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posted by janrinok on Tuesday September 08 2015, @11:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-the-system-doesn't-work dept.

Iron Speed, a firm which provided a rapid application development tool for creating .NET apps, is shuttering itself thanks to "litigation with a patent troll", according to a letter sent to customers by co-founder and chairman Alan Fisher.

The Iron Speed designer enabled developers to create applications for web, cloud and mobile using a point-and-click interface. Customers include AT&T, Cisco, DHL, Disney, HP and the US Army, according to the company's website. Yet all this is no more, writes Fisher:

There are several reasons for this, one of which has been the ongoing expense of litigation with a patent troll who has challenged our intellectual property. While we feel this is baseless, patent litigation is generally a multi-million dollar exercise. This has put a drain on our resources we can no longer afford, and coupled with excessive cracked key use and license sharing, our product sales have been severely impaired.

We will continue offering Technical Support through December 31 2015, but it is unlikely that there will be future software releases.

Because we are unable to issue any refunds, any customer with current software update or technical support subscriptions has been issued an additional perpetual license in his account.

A thread on the Iron Speed forums confirms the situation and provides more details.

The patent issue seems related to the way the Iron Speed designer generates applications automatically based on a database schema, removing much of the gruntwork in building applications that are essentially forms over data.

Microsoft has its own tool which does this, called LightSwitch, but this has not been updated much in the latest edition of Visual Studio, causing developers to doubt its future. Another issue with LightSwitch is its reliance on the deprecated Silverlight for desktop applications, though it can also generate HTML and JavaScript.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:58AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:58AM (#234038) Journal

    I've been screwed too many times by commercial software. Going out of business and spitefully taking their dogfood with them is just one of the things they do. I haven't forgotten that Master of Orion II was released with the networked multiplayer part unfinished. Was 3 months later that they released a "patch" to "fix" that "bug". Game shops have a whole bunch of shady tricks, like the required expansions, required connection to their servers, required microtransactions, etc.

    Borland C++ had some bad bugs, producing binaries that would overwrite program data if the program used more than 64K memory. That was the software that drove me away from the commercial world. Used gcc on Linux to finish a project that Borland C++ on DOS/Windows was not able to handle, and the gcc binary worked fine. Never looked back. It's been amusing to hear all the vague fearmongering about open source, about not having a giant corporation to turn to if there's a problem, when it's so much more often that you're helpless when in the loving hands of the commercial business that can't be bothered to fix the bugs that are causing you much delay and grief.

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  • (Score: 1) by rufty on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:13PM

    by rufty (381) on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:13PM (#234215)

    The djgpp variant with the flat memory model is what persuaded me to stop using the "proper" Borland C toolset.