Delphi 2007 for Win32 Field Test

CodeGear is great.

Back when Borland tried to sell off the developer tools group of their company, I received a few emails from people who know I use Delphi warning me that I need to switch to something else. I wasn’t too worried then, and I am not worried at all about it now. Borland couldn’t find a buyer, so they spun off the tools group into CodeGear, and CodeGear is different.

For the past month I’ve been beta testing the next release of Delphi — Delphi 2007 for Win32. Though I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement to participate in the beta testing, CodeGear has given me permission to talk about it now.

Delphi 2007 for Win32 is great — it’s exactly what I was hoping for in the next Delphi. I don’t have a lot to add that hasn’t already been blogged about by others, but I do want to give my kudos to Nick Hodges and the rest of the CodeGear team. They listened! Lots of us were screaming at Borland that their focus needed to be changed to get a Windows Vista development tool out sooner rather than later — rather than focusing on .Net first. And so they are. Delphi 2007 for Win32 is just what I need, as a Windows application developer who is not yet interested in .Net. This is Delphi’s strength, and I am glad to see CodeGear getting this taken cared of first.

Borland brings back Turbo development tools

Good news on the Delphi front: Borland brings back its Turbo Tools.

I’ve been a loyal Borland tools user for as long as I have been seriously programming. I cut my teeth on Turbo Pascal. I taught myself C with Borland C++ when it was still a DOS-only tool. I programmed SwordSearcher 2.0 with Borland C++ 4, SwordSearcher 3.0 with Borland C++ 5, and SwordSearcher 4 with Delphi 5, 6, 7, 2005, and 2006.

Borland’s early strength, in my view, was its affordable and powerful tools targeted at students and independent developers. They’ve been spending a lot of time, research, and money developing for the “enterprise sector,” which I know has a lot of money in it –- but they’ve lost sight the early developer who wants a platform to code for fun, or as a hobby, or as an independent software vendor. As a result of this, they’ve lost a lot of “new blood” with people going for the free (but not very good) tools, or for the inexpensive Microsoft “lite” platforms.

This is just my opinion, of course. I’ve not looked to research to back up this particular gut estimation of the current state of development tools. But it is where I bring home my bacon, so I think I have some grasp of the situation.

Finally, Borland (or, more likely, the Developer Tools guys at Borland) is doing something to make an effort to get new developers into their camp. Good! I’ve been using Delphi for years. Delphi Developer Studio 2006 is the best Win32 development platform available, period. I want Delphi to prosper so that I can continue using it!

Hopefully this will make Borland’s divestiture of the Devloper Tools group more successful. My read on the DevCo guys (as they are calling themselves) is that they can’t wait to get out from under Borland, which is more focused on management buzzword-ware “application lifecycle management” stuff –- whatever -– than it is on making good development tools. I am looking forward to an unhindered Delphi development team churning out the best IDE for Windows programmers for years to come.

Delphi 2006 is wonderful.

Delphi 2006 is wonderful.

Really, it is. Borland has fully redeemed themselves for the less-than-stellar Delphi 2005. After the third update and some unofficial patches, Delphi 2005 was okay (and indeed I was using it regularly and enjoyed it)… but

Delphi 2006 is wonderful!

It’s stable and has lots of great features to make a programmer more productive. There’s not much more I can say about it — I just like it!

I’m working on the next version of Daily Bible and Prayer and my usual semi-annual update of SwordSearcher, and I am just as happy as I can be using Delphi 2006 for the work.

One great bonus for users of my software: Delphi 2006 has a more efficient memory manager, so compiled applications actually run faster. I’m looking forward to the new releases.

(Oh, and I haven’t blogged much recently because I’ve been busy programming!)