I have been reading a lot of articles about the recently published Delphi Roadmap. It was interesting to see so many people happy to know there is an actual Roadmap for Delphi.
Codegear(Borland) has been extremely tardy and unprofessional during the last few releases of Delphi. Delphi 8 was a total disaster, D2005 was only slightly better. D2006 did make things a bit better and D2007, as far as I have seen seems to be at least as stable as D2006. Publishing the roadmap was a big sigh of release for me who has to constantly address the apprehensions of product owners about the future of Delphi.
In these discussions, this from Marco Cantu helps us reading the tea leaves better.
Since I never used Delphi Winform support, the demise of it was not a big item for me. I, like Marco believes that Delphi is VCL.
While there is a flux in UI paradigms in the .Net world, there is a very significant overall direction. The close connection between WPF, XBAP, SilverLight etc. makes it possible (more than any other time) to create common UI elements for Client Side and Browser hosted applications. Considering the push from pretty much everywhere to a more service oriented application architecture, this is a significant win.
At the current state of affairs at CG, it looks like Delphi and VCL.Net will be atleast one release cycle behind the latest from MS. Making VCL.Net platform neutral, atleast within .Net, Win32, Win64 circle is crucial to support fast changing technology outside the control of CG.
I am not sure this is what I see. For e.g .Net compatibiltiy breaking changes introduced in D2006 Win32 and beyond for Unicode, like WideStrings.
Ideal VCL will be write once, compile in win32/64/.net/Mono. With accompanying interoparability solutions, I can use Delphi as the only tool I need to provide most solutions, provided the IDE will stop crashing so much...
Well, I guess we will see in the coming months, both from Microsoft and CG.