I thought it time to explore Delphi Community Edition, the free development platform released last summer. I did and it rocks.
A few weeks ago, I had a little software project that I thought would be fast to implement in Delphi. Recently, I have been using Visual Studio especially for Arduino coding. But when I fired up Delphi XE2 I found my license had gotten all screwed up and it would not run.
For more than twenty years, Delphi/Pascal has been my development environment of choice. Over the years I have used Delphi 1 (1995, 16 bit) , Delphi 5 (1999, 32 bit) and XE2 (2011, 64 bit). I have my 10,000+ hours of experience. Writing code in Delphi, as well as using its Visual Component Library, is second nature.
So, rather than being stymied by the XE2 license failure, I decided to explore Delphi Community Edition, only released last summer. This is the first time that the various owners of Delphi (Borland, Code Gear, Embarcadero) have made a full featured version of the product for the hobbyist at no charge. There had previously been a “Starter” edition, but it was seriously crippled.
Guess what? Community Edition is pretty much the Professional Edition, but with some licensing restrictions that should not really effect hobby users.
Explore Delphi Community Edition Features
While my main interest is Windows PC development, Delphi CE also supports Apple, Android and Windows Store apps. It includes mobile, Bluetooth and IoT support – basically everything except Linux.
If you write Pascal code, you might want to read the feature matrix which compares Delphi CE to Professional. Obviously, some of the advanced helper features are missing, as well as all the Enterprise-level capabilities. But, by and large, hobbyists will find everything they need. Delphi, as a language, has the power of C++ and the ease of use of Basic. It’s still a winner!
Hopefully you will explore Delphi Community Edition and help keep this product on the charts for a few more years.