Interview with Nick Hodges

I am collecting some questions to ask Nick in our interview this week.  If you have any questions you would like considered for the interview please include them here.  I want to interview him early this week, so post your questions right away.

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Update: Listen to the Interview.

24 replies on “Interview with Nick Hodges”

1. Why JSON for Datasnap rather than SOAP?

2. Plans for middle tier deployment of Datasnap Servers (other than Windows)?

3. How does the new Datasnap middle tier integrate with Intraweb.

4. Any plans for Datasnap and “Software as a Service” (BPEL for example).

1. what does Codegear/Embarcadero think will be Delphi’s marketshare in 2 years from now?
2. what does Codegear/Embarcadero plan to do to increase Delphi’s marketshare?
3. what direction will Delphi go with regards to .NET?
4. what is the future of the ADO Components (“dbGo”), especially now that dbExpress is being hyped?

What is happening with the ‘Turbo’ products and the initiative to get more hobby / student / ‘occupational programmers’ into Delphi?

I think now it would be better to wait for the updated roadmap which was promised to be available really soon – I suspect it will clarify a lot of questions, as well as rise up new ones.

1. Any plans for tighter integration with VCS in general, and Subversion in specific? Stuff like being able to see annotated check-in comments, revision diffs – and of course: In-IDE update / commit / branch / merge?
2. Is there any focus to improve the context sensitive help in Tibur?n? The recent versions fail at picking up context and return too many results that are not even close to relevant.
3. Are there any plans to beef up the 3rd party component market? Compliance / Certification (installs well, behaves well, integrates well), and maybe even a unified shop, license and delivery system?
4. RemObjects have a very interesting .NET solution. Would you consider splitting up Delphi.Win32 and Delphi.NET and join forces with RemObjects and deliver Delphi.NET/RemObjects within the MS.NET tools?
5. Delphi aside: With DatabaseGear+CodeGear – is there a chance that we can get some quality database agnostic Business Intelligence tools from Embarcadero? The current bunch of tools seems to be very expensive, very complex, and maybe not all they are cranked up to be…

My List Is:

1. What about multi-target compilations from single IDE – Windows, .Net, Linux, Symbian, (Even Java), Wine (optimised) etc. (possibly by Project Type).
2. BDE Syntax Compatible Database Components (direct access to DB, no ODBC, ADO) such as PostgresDAC, Zeos Components etc. – Multi-Database. It is so much more productive and Fast.
3. Improved Components to display & edit Database Blob content for “.doc”, “.xls”, “.odf” etc.
4. Data Migration Tools with Source (To fix problems) such as Data Pump.
5. Easier Version Management to compile version info when running batch compiler – like a global version setting for the batch compiler and the IDE. Not all Delphi Apps are small and stand-alone – many systems in Delphi are multi-exe or multi-dll, ERP like.
6. Please get rid of “must have .Net run time installed” for native IDE – only required to produce “.Net Apps”.
7. Delphi 7 “personality” for IDE.
8. Integrated Debugger extensions such as Eurekalog.
9. Fast IDE such as “Delphi SpeedUp”
10.Fast executables such as FASTMM.
11. Improved / extended component set to include components for Image Scanners (TWAIN), Mobile Phones, Serial and USB devices, Cameras etc.
12. Taking all the above in consideration, have a “Design and Order your own Delphi” option, that can be ordered and supported all-in-one from CodeGear. Maybe bring the 3rd party component developers in much closer alliance with CodeGear rather than buying them all out.

Main Objective is to have “One Developer Tool for all Solution Development Needs” and “Rubber Burning Speed”. This will be a distinct advantage if the “Power of Delphi” is unleashed for all platforms in this way.

Thanks & Best Regards

Will we be getting any standard containers like queue, stack, vector, tree, AVL tree?

One more question – License oriented. I am currently the proud owner of a RAD 2007 Pro package.

D2009 does not contain a new .NET version, and frankly I can do without the C++ – but I would like to get an eventual new Delphi.NET version, so I might be looking at a package change? What would be my license upgrade options? If Nick can’t answer now, when will the new license / package / upgrade / pricing info be released?

1. Nick made a brave show in the newsgroups, always prepared to stick his head above the parapet and try to get involved. Sometimes he got quite a torrid response – does he ever regret becoming the Codegear/Embarcadero public face of Delphi?

2. Any chance we can see a move away from the compiler/ide requiring the Windows registry, and instead a move towards standalone configuration files (INIs, XML, proprietary binary, whatever it takes). It would be *incredibly* useful if I could take my development tool with me on a USB key. I understand that there will always be a number of pre-requisites for any host machine (such as the .net framework etc) but having Delphi ‘portable’ would be a massive assist for me (small ISV, bespoke/vertical database app development). Plus it would make group setups, and having consistent ‘standard’ configurations across a team, much easier to achieve.

Many thanks – looking forward to the interview!

I second Rob 100%, the possibilities for on-site problem resolution would be great as well without having to cart my Laptop around, there is never enough space (and power plugs) at customers, plus then connect USB stick, disconnect etc. in the process.

Wanted to add to my previous post:

Rob’s suggestion alone would make me seriously consider upgrading from my Delphi 7 version, provided of course it is 100% .Net Free.

1. Will CodeGear consider supporting Microsoft’s unicows.dll (which allows us to still target Win95/98/ME)? This is terribly important in the engineering world and is a serious problem D2009 throws up for me.

See Microsoft’s website:

2. Would Nick address the garbage collection in native Windows issue? People keep asking for this. I would like an authority to explain why it’s really not easy. From my point of view, if that’s what you want, use .NET, it’s garbage collection is mature and works fine. Leave Native Delphi for those that need maximum control of their application. Please. I don’t want to have to go back to C++.

Fundamentals? Fundamentals? Fundamentals

Are some of the Fundamentals fixed in Delphi 2009? Here are three of them?
1. TProgressBar does not paint its correct position in Vista? I hope the improved progress bar gets this fixed. Nick told me it was fixed with Delphi 2007 but many developers still report this bug continues including me.
2. When you enter a ?T? as the beginning letter in the object inspector the ?T? is removed from the component name?. very annoying and has been a problem for many versions.
3. Was the standard TToolbar improved and enhanced?

1.- What about FireBird support in Delphi?
2.- Will the DBGrid get an overhaul?

Oh! One more from me:

3. Will the Language Reference, User Manual and Help be up to the quality it was in D5?
(I still use D7’s help and D5’s printed manuals for D2007. Yes, I have the absolute latest download.)

Will Delphi 2009 be binary compatible with delphi 2006
Will I be able to use BOLD the predecessor of Enterprise core objects in Delphi 2009 ?

1. On big projects there can be sudden freezes with cpuload at 100%. Any progress for this in the new release ?
2. Any progress about ?
3. Persistant mapping! What are the current plans ? I use the old Bold for Delphi that haven’t been updated for years. Will it be released as opensource ?
Eco is built on Dot.Net that is not included in the new version so I guess there is no changes here.

1. Does Delphi 2009 come with Fast Unicode process procedures?
like Function PosEx(SubStr, String, Start, CaseSensitive, Direction) : Integer;
and fast StringReplace
If it does not include this, I think it still not think for delvelopers becuase it is so basic

2. How to promote Delphi in students group? I find it is not easy to find a graduate who like delphi and good at delphi when hiring programmers in China.

3. Why delphi 2009 provide so few NEW components? New components are more useful than editor improvement.


Finished the interview with Nick today. Just need to clean it up and post the podcast. I think we got through most of the questions. There were some that the answers were elsewhere or outside Nick’s area that I intentionally skipped, others that I may have just missed. It was a good interview overall I believe.


A great Podcast interview with Nick.
But I’d like to comment more on one item I mentioned.

> 1. TProgressBar does not paint its correct position in Vista? I hope the improved progress bar gets this fixed. Nick told > me it was fixed with Delphi 2007 but many developers still report this bug continues including me.
This bug definately is present on Vista. Even Codegear Partners (HiComponents) report the problem as a bug. The only way to fix the problem is to use a third party progressbar that is not a descendent of TProgressbar. I hope the improved Progressbar fixes the problem.



On specific bugs the best thing you can do is email Nick directly with the QC number. If there isn’t a QC number then create specific steps to reproduce it and submit a new QC number. Then email it to Nick.

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