Several years ago I said goodbye to the programming language in which I took my first stumbeling steps as a coder. I had moved on and there were no reasons to believe I’d ever go back. I was wrong. A reason emerged and Delphi 2009 now has a place, both in my computer – and in my heart.
A sort of homecoming
Firing up the new IDE from CodeGear with Delphi for Win32 felt a lot like coming home. The outstanding graphical editor was there as was the lightning fast compiler. Visual Studio is great in many ways but it can’t compete with CodeGear’s RAD Studio when it comes to speed and rapid application development.
Not only that, the language (Object Pascal) has finally woken from its stagnated state and is getting increasingly modern. It now implements, for instance, closures (anonymous methods) which is quite rare for a non garbage collected language.
type TClosureProc = reference to procedure(AMsg: string); function CreatePrefixedWriter(APrefix: string): TClosureProc; begin Result := procedure(AMsg: string) begin WriteLn(APrefix + AMsg); end; end; var Log: TClosureProc; begin Log := CreatePrefixedWriter('Closure Test: '); Log('Write this'); Log('And this'); end.
The above program should produce the following output.
Closure Test: Write this
Closure Test: And this
I gotta wear shades
I am not the only one being thrilled with the rebirth of Delphi. A look at the TIOBE Programming Community Index for February shows that Delphi is the 9th most popular programming language, with a steady increase. That is a lot better than the 15th position a year and a half ago. At that time Delphi felt like a marginalized language with little promises for the future; Now it feels alive and vibrant.
Since the magic is back, I think I’ll stick around for a while.