25th Brithday of Delphi

I was with Delphi. Since it appeared after Borland Pascal 7.0 as Delphi 1.0, I have been working with it. Our great moments were: Delphi 1.0, Delphi 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, Delphi 2007, Delphi XE4, XE7, Delphi 10.1 Tokyo, 10.2 Rio. The numbering scheme changed a few times, first it was Borland Delphi, then Codegear Delphi, then Embarcadero. But the most important features remained the same: fastest compiler, easy to learn language with continuous development, new language elements and a great, intelligent, easy to use IDE. A great source editor with a screen designer. The designer and the VCL was a huge advantage after Borland Pascal’s Object Windows Library.

Pascal was the first programming language I learned and it remained my favourite one. Native string type unburdens text processing, overflow checks eliminate the security holes which are in so many C-C++ programs even today, causing a lof of bugs and headaches for the users. Rich type selection. The “class” type makes easy the object oriented programming, easier than it was with the old “object” type. VCL components are very handful, and an active user community continuously expands the component supply.

I think, Delphi 2007 was the best of all, I love it and I work with it since we met. Delphi 6 was also a very successful one, I worked with it for a decade. But I think there could be many companies, like the one I worked for, which sticked to Delphi 6 and if they did not stepped in time, now they are not able to shift to more modern versions. The same effect as with COBOL. From the XE series I liked the XE7. Then it was a very good step for students and for little companies to make free the Starter Edition, I have a 10.1 Starter Edition, the good point is that it remains free, and not limited as the Community Editions. They are also good tools for the little ones, but their time limit is a little bit backstep compared to the Starter Edition.

And now for the negatives. Each version brings much news, and a few bugs, I was only satisfied completely with the 2007 edition, I did not encounter any bug in it. Now, for example, the inline var declaration causes error warnings in the IDE, but the code can be compiled. This bug presents already in two versions! Was it not tested and lives already in two versions? Also a few versions had the error that the IDE syntax check and the compiler syntax check was not synchronous. And I miss so much the stacktrace log, a quick help of the Borland time (now even the Delphi help is full of C++ stuff, who cares about C++, I’m in Delphi!), help is enormously slow compared to earlier chm help, I just pressed F1, and look, the help appeared at once! And the most I miss, a decent memory handling, now it is a neverending fight with memory leaks and access violations. Up to now it is the weakest side of Delphi. Absolutely missing is a JavaDoc-like tool which could create html and chm help from the comments written into the sources. These generated helps should be used by the IDE also, so one can get help from his or her own sources as from Delphi units.

Anyway, it is the best developer tool and language I know, I am waiting for the upcoming 10.4 edition. And of course I wish Delphi another very happy and successful 25 years! Let’s go together!

Nyíregyháza, February 15, 2020. – March 22, 2020

Leave a Reply