I was over half an hour late for Borland's Developer Studio Roadshow, despite leaving plenty of time (I thought) for the trip across London - signal failure outside Slough; more signal failures on the Underground at Baker St. This is getting so normal that I start to suspect process failure. A process which might regard symptoms …
I also attended the Road show and listened to David I tell us how good Devco would be for developers. I sincerely hope he is correct as I have been using Delphi form Ver.1 onward. Six years ago I started coding Delphi full time. So I have a large investment in Delphi, and the company I work for has an even greater investment.
I retire in five years so Delphi will probably see me out, maintaining old code. But can I honestly advise the company to start any new projects in Delphi? Can I advise my Grandson to learn Delphi for his collage work. When the Personal New User edition costs £857.00. Or should I tell him to lean Microsoft C# cost £00.00. Microsoft software will probably be supported by the collage using software purchased at educational prices. As he will leave Uni owing a five figure sum, and needing a job, Microsoft win hands down. Simply at this introductory level C# is cheaper and better supported.
Devco will have to address these issues if they wish to grow the Delphi community. In this country Delphi was adopted by a lot of Clipper heads because of packages that allowed the reading of ntx index’s. When we got Delphi we found an excellent product with great help file and many well written books. Where is the reason for new users to buy Delphi 2006?
We now have refractoring, a programmable editor and the history feature. Anybody remember Vi, Brief (now owned by Borland?), MultiEdit. ect, ect. We should have had this years ago. Some new stuff for formatting pages in the IDE. Welcome but not earth shattering. ECO, as David Norfolk says this works closely with Together. The future of this is uncertain. It seems to me it will be good for smallish new projects, but could get to be very complicated for larger stuff developed over several years. Will we have specialist Eco/Together people in larger companies? Eco would benefit from a book dedicated to it. Maybe Devco could sponsor one.
The current situation reminds me of the death of Dbase4. A couple of bad rushed releases, and Foxpro cleaned up. Let’s hope Devco can up its game do some top class marketing. Get some bright young developers who will give us things we don’t yet know we want, and get Delphi back to the top of the tree.
This rant sounds a lot more pessimistic than I thought it would when I started. I hope this time next year after the release of Highlander I see a brighter future for Delphi.
And while I am at it, can we have a road show up north. If David Norfolk thinks he has travel problems he should try traveling from North Dalton.
Good to get a comparative view from Robert Pointon. Yes, while I found DavidI moderately inspiring, I'm not sure that I'd find selling Delphi to my paymasters (if I was still an active developer) terribly comfortable...
I think Developer Studio would be an easier sell - but, as Robert says, the MS alternatives are awfully cheap (mind you, the initial purchase price is probably much less than the lifetime spoport cost, including the programs you write, for any development tool).
As for travelling from the North, I sympathise - I love Yorkshire and the Lakes and they're not easy to get to, relying on public transport as I do (coaches might be an option). However, I'm sure I heard DavidI or Jason talking about DevCo going outside London RSN...
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