Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Delphi the best tool for .NET? Er, no

Nick Hodges is doing a fine job of evangelizing Delphi which makes me think Delphi may have some kind of future but in his latest post, he suggests that Delphi is the best choice for .NET development. Delphi is certainly still a great choice for native Win32 application development but it just can't compete in the .NET world. There still isn't a version that supports .NET 2 so Delphi developers don't get to play with all the new features. Delphi is always likely to be playing catch-up in this respect. Also, almost all .NET code examples on the web are in C# or VB.NET which would make life more difficult for anyone developing in Delphi for .NET.

There are situations where using Delphi in a .NET environment makes sense. If you have a large Delphi code base that you want to get to .NET, rewriting in C# or VB.NET isn't likely to be the most cost-effective solution. If for some reason you need to target Win32 and .NET, Delphi would also be a good solution, in fact probably the only solution.

Finally, looking round at new applications coming out, we are now starting to see .NET managed desktop apps appearing. How many of them are written in Delphi? I don't know of one. In the world of ASP.NET I guess it's harder to know what language is being used for the development but I'd guess the vast majority of them are in C# or VB.NET. Compare this to the world of Win32 development where there are quite a few high quality apps being actively developed in Delphi and it's clear that .NET developers also don't think Delphi is the best tool for the job. 

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