Lifespan of clarion

Hi All,

We have a number of programs written in clarion. I have loved using it. We use mostly c10.

What is the general view of clarions life. Is it still a current language to be used ? Is it worth us moving to c11 will there be a 12 ?

Should we look at other more widely used systems.

I think Clarion will have a long life. It’s a good language and the 32-IDE works well.

From time to time, since it came out in the 1980’s, developers and other people have been wondering about its life.

Clarion creates great Windows applications that can be implemented on a LAN, or use with the IP driver, or run from a cloud server. I think a cloud-based server is the best way to implement an app for most situations. I have some Mac users, it works seamlessly for them.

With a cloud-based server, you don’t have to distribute it. There’s no need for a setup.exe file. Users don’t have to download or install it, or download and install any updates. TSplus has a very nice browser-based sign-on interface. TSplus is optional, but it is an affordable alternative to Microsoft RDS CALs.

There is an easy way to hide the desktop of the server so your application will look like it is running on your local computer. It runs fast like a local app, so it can be deceiving. Your application will run about as fast as on a standalone computer.

With a cloud-based server, you don’t have to change the file drivers or make any changes to the code. You can use TPS file or any SQL database supported by Clarion. Of course you can use the In Memory driver. I use LibXL to easily interface with Excel workbooks.

You don’t have to deal with OpLocks. The online help (using a compiled HTML chm file) works.

You don’t have to copy-protect your application because users can download it.

You don’t even need to have a sign-on window because the user is required to sign on to the Windows server and so your app knows who they are and you can control the security.

I like the shadow function in mstsc.exe, which lets me view or control a user’s session. This is great for training and for technical support. We don’t have to have a copy of their data sent to us.

For potential users, all you do is setup a user account for them on the server. You don’t have to provide a crippled or time-limited app. If they like it, they pay. If they don’t like it, you remove their user account. This also makes it easy to make them pay their annual maintenance fee.

I automatically backup the data files for my users. This saves them from doing that. This also lets me look at backup files to see what might have gone wrong or whatever.

And now that AnyScreen is getting pretty close to being viable, you can develop a Clarion application that is an HTML5 application. Users can choose to run a web-based app or use a Windows-based app.

So, I think Clarion has a long life ahead. Yes, there are a few other hurdles to address.

I think the Clarion user community is top-notch. There’s always great help for anything you ask.

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I think Clarion is practically dead.
I do not recommend starting a new project on it.

I’d say yes upgrade to 11, I use it every day. I like the IDE improvements in 11 like wider template dialogs, there are others. There are 4 new PROP’s. I use PROP:MsgModeDefault often.

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Despite reccuring forecasts of it’s demise every few years, for decades now, Clarion is still here. I see no reason at this point for it not to continue. The community is excellent. The product itself is excellent, not perfect, and continues to evolve and get better.
I’ll be continuing to use it.

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I started using Clarion for DOS (2.1) in late 1992. About 20 minutes later I heard rumblings about the “demise of Clarion”. I don’t think the rumblings have ever gone away and certainly peaked with the transition to Windows, the change to SoftVelocity and so on.

Since 2001 when SV took over I’ve heard many many rumours about their imminent collapse. Well 20 years later they’re still here, so I kinda feel like there’s not a lot of value in speculating about them.

Yes, I think it’s worth moving to C11 - the wider template windows are worth the money. And yes, I think there will be a Clarion 12. I don’t think SV is going away, and progress will continue to be slow and steady, with long gaps to big releases.

While all of the above is true, the bottom line though is that it doesn’t matter a whole lot if SV does just go away. If C6 showed us anything it’s that the compiler lives on long after it’s no longer being updated. And given that Clarion is highly extensible there’s less of an outright dependence on SV. There’s no copy-protection bound to some online server, there’s no dongle to lose or break - as long as you have your install file, and activation code nice and safe you’re good even if they go away.

Given Clarion’s extensibility it’s also possible for Clarion to be improved long after SV goes away (again, see C6 as an example) and indeed (dare I say it) most innovation takes place outside SV anyway.

So, to answer your question, my general view is that yes it’s still a current language that can be used.

cheers
Bruce

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Clarion is alive and well.

Sure, there are features that many want such as unicode and a 64 bit compiler but, as is, Clarion is a powerful platform for creating a wide variety of applications.

Once AnyScreen is fully flushed out - I think that is pretty close - it will be a great tool.

Capesoft’s NetTalk provides an extremely versatile template set both in desktop applications and web based. You can create Progressive Web Apps (PWA’s) that can run seamlessly on just about any device. They are operating system agnostic. iOS, Android, Windows, doesn’t matter.

Dries Dreason demonstrated that Microsoft’s Xaml Islands can be used in a Clarion app. This allows “modern” UWP Windows controls to be used in a Win32 app.

And speaking of Win32, which is Clarion’s playground, Microsoft has re-invested heavily in Win32 with Project Reunion, WinUI 3, and Xaml Islands. Microsoft has said that Win32 is very much a priority as it still dominates the market.

What about .NET? Several developers, myself included, have demonstrated integrating .NET with Clarion. So you can definitely leverage the power of .NET using Clarion.

Also, Noyantis provides numerous “modern” controls for Clarion desktop apps. From docking panes to command bars. There are many options for creating an extremely powerful user interface.

I do recommend learning other languages and familiarizing yourself with other IDE’s such as Visual Studio as it is never smart to place “all your eggs in one basket.”

Oh, and I have to mention the Clarion community. ClarionHub, Skype, Newsgroups, NetTalkCentral, and the MANY MANY ClarionLive webinars are examples of the community coming together to educate and help each other. From what I have seen, Clarion’s community support is second to none.

So, yes, upgrade to C11 and enjoy Clarion.

Take care!

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I still use C6 on a weekly basis. Now admittedly I’m only writing small one-off utility-type stuff, not large database driven apps, but for my needs I’m happy with what I have.

SoftwareTailor is Spot On! Going to a Cloud Server definitely improves a Developers “Quality of Life”. :blush:

We’ve been slowly moving our Users (County Public Works) from their local servers, to our Cloud Server since January, 2013 and it makes life much easier than working with Users running on their local server and Desktop AND it makes life easier for the User since they don’t have to deal with local Support folks, nightly backups and other issues like the constantly changing environment of local Configurations, AntiVirus’s, Firewalls and Windoze “unique changes”. We use ThinStuff Server and its never caused a problem . . . its solid as a rock. Been with Clarion since 1999 and have been pleased with it’s improvements, though there have been occasional “burps”, over the years.

https://compulink-ltd.com/

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It is very soothing and makes me happy when I see so much optimism, especially when it comes from big players :slight_smile:
Just switch to Clarion 11.
We have been working on Clarion since 1989 (CPD 2.0), we are always on the latest version and we manage to deal with all the problems of Windows, networks and various hardware systems. We are still on TPS files although we have a few Sqlite tables for cumulative reports.
Donridley has listed great tools that you can use and that most of us use.
Capesoft tool libraries are fantastic (“Work smarter not harder”) and are very useful. From MessageBox to NetTalk.
We also use Aspose .NET libraries for image manipulation, bar code creation, rtf-pdf conversions, etc. practically made according to their examples with wrappers for Clarion.
Count me as an optimist for Clarion’s future, too.

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Don: maybe I am wrong but it’s Dries Driessen ?

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I’ve read the entire thread and agree that (at least for now) C11 is alive and well.
Recently, I transitioned away from ** gulp ** C55 & c6 to C11. (Been using Clarion since 1991.)
The good news is that I will be out from under my 22-year old primary software in just a few more months.

Now, the bad news:

  • 32-bit Windows programs could go away completely, which could kill Clarion if SV doesn’t get to the 64-bit compiler soon enough.
  • Mobile apps could demand RISC which would kill Clarion.
  • SV could simply go out of business. Lord knows they’ve had lots of issues keeping up.

However, I am quite pleased with my new product stream and I’m all for helping to keep them in business.

I AM STAYING.

You are probably talking about the change of Visual Studio to 64 bit. I do not see that as an indicator of any change coming soon. That’s a product used by developers that can make use of the 64 bits. When mainstream products like Word and Excel are announced to be going 64 bit only, then that will be an indicator.

As was thrashed about in the Skype group, the issue is Windows shutting down support of 32 bit apps.
(Like Apple did.)

It could happen.

There is only a matter of time before all computers are 64 bits. During Clarions lifespan applications have moved from 16 bits to 32 bits to 64 bits. Clarion is still 32 bit.

Panic

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If I have learnt anything over the last 41 years of writing programs (I wrote my first program using punch cards on a Univac computer in 1980) is that Microsoft makes a lot of money by being backwards compatible. I still run Access97 on Windows 10, and it works just as well (if not better) than Access 365. I don’t even have to specify any special “compatibility” settings for it to run.

I have a Visual Basic 6 + Windows XP environment in VirtualBox to maintain some VB6 apps.

So I don’t think 32-bit support is going away anytime soon. Microsoft is not Apple. It gives plenty of notice to enterprise customers and developers. Even if it does abandon 32-bit code, there is WINE. So we will just find more creative ways of supporting 32-bit apps, especially web server apps.

So even though all our new computers run 64 bit processors, they are still capable of running 32-bit and 16-bit code. Just boot up Spinrite and you get a 16-bit DOS environment on your 64-bit PC.

The only reason why SV will go out of business is that we are all getting older. I’m turning 60 this year, and I think I’m one of the younger Clarion developers. How do we interest younger developers to try out Clarion?

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Microsoft and Apple are very different with their view of backward compatibility. Steve Jobs was willing to tell anyone to Go F Yourselves, and often did including his doctors trying to treat him. Bill Gates will not do that … He might put microchips in vax that make us want to move to 64 bit.

Read The Old New Thing blog where Ray Chen often writes about the efforts Microsoft has made to make new Windows versions run old code. MS has often made the Windows code work with bad developer code, and also with use of undocumented stuff.

Look at how long your C55 code ran on newer versions of Windows. I do not expect that to change. When 128 bit Windows is released they will have to drop 32 bit, but it will still run under a VM. I’m running Word 2010 just fine on Win 10.




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Agree with you about the community getting older and new developers not joining the fantastic Clarion Language.

How do we interest younger developers to try out Clarion ?

You could create a free ‘Community Edition’ - Oh wait wasn’t that announced (to applause) at CIDC 2019?
We’re still waiting for that.

My basic worry with SoftVelocity is that they no longer have resources to do anything unless it’s forced on them.

The Clarion IDE was updated because the old one wouldn’t run on 64Bit OSs

ReportWriter was updated because the designed wouldn’t run on 64Bit OSs

AnyScreen is being produced because if SoftVelocity doesn’t have a way of creating ‘Web Apps’ in some form or other it’s dead in the water.

If you disregard the IDE then very little has changed or been added to Clarion since Clarion 6
The controls are still the same, nothing added.

Reg Free COM came with Clarion 9.1 - AnyScreen with Clarion 11 and that’s about it.

Yes you can spend a lot of money and add 3rd Party stuff to make up for the deficiencies but you really shouldn’t need to do that IMHO

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