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Delphi Delphi 8

Delphi Editor's Review

Delphi 8 is a radical departure from its predecessors: no longer a completely independent environment, it's now designed for the .NET framework. That brings benefits and drawbacks, though in some ways its unfair to compare it to previous editions.

The software works in a completely overhauled integrated development environment that Delphi's producers liken to Microsoft's own Visual Studio. Unfortunately that claim only invites potentially unfavourable comparisons.

The good news is that Delphi 8 tries to do two separate tasks and does a good job of each. It's a fairly simple process to import applications you've made in previous editions of Delphi and then make them suitable for .NET. While it's simple, it's not always smooth and you may have to do some tweaking, but for what's undoubtedly a complex task it's comparatively pain-free.

When it comes to .NET itself, you have a lot of choice, but you do need to put some serious thought and planning into things. You'll need to choose between Microsoft's own visual class library and that provided by Delphi's creators Borland, known here as Which is better will vary from case to case, but once you've started work you can't switch. This will likely mean there's a bit of a learning curve, and in practice you may have to live with a few occasions when its easier to just start over again rather than persist working with what's turned out to be the "wrong" choice.

You'll also likely find that .NET applications run more slowly, so you'll need to be open-minded enough to understand this isn't an inherent fault with Delphi 8 itself.

Pros: Opens up more options; useful conversion tools.

Cons: Requires careful planning; may seem slow to Delphi lovers.

Conclusions: Only really suitable for those with a Delphi background.

Delphi Publisher's Description

Delphi 8 is a .NET-only release that compiles Delphi Object Pascal code into .NET CIL. The IDE has been rewritten for this purpose and has changed to a docked interface similar to Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET.

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