Delphi Live! 2009 – Whitespace

There have been a lot of news posts about what was said at Delphi Live! 2009 down in San Jose back in May.  There were even a number of videos.  Probably some of the best coverage of a Delphi conference I have seen.

I thought it would be interesting to instead of posting about the announcements to post what wasn’t actually said, but some of the stuff we can infer. So all of this is really just hearsay I guess you would say.  No official announcements attached to this, and most of it is just my assumptions, so don’t expect things to come out exactly the way I am suggesting here.  There are no secret sources or inside information here either.  Sorry if you were hoping to get a scoop.

Delphi Weaver is the new version of Delphi we saw in some sneak peaks.  Frequently we see a pattern in Delphi releases where there is one release that has a lot of new features – lets call it revolutionary, and then the next release is incremental improvements on those features and all the other features – lets call it evolutionary.

Delphi 2009 was most definitely a very revolutionary release with Generics, Anonymous Methods, Unicode and all the other improvements.  Weaver looks to be an evolutionary release with a lot of incremental improvements and fixes.  I think at some point Nick said they were scratching a number of long term itches.  Frankly, if they include the RTTI, touch (and gesture) support and all the IDE changes they showed off then it would actually be pretty close to a revolutionary change as well.

A change we have seen with recent Delphi releases is more open beta program.  Weaver seems to have the most open beta program yet.  Nick suggested that pretty much everyone who applies is accepted into the beta program.  You can check out the Embarcadero Beta Program page to see when any of their beta programs start and sign up for them.

There was an off hand comment I caught of someone asking if Weaver had entered an “open beta” yet.  Someone else said it had not.  Considering how open the beta is now, I am guessing this means that it will most likely enter a more open period.  Maybe a free download for everyone, or maybe releasing any current beta testers from their NDA.  We have seen this before were beta-bloggers pop up talking about some of the new features coming from the yet to be released Delphi.  Of course we really don’t know when that might happen, or if it will happen.

So when can we expect to see Weaver? Typically we see a release every year, and it is usually around a CodeGear run conference.  They announced CodeRage 4 for September 8th through the 11th.  Since we were pretty much already expecting Weaver to be released this year (so we can call it Delphi 2010) I am going to go out on a limb and suggest it will probably be out within a month either side of CodeRage 4, but probably during or shortly after CodeRage 4.  Something exciting to look forward to.

What ever happened to Turbo Delphi anyway? It was pretty exciting to see them when they came out, but they haven’t been updated beyond Delphi 2006.  Well apparently Turbo Delphi was too powerful and had too many features and and a lot of users are using it instead of actually buying the professional version of Delphi.  A lot of people inside CodeGear realize the need for a hobbyist version of Delphi that is either free or very cheap, but they want to find a way that doesn’t shoot them in the foot. Jamie passionately discussed this previously.

One thing about a “crippled” version of Delphi is so many of the vital features (like Database support) are key to what makes Delphi itself.  So leaving one of them out then it really isn’t Delphi any more.

One suggestion was a hosted version of Delphi that you could use virtually, but you couldn’t actually download the compiled binary. One problem with that is I am suspecting that the delay when using an IDE via remote desktop, etc. would be rather annoying.

If anyone else has any suggestions for a Turbo version or something similar then please make your ideas known.

I am expecting the next Delphi to be a great release and am looking forward to the weaver beta blog posts and the Delphi 2010 release.

4 replies on “Delphi Live! 2009 – Whitespace”

The IDE stuff is pretty cool, but I’d settle for the new RTTI and fixing the handful of Generics glitches that Update 3 left behind.

I really don’t see Touch and Gestures becoming all that big, at least not on PCs. Of course, if the stuff they said at the keynote about “native Delphi everywhere,” including mobile platforms, comes true, that’s a completely different ballgame.

Thanks Jim, Your points with Evolutionary vs Revolutionary releases struck a chord with me. I wonder if CodeGear could be moving towards a “smaller and more frequent updates” cycle as opposed to a huge new releases every 14 months + (as they currently do with Delphi Prism). I’m not sure how this would go down with enterprises but I would certainly prefer this approach.

With Reference to the Turbos: I personally would also like to see a non-crippled Turbo version which is generously well featured in everything except for the license. In my opinion they could make this work by giving it a very strict license that allows home, personal and OSI approved open-source development but not commercial development (that was their mistake with the last turbos imo).

Turbo Delphi version should have everything that Full version has but the exe file compiled should always show a message that the application is compiled with Turbo Edition of Delphi and it should automatically shut itself down after around 45 minutes of use.

Design time project construction should be limited to a fixed number of forms. Combined with limits on final executable size.

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