Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Embarcadero RAD Studio 2010

Finally I can talk about Delphi 2010/C++Builder 2010/RAD Studio 2010! This should be a pretty awesome release with some cool stuff. For anyone that didn't attended my Delphi Live! talk, I've been working on something a bit different from COM and ActiveX this release, but that'll have to wait because first I want to talk about some of the IDE features we worked on.

For the official RAD Studio 2010 preview page click here where you can watch a video of David I getting the Delphi 2010 low down from Nick Hodges.

At the very end of the video you can see my office door.

I've talked about CTRL + F12 before here but this release it has gotten way better. In the video Nick showed off IDE Insight which is a totally awesome feature built by Mark Duncan using my search edit. Everyone one of us here use it every day. Features like this don't just spring out of nowhere. It went through various incarnations and refinements. Features like this are always fun because they build from collaboration of a few different features getting smashed together. One of the earliest versions of Find Units was embedded in the Project Manager.

The search edit is the same search edit seen throughout the IDE but with a few more bells and whistles because this one supports pattern matching with '*' and '?'. And it's fast! Which is why we didn't want to support regular expressions. All information gathered and searched is gathered on the fly, not indexed which is why a fast pattern search is needed.

The Gallery also has been augmented with a search feature. And as an extra productivity enhancement, all gallery items show up but the ones that used to be invisible are grayed out. This should really help those customers migrating from Delphi 7 where all COM wizards were visible but you had to know the order to create them. Now, you can run any wizard that is enabled and there won't be any question of where the COM wizards went.

Another place the search edit shows up is in the C++ class browser built by Bruneau Babet. Did I mention the search is fast? Well in a fraction of a second you can search with wild cards through all symbols in your C++ projects.

One last feature before I wrap this up. The Object Inspector got a small update from our newest VCL memeber Thom Gerdes. Boolean values now have check boxes. It might seem silly but it's really hard to use an older version of Delphi after getting used to the check boxes. We've also enhanced some of the property editors such as TDateTimePicker.Date.


Anonymous said...

Regarding boolean check box, if it can be changed by single click then it makes it very easy to accidentally change values. No? Current setting then one needs to double-click the values to toggle is good. I prefer to set many important properties at runtime because it is much more fool proof and avoids that I accidentally change some important property at design time that may cause applicaiton to behave buggy.

Jolyon Smith said...

I'm guessing/hoping, that only the checkbox in the property value responds to a single click, and that you can still otherwise only toggle the value by double-clicking, as before.

But I find this hilarious.

The revised Project Options dialog in Delphi 2009 was heralded as huge step forward and they DITCHED checkboxes in favour of (what we must now call) old-style Object Inspector "True/False" and sometimes "Yes/No" text values.

And NOW you realise that actually checkboxes are BETTER for such things?!

Better late than never I suppose, and I can only hope that the same dawning realisation shed it's rays of enlightenment on the aforementioned dialog.


(Overall, very excited about D2010 - bring it ON!)

Jolyon Smith said...

Oh dear, it would seem from the video that the people who work on the Project Options dialog still don't understand the value of appropriate visualisation, which is strange given that it is such a strong theme in this release.

Custom debugger visualisations - cool.

Not so cool - touting as a new feature something that's been possible for a LONG time... naming threads. The way it's done may be different, but if so then say "it's now much easier to name your threads", rather than give the impression that the ability to name them at all is new.

Similar to the "PasswordChar" "new feature" in Delphi 2009.... it may be some aspect of an old feature that has changed and is worth mentioning, but saying that something is new when it isn't (in as much as in the way that it is described AS a new feature) just makes it appear that the tool vendor doesn't know their own product as well as the community.

Jolyon Smith said...

Oh, and... IDE Insight... nice feature, but couldn't you have made the dialog look a little prettier?!

Visually it's looks like something out of Delphi 5!!

Anonymous said...

Will it support x64? In the demo a Project64.exe was beeing built..

Chris Bensen said...


That just meant Nick had created 64 projects.

Anonymous said...

This are all nice touches, but in the final analysis they are not, what makes me to upgrade. What C++ developers are long looking for is 64-bit support, better compiler optimizations, and, probably, the most important, better C++ compiler compliance and fewer bugs. Bells and whistles are useless, if compiler can't compile important parts of boost and other libraries or implements standard requirements incorrectly. It's also time to take on C++0x features, especially lambdas. And its about time to implement exported templates. Do those things well, and C++Builder will be a winner, displacing Visual Studio in many software shops. Don't do that, no matter what bells you add, the customer base will be shrinking.

Anonymous said...

Fewer IDE compiler hangs/crashes/erroneous compile failures would be nice (C++ Builder). You, know the ones where you have to exit the IDE and start it up again to get a compile to happen. Also, fewer instances of bad code generated by the compiler. Also, we hope that the new system will not sit and grind the disk for a couple of minutes the first time that you click on something after opening a project.

Anonymous said...


Do u have something for Linux ?

Some C++ RAD ?

Chris Bensen said...

RAD Studio 2010 and C++Builder 2010 are Windows only. That doesn't mean we won't have anything for Linux in the future at some unknown point in time not now but in the future.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Good job !
When do you plan something for Windows CE?

Anonymous said...

I dont really get it:
We are using Delphi for years now. Two years ago we upgraded from Delphi 7 to Delphi 2007, because we believed it was time to invest into features that can improve productivity, like refactoring etc.
Last year, we again, upgraded to Delphi 2009 because we needed unicode support for our international products. We also had hoped for a more stable IDE with less bugs, strange behaviour and most of all crashes.
What we found was a product that was half finished. E.g. No full unicode support for the Translation-Manger, tons of errors in the code/error insight, a buggy implementation of the Ribbons, very strange behaviour from the debugger when using anonymous methods, still tons of errors in the actions and action controls etc. etc.

Though gestures and multi-touch support might be nice eye-candy, but what is it, that will keep us long term Delphi developers, from going to different programming languages?



Chris Bensen said...


Thank you for your support over the years. I hope we can continue to provide a compelling development tool for you to use.

Concerning your less than ideal experience. Have you created QC reports for the issues you encountered? Most of the bugs we fix originate from QC.

At the moment Gesturing and multi-touch might seem like eye-candy but this is the future input mechanism of computing. Keyboard are nice but the keyboard isn't for average people. Our goal is to make building applications using this eye-candy as easy as possible.

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