The never ending story, PirateLogic evidence claims
Seems like this train never really stops. Despite me telling my side of the story, people still have a hard time believing that Pilot Logic have been so blatantly bad when it comes breaking the law. Not just with my libraries but also with code belonging to Embarcadero.
Back up my claims? Fine.
Fine. I have just uploaded two compare files (out of several) which shows a 1:1 compare between Embarcadero owned VGScene and PL_Orca. If you still think my colleagues and myself lack evidence, then you simply need to download Codetyphon and all its available packages (especially those >= 2 years old) and look at it yourself. Hopefully this will be enough to prove my point.
You can download two HTML reports from our file-compare analysis here: http://quartexhq.myasustor.com/piratelogic/piratelogic.rar
Orca = VgScene = Firemonkey
Needless to say, several people have taken an interest in this case. I am happy that most of those are positive and understand both why I got upset with PilotLogic and also why I wanted to inform the Freepascal and Lazarus forums about the dodgy practices. PL has close ties to the FPC community after all. Why sit and watch a disease infect a healthy codebase?
How would you respond when you submit a complaint about your code being taken, and the moderator laughs at you and start to post the address of where you children live? Is that ok in your book? I would imagine most men would respond rather “instinctively” when faced with such actions.
I am so tempted to post the whole nest of pigs, but I will leave it with this. If you have any more questions, just download and investigate the codebase yourself. They have no doubt covered some of their tracks by now – but not all of them.
When the response you get from the lead-coder of Codetyphon when posting valid questions about illegal use of your software, broken licenses and piracy is “close and delete topic” – then I guess that says it all.
You are a bully Sternas. But when you hit me, I will hit back. Bullies don’t seem to like that very much huh?
Piracy kills more than companies, it kills the spirit
With regards to the notion that I somehow sent my complaints to PilotLogic because I was coding a new IDE, I have this to say:
Do you know how long it takes to write a usable IDE? It’s not something you slap together over the weekend. The more complex the behavior you want to deliver, the more work needs to be invested. Lazarus have gone through what? A decade of work before it’s finally reaching a point where it’s polished and stable? Smart Mobile Studio is almost five years old, and the designer still needs plenty of work. The fact that we do live rendering of the UI in separate processes makes it much harder than a vanilla “Delphi” like designer.
It takes time to develop a professional IDE. You know why? Because you have to go through the whole evolution of thought. You end up refactoring as the approach, ideas and concepts mature. The alternative is, like Pilot Logic has done, to take the shortcut: to steal the code rather than go through the evolution themselves. To really work on it and figure it out yourself.
If I removed all moral reservations, ignored and disrespected the months and years invested by others, by friends and companies synonymous with object pascal and the community I am part of and love so much – I could probably make an IDE more or less identical to Delphi in a couple of months. If I could just steal code from TMS, Developer Express, Elevate Software and Lazarus and completely ignore the energy and time their products represent – then life would be much easier. Or would it?
But I can’t do that. I’m not wired like that. Sure I have used a pirated copy of something in my life. Im not even going to deny that. But I have always saved up, months if I have to, and bought every single one.
How could I look these people in the eye at some Delphi meetup or congregation knowing that I have robbed them of weeks, months and years? I would not be able to hold my head up straight in shame. Because when you buy a source-code license, it’s not just a “use and throw away” thing. It is a contract of trust, and a legal and moral obligation to use the technology they have offered you within the bounds of their wishes.
I still remember how tired and utterly exhausted I was after releasing Smart Mobile Studio 1.0. I had worked night and day for over a year. Weekends, nights; I’m pretty sure that product broke my marriage to be honest. I even took out a second mortgage on our house. And I was so proud that despite all the challenges involved, despite all the negative people who said it was impossible we found a way and made it happen!
And I was heartbroken when only weeks after the release I found a cracked version of Smart on DelphiFan.com. They must have taken them a couple of weeks at least to crack it, because they had given up on writing a keygen. HexLicense uses non-linear numbers so ordinary brute-force attacks are rarely successful. On closer inspection I noticed that they had disassembled the whole executable and painstakingly isolated enough code, even padded the executable to make the checksum match. So nothing is un-crackable.The only thing you can do is to buy a window of time before it happens. That window is what makes or breaks your income.
What really gutted me was discovering that people I talked with quite often was responsible for this (one of the hackers was a member of Delphi Developer). Over a year of testing, prototyping, co-operation between Eric Grange and myself – not to mention all the work Jørn Angeltveit from Optimale Systemer had done. He also helped finance the project for 12 long months. We even set the price as low as we possibly could just to make sure piracy would not become an issue. Then a prodigy coder from asia, one that talked friendly with me on a weekly basis, a person I had helped with his Delphi code – decided to allocate time just to destroy our solo release. For what? Five minutes of fame? I would have given him a free copy if he asked me. In fact, I have given away almost as many copies as we have sold. Primarily to kids and people who are in a bad financial spot but who wants to learn pascal.
I can understand that people use pirated software, no problem. But when you see up front the amount of damage it does, especially for a small company – you have to be heartless to continue.
Two weeks is what we got. I lost my house, everything. I had to start from scratch. But it was worth it, every bit of it. Because they said it could not be done.
And that my IDE work, both public and in the labs should in any way pose a threat to Lazarus or Codetyphon, is ridicules. I have a full-time job, two kids and my girlfriend, Smart Mobile Studio on the side – and I have recently started my own company. Not much time left for plotting evil schemes. Darth Vader very thin on the ground. But just why would I want to? What kind of place do you come from where people ruin other people’s work like that? It’s not how I was raised that’s for sure. I just wanted the copyright header in my own code to remain. And it would be nice if you asked rather than just misrepresent my work it as your own. I can’t even believe this is a debate.
Add to that the injury i got 3 years ago when i broke my spine in two places. This has impacted my ability to commute. I have had to say no to several high profile jobs because I would not be able to give 100%. So I declined rather than being a burden. So what kind of person would I be if I sat here plotting to destroy something for others, just to win myself. That is against everything I believe in. And the amount of code, papers and help I have issued over the years should at least give me the benefit of the doubt. Because I havent charged a dime for any of it.
Nor do I sit here and pity myself like a child. If you want it, you will find a way! I was not supposed to walk either – but I’m walking. Funny how the impossible seem to happen around people who refuse to give up. Yet curses rip to pieces the man that fears the dark. Shoot me, stab me, but I will still come after you. No force in nature is stronger than the will of a person who believe in himself. Except the same force in reverse for those that lack vision. All the power of the world is in your own mind. And I will keep doing the impossible until the day that I die – because I can.
End of case
I did not want Pilot Logic’s tendencies to infect Lazarus or freepascal, which it would almost certainly have done had we not blown the whistle on this. So in a way we did succeed. But at a personal cost we should not have had to pay.
Hopefully this time it will stick and the drama factor mellows out.