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".
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.
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!)
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?