Thursday, August 28, 2008

Speculating on .NET plans #2

Jim McKeeth asks himself, and us, in this blogpost what we think about the upcoming .NET roadmap.
Jim quotes, from his podcast with Nick Hodges, which I will quote here again:

Historically one of our strong .NET stories has been close compatibility with the .NET and Win32 compilers.  But as we have evaluated that we have found that doing that is kind of holding both compilers back to a certain degree.  And that compatibility story not as compelling as it necessarily was.  And so what we are looking at instead is a solution that departs or sort of begins to diverge away from that compatibility story.  And starts heading more towards complete support for the .NET framework kind of thing.  And so you’ll be seeing more information about that in the coming weeks.

He wonders if it is huge news? Well I think is! I have speculated somewhat about this plans in this, and this blogpost.

This is what I think!

I could think of a possible scenario:
Disclaimer, this is what I think without any information or whatsoever.

The scenario: Delphi .NET as a Visual Studio plugin
CodeGear splits Delphi into two seperate products, let say "Delphi VCL" and "Delphi .NET".

Delphi VCL
Besides the Win32 part of this product, which is now called Delphi 2009, VCL.NET will be added. Offering a complete Win32/.NET compatible framework called VCL/(VCL.NET). (Let's call this one "RAD Studio VCL")
So Delphi as we know it, since Delphi 1 bundled with a 100% compatible .NET part. So for anyone who took the VCL.NET path as it's .NET path it is business as usual.

Delphi .NET
This product is offered as a Visual Studio plugin, offering Delphi (Pascal) (read the compiler) as fully fledged .NET language. Possible offering VCL.NET compatibility.
(So our old Delphi .NET 1.1 Winforms might have a future!)

The benefits:
Delphi VCL
get's his own roadmap, is not delayed by the next Microsoft technology to be added to the .NET part. However offering VCL.NET as compatible .NET framework it will be a complete Windows development environment. Maybe not offering the 'latest and possible greatest' Microsoft technology but more than enough for 80% (? wild guess ;-) ) of the current Delphi users.

Putting Delphi as a language into Visual Studio has the benefit that it can use the Microsoft designers, so it can always be on the edge of the future developments.

In my humble opinion this is the only way to offer complete support for the .NET framework.

Again what do you think?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Delphi 2009 Compatible components

With the announcement and availability of Delphi 2009, it is time to think about your upgrade strategy.
One of the most important issue is the availability of the third-party components that you use for the new compiler.
CodeGear has a list with compatible third party tools and components, which helps a lot.

One company that you may miss on this list is Devexpress. As you can read in this blogpost they are working on it!

However, there is more to this support than meets the eye, so let me expound a little on the subject.

The biggest change, at least as far as we're concerned, is the new support for Unicode in Delphi 2009. I really don't want to go into the issues too deeply here, but will instead state that the Unicode support is pervasive. The default string type is now Unicode and not Ansi as before. Although CodeGear have done a remarkable job in making the porting of normal application code to Delphi 2009 as seamless as possible, it is not the same with some of the code we have in our codebase.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Delphi and C++ builder release dates announced

In this e-week article Embarcadero announced the release of Delphi and C++ Builder to be on 25 augustus 2008. No official press release on the CodeGear/Embarcadero website yet.

Embarcadero Technologies, which acquired CodeGear from Borland, plans to deliver new releases of Delphi and C++Builder. Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009 for Windows development will ship Aug. 25.

Note that it is not Delphi 2008, but Delphi 2009!

As always this will be the best Delphi ever! ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tiburon win32 only, speculating on the .NET plans

Nick Hodges laid out Tiburon in his blogpost Tiburon - All about native code. As it seems Tiburon will only be Win32, so no .NET personality.

Other notes:
- Delphi and C++ Builder will be two seperat products (Don't worry If you have SA you will get both)
- Besides the known Professional and Enterprise edition there will be an Architect edition containing ER/Studio.

The .NET plans
Quote from the post:
"We will be coming out with an updated roadmap for our .Net solution that we believe will be feature rich and very compelling.  It will include up to date support for the latest Microsoft .NET based frameworks and other CLR-based technologies."

I don't know what it is, but there is something strange with this .NET plans.  In July I also blogged about the .NET plans quoting Michael Swindell.
One particular line in that quote:

"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."

makes me wonder. What would be the plan?

<speculation>
Don't tell me they will be coming up with a Visual Studio plugin! ;-)
</speculation>

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tiburon Sneak peek preview videos

Tiburon, the next version of Delphi, is hitting the doorstep. Embarcadero, or CodeGear will publish sneak peek videos in the coming weeks about the new and enhanced features.

What’s new in the VCL for Delphi and C++Builder 2009, is the first issue, which shows some new components that will be available in Tiburon. CodeGear is definitely updating the VCL components. For me this is not that interesting because I decided to use the DevExpress components, as a standard for my GUI work a long time ago, however these are nice improvements.

More videos to come, so subscribe to the page.

Unicode
Marco Cantu has published two videos (#1, #2) on Unicode on his weblog. 

Some more about the Office UI ribbon license

Almost two years ago I blogged about the license that Microsoft has on the Office UI Ribbon, finding it a bit of a silly license. If you want to use the ribbon control you will have to sign a license with Microsoft.

Frans Bouma takes it a bit further down the line with his The evil of the Office UI ribbon license blogpost.