Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Delphi 2006 launch in Amsterdam

Today was the Delphi 2006 launch in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The event was attended by about 200- 300 developers. (This is a wild guess...I did not count them.)

First David Intersimone gave an introduction to the new Delphi, the history and the future. He showed and discussed the Delphi roadmap.
Cary Jensen gave an overview of the improved IDE, showing the new productivity features. To name a few:
  • New refactorings
  • Live templates
  • Block completion
  • And more, much more...
  • ....

Especially the possibility to build and share your own templates is very nice.

After that Jason Vokes gave a small introduction of the ALM stuff (Starteam and CaliberRM) and an introduction to the C++ personality. A nice, C++ feature only, is Codeguard, which works in (debug mode) runtime to track bugs which are not spotted by the compiler. Looks like a great feature to me for Delphi. (in the future, that is)

After the break Jeroen Pluimers showed all the Together stuff. Really Live Source. The most of this seems to exist in the Enterprise and Architect SKU. This is very cool stuff, and I'm beginning to hang over to the Enterprise SKU already :-). But this was only the beginning....

Then it was time for Delphi's Golden Egg: ECO III.
Bob Swart (alias Dr Bob) gave an impressive ECO demo. He made an application in 3/4 of a hour without a single line of code. That means without a single line of Delphi or C# code.
He designed an UML Package, added classes with attributes, derived attributes and operations which he then used in a Delphi for .NET winforms application. All necessary coding was done in the Object Constrained Language (OCL) with small expression and statements. He also added a 'state machine' diagram to his model, using guards and..., well forgive me there was so much, but it looked relative easy to implement. He showed what the real power of ECO is: Give you the chance to focus on the business needs of the application. ECO takes care of all the underlying stuff. (like persistence mapping etc.)
Another great feature of ECO is the possibility to reverse engineer an existing database. Well Bob showed it in about, euh... 5 minuts. Sweet!
Jason Vokes had to drag Bob from the stage, because otherwise we still would be there. :-)

So what did we learn?

  • Delphi 2006 has lots of new productivity features for Win32, .NET (Delphi/C++/C#)
  • Delphi 2006 integrates Starteam and Caliber RM (Enterprise and Architect SKU)
  • Delphi 2006 Together integration is mature now
  • Delphi 2006 ECO III is the future of Software Development

For a few weeks I have been dubbing between the Pro and Enterprise edition. But now I now I want to use Together and ECO III so I will definitly go for the Enterprise edition.

It was a great afternoon......


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Var injection and code completion

One of the great new things of Delphi 2006 is Var injection. It allows you to declare a variable in the middle of your code while the IDE takes care of placing it in the var section of your procedure. (At Nick's delphi blog post you can see how it actually works.)

No doubt, this kind of tricks boost your productivity!

Thinking it over, one of the things that, sometimes annoys me in Delphi coding is the fact that the procedure head in the initialization section of the unit must be the same as the procedure decleration itself. In fact this is no problem, but is has to be maintained during changes in, for example the parameters of the procedure.
For new procedures Code completion takes care of this when you create either the initialize or the procedure itself.

For example typing this in the initialization section of your unit:

procedure MyProcedure;

Clicking Control+SHIFT+C makes the procedure itself:

procedure TMyForm.MyProcedure;
begin

end;

This is great!, however adding an additional parameter in code (after rethinking the procedure) forces you to change the other manually. And that is in big units a lot of code cruising.

Would it be a good idea to use code completion also on existing procedures, so that for example editing the above procedure like this:

procedure MyProcedure(IForgotAParameter : Boolean);
begin
//Do some stuff
end;

....clicking Control+SHIFT+C updates the initialization section and vica versa.

Maybe the together support in Delphi2006 makes this easier?
Don't know, have to wait a little longer.........by the way 29 november 2005, Dutch Delphi 2006 launch in Hoofdorp. For more information click here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

AJAX

Ajax is a new technology (in fact a combination of 'old' technology's) to drive your website. (I always thought it was our famous dutch football team from Amsterdam)
Ajax is hot(or hype). But what is it?

Ajax stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML, it combines XML, HTML, DOM, Javascript and XMLHTTP. Bottom line is that it can solve the problem of many postbacks to your server by allowing you to load only parts of the webpage in the browser via XML.

For a good introduction and (.NET) example you better check out this dotnetbips article.
More on the technology can be found in this article.
Marco Cantu gave a BOF session on Ajax and Delphi at the BorCon, the slides can be found here.

Certainly will give this a try one day.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

DevCon papers, code and slides

The papers/code and slides from the DevCon sessions are available for download at :

http://bdn.borland.com/devcon05/delphi

Note that not all papers are submitted for download yet, probably because of the fact that DevCon has not ended yet.

Update:
Watch DevCon (or is it BorCon!?) keynote on BDN here.
Containing:

  • Opening video
  • Conference opening by David I
  • SDO by Rick Jackson
  • Tod Nielsen, the new CEO

Great stuff, must attend next year..... :-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Incremental search.....supprise

Yesterday I was reading on the coding horror blog a rant about searching document files with Ctrl+F.
It said that Visual Studio has incremental search(Ctrl+I), which after I tested it is very usefull. I thought it is (was) a pity that Delphi does not (didn't) have incremental searching.

Today I read a comment on Nick Hodges blog entry Firefox my Delphi that Delphi has incremental searching from at least version 5!
Just click CTRL+E and it works.......

I must have missed something all this years, or this is one of the most secret shortcuts outthere. :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A must see ECO III video...

On BDN Henrik Jondell presents a BDNTV episode covering the new features of ECO III in Borland Developer Studio 2006.
In the 21 minutes during video Henrik show very cool (new and existing) ECO III features like:

  • Winform Autoforms
  • ASP.NET autoforms
  • Reverse engineering an existing database
  • Actions
  • State machines (finally have an idea what those are)
  • And much more...

A must see video indeed!