Last week, CodeGear has published an updated roadmap, with many new details about the coming and future versions of Delphi. Compared to the last few times the roadmap has been updated, the changes are quite significant.

  • The technology focus: even if broad (GUI, database, client/server...) the focus of Delphi will be on native optimized applications. That wasn't always the case over the past few years. I think is is a good idea to make this clear.
  • The core customers are independent software vendors (ISV), consultants, small organizations... without trying to appeal everyone and certainly not targeting large corporations like in the ALM days. This probably means less ECO and more dbExpress, to mention specific technologies.
  • Tiburon (the next release of Delphi) will have a focus on Unicode and Internationalization. Slightly broader than originally described, but certainly focused on Unicode as key element. This was well known.
  • Tiburon will also focus on connectivity by "extending both the existing DataSnap architecture and the dbExpress data access framework". This is brand new information. Rather than focusing on "BDE compatibility" as mentioned in the past, the idea seems to be a focus on more flexible data access architecture, also open to multiple languages: "native, managed, Java, JavaScript, PHP". This sounds a revolution, as DataSnap was mostly a Delphi-to-Delphi technology. We'll see what comes out...
  • Tiburon will have new language features including generics (as expected) and anonymous methods, which comes totally unexpected! I use anonymous methods in JavaScript a lot (the jQuery library I use a lot is based on them, not only for AJAX calls). Don't know how the Delphi implementation will compare, being JavaScript a dynamic language. But this looks an interesting addition.
  • There is also a list of interesting IDE improvements, but I'll have to see them before I could comment.
  • Beyond Tiburon there will be native 64-bit support (expected), a threading library (partially expected, per Allen blog), code formatting (not sure about this) and many other features beyond that... which are too far away to be worth a comment.

Overall, Tiburon looks much stronger in this roadmap compared to "we'll have Unicode support" of the past. It looks also one could write a nice book covering all of these new features...