Thoughts from BorCon04


Well, I got to BorCon a little late as I was enjoying California sun.  But I did catch Danny Thorpe’s talk on the future of the Delphi language.  I was glad to see for..each support being added.  I hear the other guys are adding it as well.  I think this is a great validation of the work we did in C# (and well before in VB).  I was also impressed by the how deep Danny went.  He was showing off how the Delphi compiler emits nest methods by using ILASM.  Pretty cool stuff; apparently the Delphi folks are my kind of geeks ;-).

 

I spent a couple of hours at the booth giving away posters and doing demos of Console Invaders and the RSS ScreenSaver from the C# express Edition.  It would good to get to talk to Borland customers.  Many of the folks I talked to are happy to laugh at how Microsoft has started to “catch-up” to Delphi in terms of productivity. 

 

I only had a 30 mins or so to spend in the session on .NET Framework for Delphi developers. The speaker made an interesting point… Without Delphi there would be no .NET… his evidence is that Delphi first had all of these…  maybe he has a point

Single-inheritance

Strongly typed

Properties and events

Exceptions

Component model

Etc….

I was then off to the user group… More on that later…

 

BTW – any early risers here at BorCon, you can catch my session on CLR 2.0 at 8a in room J2… I’ll have some free copies of my BCL reference book to give out.  (they also have them at the book store in the exhibit hall).

Comments (24)

  1. well yes, Delphi has most of the features .Net offers ealier. But .Net have evolved in to a very powerfull technolgy now. May be it could be one reason to grab the best bits from Delphi is, that Anders Hejlsberg one of the key persons who invented it, used to work for Delphi sometime back (I guess).

  2. Keith Patrick says:

    I disagree. Properties, yeah, OK, but single inheritance? Java had it, and it got that from Smalltalk, which predates Delphi. I don’t even recall exceptions under Delphi 1.0, but at the time, I didn’t know C++, which *did* have them. Strongly typed is Delphi’s? Huh?

    Maybe a more correct wording would be "Delphi had them before .Net," but Delphi did not necessarily have them first. .Net looks a lot more like Java/JFC than it does Delphi (although I’ll qualify by saying that I haven’t used Delphi since 2.0), but ultimately, they all owe gratitude to Smalltalk (even though I don’t actually like ST)

  3. mschaef says:

    "Without Delphi there would be no .NET.."

    This statement is valueless. It shouldn’t mean anything to people picking development platforms now. and the fact that .Net derives ideas from Delphi should be obvious to those who do actually care. (Not only is it common to base technical work on prior art, the two platforms share the same principle architect.)

    This isn’t to denigrate Delphi, it was a remarkable move past Turbo Pascal for Windows (into what most folks expected TPW to be in the first place).

  4. Ben Miller says:

    Brad,

    I modified the screen saver to strip off the HTML stuff so that you can just see the text in the RSS as we talked about in the booth. See my blog entry….

  5. Oliver Giesen says:

    "Strongly typed is Delphi’s? Huh?"

    Yes, if anything it definitely is that. Variants were a comparatively recent addition to the language. Maybe you’re confusing Delphi and VB here?

  6. Oh no here we go again…. Mine’s better than yours

    comments.

    I think the Delphi comments come from the nervousness

    cause by C# and .Net closing the productivity gap

    that did exist between the 2 IDEs Delphi and VS.

    All credit to Microsoft for creating a new environment that

    is truly exceptional and a company strategy that doesnt

    lock other compiler and tool developers out of the market.

    Borland’s main strategy has to be to retain the loyality of the

    Delphi community.

    The new Borland Developer Studio (BDS) with delphi.win32,

    delphi.net and C# will keep me in the Borland fold.

    But I wont be looking over my shoulder for Microsoft but hoping

    that Borland can keep up.

  7. Liviu says:

    Delphi 8 is really a dissapointment. Borland will never catch up with Microsoft.

    It is too expensive and not worth it, I can get NET for 800$ why should I pay 3000$ for a lousy crippled VCL.NET IDE?

    Common…

  8. Keith Patrick says:

    Oliver: No, I mean in the sense that Delphi had strongly-typed features first. Including "strongly-typed" as evidence that without Delphi there would be no .Net is misleading. C++ is strongly-typed, and it came before Delphi. I don’t want to try to come up with some definitive answer on where .Net came from. I’m aware the Delphi architect is an architect on C#, but .Net has to encompass features from several languages to be common, and using "strongly-typed" as a feature of Delphi that .Net derives from is akin to saying Delphi had variables first, IMO.

    Now, as for properties, components, WinForms, and higher-level aspects of Delphi, I *do* see those in .Net, but then, some of those were also in VisualAge.

  9. David Champion says:

    "Delphi 8 is really a dissapointment" – Liviu

    Depends on your expectations.

    Last year I bought into the Delphi 8 Architect upgrade.

    For 900 pounds/1350 dollars (with further 25% discount possible if I was a Borland

    Connections subscriber) I was able to get Kylix 3.0 Enterprise and Delphi 7 Enterprise thrown in.

    I needed the Delphi 7 upgrade for the current contract. Delphi 8 was a bonus.

    I never expected it to be more than an average version 1 release. I think it was more than that though.

    With Delphi 9/BDS 2005/Diamondback I expect to start earning money from some .Net code but in 2005 the majority will be win32.

    The VCL is an optional class library there is nothng to stop you using Delphi and WinForms. Although I expect the VCL will be the basis of a new cross-platform library that will target win32, .net, mono and linux; VCL 2.0 if you like.

  10. David Champion says:

    "Delphi sucks" – .Net Addict

    Would you like a reasoned argument or are you just

    letting of steam? Where did it let you down ?

    Have you used it and what4 ?

    If you have a good reason to say so, please do..

    I can’t relate to your comment…. try me.

    Is .Net/C# good ? Yes. Excellent.

    It addresses internet software development especially well.

    C# is a well thought out succinct/terse language that

    doesnt try to do too much with the language syntax.

    Allows for rich and fluid expression of code. Benefits from

    hindsight and a blank cheque. It borrows language ideas from many sources – some of them I recognise.

    It encourages good programing practice by including explicit and

    defensive styles of coding.

    It is readable, extensible, well structured, modular, self-describing, component oriented and interface oriented.

    Suitable for both large and small projects.

    Delphi has many of these qualities, a reasonably long history

    and a significant and loyal community of developers.

  11. Matt says:

    Clearing up some misconceptions:

    Delphi 1 had exceptions.

    Delphi’s language (formerly known as Object Pascal) is based on the Borland Pascal dialect. Pascal has always been a strongly typed language (more so that C for example) and Pascal predated C++ by some considerable years.

    VB had properties before Delphi, but Delphi predated VB with the ability to *create* properties in code (what was that, VB4 or VB 5? I remember Delphi 2 was about by that point.)

    Single inheritence – Delphi got this from Object Pascal (different implementation, same idea) which I believe we have Apple (of all comapnies) to thank for. This probably owes a lot to SmallTalk still, but Java wasn;t even a twinkle back in ’85/’86 (or that sort of time frame) when "Borland Turbo Pascal 5.5" with objects was released.

    I love C#, but I see an awful lot of Delphi in it. Awful lot. Granted, some things (Delegates for example) are only analogues, but they still implement the same concept and Delphi’s method pointers (type XX = procedure XXXX(sender: TObject) of object;)

  12. A swindled AW customer says:

    I wasted 40$ on SLAR, your stupid book.

    What kind of dumb-ass has written the ‘Namespace Overviews’ section! My 8 year old sister can write better, I swear!

    I want my money back!!

  13. Williams says:

    Delphi 8 is quite interesting but unfortunately microsoft will catch up. VS.net is cheaper and now the pace setter!

  14. Mark Van Ditta says:

    I have been in this game for far longer than I care to admit; however, if we want to dig deep, almost all modern languages, with the exception of the functional, lisp, and forth-based derivatives are descendents of Algol. That is why it is so easy to move from one language to another.

    Here are the two lineages being discussed in this :

    1.) Algol -> Pascal -> Turbo Pascal -> Turbo Pascal + Objects -> Delphi/Object Pascal

    2.) Algol -> CPL -> BCPL -> B -> C -> C++ -> Java

    C# descends from both of these branches.

    One last thing: Smalltalk was not the first object-oriented language. That honor goes to Simula 67.

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