In the Embarcadero forums, Roland Kossow posted his report on the first of the “RAD Studio World Tour” events in Hamburg yesterday, reporting on what’s new in XE3 and adding some more detail to the “XE3 And Beyond” blog post.
In a nutshell we have “FM2” (FireMonkey 2 – no real surprise there).
FireMonkey is Dead. Long Live FireMonkey 2!!
This adds actions, anchors and layouts and bitmap based styles and a host of further improvements, refinements, fixes and updates to FireMonkey.
I guess by calling it “FireMonkey 2” they are hoping to create “clear blue water” between this release and the shonky state of FireMonkey in XE2, which also helps Embarcadero abdicate responsiblity for reneging on their promise of “regular and frequent updates” to FireMonkey.
See? This isn’t an update to FireMonkey…. it’s FireMonkey TWO!!! Brand spanking new!
This trick (‘the schmucks will never notice!‘) of renaming and declaring newness is actually a recurring theme, as we shall see…
VCL and FMX – Ne’er the Twain Shall Mix
Everyone still claiming that VCL and FMX do mix should also note that this witches brew is still not officially supported. So despite people demonstrating that it is – seemingly – possible, 12 months after originally saying that it isn’t, and 12 months after having had the opportunity to verify other people’s claims that actually it is, the official position remains:
You still cannot, officially, mix VCL and FireMonkey.
So good luck if you have apps that do this. If you’re really lucky, it will still continue to hang together under FM2, but if it doesn’t – you were warned.
No Mention of Platform Native Controls
What is also very notably absent from the SmokedChimp Again framework is any mention of platform native controls.
I suspect therefore that the rumours and intimations that this is an area being worked on applies only in the area now called “Mobile Studio”, and as such Delphi developers can forget about it because Mobile Studio won’t be part of Delphi but a separate product, if/when it is delivered at all.
If It Looks Like Windows 8 Then .. Good Enough
Also as intimated in the lead up to the World Tour, the “Windows 8 Support” in Delphi is confined to a set of look-and-feel emulations of the Modern Style UI rather than “true” Windows 8 support per se.
No mention is made of the Windows App Store for example, unlike the specific call out for Apple App Store validity being mentioned.
A Tweak Here, A Tweak There
Other mentions are made of a new visual designer for Live Bindings, but no details other than that this provides “easier customization”.
Similarly DataSnap get’s an honourable mention for some bug fixes but no other changes or enhancements.
Those customers using DataSnap with XE2 licenses might be forgiven for wondering why a set of nothing but bug-fixes wasn’t released as an update to their tools.
The official word is that XE3 will be released “this quarter”. I had previously been told “before the end of this month” so this is either simply less specific than it could have been or – more worryingly – indicative of a slip (unless Embarcadero delineate their quarters differently from the rest of us, “this quarter” means anywhere from now to the end of September. Not August).
Mobile Studio will apparently be released in Q1 2013 – this could be something “lost in translation” as I am fairly sure that this was the timeframe for the “beta” of this new product.
A 64-BIT C++ compiler is “expected” in Q4 2012. Then again, for a long time we “expected” a 64-bit Pascal compiler in Delphi 2010 and look what happened there….
No ARM support until Mobile Studio, and presumably ARM support is also confined to Mobile Studio. Delphi users who expected to be able to target mobile devices can give up on that idea now I think, or perhaps start demanding answers and explanations on this score.
Speaking for myself AND my employer we bought XE2 specifically for the future promise of mobile app development capabilities.
We was robbed.
A Rose By Any Other Name
As speculated beforehand, HTML5 Builder is the new name for a much modified Rad PHP. Surely any new release of a product is – or should be – much modified from the previous ?
Rather than being, for example, a bunch of fixes to previously released half-baked code with no apology for drawing twice from the same well.
But if you are the RadPHP user, this could be exciting times.
Counting the Days…
This time next week I shall have had a chance to hear this stuff myself, from the horses mouth as it were (though increasingly it seems like this news is coming from a different orifice, mixed with straw).
Dare I hope that Roland’s disclaimer that he may have “misinterpreted” some of what he heard is born out ?
Sadly, the last small flames of optimism in this regard are guttering in the gathering breeze…