Wednesday, March 01, 2006

BDS2006 evaluate and a four wheel drive

I am using BDS2006 for two months now. Time to evaluate.
I use BDS2006 Enterprise, mostly for Win32 developement and ASP.NET Development. (Delphi .NET and some C#)

BDS2006 in a nutshell:

  1. BDS2006 is awesome
  2. BDS2006 has some minor bugs or quirks (no showstoppers here!)
  3. Delphi 7 and Delphi 8 made it on the 'Uninstall list'
  4. The future of BDS2006 is...or get myself a fourwheel drive.

1. BDS2006 is awesome
In fact after two months using it, I can not think of going back to Delphi 7. The new editor features are really accelarating my production.

To name a few IDE highlights:

  • Live Templates; Great productivity accelarator!
  • Refactoring; Even more productive. (Still have not used all the refactorings)
  • Together integration; The two way source/UML diagramming gives good insight of my code. Automatic generating documentation is sweet.
  • The IDE is fast (PIV 2,4 GHz 512 Mb); Start uptime is OK! Working is OK!
  • The IDE is stable. (Must confess I manage to crash it sometimes, although a lot fewer then Delphi 7).
  • ASP.NET designer is perfect (Awesome with a capital A compared with the Delphi 8 version that I used. No more HTML disappearing.)
  • ECO, although I am still exploring the thing, it seems to be the way to build .NET applications in the future. (No more plumbing around with ADO.NET, can you imagine that?) Now if I only had the time to explore it even more. There should be a book for this...
  • Having Win32 and .NET application in one project group is cool and even better extremely usefull, no more switching between applications.

2. BDS2006 has some minor bugs and quirks
Before this post is looking like an advertisement for the new DevCo, let's look at some minor bugs, quirks and strange behaviors that I encountered. But beware nothing here is a showstopper.
IMO It is quite natural that a product as complex as BDS2006 has some quirks.

If I say bug I mean that I think it is a bug, so it could be my mistake after all. Still investigating some 'bugs' to put them in QA.
If I say annoying, I mean that it is annoying to me, so not necesserally to you also

  • Annoying: The projectmanager does not open your dfm file if you don't open the pas file first.
  • Annoying: The help is minimal. The help really needs attention.
  • Bug: Sometimes I manage to crash the thing. (When I say 'sometimes' I mean once/twice a day, but not every day) mostly when debugging. (Hard to locate although)
  • Annoying: It is hard to stop coding.
  • Annoying: Can not get the ASP.NET deployment option to work. Grrrr must be me I guess.
  • Annoying/bug: After a day working in a ASP.NET application the amount of memory has grown. (After killing the ASP.NET worker process it comes down)

These are the things that annoy's me the most. OK sometimes there is another this and another that but in general BDS2006 rocks.

3. Delphi 7 and Delphi 8 made it on the 'Uninstall list'
No need to keep Delphi 7 and 8 for downgrade anymore. Put them on the 'Uninstall list' period!

4. The future of BDS2006 is...
And then there was the announcement that Borland is spinning of the IDE business.
First thoughts after the shock:

  • WTF are they doing now????
  • There we go again...
  • Men I just bought me a Enterprise Edition for the first time in my life....

Now after a couple of weeks I think spinning of the IDE business is the best thing to happen to Delphi in ~11 years.

What if the deal succeeds with Borland's intention to get a buyer in the best intrest of Delphi?
If that happens Delphi's future will be brighter than ever before!

What if the deal fails and someone kills Delphi?
I could use Delphi for many years to come, or change to another tool (although I can not think of another one right now, but someone will jump in the gap)
Or I just good start my gardening company with a big, I mean really big 4-wheel drive!

But for now go Delphi!

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