If you've been a member of the Delphi community for a while you are no doubt aware of the Spirit of Delphi Award. 

The Spirit of Delphi Award

  • The Spirit of Delphi was introduced in 1998
  • It was announced as part of the annual developers conference (called ICON98 as it was during the Inprise era)
  • Winners are selected by the internal Delphi team members
  • Candidates are considered based on their contributions to the spirit of Delphi and the community of developers
  • The winners fundamentally improve and expand what it means to be a Delphi developer
  • List of past winners
    1998:
    Robert M. Czerwinski (The Delphi Super Page) &
    Fedor Koshevnikov, Serge Korolev & Igor Pavluk (RX Library)
    1999:
    Marco Cantù & Bob Swart (Authors & Trainers)
    2000:
    Maxim Peresada (Torry's Delphi Pages)
    2001:
    Project JEDI (All contributors)
    2002:
    Mark Miller (Maker of CodeRush)
    2003:
    Ray Konopka (Raize Software)
    2004:
    Nick Hodges (The Chuck Norris of Delphi)
    2005:
    Pierre le Riche (FastMM4)
    2006:
    The entire Delphi community (This means you!)
    2007:
    Andreas Hausladen (IDE Fix Pack)
  • The award retired after 10 years in 2007
  • It is back again in 2018

Back in 1998 Delphi Super Page (DSP) out of Poland was the goto source for Delphi components, and it is still around today thanks to hosting by Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling in Warsaw (Although it hasn't been updated since Delphi 2005). It was created and maintained by Robert M. CzerwinskiInterestingly it used the Delphi written Rubicon search engine by Href to provide search. I remember when I discovered RX Library. They are an amazingly useful collection of VCL controls. The award for RX Lib went it Fedor Koshevnikov, Serge Korolev & Igor Pavluk. Today the RX Library is part of Project JEDI. All the available 3rd party reusable components is a huge part of what makes Delphi great!

Bob Swart & Marco Cantu1999: I'm sure everyone knows Bob Swart (aka Dr. Bob) and Marco Cantu. They are two of the most prolific trainers and authors in the the Delphi community.. Marco Cantu is now the Delphi Product Manager. So many Delphi developers today learned to use Delphi thanks to Marco & Bob. They both have updated books and training materials on their website. Always something new to learn!

2000:  Torry's Delphi Pages was another useful repository of Delphi components and code snippets that I frequented. It was ran by Maxim Peresada. If I recall correctly Torry was Maxim's dog. Torry's is still around today, but since 2015 it's been maintained by YAMACO software.

Project JEDI2001: The Joint Endeavor of Delphi Innovators (Project JEDI) was originally started with the goal of translating Windows API headers to work with Delphi. Since then it has evolved to become a invaluable collection of components and library that is still hugely important today and is regularly the most popular download from our GetIt package manager. The JEDI Project is huge. It's two main, or most visible parts are the JVCL and JCL. The JCL a set of fully documented utility functions and non-visual classes which can be instantly reused in your Delphi and C++ Builder projects (yes, even though it is says Delphi in the name, most things also work for C++Builder). The JVCL builds on the JCL and is a set of 600 visual and non-visual components for Delphi and C++Builder.

2002: Mark Miller was famous in my mind for two things: His amazing CodeRush productivity add-in for Delphi, and his amazing conference presentations! During his presentations he would famously build entire functional applications from scratch to demonstrate best practices. Delphi is all about productivity and getting things done quickly.Today Mark Miller is part of DevExpress, one of the top producers of Delphi VCL components, especially their amazing grids. Mark's recently developed a great lecture or course he offers on the Science of Great UI that I highly recommend. I saw him present it at Boise Code Camp a number of years ago. You can also find a recording of one of his lectures on YouTube. It is only 45 minutes long, while the lecture I saw was closer to 2 full hours. You can apply a lot of what he teaches to your user interface design with both FireMonkey and VCL.

2003: RayRay Konopka Konopka is an author, developer, and trainer extraordinaire. His conference presentations are always hugely popular. He frequently focuses on component development, and even wrote the book on it. At Raize software you can find some of his tools and libraries, including the CodeSite Logging System. His amazing VCL component library is now included with RAD Studio in the GetIt Package manager as the Konopka Signature VCL Controls (KSVC) and his new Radiant Shapes are in GetIt too. The ability for developers to build the components they need when they need them is what part of what makes Delphi amazing. A friend of mine used to work at a company that built applications with Visual Basic. They had 50 VB Developers and 2 Delphi developers. The Delphi developers built the ActiveX components that the VB developers used because Delphi is just that good at making components. He kept trying to tell them that they could replace all 50 VB developers with a few more Delphi developers. If you follow Ray on Twitter you can occasionally see some of his travels to amusement parks related to his day job as a software developer.

2004: I think it was Jon Aasenden that first called Nick Nick HodgesHodges "The Chuck Norris of Delphi" and it really fits. Recently he is the author of three amazingly valuable Delphi books. I first "meet" Nick Hodges on The Delphi Advocacy Group (TDAG) and he was also a huge contributor to the Delphi Wikia project. I was attending the BorCon when Nick received his award and even snapped a picture (I was sitting next to him), but it's been lost to the ether. Since then he's been part of the team behind Delphi at Borland, Embarcadero, & Idera in both product management and R&D.  He also ran the the first Delphi Podcast, and did 30 Delphi videos in 30 days. He is a great guy and very knowledgeable, always happy to share his knowledge and help others. People like Nick are part of what makes the Delphi community amazing!

2005: If you aren't familiar with FastMM4FastMM4 you might be surprised to know you are probably using it. In 2005 Allen Bauer announced that FastMM4 was now the default memory manager in the IDE and in all natively compiled programs. Pierre le Riche is the author of FastMM4. The version that is included in Delphi today is a modified version of FastMM4, and there are some features of it that aren't included, especially when it comes to tracking down memory leaks. So it is worth taking a look at the full version of FastMM4 and adding it too your tool belt. Speed and an easy to use memory management system a huge part of what makes Delphi a great development tool.

2006: The entire Delphi Community received the award in 2006. This means you! Thanks for making Delphi great. There are so many great pockets of Delphi community around the web. Back in the day it was all about the CompuServe forums, but now the Delphi community is everywhere. 

Andreas Hausladen2007: For some developers they don't upgrade until the IDE Fix Pack is released. Andreas Hausladen has a history of releasing some amazingly useful add-ins, fixes and code for Delphi and the IDE. As of Delphi 10.3 Rio many of his fixes are being incorporated into the IDE and libraries directly by the team. Because of the nature of the way the IDE Fix Pack applies its fixes his code can't just be incorporated, and some of his fixes have side effects in other areas, so not all of his fixes will be included. He is still publishing his IDE Fix Pack though, for those that prefer the whole bundle. Future versions of RAD Studio will continue to incorporate more of his fixes. 

And that brings me to 2018. Yes I know it is 2019 now, but this was announced during CodeRage 2018 back in November, but I suspect many people may have missed the news if they were not tuned into that opening session. David I. was responsible for announcing all the previous Spirit of Delphi winners, so I consulted with him for our selection. He enthusiastically agreed.

Something that really sets Delphi appart, and something that hasn't really been touched on directly with the previous winners is that from day 1 Delphi was designed with the database in mind. Previously there were database specific tools & languages (like Clipper or PL/SQL) but Delphi was a general purpose tool that was built from the ground up with databases in mind. The name comes from the location of the Oracle: When you want to talk to Oracle, you go to Delphi. For me, when I have a question about databases I can't answer there is one person who comes to mind for me, and that is our 2018 winner of the Spirit of Delphi award Cary Jensen!

2018 Spirit of Delphi Winner Cary Jensen Ph.D. MVP, Technology Partner

A regular conference speaker, I first met Cary at EKON in Germany, even though we are both from the United States. I was pretty early in my conference speaking career, and he offered me a lot of advice, which I still use to this day. If you don't yet have his Delphi in Depth books you really should check them out. Here is a bio written up by Loy Anderson . . . 

Cary Jensen is a best-selling author of more than twenty-five books on software development, and a columnist responsible for hundreds of magazine articles. An award-winning trainer and frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, and seminars throughout much of the world, he is widely regarded for his self-effacing humor and practical approaches to complex issues. Cary specializes in database development, including client-server architectures, web-based applications, Windows services, and SQL-based relational database management systems (RDBMSs).

Cary has been a long-time supporter of Borland/Inprise/Embarcadero products. He presented at nearly every Borland International Conference, and served on eight of their conference advisory boards. He was the author of, and principal trainer on the original Delphi World Tour in 1995, and continued in this role through Delphi 5. In addition, he was the author of and trainer for the Borland Developer Days and the Delphi Development Seminars. In 2001, he co-founded Delphi Developer Days (DDD). In 2009, Marco Cantu joined Cary to co-present DDD until he was tapped to serve as the Delphi and RAD Studio Product Manager. Since that time, Cary has partnered with Bob (Dr.Bob) Swart, Ray Konopka, and Nick Hodges in co-presenting DDD.

Cary is Chief Technology Officer at Jensen Data Systems, Inc., a company that has been providing training, consulting, and software development services since 1988. He is an active developer, providing clients with assistance in software architecture, data modeling, software development, team development, mentoring, training, and software migration. Cary has a Ph.D. in Engineering Psychology, from Rice University in Houston, Texas, specializing in human-computer interaction.

In his spare time (yes, occasionally he has some spare time) he enjoys non-technical writing, cooking, gardening, dancing, and reading books on quantum physics, astrophysics, and history.

If you aren't aware, Cary's Delphi Developer Days is on hold due to Cary taking some time to deal with health issues. His advice is to take care of yourself. I hope you will join all of us at Embarcadero in wishing Cary the best and thanking him for all he does in making Delphi and it's community the best around!

Anonymous
  • I cannot agree more. Cary is absolutely a fit candidate for receiving this award. I have myself been using Delphi since version 1 came out. I was at a presentation in Copenhagen at hotel D'Angleterre, one the most horrific expensive hotels in Copenhagen, and the speaker was none other than Cary Jensen. Since then I have attended numerous conferences with Cary as speaker in Europe. Our own Danish Delphi Users Group has had the pleasure of Cary as a speaker around 15 times (don't know the exact answer).
    I have during the years struck up a great friendship with Cary, and also his partner Loy, and we have even a common interest (besides Delphi) in adding yeast to liquids that will ferment.