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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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My initial thoughts on the new Community sites

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/04/06

(I just found out this post was marked “missed schedule” since April 6, 2014. It’s a [WayBack] known WordPress bug that on still raises it’s head every now and then. Sorry for that.)

The introduction of AppMethod wasn’t only introducing a new product based on the Object Pascal language and Firemonkey framework, it also shows which direction Embarcadero is taking with their community sites all hosted on some of which replace parts of the EDN (Embarcadero Developer Network) sites.

These already saw the light:

Here is my initial impression on them. So below, phrasings like “it is” phrase how I feel about them.

The UI looks clean

Whereas most of the EDN sites look cluttered (some of which just look like a big landing page), the new sites look much cleaner. Less fuzz, more aimed towards their goal.

Existing EDN credentials are re-used

This is only part of the story. EDN has two credentials: a username and an email address. At the EDN sites, you can use either one. But not all community sites support that. I hope this means “not all community sites support that yet”.

So far, the Answers, Articles and Forums sections (which are hosted on the main site) understand authentication using either the username or email.

The Quality part

The community site is PHP based.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the plus side, PHP is used by many people, Embarcadero has a PHP based HTML5 Builder product (initially called Delphi for PHP, then RadPHP; well Delphi was almost called AppBuilder so that is still positive). On the negative side, even big PHP users like WordPress do horrible things with it (don’t get me started on their scheduling engine, or on breaking posts that contain source code).

Answers is new.

Answers does not have a predecessor within. It is a bit like a StackExchange site targeted at one product, but unlike StackOverflow, it feels more welcoming to new users. I hope that stays so, and that some people with capabilities like John Skeet will join it, and not the typical StackOverflow moderators  that think they can judge questions that are clearly out of their field of expertise.

I’m not yet sure how to maintain this in


The forums server doesn’t keep articles forever: depending on the forum, the retention duration can be as little as a couple of months or less.

It means that valuable information gets lost as nobody puts this in the WayBack machine and the WayBack machine is not indexed by Google anyway.


Currently there are the categories Tutorials, Technical Articles and Support.


Quality is the future direction of QC. It is based on JIRA (from Atlassian). Whereas QC was developed in-house (initially bound to the then internal RAID) a long time before publicly accessible quality systems became widespread, JIRA is an external system.

QC is dated^w dead. Though [WayBack] it has a – for its age modern – WSDL API, the web interface is horrible as of nowadays standards, and even the [WayBack] Windows and [WayBack] Java clients mentioned on the [WayBack] QC home page are not a pleasant use (personally I still use the QC Plus client though it is not publicly available any more).

Embarcadero has used JIRA internally since at least 2009 (and presumably converted their internal RAID bug database to JIRA), so they have experience using it.

I love JIRA as it is the central piece in a lot of agile environments, has all its functionality on a web-based fashion backed with a publicly documented REST based  API so you can hook up native tools with ease and is in use by many closed and open source projects. There are options to host it yourself, or in the cloud or mix and match.

So I do welcome JIRA. But there are a few things that Embarcadero needs to fix:

  • Better integration with EDN login services (right now you can only login using the username you registered at EDN, but not with the email address you registered at EDN).
  • Making all reports of publicly available products also public just like on QC (I get it that bugs on products not publicly available are not visible to the public at large).


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