Yep, you're reading it correctly. Here are the questions I'm struggling with:
With Delphi.Net, why would one want to use the VCL for .Net framework? If your target is only Windows, wouldn't you want to use the full VCL framework? I know many will want to use it because .Net is cool, but I ask this question because the technical reason you choose the CLX framework is to target Windows and Linux. One reason to choose Visual Studio.Net over Delphi is to target Windows and WinCE. I'm not yet clear what the technical reason for the existance of the VCL for .Net framework. I believe the answer is simple. The .Net framwork IS the future of Windows therefore Borland has no choice but to support the .Net framework with Delphi. If so, then my question is will the VCL framework "eventually" be dropped?
From Borland's web site, "...Delphi for .NET is a set of...tools...to assist in migrating existing Win32 Delphi applications to .NET.". What? Really? Does this mean Delphi is going away? Is Borland "really" going to encourage developers to go to .Net?
From Borland's web site, "The aim...is to allow a Delphi developer to move to .NET, taking their Delphi skills and much of their current Delphi source code with them." Wow! Really. Same question, is Delphi dying? Should I promote using Delphi or Visual Studio.Net for my clients?
From Borland's web site, "...Delphi...compiled in .NET...is a first class .NET citizen. Full access is available to both VCL .NET objects as well as the complete Microsoft« .NET framework objects in the same project." My question is, does this mean you can build a .Net application using Delphi for .Net that DOES NOT use the VCL at all? If so, then would Visual Studio.Net be a better choice (designed only for the .Net framework) or Delphi for .Net (designed for VCL, VCL for .Net, and CLX frameworks). Delphi USUALLY makes programming tasks easier, but is that the case here. If so, can I use VB.Net syntax AND C# code in the same project as I can with Visual Studio.Net? I know the answer is no to this last question. However, I'm "wondering" if SideWinder will be able to do this.
Sidewinder sounds big and bulky. Perhaps perfect for building multi-million dollar enterprise applications. However, it doesn't sound like the right tool for most web sites and for smaller business database applications. Any thoughts?
Our clients are currently asking us these questions so I tried to ask them in as open a way as I could (I tried to hide my Delphi bias).
From Borland's web site, "Octane [Delphi 8] will include full Delphi language support for building 100% pure .NET applications..."
Does this mean you can open a Delphi.Net application in Visual Studio.Net? I don't think so, but just want to hear it for sure. Also, will you be able to "edit" and "compile" existing .Net applications?
Rick, Thanks for the reply. Although we WILL stick with Delphi, my questions are still very valid. What "angle" will Delphi take. In the past it was Delphi is better, Microsoft doesn't know how to do anything AND that proofed in so many cases to be true. Now that they have Anders, they sure look like they know what they're doing. C# sure looks good. Dice currently has 384 C# jobs and only 64 Delphi jobs.
What I need are strong technical reasons to recommend Delphi to my clients. I want to recommend Delpi. I'm currently recommending Delphi, but I'm just not sure for how much longer.
As for the FUD, I understand and strongly believe Delphi will be a great product for many years. In addition, Prestwood Software will continue to code in Delphi with enthusiasm. However, is Delphi "THE" product I should recommend to clients who are asking.
Yeah, C#Builder looks like a contender. As a company, we'll leverage our OO and UML experience with our Delphi, ASP, and VB skills and focus on Delphi.Net, Visual Studio.Net (C#, VB.Net, and ASP.Net) and perhaps take a close look at C#Builder.
As for a "single" dev env recommendation for my clients? I'm still currently recommending Delphi. For now.
If you now follow the two links at the top, you'll see Borland has needed to announce a change in plans. Delphi for .NET is still planned for release this year, but the release of the next version of Delphi for Win32 has been pushed back to next year.
As far as Sidewinder, C#Builder came out a few months ago. For those just wanting to test the waters, there's a free downloadable version of C#Builder Personal.
Rick Carter Chair, Delphi/Paradox SIG Cincinnati PC Users Group