Update 13th May 12:00 GMT:
(Please scroll down if this is your first visit to this page to see what has happened so far)

Thanks to everyone in the newsgroups supporting me, and protesting against the practice of moderation/cancel abuse! I'm also glad that people are not falling for the overdramatizations ("this has been a DoS attack!") and the cheap "we've had our reasons, but we won't tell either you nor anyone else, and that's our right" excuses given by TeamB and CodeGear's own Nick Hodges. As I'm not able to defend myself against in the groups (whatever I post still gets cancelled of course), I appreciate this a lot.

I find it sad to see that even after quite a bunch of community members telling both TeamB and CodeGear that they think Rudy is abusing his moderation powers inside the groups, they deny everything and refuse to take the logical consequences.

Let's think about it a moment: Why does one moderate communication? Usually it's done to improve the communication flow - moderators are used to keep a discussion flow steady, to make sure the topic doesn't drift too much, and to calm everyone down in case of a conflict. The Delphi community is important to Delphi and therefore to CodeGear, and having a good communication flow is vital to that community. It's in CodeGear's best interest that even unhappy customers of theirs are able to speak freely, and get the feeling their critical feedback is valued. These days this is especially important, because CodeGear urgently needs their remaining customers - and the percentage of those being sceptical about their plans and what's coming out of those is not that low after all.

So, what do we have here? A moderator who did all he could do to escalate - to make sure that a critical thread about CodeGears product plans exploded into a wild cancel war, putting oil into the fire all the time. Did this help to improve community internal communication? No. Did it help to keep the information flow to CodeGear about what their critical customers think, up? Definately not. What's the conclusion? Rudy isn't an evil guy, probably he doesn't even have bad intentions when he cancels critical posts in the groups. But he simply isn't suited for moderating such a group. He's done the worst possible job a moderator could do.

It would be a real nice move if Rudy simply now could accept the fact that a lot of people are unhappy with his style of moderation, which isn't up to the standards people are expecting from CodeGear. He simply should resign from his moderator job and see that he still can be a valued member of the community even without having the total control about other peoples thoughts. Rudy, it's time to do what's best for the community. And CodeGear, it's time to finally really understand (instead of just claiming the usual "we are listening" stuff) that whatever your customers and your community is unhappy with, you need to work on it. Right now, besides important concerns about your current product quality and your future product plans, some community members are unhappy about the way customer feedback and community discussions are censored.

Hint: If you are currently posting in the delphi.non-technical newsgroup, please notice that if you are criticizing TeamB's/CodeGear's moves, your post most likely is to be cancelled, too. I suggest subscribing to the "control.cancel" metagroup in your newsreader to see if your opinion on the issue is valued or cancelled. Also, please be advised that cancelled messages only will appear at google groups if they did not get cancelled on the CodeGear news server quickly enough (~5 minutes or so), so no, google groups sadly also won't give you the full picture of what's going on...

Update 14th May 23:30 GMT:
(Please scroll down if this is your first visit to this page to see what has happened so far)

Ok, for two days now I've been watching members of TeamB and in the end also CodeGear spread pretty heavy bullshit about me (while I meanwhile went back to work instead of still taking part in the cancel war) - I've now catched up on what was posted from TeamB's side, and well, it certainly looks like even more oil is put into the fire: Reposting of cancelled messages got called a "DoS attack", and people where told that there would be some secret magical reason why the moderation abuse is justified. Sadly, for 3 days, CodeGear still has failed to give me any chance to defend myself (by for example allowing people to post the URL of this very page without getting cancelled), and while through direct channels it was promised to me that the verbal attacks and false accusations posted by TeamB about my person would stop, that didn't happen. Oh yeah, and of course still nobody, even in private, was able to name me the reason why my posts had been cancelled. It's gotta be a SUPER secret reason ;)

I can only come to one conclusion: They are completely unable to admit a mistake was done, and prefer fighting a silly cancel war over that.

Update 21th May 14:00 GMT:
(Please scroll down if this is your first visit to this page to see what has happened so far)

Things are getting sillier. Meanwhile CodeGear has sent me a legal threat. For the last week, they've also completely blocked anyone posting through the newsgroup web access. For a very simple reason (at least that's what CodeGear's 'legal team' has told me): Because they don't want me to post a link to this very counterstatement page. And as they are unable to block individuals from posting through the webinterface, they've now blocked ALL customers. Wee, effective. Oh yeah, and those customers who have asked why they can't post anymore got lied straight into their face - "Thanks! Someone is investigating.", "Thanks for the heads-up. I'll have someone look into it." etc. Geez CodeGear, go get some balls. You are blocking your customers from community participations because you are failing on the mission to censor and shut down unhappy customers expressing their views.

Oh yeah, by the way - no, I won't sign a cease & desist notice. If you really are after legal action, We'll take this to court, so you finally get some press attention again here in Germany :)

(Oh, and btw, before we meet there, it might be a good idea to pay up on the invoice for your CodeGear conference chat, which is due for 4 months already. Hint hint. ;)

Why the CodeGear newsgroup censorship sucks

I'll try to make this short. Borland/CodeGear runs newsgroups, and they run them on their own server. Their server, their rights.

All well, but a community discussion forum obviously isn't of much worth without a community. That's why there are rules. Rules that forbid insults and things like that.

To enfore the rules, a bunch of years ago Borland has founded a group of volunteers to assist the community, and to step in in case communication get's out of control.

Here is a quote from http://info.borland.com/newsgroups/teamb/:

"TeamB was created more than 10 years ago as an experiment in encouraging advanced users of Borland products to answer other users' technical support questions. The original plan was deceptively simple:
- Identify your most knowledgeable users.
- Find those among them who most enjoy sharing their know-how.
- Organize them into a team.
- Offer them free product and benefits in return for their time.
- Let them loose to answer other users' questions."

So much for the theory. In practice, for the last years many TeamB members have left Borland/Codegear, just as many customers have. From the few members left, some have meanwhile noticed that CodeGear just doesn't care anymore, and that they may do whatever they want.

For example, spending all day on the newsgroups, but not helping anyone anymore, but instead cancelling messages by people they don't like.

The master of this newsgroup moderation abuse is Rudy Velthuis - he actually appears to spend day after day in a special off-topic group that seems to only exist on Borland's servers as a playground for him.

Sadly, from time to time he comes over to the delphi.non-technical newsgroup to cancel messages of people that tend to be critical of CodeGear's moves - out of the blue he quite often destroys productive discussions without ever telling anyone why he did that.

Many of his victims during the last years at some point decided to simply quit the newsgroups. Borland/CodeGear has received numerous complaints about Rudy's abuse of moderation powers, but as always, CodeGear prefers to ignore problems until they are too late.

In a discussion thread about the currently re-published Delphi roadmap (which had disappeared after the last customer uproar that happened the last time they posted their questionable plans for the future of Delphi), the following two replies to questions into my direction got cancelled by him.

This one is about CrossFPC, a project I had been working on (and am working on again now) to integrate the FreePascal compiler into the Delphi IDE. Meant as a replacement for CrossKylix. No reason for the cancel was given - probably because it's simply a critical post, and as there is no violation of newsgroup rules in that, no reason can be given:


>> Actually, nothing people are asking about is "innovation". After all,
>> the innovation has been done by others for the last years - may it
>> be Chrome, may it be FreePascal or Microsoft Visual Studio.
> Simon, i send you a email about CrossFPC. Theres any chance to
> colaborate there? Is the project dead?

CrossFPC has been suspended for 2 years - basically during the time
I still believed CodeGear's promises, the last one being Michael Swindell's
"We'll present our Linux plans in May". I've now a developer working
on it again.

I'm not replying to any of the dozens "Can I join the betatest" mails
for CrossFPC I get per week. The beta we had ready 2 years ago would
have needed to get the CLX usage rights from Borland/CodeGear
(another broken promise), because it contained a few Kylix units to
ensure compatibility. This is why there never has been a public beta.

We'll now make sure that CrossFPC is completely free of any CodeGear-
copyrighted source (although that means that Kylix applications can't
be simply recompiled, but need to be adapated a bit) and then release

I'll let the community know when this is the case. Until then please
don't bug me with "can I join the betatest" mails, as there is no
legal way to do such a thing.


The other reply has been about the opinion, that CodeGear is lacking in resources to make Delphi a relevant competitor in the devtools market again:


> But for that they have to do significant investments first, to make up
> leeway. And then it's time for innovations to have a unique selling point.
> I believe that there is a solid base to build on - and there is still hope.
> But the current roadmap shows that they have to use their manpower to catch
> up current standards - and in 2009, when Delphi provides generics and a 64
> bit compiler, they still will be 2 years after nowadays innovations.
> I think they need a feature, no-one else provide it today. A "we need it,
> so we have to switch to Delphi"-feature.
> And I cant find such a feature in the current roadmap.

True, probably they would have needed a 3-step-plan like

- Get funding to be able to catch up again with the competition
- Catch up with the competition
- Get a unique selling point over the competition / innovate

My personal proposal on what a unique selling point could be is
"Allow native cross-compilation to other targets than Win32", I've
outlined this early this year here:


But obviously, there could be lots of other USP. In the past the VCL
has been the USP of Delphi/C++Builder. The VCL still is great, but
with the .NET framework as competition, it's nothing unique anymore
(and in some areas looks dated).


This first got cancelled with the reason "blog spam" (oh well. The linked article has been discussed before and is as on-topic as it could get). So I removed the link, and reposted it. This time it got cancelled without any reason given in the cancel message.

For 24 hours, I've then always manually reposted both messages after they got cancelled. Rudy cancelled it, I reposted it, and so on.

On the second day, Rudy now started cancelling other posts from me on the newsgroups, and in general all posts from people complaining about this kind of censorship got cancelled, too.

And this is where I decided to escalate the situation so people are able to see what's going on - due to the complaints about censorship getting cancelled, Rudy and the rest from TeamB tried to make the newsgroup look like their moderation abuse had never happened.

Since yesterday I'm now fighting a quite silly cancel war with them. So yeah, it's childish, and I could have just stopped and walked away - but it just doesn't suit my feeling of justice to let such a moderation abuse system win without any backfighting.

Ok, so now you know my side of the story, and you may go back to the public newsgroup. Just remember that if one day you should become an unhappy customer you better take your complaint to a blog, the web or simply vote with your wallet - the times when such things could be discussed inside the community are gone.

CodeGear - be happy or be cancelled.

(P.S.: Sadly CodeGear doesn't want you to see my side of things - Obviously any attempts by me to post this URL into the newsgroup so people can read also my view of things got cancelled, too. Sorry about the reposts.)