Friday, 7 November 2008

Delphi and .Net

I have been looking at Delphi 2009 lately. Pascal was the first programming language I ever learned, I would imagine that this is the same for many people my age, so to take a look at Delphi after so long is a bit nostalgic for me.

However, in saying that, I have always stayed away from Delphi as a development tool - a lot of the work I do needs to be cross platform and this is something that hasnt always been do-able with Delphi. However, version 2009 not only includes updates to Delphi.Net, but also includes Generics and anyonmous methods - it also adds user definable build configurations. This might seem a petty thing to be pleased about, but for anyone developing or working with cross platform soloutions, this is a godsend.

At first glance, the .Net abilities of Delphi 2009 seem to suggest that Codegear would like people to migrate from regular Delphi over to .Net - the IDE supports developing VB.Net and C# applications as well as Delphi and Delphi.Net apps. Personally, I am a little surprised that Microsoft hasn't tried its own version of Delphi.Net and called it D# or something - there are so many systems out in the wild using Delphi in a Windows environment.

As it stands right now, there is nothing stopping you from migrating core logic into C#, for instance, and using this in a Delphi.Net UI. I think this is a nice stepping stone for systems written in Delphi to make the hop from the desktop and onto the web, but we shall just have to wait and see. There is a wide dirth of new languages soon to be available under the .Net framework like Python, Ruby and F#, so it looks like the trend is moving towards dynamic languages for the time being.

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