After suffering a few moments where D2005 just halts for several seconds, and one occasion where it locked up for a minute and then came back running slow and making my application run dog-slow, I decided to give the latest Lazarus a go.
Oh boy. I thought it would be fairly easy.
The "Convert Delphi Project to Lazarus Project" menu item allows you to select a DPR (not a BDSPROJ which is a shame), but then it does nothing. So much for converting the project. Next up I asked it to convert my main unit of the D2005 project to a Lazarus unit. This converted the DFM as well. Cool. Most of the hard work should be done.
Ok, next up is to add the library paths. Where's that done? In Project/Compiler Options. Ok, I'll add them in here, but this means that I have to add the library paths for every project that I create. That's not good. Add that to the obscure and unintuitive dialogs that are a bit hit-and-miss to work out how to use them.
Compiling brings up a thousand and one hints, notes and errors. Trying to fix them is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. One of the errors was that an undeclared type TTextMetricsA. Did a find in files in the Lazarus directory tree and found it declared in several places (that's a maintenance nightmare! Declare it once), with absolutely no obvious file that I had to add to my 'uses' clause. Windows and ActiveX were already in the uses clause. What else do I add?
After finally getting it to compile (after recreating a Lazarus form from scratch), when trying to run it in the debugger I got a message along the lines of "Oh no! An error has happened in the debugger. Save your work and hit Stop. I'm gonna bail!". Oh-kay.
I'll just go back to D2005, shall I? Eeek! Lazarus deleted by DFM when I asked it to convert it to Lazarus form.
After re-creating my main form, I'm back in D2005 and running along nicely (for D2005, that is). Lazarus is a nice project, but it still has a long way to go in the user-friendliness stakes.