David I hosted a numebr of people on stage, starting with Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackons and continuing with the new CEO Tod Nielsen. I liked the fact that David I did some of the demos himself, he has a strong programming background and it is nice to see him using the products. He also got on stage soem of the R&D members showcasing JBuilder and Delphi.
Before getting to that there were a few awards, including those (in the Delphi space) for Automated QA. Raize Software, Extended Systems.
JBuilder has a very cool collaboration feature, in which you can see, take control, edit, and even debug the code in the IDE of another developer, with an integrated IM system. I want this in Delphi. Very cool!
Swindell discussed Delphi, stating that Borland is "committed for a long time to VCL". Great. VCL will probably be the only way to have .NET CF designers, as MS is apparently not licensing those even for 2.0. And should get us to Vista and Avalon, as well. The sldies displaed were similar to thsoe at EKON, so I won't repeat myself. Allen bauer demoed a few features, particularly the new code templates. Writing Delphi code has never been so easy and fast... There was also an ECO demo: they've adding some interesting new features to it in 2006.
Bauer on Delphi 2006
Bauer has his own session right afterwards, showcasing Delphi 2006. He touch on so many features taht there is no way I can list them all here. Here are my highlights.
First and foremost, in improving the speed od the IDe and making it more robust they are improving the RTL, which means taht our applcaitions will be faster and more solid. FastMM, FastCode routines, and other RTL fine tunings are helping a lot to save application startup time, buit not only that.
The VCL itself and the VSL designer are having the most relevant upgrade in many years. Building the UI can really be different in 2006 with margins, passings, grid and flow layout panels, full mouse wheeel support and other features. And the designer has live guidelines for components positioning, margins snapping, and an overall improved look-and-feel.
The editor is hardly the same! You have border lines showing the edited lines, "intelligeng" code templates that can even fire up automatic refactorings, block completion... you end up typing much less code! The single featrue I like best is var injection: when you need an extra local variable you can declare it anywhere in your code and the editor will move it to the proper place. Marvellous. People attending the session were cheering and clapping so often: the number of new, relevant, "cool" features is really high.
The debugger has been improived as well... but again, there are so many new features that there is no way I can cover them here. I plan writing an ebook, though. Stay tuned!
Danny on the Compiler
Next session was by Danny Thorpe on the compiler in Delphi 2006 (and beyond). The Win32 gets class data, records with method and overloading, and more. This marks another relevant update for the langage after Delphi 2005, which provided quite a few extensions as well.
The future raodmap was quite relevant, even if not totally new. We'll see:
- Delphi Highlander will have full .net 2.0, delphi generics, class fragments, full CF support, and specific .net 2.0 64 support.
- Delphi Longhorn will ofer win32 and .net support for new featreus in vista and for Avalon
- Delphi 64 will be the evolution of win32, with (notice!) a unicode VCL (Danny comment is that borland gave the green light on the project, but the team will need time and resources for it.
I had my AJAX / Delphi BOF session. It was more crowded (50+ people) than I could expect. I showed a master detail demo with AJAX calls, plus XSLT and XPath processing in the browser. There was a lot of interest and I had a very positive feedback. This is certainly a topic that needs more attension and I promise I'll publish my example and will keep working on this... again, stay tuned to the blog.