Whilst it’s nice to see Delphi in the news again in a context other than the Borland firesale, an interview with Wayne Williams recently posted on The Register is something of a mixed bag when it comes to content. There is some confidence inspiring news but also disclosure of some rather puzzling priorities. Specifically: “Williams says cross-platform is now a higher priority than a 64-bit compiler”.
My own thoughts?
Well, I was not at all surprised at the comment that Embarcadero are not competing with Visual Studio and that VS is a .NET IDE. I have believed for a long time that Microsoft effectively abandoning native code development tools was an open goal that Borland failed to capitalise on, and that their biggest mistake was trying to compete with Microsoft in the .NET tools space.
Time will yet tell whether Prism will fare any better for Embarcadero in this regard, but I see nothing but good sense in Embarcadero concentrating – in the main – on native code development tools. But the statement that 64-bit is now a lower priority than cross-platform surprised me. To say the very least.
I am left wondering if Windows ISV’s are in fact on the edge of the Delphi community rather than at the heart of it as I thought. I simply do not recognise an environment that seeks commercial tools for Linux development. That community is famously well served by free alternatives. Well served because the Linux ecosystem remains – as far as I know – primarily one populated by free software.
This is not an ecosystem that companies required to pay for their tool chain can sensibly engage in, even at the – relatively – bargain price of an All-Access license.
So where is this demand for full-priced, Linux desktop application development tools coming from?
And why does Embarcadero seem to think that 64-bit is less important?
Mac and Linux at this stage are interesting nice-to-haves.
VERY interesting, certainly, but still only nice-to-haves.
I can only hope that their information is accurate and reliable. 64-bit support is even more overdue than Unicode was. If Embarcadero leave us waiting much longer they might find when it’s finally ready that there is no-one left who cares anymore.
I would be interested to know what you think.