back to article Small, awkward and looking for love: Delphi for PHP 2.0

The intent behind Delphi for PHP from CodeGear, last month acquired by Embarcadero Technologies, is clear: to provide an integrated development environment for PHP that matches the speed of development regular Delphi offers for Windows applications. First released in February 2007, the initial version fell far short of the goal …

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Oh dear

I really cannot imagine there will be a market for this. I hope the code will be good enough to be easily edited by others in normal text-editors.

Windows-only! In 2008!

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Unhappy

If only they waited

Zend Framework recently annouced they would be integrating with the Dojo Ajax/Widget library - If the VCL was built around them then this would simply rock, the fact is though they've gone against the grain with already established libraries.

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Spaghetti code

I messed with version 1.x and, although it was ok to use, the code it produced was vile. Hopefully version 2 is somewhat better but I doubt it would be able to be edited in a "normal" editor as AC suggests.

I like Delphi, in fact most of Borland's stuff has been pretty good ( used to use Turbo Pascal back in me college days ). But unless they can achieve better separation of JS / HTML / PHP then "Apps" built using D4PHP will be practically unmaintainable.

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PHP-GTK

I'm a big fan of Delphi (as in the original Win32 Pascal based Delphi), I've used it for most of my programming career and we still use borland studio 2006 at work. I also use PHP extensively for web stuff and scripting stuff.

I was intially excited when I heard about this. However having tried it, it doesn't live up to delphi or PHPs potential.

As I'm moving all of my machines over to Linux, I'm making the switch away from Delphi for GUI applications. Where am I headed? At the moment it looks like PHP-GTK. It's cross platform, has the simplicity and power of PHP, and of course is open source. The downsides are its complex (or at least tedious) to install and deploy, and at the moment there isn't an itegrated Delphi style IDE. If someone can pull that all together (perhaps incorporating something like Glade) into an IDE with the simplicity of Delphi, and make installation and deployment a click-and-go procedure, then they will have a killer product for cross-platform GUI application development.

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SOAP backend

We use a WSDL/SOAP backend and the ability to tie SOAP (mainly CRUD) calls with a web form seems lacking any but the Zend offering.

So, for the mo, I stick with *nix editors and Noteapd++ which meets my most all basic needs - and this product certainly does not meet even my most basic needs.

Jacqui

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Sons of Delphi

Que another Sons of Delphi revelation from Ms. Stobb......

And lo a new IDE was revealed but the Sons fo Delphi liked it not for it was not Pascal nor any language of Wirth but PeeAitchPee which did smell wrong as of Open Sewers.

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Anonymous Coward

It's like watching an old friend

who has fallen on bad times. Long live Delphi (until version 5).

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Zend integration

> Zend Framework recently annouced they would be integrating with the Dojo

> Ajax/Widget library - If the VCL was built around them then this would simply

> rock

There is actually a degree of Zend integration - but very limited at the moment.

Tim

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D4PHP

What can I talk about that particularly D4PHP is a fantastic tool for development in PHP, has brought many advantages in our development of software for the Web. Tests done that with Version 2.0 porting an application developed in Version 1.0, was excellent, especially in gain speed for the end user. I have great applications developed in D4PHP and I am very happy and also my clients

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Coat

Sniff

Ah poor old Delphi. I wrote many a productive app in Delphi even though I'd normally rather stick needles in my eyes than code pascal - that's how good it was. Now raped and sodomized by corporate clowns ( y'know the type that insist on saying "Delph-eye", "Sequel" and the like), they won't even let the old girl's name retire with grace.

Mine's the one with the filthy anagram of "Inprise" on the back.

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Did Tim really test this properly?

Delphi for PHP has had the Xinha editor since version 1. Qooxdoo is the basis for a number of data-aware controls not just the DBGrid. Savvy developers can wrap extend or encapsulate any PHP or Javascript library using Delphi for PHP. Which third party tool from qadram is Tim referring to?. The announced but never released qadram IDE has long been morphed into D4PHP. Zend Framework better than VCL for PHP? Delphi for PHP 2 already includes components based on the Zend Framework. D4PHP is in many ways a meta-ide, meta-framework that can easily incorporate/consume existing PHP libraries. Tim only has to read the Codegear press release

"Zend Framework has evolved very quickly to become the leading application framework for PHP. We are excited to see CodeGear add support for Zend Framework to its Delphi for PHP 2.0 product," said Mark de Visser, Chief Marketing Officer for Zend Technologies. "The Delphi ecosystem is known for its scale and its skilled developers. PHP and Zend Framework will benefit greatly from the innovation this will bring to our communities."

More Zend Framework integration is planned according to the VCL for PHP roadmap along with a host of other component goodies from ExtJS, jquery etc etc. And Tim seems to conflate the open source VCL for PHP effort with the CodeGear IDE effort. While there is some cooperation between these two streams of development they are proceeding relatively independently and have separate roadmaps. Time was somewhat sour on Delphi for PHP 1 and this is more of the same. Download the trial version and try it for it for yourself and see what else Tim might have neglected to tell you.

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Happy

D4PHP

What can I talk about that particularly D4PHP is a fantastic tool for development in PHP, has brought many advantages in our development of software for the Web. Tests done that with Version 2.0 porting an application developed in Version 1.0, was excellent, especially in gain speed for the end user. I have great applications developed in D4PHP and I am very happy and also my clients.

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Anonymous Coward

CCS...

meanwhile the boys in vegas are still pumping out the codechargestudio environment for your quick and dirty web dev needs.... And although it sux to some extent it is still useful when you are in a hurry.

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1.0 was a beta, 2.0 is a (good) 'test', 3.0 will be a great tool

D4PHP 2.0 is a good tool. I think that, differently from the buggy first version, will pavement the way to the 3.0 version.

Making some apps in D4PHP can be made extremely fast than the hand coded or with another tools: the RAD development helps a lot when you do not have time and the application is almost simple.

But, the major problem that I'm see is the Windows-only version. This is a counter productive and does not make any sense in the actual development scenarios.

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I recommend giving this product a second look

I’ve been using Borland/Codegear products since the early days of Turbo Pascal some 25 years ago. Delphi for PHP 2.0 is a phenomenal improvement on version 1.0. Yes, it’s still a relatively new product, but the developers have achieved enormous strides forward in usability and reliability (and documentation). It is exactly what it purports to be: a rapid application development environment for php and as such it is unrivalled, in my opinion. Like anything new, it takes time to learn the basics but I’ve been using it now for close to a year and I love it.

If you’re interested in a familiar (to Delphi for Win32 users) environment which rewards you with fantastic productivity, I’d recommend taking a serious look at this version.

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Yes, try the trial

@Steve

I agree with your recommendation: download the trial and try it out. You are right; there is a lot that cannot be said in a short review.

Some of what I said applies equally to Delphi for PHP 1.0, but I have the impression that many are not familiar with the earlier version.

I realise there is some Zend integration and mentioned this in another comment; but it is very limited at the moment.

> And Tim seems to conflate the open source VCL for PHP effort with the

> CodeGear IDE effort.

Well yes, that's the product. You could use the IDE without the VCL, but if you do you lose the distinctive feature of the product, RAD visual development.

> The announced but never released qadram IDE has long been morphed

> into D4PHP

Yes, I said this is its only incarnation. I think its origins are important though; it explains why it has a dedicated IDE, rather than using RAD studio. The VCL is open source, but I'm not sure this works to the advantage of the product at the moment, mainly because insufficient resources are put into it, and the open source community doesn't appear to be large enough to thrive.

I agree that the product has good potential. I spent a relatively large amount of time with it. Unfortunately it is also a frustrating product, thanks to inconsistency, limited documentation. Further, I don't much like the generated code.

But yes, I'd encourage anyone to try it. If a real community can form around Delphi for PHP and its VCL, or if it gets the investment it needs to deliver on its RAD promise, then it could still come good.

Tim

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Just a comment regarding documentation

This comment is just to point to the documentation wiki, which I think is worth to be included on the review, as it is a very innovative feature for a CodeGear product:

http://www.qadram.com/vcl4php/docwiki

This feature represents a major step in product documentation, not only because is a great resource, but allows anyone to get the most updated documentation built directly from the wiki:

http://www.qadram.com/vcl4php/docwiki/downloadlast.php

Being a wiki, allows you to fix any grammar mistake you see, or even request for more documentation using the discussion pages.

Thanks a lot for your review.

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