition that we would receive a Due Diligence report. In laymen's terms this means that GrafX needs to prove that it is indeed the owner of the Intellectual Property (they could have sold it to someone else before us) and GrafX had to show recent sales data to support the price it has asked for the product . This is a perfectly normal question in all (international) business transactions.
You would also never buy a house too without proof of ownership and an estimate of the value by a real estate agent.
After more than one week (and a reminder from us) Brian Feldman answered us that he regretted his proposal and retracted the offer, without further explanation.
We have replied to him that we were willing to come to another proposal (for example transferring only part of the intellectual property) but we needed to see some proof
That was the end of the negotiations. Brian Feldman closed the door and told us that he is no longer interested in talking with us about selling Vulcan.NET
Brian Feldman is very proud of Vulcan.NET 4.0. And so he should be. The product has come a long way. Many customers has successfully converted a Visual Objects application to .NET with the aid of the product.
We have always and will always appreciate what Brian has done for the product and its predecessor Visual Objects. Without his intervention Visual Objects would have been buried on the graveyard of dead products inside Computer Associates. And he has also helped to start and develop Vulcan.NET.
But we are also very proud of what we have achieved with Vulcan.NET 4.0. We have built it, not alone of course, but together with Don Caton (who had to leave the development team a few years ago), Paul Piko and John Parker
We realize that this controversy has put you, the Vulcan.NET and VPS customers, in a difficult situation which we have tried to avoid. We know you have invested huge amounts of money and many man-years in your products and are now uncertain about the future of the products that you have used to develop your software. But we know you and we are convinced that you will make the right choice.
We suggest that you ask yourself who or what Visual Objects / Vulcan.NET is for you.
We think it is:
- The team that converted a potentially strong, but sometimes very unstable and unreliable Visual Objects 2.5 into the product that is today
- The team that created a new product and achieved what a lot of people thought was impossible
- The team that helps you solve your problems on the support forums, and often debug your code in their own time into the early hours of the day
- The team that creates a quick fix to the issues you find in the product, so you can continue to work for your customers.
- The team that travels all over the world to conferences to tell you about what works, but also very important, what not works in the product and how you could work around these limitation
- The team that helped you to get started in the challenging new world of DotNet
- The team you have drank a beer with and while sitting next to you and your laptop have helped you to fix issues in your code on the spot.
We apologize for the difficult choice we have forced you to make, but we know you, we are sure you will make the right decision.
To finish this:
We are still interested in ending this controversy by taking over Vulcan.NET, and welcome any constructive proposal from the side of GrafX.
You will understand that we are not going to wait for GrafX. We don't need GrafX. We have created Vulcan.NET before and will succeed again in creating its successor. We’ve built it – we can make it better! We wish GrafX & Brian Feldman all the best.
We will keep you informed about our progress through the usual channels: Newsgroups, Facebook, Twitter and of course our website Xsharp.eu.
Robert van der Hulst
President XSharp B.V.
Co-Founder of the XSharp Project.
The XSharp Development team:
- Fabrice Foray
- Nikos Kokkalis
- Chris Pyrgas
- Robert van der Hulst
- And others