Sunday, July 6, 2008

Visual Studio is better than CodeGear RAD

It's very clear to me that Visual Studio is the superior IDE compared to CodeGear RAD, and that is sad. Other Delphi programmers are constantly telling me how Microsoft gutted Borland's Delphi team, and hired away their best and brightest, including Anders Hejlsberg. Well you know what, all of Anders' creativity and talent are being put into C# right now. So it's no surprise that to many people, C# and Visual Studio are superior to Anders' old projects, Delphi and CodeGear RAD (or Turbo Pascal, whatever you wanna call it). It's unfortunate that Borland lost the corporate power game against Microsoft, but nobody said life was fair.

So from one Delphi developer to another, I ask you to demand more from CodeGear (or Embarcadero). You want people like me to sing the praises of CodeGear RAD? The best way to do that is to make CodeGear RAD the SUPERIOR TOOL.

And what's with the unconditional love for Borland/CodeGear? Is it because they are the scrappy company vs the monolithic giant? Even Java fans routinely criticize Sun. And you know what? Sun responds. Not everyone is happy with the way Sun treats their community at times, but at least they try to change for their users.

6 comments:

  1. I don't think the Delphi commenters (or at least not me) stated that the Delphi RAD was better than Visual Studio, but reacted to some of the thing you claimed in your 'initial' posting about Delphi that were not true.

    Maybe to your surprise, I agree: Visual Studio is way better than the Delphi IDE. But that doesn't mean that Delphi is crap. It's not. It's a very good platform to develop your (Win3) applications on. That doesn't mean others are crap either. There's a couple of good development platforms to choose from.

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  2. In doing further research, some of my initial post is true, there is no free version of CodeGear RAD. Turbo Delphi is free, but it is not the latest and greatest from CodeGear (now Embarcadero?). And CodeGear RAD is not crap, it just has many things that annoy me, because I'm used to Visual Studio. If I could put my opinion into an analogy, CodeGear RAD is to Visual Studio as C is to C++. Once you get used to what's available in C++, it's hard to go back and write pure C.

    If I were starting a totally new project, why would I pick Delphi and CodeGear RAD over C# and Visual Studio?.

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  3. If you want to do:
    * Win32 - Delphi
    * Win32 targeting Vista - Delphi for sure
    * .NET - C# (at least until CodeGear get their strategy right)

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  4. I've been a Delphi/TurboPascal hardcore since the early 90:s.
    Since I started using C# in Visual Studio for .NET Compact Framework development I've ended up with the same conclusion as you have.

    - Visual Studio is better than CodeGear RAD.
    - C# is much better than Delphi, but also a lot uglier.

    For Win32 Delphi is the only way to go. I only hope they don't mess up when implementing UNICODE in the next version. If the break my existing code in big ways I will leave Delphi behind me, rather spending my time converting to Lazarus/FreePascal.

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  5. Martin:

    I just read about the Delphi/RAD Studio roadmap here
    http://dn.codegear.com/article/36620

    I can't believe Delphi doesn't have Unicode support yet, given how big their international market seems to be.

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  6. No one denies that Delphi lost ground to VS in the past five years.

    Of course keeping on losing many key developers to your most dangerous competitor (Heijlsberg 1996, Stone and Jazdzewski 2004, Thorpe 2005, Calvert 2006 and others - all gone to MS) does not help at all. It's not an excuse. These are facts: to build a decent VS and frameworks, MS had to hire lots of the Delphi people - and that's a real tribute to the greatness of Delphi itself.

    The very fact that Delphi is still alive and kicking after all those blows shows the soundness and quality of the product and the whole team, despite the mistakes incurred due to lack of resources and investments - coupled with bad management - in the past years.

    Life is not fair, true, but MS incurred in anti-trust rules more than once. And EU was far better than USA this time to enforce them. Thanks EU if MS had to release its protocols documentation.

    We do not "love" CodeGear unconditionally - we criticize and criticize a lot - read the newsgroup, if you like. Just we do it upon facts - not because Delphi does not work like Java or C# or PHP or Ruby.

    Yet - for many of us Delphi allows to write the application we need as fast as we need - without any product stack lock-in. In my applications, the only MS product used is Windows.

    Unicode is a issue. Delphi supports Unicode partially - and there is an underlying reason: Win 9x does not almost support Unicode. MS can easily tell everybody "hey, we do not care about 9x no more, c'mon upgrade and pay us a lot of money!". They have the mass to force customers to upgrade (and in turn make a lot of money to pay for free versions of VS - something CodeGear can't)

    But for many CodeGear customers, especially outside USA, the 9x market was still strong enough - difficult to abandon it, and developing and mantaining two separate frameworks was beyond available resources.

    I agree that Unicode support is coming late - like 64bit support - let's see if Delphi has now reached a safe harbour where it can regain the ground lost.

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