I'm currently looking at the newest version of old Borland tools namely the "Delphi 2010" environment. I thought that I'll share my thoughts with the rest of you...
There are a few things I'd like to make one thing completely clear: I'm a seasoned Delphi programmer with more that 10 years of experience of using Borland's and then Inprise'es and after that CodeGear's tools to do the job. That being said it is my honor to write a brief review of the latest and the greatest that came out of Embarcadero...
So.. Leaving the "nice words" behind let's see what's in the package!
Let's start with Ruby.
The so called "3rd rail" is not much of a helper since all they have added is the project support, debugging and some code-insight (that's Borland's name for the code hints). After 15 minutes I've reverted back to the only free IDE supporting RoR and I was happy to stop dragging the 3rd leg behind me...
(I just needed to spit it out - sorry :D)
Delphi... Completely different story!
I was using Delphi from version 2.0 when it came out in 1996 I was still using Turbo Pascal and I believed that to be the ultimate choice for a developer. Delphi teached me that doing GUI manually might not be the best idea and also showed me that stuff like code insight are actually working.
Years after that (4 to be exact) I started working for a company in Poland that used Delphi 5 to do some CAE-like application. It was really amazing what one might have accomplished with this tool at hand!
Later we've switched to Delphi 7 which I believe to be the absolutely, completely, unquestionably best IDE in the world EVER! The personal edition had everything a proficient Pascal developer would ever need and was so damn fast that today's Express editions of Visual Studio can only dream about being in such a great shape.
Then came along Delphi 8... For Microsoft .NET 1.0 (as far as I can remember)... It came and went...
I really hoped Delphi 8 was a misunderstanding and that later version of my beloved IDE will follow the usual path. You can imagine how crushed I was when the next version came out and it was based on the same completely lame engine as 8!!! That was the day I thought to myself "OK buddy, it's time to learn something else". With that in mind I was still looking at the evolution of my old IDE just to make sure I made the right choice :)
Today it's the year 2010, Borland is pretty much dead, Inprise is a name no one has ever heard of, CodeGear has a nice ring to it but the phrase "whatta heck is it" surfaces every time I ask someone about it... And today's name for the company is..... Embarcadero!
They still follow that same devil's route Inprise embarked on in 2003 which is a long-starting, incredibly embedded, ugly looking and slow performing IDE.
Sure they have added some cool features to the language. No questions about it... But was that enough to justify a programming language evolution to bring the old, lovely platform down???
Today I'd never ever choose Delphi for my development - at least nothing above version 7 which is in my opinion the best IDE for Pascal-like languages ever created (and I admit I'm a bit tainted but hey.. who's not!).
I'd like to know why Borland and then Inprise, CodeGear and finally Embarcadero didn't see the beauty of the IDE, the language and the huge user base they have had back in the days and shifted to this ugly-looking thing they are feeding us today?
Rust in Peace Delphi! You'll always have a special place in my heart!