Happy 25th Birthday, Delphi!

Today Delphi is going to be 25 years old!

Old? Really! My son is one year older and I still would rate him young. I for myself can remember the years between 25 and 30 as some of the best years in my life. It took almost 10 more years until my first encounter with Delphi, soon after its first release. (Now you can estimate my age đŸ˜‰ )

At that time I had been working with Turbo Pascal for a couple of years, starting with TP 2, and I was able to make a decent living as an independent developer. While still investigating the usefulness of Turbo Pascal for Windows, the sudden availability of Delphi was a massive game changer.

I am not going to repeat the story I told you some years ago. Today I have a more recent one.

Some years ago I was asked to port a long grown Delphi 5 application to the then current Delphi version. The developer in charge didn’t have the capacity to do that, so they looked for external help and, well, I got the gig. After the port was finished I am still occasionally working on that project when they need some help.

Once I became aware that the customer was planning to create a complete new version of that software written in C#. I was a bit miffed as they didn’t even bother to ask me doing that in Delphi. So I just asked if I may at least make an offer.

They were pretty skeptic about a Delphi solution:

But we don’t want the Windows look. We rather have some individual look, matching our corporate identity.

No problem. We can use a style made just for you.

But it has to work on a touch screen.

Delphi supports that out of the box.

But we need a mobile version, too.

So, what?

(some more objections – easily overruled)

They handed me some drafts of the different screens, so I could see what they were after. In a few days I was able to create a prototype with Delphi, that not only resembles their drafts pretty close, but also showed some meaningful actions when clicking buttons and switching tabs. Some cool controls from TMS helped a lot for the first impression.

Somehow I could figure the cost the other company estimated – a mid six digit number. My offer was about 10 – 20% of that. I also teased with having a working solution for the upcoming exhibition – something unthinkable by others.

Meanwhile the C# endeavor is long forgotten. There is still some skepticism about Delphi, no matter what results we show – seems to be some genetic thing.

In the movie Something’s Gotta Give the great Jack Nicholson describes women between 25 and 30 as when everything fits. Seems there are some great times ahead…


Author: Uwe Raabe

Addicted to Pascal/Delphi since the late 70's