12 – Nick, marc & Allen on Delphi Prism

Sitting down with Nick Hodges, marc hoffman and Allen Bauer at Microsoft’s PDC2008 to discuss Delphi Prism. Get answers to all your questions about what Delphi Prism is, and the future of Delphi. Leave any questions you have on Delphi Prism here, and I’ll get the answers for you.

A little late to on this podcast, but it is some good information. The audio quality is not as good as I would like, but you can certainly hear what is going on.

  1. I am having issues with Prism as a product. At work (delphi shop), we made our software compatible with VCL.net to have a roadmap to unicode (before unicode was placed on the win32 roadmap). Now that investment is suddenly rendered void.

    Why did VCL.net fail? Because it didn’t have a business case. It didn’t do anything win32 didn’t do already. So, the next question would be, what is the business case of Prism? And frankly I am having a hard time seeing it. Maybe I’m just not getting the entire picture here, but what I see is just not enough to convince me.

    I don’t see delphi developers adopting Prism in droves, because the core competency is not ObjectPascal, but the VCL. Developers are not going to be able to take their VCL competency to .NET, and they are not going to be able to take their delphi win32 products to Prism (realistically speaking). At the same time, I don’t see the appeal for the .NET developers. Aside from some niceties like design by contract, we’re basically talking about objectpascal for .NET, and to that I say “so what?”. ObjectPascal is a nice language, but it is not nicer than C#, so I just don’t see the selling point.

    My question is simple: why should I, or anyone for that matter, adopt Prism? What is the unique business advantage adopting it would create? And how can I trust that in a few years Prism isn’t just going to get discarded, just like VCL.NET was?

  2. The one item that is of great interest to me, is the potential to have a single RAD environment that can simultaneously compile to Mac, PC, and Linux.

    Granted, I would expect to have to do a lot of re-writing and cutting and pasting, to make use of my existing Delphi Win32 stuff, but I would definitely consider Prism for future projects.

    Some questions:

    How is a cross-platform user interface built? On what components would it be based so that it would maintain the correct “look and feel” on all 3 operating systems?

    What graphics subsystem (OpenGL, perhaps?) would be used to render graphics in a cross platform manner? Is there a solid base of cross platform graphics components from which to build?

    I noticed in a press release some mention of “parallel computing”? What is meant by this? New cool threading tools, perhaps?

    Are we going to get clean, easy to use, and useful help screens with example code?????

    Is Mono a quality CLR that one can risk a career on?

  3. But, about having a single environment for Mac, PC and Linux, wasn’t that the case for Kylix and CLX? So we are like 6 years ago… we had a solution available that time.

    I see Delphi.NET as a way for Delphi developers that want to work with .NET to keep doing that, with time to market releases…

    Now Joeri has a point, what about VCL.NET?

  4. @Daniel Wildt: As far as I know VCL.NET is no more, but that may change. Frankly, I would like to see a modified version of VCL.NET continue to ship without a designer, so you can still compile existing projects while you are moving to WinForms or WPF. Additionally it is worth pointing out Oxydizer, which is a tool to help make the change over from a VCL.NET project less painful. I know very little about it.

Leave a Reply