Don’t you just hate those Delphi is Dying blog posts? I do? We have been bombarded by messages of doom since about Delphi 4. “Delphi is dying” they scream. “No it’s not”, we counter. “It’s alive and kicking”.
The problem is, I think they finally may just be right. Now I’m a big fan of Delphi, I have been since Delphi 1 (and if you count Turbo Pascal, then a lot longer still), but if I’m beginning to despair, then what hope is there? It’s got absolutely nothing to do with what other people are saying. It’s just a feeling I get from trawling the internet every day looking for Delphi related stuff. There used to be a time when you needed something, you googled it (probably, yahooed it in those days), and you’d get tonnes of hits with sample code, downloads and documentation galore. What do you get now? Almost exclusively you get abandon-ware. Code that hasn’t been updated from Delphi 6 or 7. Half finished components with no, or poor documentation. I guess this didn’t happen over night, but up until Delphi 2009, you’d find some Delphi 5 code, compile it (in say Delphi 2006), and you’re off. Now, with the unicode changes in Delphi 2009, you invariably have to work hard to get any code to compile and work properly. Rather than moan about it, I should perhaps give back to these open source projects, and post my changes somewhere, but to be honest, a lot of the code is so half baked, that it’s just not worth it. You need to not only fix the unicode problems, but do a whole lot more to make anything worthwhile.
No doubt, I’ll get a few comments regarding how great Delphi 2010 is, and I won’t disagree. This post is not about how good or bad the IDE is. You can do anything with Delphi today. Sure it has some deficiencies, but what language/platform doesn’t? On the whole though, you can produce fast, compact and useful applications with Delphi. But that’s not the point. The point is that developers are abandoning it in droves. I have no scientific data to prove or disprove that statement, but I do have a feeling. It’s beginning to feel like a ghost town. I’ve just woken up, and realised everybody’s left.