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The world is cautiously opening up for business. The pandemic has devastated economies and businesses throughout the world, but the IT sector is one of the best positioned to endure and prosper in the future. Developers will be busy as companies accelerate digitalization to prepare for a virtual world. There are many more applications to build! Low and Mid code solutions are vital to support this growing demand. Delphi is arguably the original Mid-Code tool. Today it is still one of the most productive and performant alternatives for native application development. So get started building many more new applications with 10.4, fast!
There is nothing more appropriate to open for business than a new release. We've officially launch 10.4 Sydney. Our extensive beta program with MVPs, tech partners, and update subscription customers has our community excited. Version 10.4 includes over 1,000 quality improvements and features. These range from language enhancements to more high DPI features and many important bug fixes. Sarina’s blog lists many of these in more detail, so I will not. We continue to be razor-focused on VCL to ensure that there is nothing better to build high-performance Windows applications. Windows 10 has done phenomenally well. For many use cases, the web is still inadequate to match a native application. A few months back, I spoke with Marco, who very clearly articulated the many advantages of Windows development with RAD Studio. As people are rushing to mobile, I think that the desktop has not received the love it deserves. Version 10.4 demonstrates that RAD Studio is committed to being the best platform for developing Windows applications.
Our broad community is cautious in adopting new technologies. While we have many that are eager to try new things, the vast majority continue to focus on desktop solutions. The latest RAD Studio Product Survey indicates that 40% of customers today use FireMonkey (FMX) to develop mobile applications. This is the highest ever and very exciting. Version 10.4 provides multiple improvements to FMX. While we focus on Windows, we realize that cross-platform is critical as we continue to evolve FMX. The list of ideas and features is long. It is a great time for developers who have not used FMX to try it. We highlighted many COVID apps built with FMX. After all, speed and ease of development are our secret sauce. There are classes on Embarcadero Academy to get you started, including Building Mobile Apps with FireMonkey, Delphi CE Bootcamp, and Delphi Programming for Absolute Beginners in FireMonkey. Many of our local partners can teach this class in multiple languages and in person. Of course, there are plenty of video resources on our YouTube channel too.
About a year ago, we hired Kyle Wheeler to lead Embarcadero’s sister brand, Whole Tomato, which produces the hugely popular Visual Studio plug-in Visual Assist. Kyle comes from a tech background, but developer tools were new to him, so he spent a year learning the ecosystem. Whole Tomato’s performance exceeded our expectations. Lately, Kyle has been spending more time on InterBase. The adoption of InterBase among our RAD Studio users is surprisingly low. It is one of the best solutions for embedded apps, and the IBLite edition is free, which makes it not only very scalable, but very affordable. You will notice more coverage around InterBase. It is surprisingly inexpensive, especially for OEM or VAR use.
Starting this quarter Kyle will take over more of our C++ efforts, working closely with David Millington and our Whole Tomato team. While C++ has received a lot of attention in the last few years, we realize that it is not enough. We took important steps to improve quality as we moved to a new compiler. That’s been a bigger effort than expected. We slowed down some cross-platform work to keep Windows development, the most dominant C++ use case, high quality. It is important our customers on older editions can continue to upgrade seamlessly. RAD Studio 10.4 is a big step in this direction. I hope that the C++ team can accelerate these efforts with the updates to 10.4, so stay tuned for lots more to come. You will hear a lot more from Kyle and David very soon.
We continue to get more requests to upgrade older applications. Some of these are really complex efforts involving millions of lines of code. We launched our Upgrade Center with 10.2. It contains useful upgrade information and will make some additional updates with 10.4. Please visit and schedule a free appointment to evaluate your needs. We have many Consulting Partners who can help you with these efforts, and many freelancers on sites such as Upwork can help too. Even simple replatforming efforts can cost millions. Why waste money and time only to frustrate your users? Get better costs and better performance with RAD Studio.
We have been running our Cool Applications contest and selections for some time with hundreds of great submissions. Recently, I started tallying the IDEs built with Delphi. It is a hugely impressive number and covers many languages, including C++, Python, PHP, SQL, and HTML. This speaks highly of the potential we still have to engage developers from many ecosystems. Many of the developer projects are open source, so our team was thinking about some good ideas to engage our open-source enthusiasts who want to develop with Delphi. There are a number of suggestions of things that we should open source ourselves, including codebases like Bold and Beacon Fence. I know you have a great idea for an existing or new project that would be great to open source. Submit your idea and tell us what you need. We will pick three ideas to sponsor. More detail on this is provided in Jim’s blog.
Don’t forget to download David I’s “Delphi and the State of Windows development”, packed with loads of information on Delphi and the significant role it plays within Windows development. Among other things, you will get:
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If forgot to say, Congrats for 10.4 version Release
I'm very happy and alloready downloaded it, the announced enhancements are welcome :)
About providing assist with headers conversion ... it will not be a so big charge for your ingenneer for 5 reasons.
First : with every release of the header trhey will only process the delta, so next work will be lower
Second : They are programmers, so they will write a program to process the headers and ech time the program will get better and better.
Third : They will have access to internal C++ experts to decrypt the C++ headers fantasies ;)
Fourth : They will enhance the compiler to better support C++ header conversion (and they allready do this, I have spotted "varargs" argument for exported functions and it is a nice addition) but they will do it at a faster pace.
Five: Opensource community will find it easyer to help when less work is needed.
Window mutating API's is also a problem
Wcrypt got replaced by Wcrypt2, Capicom is deprecated, and Wcrypt2 is now replaced by Cryptography Next Generation APIs aka CNG https://docs.microsoft.com/fr-fr/windows/win32/seccng/cng-portal
yes, there are delphi opensource attempts to make headers (proof there is a need) but who to trust over time ?
or https://github.com/MattiaVicari/Crypt4Delphi or another ? who knows.
It's API HELL !
Pointing us to a reference header would be very userful and comforting and reassuring
PS: i don't speak here of just allowing emb ingeneers to participate to delphi related opensource project. But have a strategy of buiding a list if critical professional headers and assign some of your ingeneers to the task to join the opensource project and update the header.
It won't be emb's code property, but there will still be a benefit for you, because customer trust will increase when they hit up to dfate headers with google and your ingeneers will get deep top noch knowledge.
I'm happy to see "OpenSource" is viewed as interresting by Embarcadero.
Not all compagny think like this, and mine allways told me "your code belongs to us you are not alowed to opensource it".
It's a good thing Embarcadero and Idera think different, but not only because there are great projects out there.
Also because many opensource projects are required for professionnal work and interoperability like C++ "headers".
Here's my point :
You'll find many great headers converted by opensource lonewolfs but outdated by many years
some examples :
https://github.com/ak47morozov/Delphi-Libxml2 (Morozov's delphi headers for xmlsec/libxml working great but 10 yeards old ! https://www.aleksey.com/xmlsec/)
or Ararat Synapse OpenSSL headers part of bigger TCp/Ip project https://sourceforge.net/p/synalist/code/HEAD/tree/trunk/ 3 years old support 1.1 but 3.0 is comming and will be outdated a long time https://www.openssl.org/ (see ssl_openssl.pas, ssl_openssl_lib.pas)
Dedicated some young idera/embarcadero ingeneers (just 1 or 2) to help updating the opensource headers (and not only supporting from external point of view) would greatly increase confidence in the tool professionnal capabilities by the communty. Other competitor languages like java are greatly involved and provide near realtimes updates of those headers and features.
opensource has become necessary for professional work, the only to way to have access to these features for pascal programmers are converter headers. Hitting 10 years old headers with google search is better than nothing, but sends a bad signal.
I hope ypu understand my point, I don't speak of workink on whole opensource projects, but only help in on the critical "header" conversion part.
Thanks for reading