Clarion Sucks (A repost from ClarionEdge)

I originally posted this on my ClarionEdge blog and it is continually a source of amusement, search hits and comments so I thought I would duplicate it over here for laughs…

original blog post:


Nah, not really, that is just blatant sensationalism to get your attention :slight_smile:

I found an article the other day that was a really interesting read.

From the article:

I’m trying to push for more Python adoption at the company I work at. This led me to casually google for “Python sucks” in order to anticipate any criticisms from coworkers.

It is an interesting idea for determining status of something. There is just mostly noise with Clarion sucks. Another option is Softvelocity sucks which gets a few hits. Go on, have a try of those links for a giggle.

Still talking about Clarion, it’s nice to see Clarion recognised in a list of this kind:

The Hello World Collection

Oh, and do go and check out the quality of comments a posting like this receives :smiley:


I still can not really decide whether it sucks or not. I work full time with Clarion for over 10 years now. I would say there are pros and cons…

  • forever beta - it seems like Softvelocity just haven’t got enough manpower to really finish and polish. Even in golds there are always and I mean it always some really annoying bugs.
  • forever stone age - old architecture, no unicode, for long time ide was 16bit and 64bit windows were there already, poor support in standard libraries - this seems to change slowly… Again it seems like lack in manpower.
  • forever terra incognita - it is really hard to get any info about the product before you would consider buying it. If not for the community it would be dead.
  • easy and fast app build and database access - ofc if you know what you are doing.
  • template language - makes wholeapp changes so easy and pleasant to make as well as achieving the unachievable like the custom control sets with certain behaviour.
  • abclibrary as source - can modify and add to them to totally change the game.
    That’s my quick opinion on the suck problem :blush:.
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Absolutely, and I think this is true of pretty much anything.

In some ways being a few years or so behind the bleeding edge is a good thing and may even be on purpose. It kind of evens out the ups and downs of tech fads. I feel like the landscape is changing though and this slow pace will become more of a problem. Time will tell.
Good to hear from you @Kozaluss!
Great to see this sensationalist topic headline reappear too :smiley:

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Clarion is absolute ambivalent for me since I used it the first time in 1994 with the first CW 1.5 (I believe this was the first contact for me). The concept is genious from the beginning but the implementation sometimes sloppy. I totally agree to Kozaluss that it is allways beta but… if you know the bugs and got the save way over the glacier you have one of the most powerfull tools in the IT world. But if you have no patience and no sense for this concept you will get ill after a week. For me it was perfect to take C6.2 until Dec. 2015. I try to change before (C7/C8/C9) - and allways after half an hour I decide to stop - with trembling hands. But with C10 I got the learning curve now. For the moment I use C6.2 and C10 in parallel. It was a really hard struggle the last two month, but now it works. All my apps are converted and runs with all the new 3Th party templates & stuff. And I got all that old bugs in my own templates and classes (& dictionaries). Unbelievable - but’s real.


HORRIBLE language, IDE and community.

If you like working 100 times more to find and fix simple things, if you hate real/proper debuggers (and love memory addresses instead) and if you love the idea that your language will have a unspokenly shitty support for SQL databases, feel free to buy a 3K license and write your first hello-world.

This is insane. Worst decision ever made where I was at and we still feel that ghost hunting us from time to time.

Let’s just get started with: new gold versions are released every year so you have to buy another license for continued support. What’s changed? New icons.

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well I presume Anderson is just trolling and we are not meant to feed trolls but it also says

This is the first time Anderson has posted — let’s welcome them to our community!

so welcome Anderson! I fear I must be part of the HORRIBLE community.


It’s hard to take the post seriously when i has this sort of inaccuracy. Clearly gold versions are far from “every year” - quite the opposite in fact (and even more disappointing). Also, as far as I know, an Enterprise license is 2K, and a Professional license 1K (with typically less than half that for upgrades.)

But I believe the programmer did struggle where they were at and it seems like they weren’t aware of some of the more advanced parts of the language, like direct SQL access and so on.

Gives us some metrics, for example whats horrible about the language? Whats bad about the SQL support? Quantify your points to make them clear because I dont know what you are going on about?

Have you seen a better way to do something in another tool which you think is best?

If we dont know any better how do we know what we are missing out on, so tell us in more detail what your assertions are please. :smiley:

Certainly agree that more frequent updates would be a good thing. However, it seems wrong to dismiss the entire post.

The Clarion debugger has long been cursed. Does it add any special value to the product or might the need be better met with something else?

Rethinking SQL support for current/future times would be a good use of limited resources IF attracting more client interest is a goal. Unfortunately, evidence from the last xx years, does not indicate to me that this is an SV goal.

Yeah, it’s not terribly helpful - I’ve probably used it only a half-dozen times in the last decade. There have been alternate debuggers (like the AWE Debugger) but I’ve not used that (and it’s defunct now) because the very concept of stepping through code like that is a little foreign to me. It always seemed like a very slow way to do things.

Personally I’m in the memory-address camp for GPF’s - well module names and numbers really (see How to improve the Call Stack when your program GPFs to show Procedure Names) and I spend my life in DebugView++ - which is both fast and effective.

yes, I agree they could do a serious rethink of the SQL stuff. But that said, we’re not reliant on SV for that - there have been many libraries for doing more direct SQL access over the years - that’s not hard to do if you need extra something.

I think you inadvertently point out the problem.

Someone new to Clarion faces enough just to get up to speed with the IDE, templates, embeds etc. Throw in the extra requirement to sort out 3rd party or public libraries in order to be efficient with an SQL that the newbie already knows is simply NOT a recipe for more customers.

Relying on SV to provide everything you need would be a blessing and a curse. Obviously if you limit yourself to what’s “in the box” then, well, you’re doing a lot of limiting. And no, I don’t think you’ll have a terribly happy experience. Since the earliest days of Clarion for Windows Bruce Barrington acknowledged that they could pursue a “all in the box” approach, or they could make the Clarion IDE/Language/ Templates etc highly extensible.

Since it would take quite a few more resources than they have to “do everything” they went with the extensibility approach. That works for some (like me, who like control over my program code, and implementation choices) and not for others (who need it to be all “in the box”, or indeed, all for free.)

It is what it is though. And it is a hard place for new programmers to break into because there’s been “lots of things to know” over the last 20 years, and if you are not paying attention (like via ClarionLive, or ClarionHub, or NewsGroups, or Skype Chats etc) then you’re going to be missing out.

Agree completely. However, the evidence to me does NOT indicate SV has effectively sorted it out.

That was invite only, that is hardly open to everyone.

The main ones (cw-talk and clarionlive) are open to everyone. Indeed I’m not aware of any chats that would reject someone. They have to be set to “invite only” else spamming bots join automatically, which is a pain. If you reach out to pretty much anyone you can find out who the admin for a group is and get added. Mark Goldberg is the admin for cw-talk, [email protected] will get to John, who is the Admin for the for the Clarionlive one. There are other admins as well (I can add you to both :slight_smile: if you want. My email is bruce.johnson @ you know where.

There are some community rules of course (no politics basically) but suspensions are rare, and exclusions even rarer.

Thats different to what I got told previously, but now I’m wondering if I was talking to the hackers hacking my computers.

Just when I really start to doubt Clarion, as an IDE or language, I discover a previously unknown Clarion ability that pulls me back in. For example, most - if not all - of the “newer” WinRT (Windows Runtime) API’s can be consumed from Clarion using COM. Dries Driessen’s XAML Islands presentation is an amazing example of this.

And for Mr. Anderson (say it like Agent Smith from the Matrix film)…

Horrible language? It’s a beautiful language and the community rocks! I have been helped by so many people over the years. I have also been lucky enough to help a few folks myself.

Billion dollar company does not equal bug free. Visual Studio 2022 is great but certainly not bug free.

There is an attribute for it in the C6 INTERFACE help doc page, but to find that page, you need to search for COM and then you’ll see there are two pages almost identical for INTERFACE, one with COM the other help page without.

In C11, just the Interface help page with COM remains.

The help page titled “C++ and API Considerations” also gives insights for COM.

Sure, and only surpassed by Cobol in it’s beauty :joy: