Monday, April 27, 2015

Delphi XE8 / RAD Studio XE8 New Features

Another 6 months, another (expensive) Delphi Release

Embarcadero keeps pushing out new Delphi versions

Yes, there is already another Version of Delphi / RAD Studio available — the XE8 Version!  If it seems like Delphi XE7 was "just released", that is because Embarcadero is pushing new versions of the Delphi programming and development platform out at the rate of approximately one new version every six months or thereabouts!  That is absurd!  Clearly these "new versions" are what should be released, in my opinion, as a free point-release to existing license holders of XE7 (or perhaps earlier versions still).

How is any small developer supposed to afford keeping up with this??  I suppose "software assurance" or some such perpetual-payment (to this Borland / CodeGear successor) model is recommended?   Rather than adopt such a money-sucking strategy, I stopped using Delphi for the simple reason that the software would bankrupt me if I bought ever darn version they release.

I would have highly considered adopting the Delphi XE  release series when the new FireMonkey stuff emerged, and I would have called it a "major release" at that point IF it was truly finished when it first came out.  I really like the idea of scalable vector-graphics controls and all the extra customization these controls may offer.  But, every time I look at it, FireMonkey still appears to be lacking commonly-used features the original VCL offered.

A full FIVE Delphi XE versions have now had this FireMonkey technology in it, and I am still not convinced it is on feature parity with the pre-Firemonkey VCL controls.  Case in point (quoted from the Delphi What's New web page):
  • New in XE8! ImageList component for FireMonkey
Seriously!?  An ImageList control is just now some new feature for FireMonkey after five versions of Delphi XE?  OK, fine... but do not charge me for all these incremental updates to the technology!  If I could have purchased Delphi XE4 and known for sure that all these future upgrades — upgrades that are still bringing FireMonkey features up to parity with the VCL — would have been available to me as free updates, I would have bought it.  But, there is no way I am paying for half-finished control sets over and over and over.

Furthermore, what is with the fact there are now so many Delphi features that are not even available on WINDOWS anymore?  Cross-platform may be great and all, but Embarcadero has gone a bit iOS crazy with what used to be a Windows-only product, and a lot of the newest features are not even implement for the Windows platform now/yet (oh, I guess that will be yet another paid-upgrade "version" of Delphi XE9, XE10, etc).   And, in what seems commonplace in most releases over the past few years, is seems that many new "features" are just tools and add-ons that Embarcadero has purchased from other companies to add into the Delphi environment and call them "features" —  that does not strike me much as REAL innovation that each paid version is including.

To be fair, there are some rather intriguing new features in Delphi XE8 (refer to that what's new page for details), but then again, along comes the next concern...

... Delphi XE8 Price!

You have to love this quote from an article The Register had regarding this XE8 release:
"RAD Studio XE8 has become somewhat expensive. It comes in four editions: Professional at $1,954, Enterprise at $3,244, Ultimate at $4,325 and Architect at $4,866."   
To that I say: "somewhat expensive"... OUCH, that is more than "somewhat"!  
Unless some (near magic) circumstance occurs where a paying-client wants to use Delphi so badly that they are not only willing to have me write Delphi code for them, but also are willing to pay for the latest and greatest XE8 license(s) for the privilege of using a language hardly any job openings exist for, I doubt I will ever get a chance to code in Delphi anymore.  Embarcadero has priced me out of the market and their push toward iOS and such has only further convinced me that I have better options available elsewhere.

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1 comment:

jack said...

Few people cares about this. If you look at all the resources about XE8, very few comments followed.
It is simply because fewer and fewer people use it now, very sad.