The EKON 11 (or 07 EuroDevCon) conference started this morning with a keynote by Jason Vokes (I took pictures, will post them later). Jason replaced David I, who is still recovering (and sent a video message; best wishes David). Jason repeated more or less what I heard him tell in Milan, two weeks ago. CodeGear is doing well and is focused on developers, or (as he puts it) is "Dedicated 100% to the developer community" and will provide "Breadth of innovation across languages and applications".

After this introduction, Nick Hodges gave a "Delphi Product Address". After many show of hands ( to figure out what Delphi developers do and would like to do) he covered what CodeGear has done over the past year, providing an overview of the features in CodeGear RAD Studio 2007. The most relevant section of his talk was the Delphi Roadmap overview ("plans, not promises"). Nothing totally new compared to past announcements, but a few changes (marked by me in bold) and a nice recap. The focus of Delphi will be on:

  • high-performance windows applications with rich GUI requirements
  • client/server support and database access
  • business web applications
  • take advantage of new PC hardware (multi-threaded, moulti-core, 64 bit)
  • focused on enabling Delphi developers use the VCL

The first release in the roadmap is Tiburon, to be released at the same time of Barracuda (its C++ counterpart), towards mid-2008. The main focus will be Unicode and parameterized types in native Delphi. More details:

  • Unicode will be a difficult transition, CodeGear will make it as easy as possible
  • Parameterized types will be supported throughout language and RTL
  • There will be an updated and improved VCL and RTL
  • BDE update based on BlackFish SQL: compatible with TTable/TQuery, allowing "on the Table" browsing
  • DataSnap enhancement including a dbxClient to speak to a remote data source, compatibility between native and managed code, server-based enhancements, simplified client deployment

The "Commodore" version will target 64bit (with a 32bit IDE):

  • Native 64-bit compilation
  •  Rtl and vcl for 64bit
  • Expected in winter 2008

Beyond Commodore the Delphi R&D team will investigate multi-core/multi-threaded development, development for PDAs and the CF ... or native ARM chips tools, language enhancements, rich internet application development models (Flex, Silverlight...), cross-compilation to other operating systems... but who knows what will actually be delivered and when.

That's all for now. I was at Ray Konopka's presentation covering generics (until my laptop battery died). In the afternoon I will cover Vista development with Delphi, then possibly attend an ASP.NET 2.0 talk. Later in the evening, Nick will demo features of Delphi 2007 and we'll also get a look at 3rd Rails. Tomorrow more presentations, including two more I have to give on dynamic architectures and the Fun Side of Delphi. Stay tuned...