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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:49 pm   

Free Delphi Development!
 
This news is over a month old, but since we've talked about Borland's demise in the past, and since I'm a big Delphi development fan, I thought it was worth posting this.

Last year, Borland announced that it was selling off their "IDE" development products (such as Delphi, C++Builder, etc). Some of us wondered if this was the end of Delphi. Other people were saying "good riddance" to Borland, who's focus on their core IDE tools had become a joke (ever since the temporary name change from Borland to Inprise, then back to Borland). But we all wondered who would buy these IDE tools and what would happen to them.

In August it was announced that a new company called "DevCo" would aquire the IDE technology and release a new suite of products called the "Turbo" products (nicely named for the original "Turbo Pascal" products).

The best part of this news is that they have two versions for each language: Turbo Explorer and Turbo "Pro", and the Explorer product is FREE! Yes, you can now download Turbo Delphi Explorer and do Delphi development for free.

The main limitation of the free Explorer product seems to be with adding 3rd party components. However, for the hobbiest or small development that doesn't need (or want) 3rd party components, Turbo Delphi Explorer is a great way to get into Delphi development.

Now everyone can run Delphi and see what the rest of us Delphi supporters have been telling the world for years...that Delphi is the best Win32 development environment. You'll see how much of .NET was based upon stuff that already existed in Delphi. Even without 3rd party components it's better than Visual Basic. And if you need 3rd party components, or the Indy Internet components, then you can just upgrade to the Pro version.

The nice thing about these Turbo products is that they remain focused on a single language. If you want C++ then you get Turbo C++. If you want to do .NET, then you get Turbo .NET. And if you want Delphi, you get Turbo Delphi. Get the free versions for all 3 and then just get the Pro version for the language that you really want.

No "Enterprise" and "Architect" versions here. They've gotten the focus back on small developers and aren't messing it up with complex multi-tiered stuff.

I'll probably wait a while before switching from Delphi 7 to Turbo Delphi to let them get all of the initial kinks out of it. Also, since Borland is showing the Turbo products on their own web site, it's still not clear if DevCo is really a new company yet. Sounds like the lawyers are still working out the details.

But it looks like things are going in a good direction. Given the rising cost of Microsoft development tools, and the rise of programmers outside the US (Russia, China, etc), the availability of Delphi for free is really going to give a big boost and should result in better software for everyone to use. And there are NO RESTRICTIONS on selling products developed with the free Explorer products.

Here is a link to another Delphi blog that talks about this and gives other links for downloads, etc: http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/turboexplorer.html
Here is the link to the main Turbo Explorer site: http://www.turboexplorer.com/

Looks like Delphi will continue to thrive!

Btw, one minor issue: the Turbo Delphi IDE *does* require the .NET framework. Applications developed using Turbo Delphi do NOT use .NET, but apparently the IDE product itself does.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:36 pm   
 
Neat. I never got heavily into Delphi because Pascal isn't my primary language, but I used the C++ Builder version for many years until finally migrating (mostly) to C#.NET.

The IDE looks almost like they built it on top of Visual Studio 2005 - definately a welcome change from the detached development environment that Borland used to use.

It's a shame that you can't install all 4 Turbo products on the same machine and swap through the languages the same way you can with Visual Studio. It would be nice to be able to support our old Delphi and C++ based applications plus write new ones in C#.

Anyway, definately interesting.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:43 am   
 
It might be possible to run multiple Turbo products on the same computer. There is a thread here: http://dev.newswhat.com/amsg/borland.public.delphi.non-technical/4500bd6e@newsgroups.borland.com.html that talks about it. Sounds like it's more of an issue with some registry settings. Hopefully they will fix this since it sort of defeats the purpose of evaluating different languages.

As far as the IDE, I believe that Microsoft hired many people from Borland over the past few years, so that probably explains a lot of the similarity in IDEs. I think both companies are looking at what developers like the most and copying each other. A lot of the IDE improvements have roots in stuff like CodeRush (which I use in Delphi 7) and other addons to previous Delphi IDEs.
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:18 pm   
 
I'm going to download the Turbo Delphi. If I like it I'd probably need the Pro version but that looks very pricey. As for the standard version, you can't beat free!
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:04 pm   
 
Quote:
I'd probably need the Pro version but that looks very pricey

I think it's something like $399 list, which I think is pretty good for what you get. It's cheaper than what I paid three years ago when I bought the *upgrade* to Delphi 7 Pro, and more in-line with the low cost compilers that Borland used to sell. Compare it to the full "Borland Development Suite" which is currently $1090! That's one of the reasons I was getting so upset at Borland. Their Delphi products started out inexpensive...I think I paid about $300 for my first Delphi version 10 years ago. But then each upgrade got more and more expensive. I paid over $400 for the *upgrade* from Delphi 5 to Delphi 2005 (which included Delphi 7 and is the only reason I bought it).

So, to see the full professional version at $399 is very refreshing and gives me more hope for the future. After all, the Pro version of RealBasic is about $500, and Visual Studio is about $799. And even with the Microsoft developer's subscription, it's cheap in the beginning but then costs a lot after a couple of years. So I think Borland/DevCo have done a really good job with their pricing of the Turbo products.

But I'm going to wait until DevCo actually splits off. I'd much rather give my money to DevCo and help them succeed and not give any more of my money to Borland who practically killed Delphi.

And yeah, you can't beat free for the standard version. Especially since the standard version is good enough for a *lot* of development and there is no restriction on selling products written with it.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:55 pm   
 
Microsoft has also released a free development environment(compiler included) for C++, Visual Basic, C#, J# and some html editor: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualc/

An interesting pondering is if the free compilers like GCC/Mingw32 have something to do with all these free compilers appearing.
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:00 pm   
 
Yeah, well, Microsoft will pretty much do anything to suck people into doing .NET development. The real costs always come later. I also couldn't find any license statement on their web site about building commercial applications with their free Express product.

But hey, more free development systems is a good thing. I doubt GCC has anything to do with it. Free C compilers like this have been around forever. A real IDE is a lot bigger deal, and a lot more than just a compiler. Not sure what's missing in the Microsoft free environment, but I know with Turbo Delphi that the development environment is really nice and complete and pretty amazing for something that is free.
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slicertool
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Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 459
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:11 pm   
 
The microsoft free environment stops you from making things like ActiveX components and dlls. Which makes sense, because these are for the hobbiests and not for professional developers. Also, some restrictions on adding in the 3rd party components and such like the new Delphi is doing. I only played with the Visual Basic Express for a little bit and it was the first release beta when I did, but it looks to be a similar type of product that's made for beginners classrooms and hobbyists (and is ultimately marketed as such... to quote your stereotypical drug dealers in movies 'the first hit is free').
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:54 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
Yeah, well, Microsoft will pretty much do anything to suck people into doing .NET development. The real costs always come later. I also couldn't find any license statement on their web site about building commercial applications with their free Express product.

Check their FAQ at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/support/faq/

The C++ express compiler can actually be used to generate Win32 native code if some additional files are downloaded.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:02 am   
 
slicertool wrote:
The microsoft free environment stops you from making things like ActiveX components and dlls. Which makes sense, because these are for the hobbiests and not for professional developers. Also, some restrictions on adding in the 3rd party components and such like the new Delphi is doing. I only played with the Visual Basic Express for a little bit and it was the first release beta when I did, but it looks to be a similar type of product that's made for beginners classrooms and hobbyists (and is ultimately marketed as such... to quote your stereotypical drug dealers in movies 'the first hit is free').

I looked at dlls right now in the C++ express edition and it seems to be possible to make them. Atleast the development environment doesn't stop you from making them and they compile Very Happy. You don't seem to be able to make ActiveX components though.

Edit: It *seems* to be possible to create dlls in Visual Basic .NET as well. As the express edition of VB targets the .NET platform only(unlike C++ if configured properly) it creates managed dlls which appears to be referred to as a "Class Library".
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Seb
Wizard


Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 1244

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:33 pm   
 
It looks like Borland/DevCo are getting their prices and marketing into line with the competition (primarily Microsoft)...
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:12 pm   
 
The Turbo products (Delphi, C++, etc) don't have any restrictions about creating DLLs or ActiveX controls. The only limit seems to be with installing extra 3rd party VCL components into the IDE. And since Turbo Delphi comes with over 200 components already, you can really do professional development even with the free version. So the Turbo products and Microsoft VS Express are still very different products. VS Express is definitely aimed at only the hobbiest market and is really a marketing gimic to eventually convince you that you need the full VS system. Too much stuff is missing for professional product development.

But with Turbo Delphi Explorer, you could keep using the free system for professional development for a long time and never need to buy the full version.
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:55 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
Quote:
I'd probably need the Pro version but that looks very pricey

I think it's something like $399 list, which I think is pretty good for what you get.

You're right, that is a good price for the Pro version. I saw somewhere else someone quoting something around $1000.
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Kiasyn
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 196
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:40 pm   
 
MS Visual C++ express doesn't have MFC either.
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