View Full Version : Light Edition of Delphi at a Low Cost

15-11-2010, 09:33 PM
The price of a copy of Delphi has been pretty high for a good few years now. With all the new initiatives Embarcadero is putting forward, Delphi for Mac OS X and Delphi for Linux for example, we might also see a new cost friendly version of Delphi in the near future too.

If you were to limit what is included in this lighter Delphi, what essential features would you keep.

15-11-2010, 10:13 PM
Only compiler and some other tools, without any VCL stuff... but with FreePascal I don't need Delphi anymore :)

15-11-2010, 10:54 PM
The 7 first ones are things you can't really code anything without. I don't only make games but tools and small apps aswell. Modern Delphi versions however have tons and tons of carbage that weren't mentioned in the list. .NET and whatever really i haven't been interested in the slightest to even study them.

Lazarus is still lightweight and has all the Delphis good functionality i need.

15-11-2010, 11:08 PM
Well the trick with Lazarus is stability. If you want to do RAD Laz falls a little short. Documentation as well Lazarus isn't 100% rock solid, thought it's not terrible either. Delphi has it all and a big team testing it with a huge userbase, except cross-platform, but that'll come really soon I'm sure.

Free Pascal is a good compiler an is ver functional, but without the nice IDE development is still slowed down to whatever you are using. I like Lazarus, but if I want to develop on Mac OS X, then it's just not there yet. With the new Delphi for Mac OS X coming, I might be jumping back onto the Delphi wagon. Embarcadero is picking up speed on their tools especially with all the other cool R&D stuff they are doing in the background.

16-11-2010, 04:33 AM
I don't know what do you mean about "Lazarus stability", because all the time, that I spend developing my projects(first my GUI project was some program for diploma in University), I have no problems with it :) But yeah, there was some problems with debugger first time, now it works ok... but it not so powerful like a debugger in Visual Studio for C++(I use it at work :)) and not so good like in Delphi, but this is not a big problem.

16-11-2010, 09:12 AM
Personally, a compiler/linker, code editor and form designer (and with a form designer probably some form of VCL would be required) would be enough for me. I never really cared about databases, web components or fancy component stuff.
As for Delphi for Mac OS X and Linux, as far as I know there isn't going to be a cross-platform Delphi IDE, just a cross-compiler from Delphi for Windows. Or did I miss some big news?

While I agree, Lazarus on Mac OS X is not as confortable to use as on Windows, it is definitely ready for developing all kinds of projects with. (I did some some freelance GUI work with it, a few programs for university and a lot of open-source/freeware applications.)
I guess if the Lazarus team develops their own debugger instead of using GDB this would.
Btw: For cross-platform development I would recommend to grab a November build of Lazarus where build macros (http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Macros_and_Conditionals) are activated by default. So you can have one .lpi for one project instead having one .lpi for each platform you want to support. (Especially if you consider how much custom linker stuff you have to add when developing with SDL on Mac OS X.)

16-11-2010, 01:10 PM
I don't see myself going back to Delphi. Those days I need a lowlevel compiler that can compile to ARM, x86, x86_64, and hopefully soon RX62N too :)

The only way I see it becomming just a bit more popular was if they provided a Standard version without all the bells and whistles. Throw away databases and all that. Like Delphi 7 Standard, or maybe even Turbo Delphi

I could buy a few years supply of beer for the price of Delphi today. I wouldn't make enough money of either, but one of them would get me drunk

Sascha Willems
16-11-2010, 02:29 PM
I voted for Compiler/Linker, IDE and Debugger. I already tried Lazarus several times, and though it's great for smaller projects, it was a terrible experience when I tried to move Projekt "W" over to Lazarus. Yes, my current Turbo Delphi also has problems with this big project (I have to restart it several times a day as it gets to it's memory size limitation of ~1.4 GBytes due to memory leaks in the IDE I suppose, though I even installed DelphiSpeedUp to make it a bit better), but Lazarus would slow me down a lot.

First is the linker (and to an extend the compier) of FPC which is pretty slow compared to the Delphi one. Don't unterstand me wrong, I'm totally thrilled at what the FPC guys do, but they are more about features than linking speed. And if you do frequent changes and compile/link often with such a big project, every second spend linking is a second too much.

Second is the debugger. This is a part where Delphi has always been incredible and getting such a functionality for some open source project will always be hard. If you'd ask me about the best debugger in the world, I'd say "Delpi's" without havng to think about it for a second. It's perfectly integrated into the IDE, it's quick, it's easy to use and offers a lot of features that makes debugging even hard bugs an "easy" task. I'm pretty sure that some of the nasty bugs in Projekt "W" (mostly the AI ones) would've been a real pain to locate with an inferior debugger. Yes, debugging in Lazarus has improved a lot over the last years, but it's still far behind Delphi.

And the last one is the IDE. Delphi's IDE has been formed by decades of knowledge and has a great workflow, is lightining fast (though Turbo Delphi tends to crash, but let's just say we stopped after Delphi 7 ;) ) nad easy to use. Although this one is the least important, as Lazarus' IDE isn't that far away and especially when doing 3D games, where you don't need things like the VCL (though I use it a lot for the editos of my game) it's already great to use.

And yes, I want a new Turbo Delphi (as I said, the "current" one tends to crash often and has memory leaks etc.), and as for me they could just leave out all the database stuff and release just a basic new Turbo Delphi that's tailored more to the hobby community.

16-11-2010, 07:05 PM
Even though I dont use Delphi myself, I know people that do. I thought I might as well vote for them: VCL, Object model, Debugging and the basics...

17-11-2010, 12:57 PM
Yeah Delphi is known for it's great debugger and it's debugging tools so it could be seen as a staple for any edition of Delphi light or the architecture editions.

Also, I'd like everyone that can to vote on this as possible. This is information that I think could become very useful in the near future.

17-11-2010, 03:40 PM
The poll does not allow to answer this, but I would vote for a trimmed down version of the VCL. Say, for example, the basic visual components both in database and normal flavors. :)

17-11-2010, 05:02 PM
Although i choose not for database components it should remain possible to add custom database components yourselves like sqlite.
And i as said before the vcl should only include the basic components. But again it should be possible to add your own.

So a light delphi should be more like the delphi7 personal edition then the later turbo delphi's that did not allow to add custom/third party components.

In fact that with the new xe delphi that suposedly also inlcludes older versions of delphi i think embracadero should re-release delphi7 personal edition as a lighweight delphi for 'hobby'-programmers.

17-11-2010, 06:05 PM
Yeah, I think that excessive amounts of components that are not normally used for small applications and games would be a waste on us here and for someone just learning to work with these tools. And I'm not too fond of limiting the adding new components and libraries, that sort of cripples innovation by the indie developer crowd who do all these neat things with the component system.

But I'd personally like Delphi to be more accessible to individuals who aren't heavy developers or are just simply basement code monkeys and just want to get into making shareware games and apps, much like id Software and Appogee were, and be able to get their toes just under the door to start out. This is my personal vision of the tool, sort of back to where we were with Turbo Pascal back in the DOS era. I think when software became 'big business' so did the tools and we have to get back to the basics for the young newcomers and the small guys who like to sit and do it for fun. That's where all the creativity comes from anyways, not a big stuffy office or cubicle.

17-11-2010, 08:12 PM
Hmm... You're not plotting a deal with them are you? Like a special Pascal Gamer Delphi (Excuse the Pun [PGD]) or PGDD-SE (Pascal Game Development/Developpers' Delphi Special Edition)??

It would be interesting if we could...

17-11-2010, 09:06 PM
lol No nothing all that secretive behind the scenes. :) But this information and your ideas are useful in helping them to decide what they would need or not need in a version that they could sell to us at a price that we don't have to sell our vital organs on eBay to afford.

Though a Game Developer's Edition would be super cool. Pre-bundled SDL, OpenGL and DirectX headers, etc...

18-11-2010, 12:06 AM
Everything but the last 3.

edit: Turbo versions were good (but not great), delphi need them back!

Luuk van Venrooij
19-11-2010, 07:53 AM
There actually is a pretty good light version already here which I used for a while:

---link removed---

Its based on the latest turbo delphi and has a large number of fixes and speedups wrapped in a small 80 mb package. Not sure if this is legal though.

19-11-2010, 05:50 PM
I am afraid the only legal versions are the one you need register at the embarcadero site to enable them.

19-11-2010, 09:27 PM
I wasn't expecting pirated software to come out of this poll, but hey there we are I guess. ::)

Can anyone, who has a full copy of the current Delphi, tell us what sorts of components could be stripped away should Embarcadero decide to include the RAD portion of the lighter Delphi? I think this information would be highly useful as well.

24-11-2010, 04:28 AM
(bump) I know not everyone has voted on this yet. :)

24-11-2010, 05:39 PM
Ok things that can be left out of delphi 2009.
- Rave Reports
- Lite version of install shield application / installaware
- Vcl for the web (aka all iw controlls) / websnap / internet express
- Ribbon controls
- Teechart Std.
- icon collections
- Interbase components
- dbGO (dao / msaccess)
- Indy components (but i do want to be able add indy components from the latest source version)
- Internet components (see Indy remark)
- BDE ( who is still using it? )
- Win3.1 components ( who is still using it? )
- Version Control
- Data Explorer
- Delphi Class Explorer
- c++ builder
- delphi prism
- rad studio command prompt
- remote debugger
- doc o matic express version

Things that should stay
- Data Controls
- Data Access
- Dialogs
- System
- Win32
- Additional
- Standard
- Webservices
- Debugging

Things i am in doubt on:
- Allow to install componts from source / use packages (my only need is sqlite/indy components)
- dbExpress as i do want to be able to add an sqlite database in an easy way. (support for backfish sql / interbase and datasnap may be dropped) ( or but better i want to use an sqlite database with the data access components)
- Refactoring ( i use it often, but with care i can do without it)
- SVN support that suposedly is added in delphi xe (would be nice, but we have lived without it)
- Offline help / documentation
- source of supplied components

Ok shoot on it :-)

Also i am curious what do the free ms ide tools bring?

24-11-2010, 08:38 PM
That's a great breakdown. I have a feeling what they may try to do is keep things that are symbolic and characteristic of Delphi, such as the IDE and the core VCL, and a few things that they have just put in and want them to get popular, such as SVN and Cloud functionality and maybe even some of the re-factoring.

The Educational version could have similar restrictions such as what the old Turbo Pascal educational compiler did. It told everyone that it was an educational version and software made with it should not be sold and to report it. I'm not sure it if was TP or another compiler I'm thinking of but, I remember such a compiler registered with the name of the school so it was easier to catch where the program came from.

I've played with the free Visual Studio offerings for C# some time ago out of curiosity. It's like C trying to be Delphi, which is kind of funny. Some of the ideas are cool, but they are building on the messy foundation that is C, which is it's main problem. Lots of files just to start with instead of a unified set of code to extend from. Some people seem happy to deal with it, but for this coder, I'm far less impressed than others seem to be. C I'm sure is still C under the VS umbrella.

30-05-2013, 08:34 PM
I know last post was 3 years ago, but I want to give you this:

Why they can't go back into model that worked so well up until Delphi 7? I'm talking about free Personal editions.

31-05-2013, 09:14 PM
I would gues taht it is so becouse those t the top of Embarcadero leadership are not programers but some marketing guys. They don't understand that for a tool such as Delphi you always need to be atracting new peepole othervise you are facing scenario that someday noone would be left to use your product (pepole retire, swithc to other programming languages, etc).
I mean which newbie developer would be prepared to pay 199€ for Starter Edition just to see wheter Objective Pascal (Delphi) is the programming language suitable for him. Especially when you consider that Starter Edition only supports Win32 development with no databases. It is almost like you would have Delphi 7 Personal Edition with support for some new features that were included in Delphi programing language (Unicode, Generisc, etc).
And when you also take a look at limitation of only being able to earn 1000$ of revenues before you are forced to upgrade to athleast Proffesional edition that just sucks.

Once your company's total revenue reaches US $1,000, or your team expands to more than 5 developers, you can move up to an unrestricted commercial license with a specially priced Professional edition license.

Unles they change the way of their thinking soon noone wuld be using Delphi anymore. Even long term developers are leaving becouse EMB is to lazy to go and fix many bugs that are present in Delphi for years.
I could never understand how can someone go and implement new features/extensions of existing code when that code itself is buggy as hell instead of fuxing the bugs first.
Doing so means that al those bugs would be hampering your newest features to work properly. Not to mention that when you finally go to fix those bugs it migh result you in need to rewrite portion of those features implementations.

PS Sorry for my rant but I just had to get this out of me.

01-06-2013, 01:10 AM
I know last post was 3 years ago, but I want to give you this:

Why they can't go back into model that worked so well up until Delphi 7? I'm talking about free Personal editions.

Did you mean something like Turbo editions... wait... they killed it for the wrong reasons I think, who knows now.

01-06-2013, 09:34 AM
I think he means that at some point Borland has been providing Delphi 6 and later Delphi 7 personal editions for free. I belive that was the time when delphi 2007 and later 2009 came out.
The reason why I started using Delphi in the first place was becouse I got first Delphi 6 and later Delphi 7 for free. And since at the time FPC was still early in its development and quite unstable Delphi was one of rare fully featured and stable Objective Pascal development tools for Windows.
If at that time I would have to pay for Delphi I would have never started programming in Objective Pascal but probably still banging my head in C++ (its sintax is quite inlogical to me) in which I first started programming or even quit on my atempt to become programer.
The reason why I'm still Delphi supporter even if it is far from perfect is that if it wasn't for Delphi I wouldn't be here today.

01-06-2013, 09:47 AM
@SilverWarrior: That's exactly what I meant.

But I find Lazarus better than any of Delphis as it doesn't have stupid and unintuitive interface Delphis after 7 had. IMO they borked it. Tried too hard to look like Visual Studio. Maybe I'm just (23 years ;) ) old, but I prefered Delphi's 7 and Lazarus' interface better.

I've found out about Delphi a bit other way. I've programmed since I've been 10 years old, started with Turbo Pascal (my first program asked for name and then printed "Hello, <name>!"). Then I wanted to make Windows apps. Husband of my cousin (I think ;)) when he heard about that gave me CD from computer magazine (PC World, I think, but back then in Poland it was called PC World Komputer) with full version of Delphi 5 Standard. I didn't have internet back then as broadband connection wasn't as cheap as it is now and we couldn't afford modem, to be sure, but I think it was months before release of Delphi 6.

01-06-2013, 10:46 AM
But I find Lazarus better than any of Delphis as it doesn't have stupid and unintuitive interface Delphis after 7 had. IMO they borked it. Tried too hard to look like Visual Studio. Maybe I'm just (23 years ;) ) old, but I prefered Delphi's 7 and Lazarus' interface better.

Actually I perfer new Delphi interface more (I never manged to position all those windows right so I could acces all of them without searching the proper one) but I would like to be able to undock Form design zo a seperate window. Now it is still posible of using undocked design in newest Delphi versions but that leads to my old problem of finding proper window.

I've found out about Delphi a bit other way. I've programmed since I've been 10 years old, started with Turbo Pascal (my first program asked for name and then printed "Hello, <name>!"). Then I wanted to make Windows apps. Husband of my cousin (I think ;)) when he heard about that gave me CD from computer magazine (PC World, I think, but back then in Poland it was called PC World Komputer) with full version of Delphi 5 Standard. I didn't have internet back then as broadband connection wasn't as cheap as it is now and we couldn't afford modem, to be sure, but I think it was months before release of Delphi 6.

My first program (fi you could say that) was predefined choice survey made with a Batch file alone;)
I showed that to my computer science proffesor which then suggested that I get some boks on C++ and learn that. I must say that I had gread dificulties of finding beginers book on C++ writen in Slovenian language. All of them were ment only for intermediate and advanced programmers.
So when one day I mentioned my intentions of learning of programming in C++ to one of my friends he gave me some C++ IDE (CPP i belive). So I started fidling with it using IDEs documentation for reference and I did manage to write several "Helo World" style applications, but I never managed to move further.
One day I went to find a Slovenian C++ programing forum but stumbled to Delphi-Si forum instead. There I just opened random topic and saw Objective Pascal code syntax for the first time. It seemed quite understandable and logical to me. Since I wasn't searching for Pascal based forum I moved on soon.
But for some rason I couldn't get that code out of my head so I returned to that forum again later, opened the same topic agan and started looking at that code even more thorow. AnAfter looking at that code for some time I belived that I found the error in that code. So I registered on that forum and posted my opinion about the error in that source code. And ques what I was right. I did find the error in that souce code and even my proposed solution worked even thou I have written it compleetly out of my head without any previous expirience in Objective Pascal.
So at that time I started of thinking that maybe I should rather learn Objective Pascal instead of C++.
So I asked on the forums for advice on how to start. I got quick reply with information about where to Download Delphi 6 Personal Edition for free and even which beginers book I should read. And that book was written in Slovenian language.
So I went and ordered that book and asked my computer science professor to download the Delphi to me (I only had DialUp modem at the time).
Professor managed to download Delphi for me on the same day before the school was over so I rushed home to quickly try it out. I even skiped last class :D
Once at home I quickly realized how great Delphi is and in the first day managed to develop full fledged Calculator copy.
The book arrived in about a weak time later. When it did I starter reading it and manged to read one third of it in one go (verry impresive since I never liked reading books).
What impressed me most is that even after reading one third of the book I haven't learned much new. This was not becouse book would be written badly, it is written verry good, but becouse I manged to learn most of those things only by trial and error and reading Delphi's domcumentation in that weak alone before book arrived.

So you can now understand how I can get angry when someone tries to convince me that Objective Pascal is shitty language and I should move to some other like C++

01-06-2013, 11:01 AM
For me C++ is shitty language. I mean, it is easier for memory leak in C++ than in Pascal (ANY pascal) because pointers are used freaking everywhere, even in place where passing variable by value instead of by reference would be enough. In Pascal you use pointers only when you have to. I'll probably stop right now, because I'm ranting again and this is not thread for that. I also need to write Super Heli Land (contrary to popular believe games aren't writing themselves).

Now, I can do some simple C++, but only with stuff like C++ Builder (by the way is it still around? Last version I remember was C++ Builder 5) and QT Creator. I could never could write c++ app from scratch, because I am simply unable to.

01-06-2013, 11:08 AM
Now, I can do some simple C++, but only with stuff like C++ Builder (by the way is it still around? Last version I remember was C++ Builder 5) and QT Creator. I could never could write c++ app from scratch, because I am simply unable to.

Yes C++ Builder is still aroud. Embarcadero keeps both Delphi and C++ Builder in development.

02-06-2013, 06:59 AM
My programmer carrier started with Turbo Pascal for DOS, before that I learned 6502 ASM and Basic, as a hobbist programmer in the venerable Commodore 64, then I grow up learning C and used it on some classes when going to Technical Institute. When I met Pascal, felt in love. Then Delphi arrives and I married it. Even if I had some affairs with C/C++, Clipper, Visual Basic, Power Builder, Cobol or RPG/400, my love for Delphi is very deep. Here in Peru is very rare to found a Delphi programmer, many people have sold their soul to Visual Basic, mainly because it's easier to learn and very cheap compared with Delphi. There was a time when Delphi had a place in the classroom, but the lack of promotion and the higher price makes it unaffordable for the beginer.

26-07-2013, 11:02 PM
Wouldn't mind reignighting interest in this poll for specific reasons. Any more people what to have some input on this?

My plan is to report the findings on this poll to the decision-makers at Embarcadero in the very near future. I would really help if all those who have at least some vested stake or interest in Delphi's future to vote what you feel you ACTUALLY need from this set of tools. Even if you don't use them right now!

A conversation with real facts about what a game developer would need from Delphi will go a long way in talks with EMBT. (Price issues aside!) The community knows my track record of breaking through the veil. So my goal when starting this poll was to gather some real facts to work with not a handful of my own personal oppinion.

So if you haven't voted on this poll, please do so. Every person counts esp. the new members who are active!

27-07-2013, 01:35 AM
I don't think I have much to add at this point. My issues with Delphi are with Embarcadero as a company, and not something that really can be addressed through this kind of avenue. The price issue, though you discount it, is a symptom of a much more significant set of problems. It is why I really don't ever see myself purchasing Delphi for any future development projects, but instead throwing all my efforts behind Lazarus/FPC, including improving them far beyond anything Embarcadero can offer with Delphi. It is not an issue of free/open source vs commercial/closed source, but just a general attitude and bias towards certain swaths of developers, as well as questionable (bordering on fraudulent) business practices.

29-07-2013, 09:43 AM
It would be easiest for them just "remake" the old Turbo Series and release it as it was, maybe with newer compiler.
They are owners of them, why they hide good "old" Turbo's like Turbo Delphi, Turbo C++ Builder etc?

Just take them from the shelf and release to community for low cost or free.
You dont have to code anything.

Think about this Embarcadero. Otherwise Delphi will die, as many programmers talk about this.
I love Delphi and would like to have newer version for very low cost or free than Delphi 7 Personal.

Personally i dont care about multiplatform, ok maybe developing for Android, but this will cost too much for me to buy.
I we leave that (multiplatform) aside and only talk about games and usual apps then...

For me there are lots of things needed, IDE, debugger, VCL, form designer, debugger, docs are not so important because they are online, but D7 help files would be good.
And possibility to use / install third party components. Not like in Turbo Delphi, you cant install them.

31-07-2013, 10:36 AM
Yeah I vowed to stop trying with them after the whole EULA thing. That was the straw that did it. If it wasn't for my friend Jim reaching out to me this thread would have continued collecting dust. :)

Free just isn't going to happen. It's a waste of energy to hold onto that idea. It's been talked about between myself and David I. and he pretty much told me that it'll never happen and that their stance is that they cannot do it.

A stripped down version of Delphi would work if they kept to a low cost model and sold it as a locally compiled multi-platform solution, one product per platform. Then you compile your game projects for multiple platform just like you do on Lazarus.

If the cost were to sit somewhere around $50 - $100, maybe even $150, I could see it working and I could even budget a game project on those numbers.

The value would be in familiar language features and tool environment and they would need to focus on the core of the product and less on the frills and fancy business components. (Probably why the Delphi compiler's stability and performance has suffered for so long.)

VCL and all of that stuff could be a nice to have, but if you are a serious game developer it's not important and you would have or make your own tools anyways.

01-08-2013, 08:18 AM
New related Poll: http://www.pascalgamedevelopment.com/showthread.php?23527-How-much-would-you-pay-for-this-concept-for-a-quot-Light-quot-Delphi-Edition