If you follow my blog, you might remember a post I made on June 8th, wondering about the rumors of a forthcoming Turbo Delphi. Over the last two days, DevCo (Borland's soon-to-be-spinned-off Developers Tools Group) announced the plan, creating a specific web site for it, www.turboexplorer.com. There have been countless blog posts, magazine articles, online discussions... all during the last two days while I was flying back from the US (monday) and taking the day off with my kids at a local amusement park (tuesday).

Let me recap the key points first (well, if I got everything right, something I'm not really sure about):

  • DevCo plans to leverage its strong "Turbo" brand, which dates back to its first product, Turbo Pascal. Good news. A good name with a long tradition. Was probably discarded on the eve of the "Inprise" name change as it didn't sound professional enough.
  • DevCo has started doing some real marketing for Delphi. The free/low-cost editions are a great move. Having many magazines cover them means they are back in the loop. Good news, again.
  • There will be a free entry-level version of Delphi (like Turbo Delphi Explorer) for Win32, of Delphi for .NET, and of the other siblings (C#, C++). Great news. Delphi Personal disappeared a few years back. This cannot do but good to the company. The more people use Delphi the better, people with real needs will keep paying, anyone else can keep up with the pruduct.
  • There will be Professional-level versions of single-personality IDEs (like Turbo Delphi Professional). Instead of having to buy 4 products at once, like with the current Delphi Professional, you'll be able to buy only one personality, at a discount. After all, if all you need Delphi for is Win32 development why should you pay for a .NET version as well? More good news...
  • There will be acadamic pricing, with Turbo Professional editions sold under $100, rather than under $500 (the general public price). Great move, again.
  • The main difference between free Turbo Explorer editions and the Turbo Professional editions seems to relate with the ability to install third party components, particularly VCL components. Nothing is said about license limitations of the programs produced, so maybe there is none (past Delphi Personal editions allowed only GPL product, but this is not the case -of course- with Microsoft's Express tools).

I'd only say I'm thrilled. This is the best news for the Delphi community in years. Someone said "it feels 1995, again", when Delphi first shipped. It does. My personal plan it to update my online (free) books for the free product, more on this in a later post. By the way, I like the "old-style" design, again much less "professional" and "cold" than recent boxes. Might remind 16-bit Delphi, but it reminds Paradox and Turbo Pascal days as well!

If you want to read more, here is a good collection of links (with some interesting quotes), out of the many I found (it is not a complete list for sure):

Well, that's all for now. I still have plenty of mail and news and blogs to catch up with... will blog again later.