Behold is developed with the Delphi programming language. I’ve used Delphi now for about 15 years and over that time, it’s had its ups and downs. In 2008 it looked like it was reaching the end of its life as Borland no longer wanted it and was having trouble finding a buyer. Embarcadero, who was basically a data integration company, picked it up. The future was very uncertain.
But the wait was worth it. Embarcadero release Delphi 2009 with Unicode, and Unicode was the first time I had a reason to upgrade my version of Delphi since I purchased Delphi 4 in 1998. That was very encouraging, and Embarcadero went on to release two more versions since and was promising great things.
Apparently those great things are almost ready and are coming very soon. Embarcadero is going on an World Tour to announce their next release.
First it will have a new Graphical User Interface framework called FireMonkey. This will contain all the visual controls that currently Delphi’s Visual Control Library handled. When implementing this new version, I’ll have to translate all the windows, panels, buttons and every visual control in Behold to the new framework.
Why should I go through that work? Well it’s like this. I will have one set of programming code for Behold. In the FireMonkey framework for Delphi, I’ll be able to compile it as:
- A Windows 32-bit program
- A Windows 64-bit program
- A Mac OSX program
- An iOS program (that’s for iPhones and iPads), and
- (not yet, but soon) An Android program
Now I know its not going to be as simple as that. There are differences in style that Windows and Mac users expect, and mobile devices may or may not be powerful enough for a full version of Behold. Plus I’ll have a bit of learning to do to get up to speed and I may have to buy a MacBook as well as an iPad and Android phone for testing. But hey, all of this will finally be possible.
I can’t worry about all that until I get version 2 of Behold out with editing. In the meantime, these new Delphi developments give me reassurance that Delphi will be around for some time to come. I’ll also be able to let the fact that Behold may be compilable for Windows, Mac or handhelds help me make my user interface decisions for the editing tools. I was expecting to use the Ribbon, but that may or may not be the right tool any more. I don’t know the possibilites yet.
This is all very exciting. We’ll have to see what happens when XE2 comes out.