I got my hands on the demo-version of Delphi 2005 (download it here), and I actually have configured the beast already, so I have my usual environement to work on PopScan with it. These are my first impressions (I won’t talk about this File-Download-Window-Popping-Up Problem as all know it’s a nasty problem with a security-patch from Microsoft which will soon be fixed. Read about it here on Steves blog
- It takes quite some time to start up. After removing the Delphi.NET and c# personalities (don’t need them), it starts about as fast, als my Delphi 7 did. Just a little bit slower
- The compiler got faster, if you ask me.
- Besides the great new features Borland is talking about, there are very nice usability-tunings everywhere which make working quite a bit easier.
- The VCL form designer is extremely slow on my machine. Just displaying the PopScan Main Form within the designer takes nearly 10 Seconds. Delphi 7 does that instantly.
- The debugger is slower too, which certainly has to do with the many great feature additions. I can live with that.
- It’s extremely compatible to Delphi 7: I could install every single third party component without any problems. This is quite impressive considering Delphi 2005 is quite a rewrite.
- While I like the new docked form designer, there’s one usability-problem with it: When you have components that use their own property editors (like Toolbar 2000), those editors are opened in their own window (understandable). Now, if you select a button in the component editor and then click the Project inspector to change a property, the Delphi Main Window will cover the property editor rendring it invisible. An easy fix would be to define the property editor always-on-top – a better fix would be integrating it somewhere in the IDE
- Even JCLDebug could be compiled and installed (even the IDE Expert did work, though you have to manually install it)
All in all, this release of Delphi is a very great release providing the user with a ton of new features and fixes to long-standing usability problems (so long that you got used to them and now are missing them…). I have not expirienced any crashes so far (besides the one where the expat-parser of a debugged application took all the ram on my system, but I don’t blame Delphi for that), which is very nice.
Now, if only the beast could be made to run a bit faster (which will be done, I’d say, it’s the best Delphi since Delphi 2 which means quite a lot…
PS: I know that it’s currently more in fashion to bash Borland and to whine about everything they do. And for the fourth consecutive year now I read posting about Delphi’s impending doom everywhere on the net. But consider this: Delphi still is the only RAD tool out there producing 100% native windows executables. And it still has one of the most lively communities I know of in the Windows-world. Even if Borland would kill off delphi, I’m quite certain, it will not go so easily. Not with this community.
On and speaking of killing off delphi: Seeing this great release of Delphi 2005, I am quite assured that Borland will continue supporting us.
So: Quit whining around!