Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cross-platformness Musings

Borland has announced they want to dump Delphi, sell it off.
Microsoft finally managed to kill it.

I now hope that Delphi will die a quick death. I hope it will be utterly abandoned. I hope the buyer will neglect it, I hope Delphi will die. Reason?

MoyoGo is written in Delphi. Delphi remains by far the best Windows RAD tool. But it can't target Linux very well, or the pocket PC, or the Mac. And I am incessantly harassed by Mac owners that they would love to dish out the dough for my stuff, if only it would run on a Mac. Linux users reproach me for not having made a freeware version in Java, you got to admire the balls. A budding alternative to Delphi is Free Pascal/Lazarus, but as long as the majority of Object Pascal developers works with Delphi, Free Pascal will evolve slowly.

However when Delphi dies, there is little alternative for an army of Delphi programmers to start converting their libraries and components to Free Pascal/Lazarus. The result will be a 100% Delphi-compatible, open-source, multi-platform Object Pascal compiler/IDE widget library that compiles to 64-bit standalone executables. In no time.

Delphi has sold over a million licences (which are thousands of USD each nowadays - the best RAD IDE doesn't come as cheap as the Visual Studio crap), so perhaps a "serious" company will buy Delphi after all. There has been a bid of 150 million USD on it by Robert Coates, so perhaps Delphi and Free Pascal will continue side by side.