Comparing Delphi to VB is/was always a shallow comparison.

I understand that most programming jobs out there are databases and forms and submitting data and retrieving data etc. but I don’t understand why people always thought that Delphi was an answer to Visual Basic.

But,I’m sure I’m a “niche” market all in my own.  I have always considered Delphi to be the best alternative to C++, while VB was always just some lame archaic toy. I wish the developers of the Delphi language would pay a bit more attention to the guys who really want to write fast, hardcore, stuff in Object Pascal (the 64-bit compiler basically performs ZERO optimizations).  There used to be marketing ads out there that bore the slogan “The Speed of C++ with the ease of VB” or something along those lines.  I think that is a good way to look at Delphi’s role in the world, if it can possibly keep up.

I’m sure the guys who market this stuff look at their research and surveys and tell me that I’m totally wrong for thinking that it is good marketing to call Delphi a C++ replacement.  But I might also argue back that you cannot and should not look at the numbers alone when choosing a marketing strategy.  Comparing Object Pascal to C++ is important to establishing its legitimacy as what I call a “brick and mortar” programming language.  Pascal used to be one of the big kahunas of the programming world.  There was Asm, C, Basic, and Pascal.  Basic was a teaching language, not much more sophisticated than Logo (if you remember that one).  Asm was a simple alternative to machine code, C was intended as a better Asm, but never intended for serious applications, and to fill the hole, there was Pascal, for the serious engineers who wrote serious stuff and wanted to be productive.

Delphi historically shared very little similarities with VB outside of the basic fact that it had a form designer where you could drop controls. In 1995, VB was still a Pseudo-code language and extremely slow, required lame run-time dlls, didn’t really have objects with inheritance and polymorphism. Enter Delphi… it compiles native, it is optimized, it has a real object oriented language that has almost all of the features of C++ without the headaches. The saddest part of all that is that Delphi hasn’t changed much since 1995 and the changes that HAVE happened since 1995 have been incomplete and ill-conceived. I have given Emb thousands of dollars over the last few years and with Delphi, still have not been able to do some basic things that Xamarin has given me out of the box without serious headaches (Core MIDI anyone?). Even the simplest of my apps are not stable. I appreciate that they are making an effort, but seriously… I want to scream at them just about every day.

Delphi was on top until M$ stole all the developers from Borland with big signing bonuses and then in the ensuing lawsuits Borland caved and basically Gave Microsoft full rights to all it’s patents. Since 1996, there have been no brilliant visionaries working on Delphi and the team over there has basically been coasting on the fact that once-upon-a-time some brilliant guys built something that was WAY beyond what the industry ever thought was possible.

The current offerings alienate their existing user base while making half-assed strides towards new platforms.  Delphi has gone to multiple platforms before, and every time they attempted such a thing, they ABANDONED the platform after just one release.  Delphi for .Net is no more, Delphi for Php is no more, HTML Builder never caught on, nor did intraweb.  Delphi already went to Linux, remember? It was called Kylix, and it only ran on then already outdated versions of Redhat…. again… a half-assed effort that never saw the post-release attention it needed.

The visionaries that once populated the cubicles of Borland went on to give us C#… go figure… C# is the most advanced and productive language ever created and now it is the most popular… GO FIGURE. I still love Delphi and think it has it’s place… but only as a C++ replacement… but the Delphi 64-bit compiler is so bad that I have just started a project to build my OWN ultra-fast compiler that leaves Delphi and FreePascal in the DUST.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.