Thursday, July 03, 2008

The return of Winforms in Delphi for .NET, or not?

Marco Cantu, today had an interesting blogpost, where he quotes Michael Swindell, the brand new head of productmanagement at Embarcadero, on his feedback on another post about Delphi for .NET plans.

A quote from Michael's feedback:
"In the beginning with .NET we put most of our energy into compatibility and replicating the Delphi language and VCL intact in a first class way for CLR, with the goal to make moving to .NET seamless for those applications that would be well suited on .NET"
That is correct, the winforms designer was dropped in Delphi 2007 (leaving existing Delphi .NET winforms apps in .NET 1.1).
The motto in that days was pretty much Delphi is VCL.

He continues:
"Today things like supporting more of the .NET framework flavors (Silverlight, WPF, etc) and keeping up with the latest language and framework releases is of much higher importance. So we have been working on a more aggressive .NET approach that focuses less on being a .NET clone of the native Delphi implementation and more of an open approach that will make more frameworks, platforms, and features available and in a more timely manner. "
The quote "less on being a .NET clone of the native Delphi" makes imo the statement Delphi is VCL false. (At least on the .NET side of the fence)

It even gets better:
"So in a nutshell expect less focus on compatibility between native and .NET and more support for performance and rich UI oriented packaged/desktop/workstation features (ie GUI, DB and CPU) in the native tools, and more support for other .NET frameworks beyond just Winforms and ASP.NET ie WPF, Silverlight, Open source and others - in the .NET tools."
All with all this is great news, isn't it?
One could think that even support for a winforms .NET 2.0 designer could be on the radar. Until the .NET roadmap is published this is, of course, pure speculation.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I don't see WinForms making a comeback, ever. After all, Microsoft has stated from the start that WinForms would be a stop-gap approach for building a GUI, until the arrival of WPF.
So keeping up the WinForms support in Delphi.Net would be just the opposite of going in the direction of the statements you quoted above; that would be staying in the legacy world, instead of moving along with the latest Microsoft techniques.
That would be a waste of time, considering that people who prefer backwards compatibility (and who doesn't) can already use the VCL.
I think the mistake was ever supporting WinForms in the first place.

Roland said...

You are right that winforms is considered legacy. However it is widely used, and will be used for a long time. I think if CodeGear will be succesfull in supporting all .NET framework flavours it can, in this point in time, not ignore Winforms. IMO not doing this will make a choice for, let's say making a Silverlight app in Delphi uncertain in the sence of will they keep supporting new versions in the future.

Anonymous said...

This is awfull. CodeGear should drop .NET from Delphi. This is dead born ride against Microsoft. Winforms actualy is competitor of VCL. There should be only VCL and only Delphi for Win32.

Anonymous said...

A loose wrapper around the .Net rtl is all that's needed. That way, whenever Microsoft introduces new tricks, they are integrated quickly and easily. Otherwise we'll be on version 1 forever.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they will come with a Delphi Visual Studio plugin!!!