Following the beta testing period and some blog post pre-announcing some of the key features (see also my blog), yesterday Embarcadero officially released RAD Studio 10.4 Sydney, which includes Delphi 10.4.

My Top Three Features

There are many new features in the product. For Delphi developers the key are:

  • The first cut of Code Insight based on Language Server Protocol. This is a huge step for the product, a new foundation for the future of the "IntelliSense" capabilities. From this foundation, we'll continue to improve and expand in the future. Top feature is completion within words -- rather than starting with what you type. Nice side effects, much better red squiggles.
  • The introduction of custom managed records. Records in Delphi are extremely powerful and handy (with methods and operators overloading) now custom initialization and finalization add more power
  • The extensive enhancements on VCL, with support for High DPI Styles and new platform support with TEdgeBrowser control, among many other features (Per Controls styling, TTitleBar, Virtual Image component, updated API declarations...). FMX and RTL and many other areas got improvement, but the work on VCL has been really extensive for this release

There is way more in the product, this is just my personal take of the top 3 areas we worked on. Extensive bug fixing is another key element of 10.4, with one of the highest number of public reported bug fixed in a release. And the return of a very nice classic Delphi Greek helmet logo!

Noteworthy Links

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  • Remember when every man and his dog was using Turbo Pascal and Turbo C++, because they represented perhaps the lowest barrier of entry to almost anything on the market. They were affordable, easy to use, and extremely functional. Why can't we have entry level versions of Delphi and C++ Builder, priced such that students, hobbiests and part time developers can avail of the products? It seems Idera is reluctant to release 10.4 as a free Community Edition - and I can totally understand the reasons behind that. But why not increase their bottom line by releasing fully functional "Starter" type editions for $99 or even $199? Windows only, 32 bit and 64 bit with VCL support would be fine. All IDE/language functionality should be available (don't gimp the IDE). If you want to complete with free tools like Visual Studio, people need current releases and to feel like there is some future in the tools they're adopting. The continual change of tack by Embarcader/Idera (one day we have a Starter Edition, then it's the Community Edition, tomorrow maybe nothing.. who knows?!?) doesn't give people much confidence. Enterprise and big business will always be able to afford the Enterprise/Architect versions at whatever price, but even Professional in Australia is AU$2,235 for the first year. When I don't use 95% of the product, I'm not willing to pay 100% of the price being asked. Go back to the old days with a "Turbo" version that anyone can afford, and gradually you're going to build confidence in the developer base and increased market share.