I have just come back from the RadStudio XE2 launch here in Auckland, apparently New Zealand is the first to receive the XE2 unveiling.
XE2 is the biggest update to delphi since, well since, Delphi 1.
- 64 bit - yes well a bit boring but pretty cool to have -
- FireMonkey - much more wizz bang - a brand new component library (in addition to VCL) that is vector based, skinnable with various themes and styles and work on all target platforms.
- multiple platforms, yes Windows 32bit 64 bit but also MacOSX and iOS - yes you make make native iPhone and iPad apps
Linux missed out this year.
FireMonkey was very exciting. You can do some very nice things with it. Properties can be animated on events - so you can animate a button in location or colour, you can do the animation in a certain time and you can use various patterns of animation. So for example you can move a label into place using a sinusoidal path so that movement speeds up and then slows down as it reaches its destination.
Vector based it means that FireMonkey will scale to any size without pixelization. FireMonkey can do 2d and 3d objects, it can even display 3d models from 3D studio. In windows FireMonkey uses DirectX and on the Mac and iOS it uses OpenGL which certainly promises some interesting possibilities.
You can build up your own components, so for example you can have a listbox and then drop in a timage and a tbutton along with a checkbox items. Before you would have to do all your painting to handle that now it is a simple case of drag and drop objects. Every object is now a container - nice!
The livebindings are also very useful but I won't go into them. It basically means you can make any object data aware (not just database aware).
Seeing an app run in Windows and then being deployed on a Mac - and looking like a Mac app is very exciting and opens up many possibilities. Standard VCL will be Windows only so if you want to deploy an application you will need to use FireMonkey.
Hopefully XE2 will be out in September.
There was plenty more information and some nice demos but I am sure Embarcadero will have plenty of info up soon.
It also looks like Embarcadero are going to put in more effort to ensuring more new programmers start using RadStudio - which is a great thing .
So rebirth of Delphi? I believe it may be.. I guess only time will tell but I am very excited about possibilities open to me and my company. Possibilities that I thought we could only exploit by going to other technology. Nice to be able to stick with Delphi.