Thursday, 21 January 2010

The curious case of dead Delphi

You don't have to look very far for people asking the question "Is Delphi Dead?". StackOverflow had a recent question on it, and Delphi developer JamieI recently created a website to answer the question succinctly.

OK, so it was a darling of the 90s and these days it isn't as high profile as it used to be - .NET hurt Delphi badly because it took Delphi's edge away. However, isn't it part of the job of software professionals to keep up to date with what programming languages and tools and available?

I use Delphi exclusively, yet I still know all about the recent versions of Ruby on Rails, C#, PHP, Java, VB.Net, ASP.Net (etc etc) because I make it my job to know about them. I don't read in technical detail about the merits of each and what the new versions provide, but I'm aware of the other tools available in my industry because they are important to the future of software development.

So if I wasn't a Delphi developer, I'd still know that Delphi 2010 was recently launched, that Delphi had a new owner and that the future wasn't over.

Tim Anderson recently posted a blog about the future of Microsoft Access, and he was asked in a comment what development platform he uses, to which he answered "Visual Studio or Delphi". The reply astounded me:

I used Delphi many years ago, I did not realise it was still going.

Now, this was from someone who called themselves "Freelance Access Developer" which may explain a lot about his or her scope of knowledge of the software industry, but surely if you used to use Delphi, you'd notice in passing a headline about the new version coming out or a recent buyout of the company.

Or maybe I just read too much.
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