So I just caught the last half of the Tiburon Preview webinar. I missed the generics/anonymous methods material and only saw the VCL improvements and changes and the final Q&A.

So, what was there to see…

Anonymous Methods

At last an example of a “real” use for anonymous methods was provided (in Q&A when specifically asked for an example). The example given was when you needed a method that was only used once and didn’t need to be anything other than private – anonymous-methods allow you to not expose such a method in the class declaration.

Which is a bit of an odd suggestion, but I’ll deal with that, and my concerns with anonymous methods in general, in a later post on this whole area.

Generics

This was another area that I missed the detailed discussion of and unfortunately I saw nothing of any constraints implementation, although in the Q&A it was said that the support is there but with no details offered (the details may have been in part of the session that I missed).

Unicode

Nothing much to report.  This area has been the subject of perhaps most blog activity over recent months and what of the subject was covered in the Q&A had already been covered in those blogs.

VCL Enhancements

Not as many as I was hoping to see… I had hoped that the details mentioned before (Category panel, link label, buttoned edit etc) were just the tip of an impressive iceberg.  It seems they were the whole ice-cube!

It’s also not particularly encouraging to see an ages old feature being touted as something new (PasswordChar support in TEdit).  Especially not when the touter is the Product Manager – you would have thought he would know his own product, and it’s history, a little better.

Maybe there was some whizz-bang new capability in this PasswordChar support that wasn’t present in every previous version of Delphi, but if there is, well it certainly didn’t come across in the Demo.

But, Category Panels look nice and a lot of the minor tweaks in the VCL (PNG image support among other things) add up to some nice improvements overall.

Ribbon Control

Although essentially just a very pretty Action Manager (very pretty) it is visually impressive, although it would have been nice to see a demo where the ribbon replaced the host form window frame rather than being a very fancy toolbar+menustrip within it.  I’m sure it’s doable and straightforward, but still, seeing it would have made the Ribbon demo that much more impressive (and to my mind it should be automatic – if a form has a ribbon it doesn’t need a caption bar and the ribbon control should undertake to remove it).

This was the part of the demo that broke the IDE too.  Of course, it’s still a preview so early days yet, but not the sort of thing you’d expect to occur in a presumably tightly scripted demo, where a careful course is usually plotted around any such sensitive areas.

Shipping Date

Tiburon will ship “when it’s ready”.

That, in it’s way, is encouraging.  Not so encouraging was the indication that we should expect more previews and webinars in the coming “weeks and months”.

Tiburon was supposed to ship H1 this year.  Months more of previews will push that even further into H2 than we already are, and the Delphi 2009 official moniker for Tiburon starts to look increasingly – and worryingly – like an anticipation of expected ship date.

The Future

64-bit support is still “on the roadmap”.  No firmer committment than that was made for this being the focus of the next Delphi release (after the multiple-personality RAD Studio release of course – my presumption).

The slides and videos from the webinar will, we were told, be available for download at some point, so I’ll be able to catch those parts I missed “live”.