ADUG's Evolution: Embracing the Future

Times are changing, and so perhaps we should too.

While our membership has experienced a natural ebb due to retirements and changing interests, we’ve seen a surge in the popularity and activity on our forum. Over the past year, forum engagement has exceeded the number of our financial members, boasting a rich tapestry of discussions on diverse topics.

The committee has been eager to infuse fresh energy and has been on the lookout for enthusiastic members. Though our team has been short of one member in the past year, our conviction remains unshaken.

A pivotal conversation awaits us: where does ADUG go from here? We invite each one of you to ponder upon strategies and solutions as we gear up for an essential discussion at our upcoming AGM.

Might it be time to diversify our focus?

  • Delving into FreePascal and Lazarus nuances, migration tactics, and contrasting IDEs.

  • Exploring Pascal-inspired tools like Quartex Pascal, TMS Web Core, Elevate Web Builder, and more.

  • Addressing industry revolutions such as LLM and AI.

  • Showcasing how members harness the power of Delphi/Object Pascal.

  • And much more?

As many members adapt to the shifting environment, isn’t it worth pondering if ADUG should reshape its identity? How about envisioning a revitalized Australian Pascal User Group?

We need actionable strategies for ADUG’s growth and sustainability. Once charted, we’ll require hands on deck to execute them. Are you eager to contribute, in committee roles or otherwise?

We’re on the lookout for presenters and speakers, and if you have someone in mind, or you’re ready to share, we’re all ears!

Consider leading a workshop or a study group on a subject close to your heart. Remember, in a learning journey, expertise isn’t mandatory.

We urge you to mull over these thoughts and join the discussion actively. Every effort, be it big or small, will carve ADUG’s future. Let’s shape it, together.


Without knowing the true number of active Delphi developers in Australia I think it’s somewhat difficult to know how well ADUG is or isn’t doing.

Let’s say we define an active Delphi developer as using Delphi more than 10 hours a week.

Perhaps we should start with a free survey of Delphi developers using LinkedIn and asking code partners etc to help distribute it asking some simple questions about how much developers use Delphi each week, the direction their company is going with future development, how many more years they expect to work and whether they can see a benefit in an organisation like ADUG and what they would want to get from it.

At least then we would have a ballpark on the potential market size of Delphi that exists in Australia and some genuine feedback on what developers want.

The expansion to other languages is a fair suggestion but I’m not sure if the ones listed would expand the numbers in Australia that much - because this is a reasonably rich country most developers are capable of earning a decent wage from their work and I think would pay for the better tools whether it be a Microsoft stack or a Delphi one but I’m happy to be corrected on this.

The metrics we currently have are broadly:

  • 2023 membership 142 comprising 6 Life Members, 6 members whose membership renewal is in a grace period, and 130 members with payments up to date. In 2019, we had 162 members, 6 Life, but data about how many in the grace period not calculated
  • 2023 we have 2 areas that have in person meetings, in 2019 it was 5 or 6
  • 2023 8 committee members, 2109 9 committee members
  • 2023 symposium participants 81, 2019 had 42
  • 2023 forum users in the last 12 months 167

For sure, there are a lot of people using Delphi. However anecdotally it seems that they are not using it as much as previously. Other platforms for Object Pascal, as well as other languages have created a much wider choice of tools than was available when ADUG first started.

Hence the question of whether we can better service members by broadening the topics, and how we might go about doing it.

Hi Sue,

it is great to see you and your ideas for making ADUG better. Go girl, and keep on going with this.

One thing that can be improved is membership fees. I feel getting them from us is poorly organized.
I have been in Delphi since 1999, been in Australia since 2010, and been in ADUG since 2012.

All I ever got was something like “pay your fee” without saying how much it was, or getting a bank account number to pay it into.
And there was a discount for aged members (I am 74 now), but I had to prove it in a way that wasn’t super clear.

So sometimes I did not pay it, and sometimes it was 2 years at once

I did pay it last year, so that I could watch the annual convention (at Paul McGee’s house).

So can you please tell me exactly what I OWE YOU (detail if not the standard annual fee),
and a bank account number that I can pay it to (with my name as ID).


The increase in symposium participants is interesting ! I thought in 2023 we had 60 odd.

About in person meetings. 6 in Perth showed up at my house to discuss re-starting meetings.
All 6 want to restart, plus another 3 who couldn’t make it on the day. Work still in progress

About your “diversify our focus”
My thoughts > not really. Sorry. We are Delphi. For Delphi users.

If we did diversify into Lazarus or Free Pascal, whoever would be interested in it ?
And who would maintain it with answers and help etc ?
Nice idea in principle, but not any real help to any of us.

“Exploring Pascal-inspired tool” could be good;

“Addressing industry revolutions such as LLM and AI” NAH. We are too busy doing Delphi stuff.

If someone is doing AI in Delphi, then YES. Otherwise NO.

hsvandrew said “asking some simple questions about how much developers use Delphi each week,
the direction their company is going with future development, how many more years they expect to work
and whether they can see a benefit in an organization like ADUG and what they would want to get from it”.

I agree with the survey idea. It is a beauty

Me ? Was 80 to 110 hours a week for 15 years, all time record 136 hours in a 7 day week,
These days I do work as a mechanical fitter averaging 40 hours a week, plus an average of 40 a week on Delphi.
Future development on NEW projects (if Delphi does not improve) probably very low indeed.

How many more years on Delphi (if it does not improve) = 3. If it DOES improve = 10


The real winner in improving the number of Delphi users is to get Embarcadero to improve their product.
They have tried a few things, yes. Some have a limited future eg Prism, Kylix, Glass ??

But it is far too difficult for any beginner to ever be productive. So they won’t even try.

Delphi is just riddled with errors, all over the place. And most errors have a real paucity of REAL GOOD help

MANY or MOST are not reported properly to us users, so we waste time trying to sort though stuff that they have no help on.
Help generally is pathetically inadequate. It should be 3 or 5 times better than what it actually is.

You SHOULD be able to click on any component, and get help on it.
And CLEAR demos of commonly used properties, with SIMPLE code examples.
Eg 10 lines long for a label. 2 pages long for a richEdit, 20 pages long for Threading or Interfaces or DLLs or Unicode.

If Embo DID DO THIS, they might quintuple their sales to beginners, and rescue their business.

You keep up the good work. You are doing a good job.

Cheers from John

Thanks for spending the time to give the feedback, and for the encouragement.

Hi Sue, I think my broader point about languages was more an observation from every commercial contract I’ve seen in the last 10 years. Everything Delphi is being converted to either C# or Javascript almost exclusively. I can see that after you exit paid Delphi work the license to keep Delphi might be high although I think this was mostly solved with the community edition. I can’t imagine the huge pool of Delphi developers are suddenly hiding in the FreePascal world and although things like Quartex Pascal are great pieces of actual work they will struggle to find any real commercial adoption just due to risk management. Its hard enough to get Delphi approved.

But would ADUG be selling out to start teaching C# or Javascript as well as just doing Delphi demos? I’m not sure…

All good. My fabulous wife (for 20 years) was a staunch women’s libber, and I became one too.
We owned an engineering company with 28 employees, and she was my right hand. She got a heavy traffic licence, became a certified welder, and she led from the front. The boys would lift their game to do it better than she could. And she could out drink them with Whiskey as well, So she got their respect by the power of her performance. I have many female friends because I stand up for women’s rights, and have always admired girls in the top job, eg Julia Gilard, and YOU.

And I know that girls have an average of 3 IQ points more intelligence than the average boy does. Good for programming;
And I know that (apart from army generals and leaders and air traffic controllers), girls are better at management, cause they are more intelligent to start with, work harder to prove themselves, and are more inclusive of their people.

So you just keep on keeping on, OK ? Go you good thing.
And change ADUG for the better, cause it needs to happen.
Just keep on doing what you are doing.

Cheers from John

There are a lot of points in these replies, so I will try to keep my responses short.

We will take that on board and review the procedures.

In the Melbourne group we have a number of members who are Delphi users, but are ALSO Free Pascal users. I don’t see Delphi as being exclusive, just primary. Ways to use both systems in conjunction to solve different problems is something of interest to a number of members. Just as we have to interface, for example, with C/C++ and other language DLLs for some functionality, shouldn’t we also explore whether there are ways to use Free Pascal to provide parts of a system that Delphi can’t. It is interesting how many of the open source libraries available for Delphi do, or are planning to, support Free Pascal.

Yes they might, but remember that having the best widget in the market doesn’t guarantee sales. You need marketing as well. The departure of Embarcadero from Australia, and loss of direct support from them here (no more free pizza at our meetings, no more support for the symposium) has not helped in keeping Delphi at the forefront as a tool of choice for many Australians. In the early days, many of our members were individual programmers who created a community to learn this new tool together. That market has gone now that Delphi has been around for a while.

Where do we get new members from now? It would be great if we could encourage Community edition subscribers to join, but how do we find them? Any ideas?

No, not really. Maybe a presentation on similarities and differences between Delphi and C#, presentations on harnessing Javascript, but going into a little bit more depth. It seems to me that today, as distinct from when Delphi first started, there are a myriad of tools available for solving problems, and the problems are more complex - think mobile development as well as desktop. Sometimes Delphi doesn’t provide the best tool for the complete solution, and mixing tools can be advantageous. An idea is to provide more information about mixing technologies, and perhaps to give a bit of understanding so that mixing them isn’t such a black art for newbies to the other technology. If you are an independent programmer, you are often time poor for learning about things that you don’t know can be of help.

This is fantastic news. Many who still go to meetings go for the informal discussion that take place after the formal presentation as much as, if not more than the presentation. Many Delphi topics have been well covered over the years, and sharing broader discussions that could never be formalised into a presentation is important.


Thanks Sue
Your suggestions made me remember I had not paid my membership (even after many reminders, apologies) so did that today…Thx for your efforts

Once again we are in a discussion about the longevity of Delphi in a market that is being dominated by other development languages and is underinvested in as a result
I think it is a great idea that the forum be expanded to include delphi tools as well as open source pascal. As well I would suggest mobile development and associated server storage systems, Sql, no-sql, objectDB and Json/Rest and associated security issues

VCL and FMX development topics particularly FMX could be expanded as well as JSON and generic REST server examples

I’m now retired and finding it extremely difficult to justify the upgrade path cost for my Enterprise version of some thought about bon commercial versions of delphi that allow access to server technology ie extends the community edition would be great or a monthly payment plan

Also I would love to avoid the cost of both developer express and TMS VCL and FMX components as well as finding an alternative to TMS web provide a open source set of tools and JS converter for VCL or FMX code

I’m not asking much lol

IE the whole delphi toolkit

Given the recent push to AI it would be great to see what if anything the delphi community is doing in this space

A couple of thoughts on the issue.

Delphi does not necessarily operate in a vacuum.

I have a number of projects that have a web based HTML Canvas GUI so have Delphi code talking to javasscript code and any help on the JS side would be advantageous.

Secondy, I have to maintain some long term projects that have interminent changes over the years. Recently I found that you cannot rely on having a valid Delphi RAD system available to do the changes as the licenses are not that perpetual. I don’t do much commercial work in Delphi anymore and having to keep a subscription going would make most of these support deals uneconomic. As Lazarus does not require registartion, it can be assured to be available many years into the future.

Thirdly, a lot of open source projects and a lot of the main stream ones have examples for C/C++, C#, Rust etc but not for Delphi. Having to translate these APIs for use in Delphi require knowledge of the source language in the first place and assitance in this field would only benfit Delphi users.

However the D does stand for Delphi.



Yes, but isn’t it used as an adjective describing the users? It isn’t the Australian Delphi Group, it;s the Australian Delphi User Group.

According to the Rules of ADUG,

The purposes of the association are—
To provide a forum for activities and information that promote and improve the
professional use of Delphi and related products and services in the Australian developer

I see nothing inconsistent with our aims in having topics that help members use Delphi in different ways.

The points you list, IMO, are good reasons to include topics that help members use Delphi as part of the rich programming environment that exists today.

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There was a good discussion on monday after the Melbourne meeting and Roger Connell’s presentation on TeeChart. Thus is my unofficial summary I meant to post much earlier :

  • ADUG committee needs some extra participation. It has been working along well I believe … but if we don’t act now, there is going to be incredibly valuable domain knowledge lost from committee members who have been helping to organise the association for years.

In the area of things that the association might try to pursue, on behalf of members :

  • Regular opt-in, or casual attendance, study groups for :
    – Books eg :
    … Alister Christie’s new ‘Code Better in Delphi’
    … Nick Hodges ‘Coding in Delphi’
    … Dalija Prasnikar ‘Event-based and Asynchronous Programming’
    … Chris Rolliston ?
    – Software frameworks, and Delphi features :
    … Spring4D
    … Attributes
    … Interfaces
    … newer databases like graphql, and duckdb, etc
    – Interacting with other languages :
    … Javascript, python, C#, rust?, …

  • Revising the symposium format. Could it support :
    – more than 1 day of content ?
    – more than 1 annual event ?
    – an international speaker brought to Australia who takes another day for a paid, smaller attendance, all/part day workshop on their area of knowledge - for in-person and online attendees.

The world has become much bigger around (outside) the Delphi ecosystem, and we have different tendrils reaching out into that space. Personally, I’d like if maybe we could declare a particular area of interest (eg learning about, + interacting with in code, Javascript and related tech like DWS and Quartex … or python …) for a calendar year.

The AGM is coming up soon. We’d like to have the forum members speak out about what they see value in, through ADUG, into the future.

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@Roger_Connell’s presentation on TeeChart

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Thanks. Edited.