Clarion resources getting less... and older

Hi there.

Over time I’ve received several requests from Clarion resources here in South Africa from either Clarion users, or from business that use Clarion systems. Clarion users want to assure their customers that there are enough Clarion resources available when some bus runs them over. And companies using Clarion systems always are looking for a Clarion developer to do bug fixes or enhancements to their systems. On both accounts, it’s getting harder to find someone suitable as an available and capable Clarion developer - there definitely are not as many as before.

I would like to understand how others in the Clarion community think about this. The only two possible solutions I could come up, are the following:

  • Make a new Clarion edition available (like the Standard Edition of long ago) that’s much cheaper and provides a good entry point for someone to learn Clarion.

  • Include an expiry date within a serial code, in order for licenses to be provided for free to universities, colleges, technikons etc. - so that Clarion can be used as a tool to teach students good principles of database design and systems development.

Both these unfortunately involves a lot of new thought from SoftVelocity. Is there anyone that has another idea to help us grow new Clarion skills, like maybe providing a video course on Clarion development?

Thanks, great site!

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Find someone who has a vague interest then pay and mentor them. That’s how I got started :slight_smile:

Edit: To expand, I wouldn’t wait for SV to do anything. If there are people looking for developers to do bug fixes etc, maybe that is an opportunity that you can assist with. If not directly then maybe as a facilitator. It seems to me like there are a few folks around but something needs to kick start new developers.
If people are getting angst because of the bus problem then maybe they can solve it directly by bringing new developers into the fold, mentoring and delegating. It’s a bit of effort and takes you away from the day to day programming that we all love but it is an investment into your own future too right?

Perhaps we can build something up via ClarionHub.
Maybe if folks have small jobs they need done they can start posting them to Upwork and encourage freelancers to make themselves available?

Anyway, just some ideas :blush:

Thanks and welcome !! :star:

Few years ago i was in CIDC and we spoke to Diego and suggest him two things at that moment. One, update the Softvelocity web site with new content (already done) and the other the capacity to run Clarion with demo mode. Is attractive to people to check and know how a program works before commit to buy.

@Thys, the idea of universities sounds great. Is a great way to expand the Clarion Users Community

The website might have been updated but it does nothing really to help sell the product … it needs a complete “marketing” makeover.

They should be highlighting successful Clarion programs … showing what it’s truly capable of … and much more.

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The following is something that I posted on the ClarionLive, but I thought I’d repost it here …

It’s a simple fact that technology changes … FAST … it transforms … it evolves … often much faster than we can cope with …

Most of the Clarion programs out there are … in reality … using 20/30 year old technology … many of our browse/form styles haven’t changed that much since “Clarion For Windows” was first introduced …

Our “Clarion Look and Feel” has had it’s time …

Many older Clarion programs are coming up for re-development now …

what are the IT managers going to choose to replace their old systems?

  1. An old-fashioned system written in an aging language that can’t provide the same functionality as modern development tools … written by aging developers who are also at the end of their lifecycle …

  2. A modern system with all the bells and whistleswritten by young, energetic, imaginative developers with years of development potential ahead of them.

What would you choose if you were the IT manager?

That’s the reality folks …

As far as SoftVelocity goes … their problem is they don’t understand what their core business is …

They think their core business is CLARION … but it’s NOT …

Clarion is a language not a business … the same as C, Basic, Pascal, Cobol, Javascript, C#, Java are languages not businesses …

SoftVelocity’s core business is actually “selling development tools” … IDEs, compilers, database drivers …

They have chosen to sell those type tools which are suitable for use with the Clarion language as a bundle …

SoftVelocity actually wear 2 hats …

  1. Governing body of the Clarion language

  2. Provider of development tools for the Clarion Language

Only one of those is a business …

If SoftVelocity finally wake and understand what their core business truly is … they might finally be able to plot a viable future for themselves …

They need to look at both who their existing customers are … and more importantly who their future customers will be …

AND … ask themselves the question … "how can I fulfil my customers needs?"

BECAUSE … that’s what successful companies do


Although I totally agree with your sentiment, it doesn’t help much to wait on SV to change their ways when they are clearly working on other important things. My ideas above on changing their licencing policy will probably not happen. So it’s up to the community to preserve and protect our own businesses.

An online training course on Clarion may be another helpful tool. And there are several sites through which companies can get their prospect Clarion developers trained-up. I’m not sure how the royalties would work, but it could be a Clarion community effort, to define a curriculum and get several Clarion experts to develop content. The video’s can then be produced separately using the community content. Sites like might be interested in the courses. Any takers on the idea?

I’m not waiting one SoftVelocity to change their ways because I doubt it will happen.

“when they are clearly working on other important things” … not necessarily sure that’s what they’re doing judging by comments from CIDC attendees.

I am in full agreement with Thys’ original observations and it worries me. I am 64 and have been using Clarion since version 2.1 in the early 90s. Back then there were regular ads for Clarion in computer mags, there was an educational edition which we bought for use at our local school, and Bruce Johnson was young… it felt vibrant.

Clarion has stood the test of time (although a bit shaky bridging across to Windows). But like Thys, I worry that the aging Clarion community is limiting the uptake by potential clients and that young people don’t even know of the language.

I can’t remember when I saw a new ABC template that I wanted (or needed) to use. On that line I think SV has probably survived this long largely on the backs of key third party providers.

I don’t think you can ask developers to solve the problem totally. Sure they can help but I would like to see SoftVelocity:
- promote their product prominently
- provide new ABC templates from time to time.

And even though I am criticising SV, Clarion is still the tool for me because I don’t know of any other way to create royalty free standalone executable Windows DB systems that run on any Windows PC. (And for the web I rely on Capesoft)