January 19, 2006

Bitwise Magazine Reviews Delphi 2006

The online Bitwise Magazine has a review of Borland Developer Studio 2006, plus another interesting article on .NET.

Bitwise Magazine is an online magazine for developers. In the January 2006 issue there is a review of Delphi 2006 done by a long-time Delphi developer plus a more limited review done by a Visual Studio developer. I have to say I liked the idea a lot.

What I don't like is that the articles seem to miss a few key points. First, as BDS is based on .NET 1.1 it certainly cannot have the WinForms 2.0 design guidelines or the .NET 2.0 edit-and-continue capabilities. These are not VS2005 features, per se, but features borrowed from the SDK and that can be used by any IDE. Wait until Borland adopts the new SDK and we'll see. It's OK to complain that Borland is late adopting 2.0, but singling out these missing features seems unfair to me. There are some other glitches: for example I guess VS "GUID creation tool" doesn't do much more than Delphi's Ctrl+Shift+G in the editor, getting you a new GUID. And Borland's UML support is not even mentioned. Also, BDS ToolsAPI is undocumented and hidden and adding a new personality is out of reach, but implying you cannot extend the BDS IDE is certainly wrong. Craig Stuntz has further comments in the non-tech newsgroup about the language review. I agree with his point: records methods are required for full .NET compatibility. And fully-functional value types do make sense in a language anyway (that's why object types were kept in the Delphi language for so many years).

Having said this, I do appreciate the fact the product review is there and I think that overall it does a fair job highlighting interesting features and limitations of Delphi 2006.I wanted to point out there is also an even more interesting article in the same issue by the same authors titled THE .NET DEBATE. I found this very amusing and interesting... a suggested read indeed!



Bitwise Magazine Reviews Delphi 2006 

 I agree Marco. I was thinking the same thing,
particularly about creating GUID's. (VS has a utility
to do this?) 

I had to ask myself if they didn't think to use the
online help and search for "GUID"

Comment by Mark Andrews on January 19, 19:47

Bitwise Magazine Reviews Delphi 2006 

I think that Dermot's review is а kind of one-sided. 
As Marco already noted, Dermot presented several 
drawbacks of BDS which aren't really drawbacks. He 
just didn't know where to find these features.

Personally I work both in VisualStudio (since v.2003)
and Delphi (since v.3!). And I have done comercial 
projects in VS2003, D7, D8 and D2005. Pardon me, but 
working in D8 was reeeeeeal pain in the @ss. Though I 
completed project successfully, it was the worst year 
in my dev. experience.

And my personal feeling is that, if we want to 
compare VS2003/VS2005 and D2005/D2006 these two IDE 
families have approximately the same, let's say, "
comfortability" level.

Some feautes are very pleasant in one IDE and I miss 
them in competitor's IDE and vise versa. E.g. code 
folding in BDS is much better. In VS I feel more 
comfortable working with Solution Explorer and 
project build setup as a whole.

To conclude, there is a russian proverb, the shortest 
path is the known path. If somebody works in some IDE 
for years, it will be hard to switch to another 
product. It's just a matter of habit.
Comment by Denis [] on January 20, 10:19

Bitwise Magazine Reviews Delphi 2006 

I readed with interest all articles you refer. It's a 
lot of time I'm following this "IDE War".
I've some considerations (in relation to all this 
1. We must consider customer's requests
We can speak of all the features of these wonderful 
IDEs, we can observe that Delphi must have more 
diffusion (and low cost) but at the end we must 
evaluate better development language and IDE to fast 
deploy our application following customer's requests. 
For example: I know I can develope a Pocket PC 
application using CF in Delphi but probably is better 
to use VS that offers more tools to debug this kind 
of application. 
2. "One language" systems
I'm developing a portable application for Blackberry 
mobile phone. In this case there is JUST one language 
(JAVA) that allows to use all API of the BlackBerry. 
In this case I don't have any opportunity to use 
Delphi or VS. I must use the IDE (JDE) downloaded 
from BlackBerry site.
3. Languages Diffusion
I remember that in my Company I introduced Delphi 
(version 2) and I use it every day (Version 5 or 7) 
and my boss didn't know it. Delphi is a "developing 
system" and It isn't "only" a language (even if for a 
lot of Persons Delphi = Object Pascal). This is a 
point of power (for productivity and high 
integration) but also a point of weakness (Object 
Pascal is unknown if compared to Java, C# or VB). 
Probably Borland must increase Object Pascal 
diffusion by releasing old free editions of Delphi 
and also encourage young deveolopers and students 
introducing personal and "students" editions. 
4. Simplicity
The word ENTERPRISE that appears everywhere can 
discourage young developers to approach an IDE 
instead of another. I remember my approach to Delphi 
1. It's simple but it offers big power. Actual IDEs 
are very complete and probably too complete. I like 
very much if Borland will release an "only Delphi 
IDE" mantaining old "philosophy".
Comment by Bertoncini Luca [http://sviluppoesviluppo.blogspot.com] on January 22, 21:59

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