Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/16/verity_stob_sons_of_khan_2011/

The Sons of Khan and the Pascal Spring

How Embarcadero made Delphi as groovy as a Lumia phone. Um...

By Verity Stob

Posted in Verity Stob, 16th January 2012 13:02 GMT

Stob [We last heard from the Sons of Khan in 2010. The scriptures continue - Ed.]

The woes of Techdom

  1. And it came to pass that the seasons rose and fell, and financial crisis waned while new financial crisis waxed, and the Kimjongilia flower did wither and fade on the vine.
  2. But misfortune struck the code cutters of Java, who were still on their never-ending pilgrimage to the land of Lambda, whence other pilgrims had long since been and gone and shrunk the T-shirt.
  3. And they awakened one morning to discover that they no longer worshipped the Sun god, but now did owe their allegiance unto the Mighty Beard. Bummer.
  4. But the Sharpers of Dotnet were also troubled, especially the cult of Silver Light. And they looked fearfully upon the antics of the high priest of the Softies, saying: What the blazes doth Fester think he playeth at?
  5. However, the Sharpers were laughing compared with the fate of the tribe of Flashinites. For the departed god Steve had cursed them with a great curse.
  6. And He had stationed a cherubim with a flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the store of apps, and banished them from the sweet money orchards of Cupertino.
  7. Wherefore the king of the Flashinites, that is called Adobe, did consider hard and long.
  8. Yeah, he considered for longer than it taketh a Dellish machine to reboot with yet another Acrobat upgrade.
  9. Then, when he had finished thinking, Adobe did ungird his loins. And he did conceal the sword of resistance into the scabbard of abrupt capitulation, and the shield of technical leadership into the cupboard-under-the-stairs of user base abandonment.
  10. Yet even the Æsthetes, that art the disciples which loveth the Jesus phone the most, were discontent.
  11. Wherefore the language of the Æsthetes was Æbjective C.
  12. And this Æbjective C is about as æsthetic as the secret mouldy side of the last orange in the bowl, that one discovereth abruptly when one taketh it up.
  13. Yet the Æsthetes admitted this not.
  14. And so it went on, among all the tribes and cults and sects in the land of developers, there flourished the stinking weed of discontent.
  15. And every geek that micturateth against the wall was baffled and afraid.

Opportunity knocketh

  1. And in those times the elders of the tribe of the Sons of Kahn did live in the discotheque of Embarcadearohdearohdearyme. And they looked out upon this chaos.
  2. And they saw that it was good.
  3. For one elder spake up in this manner: if we punt out a decent version of Delphi now, we could be onto a fantastic hearts-and-minds win, and we will enjoy the Second Coming of Pascal.
  4. For all we need do is make it more modern than Java, and more 'native'-allowing-the-inference-but-certainly-not-actually-stating-faster than C#, and more Apple-friendly than Flash, and less hideous than Æbjective C.
  5. And targetting not only on both 32- and 64-bit Windows, but also Mac OS and iOS.
  6. So the blessed users of Delphi may loll around in the sweet money orchards of Cupertino.
  7. And little children shall once more dangle their elses in the limpid brook, and weave repeat/until loops from honeysuckle blossoms, and even declare local procedures.
  8. And the scourge of the curlybracket shall be driven back.
  9. And when the Sons of Kahn heard this, they cried out, saying: Yeah Yay! The Second Coming!

Release of XE2

  1. Then they set their backs to it, and did toil.
  2. And they toiled, and toiled, and toiled and toiled.
  3. But where the toil was too much, they bought in stuff from Europe and Russia, and stuck that in.
  4. And it came to pass that they brought forth a new Delphi, which was called XE2.
  5. And it supported not only Win32 but also Win64, natively and without runtime.
  6. And it supported also Mac OS.
  7. And it kind-of supported iOS, although this part involved invoking the FreePascal for ARM compiler running on Mac OS, and was perhaps not the cleanest-ever tool chain.
  8. (But, on the other hand, what art thou going to use instead? C# and Mono? PHP and JavaScript?)
  9. And the new Delphi had also many other new features, like the FireMonkey framework, and new database stuff, and fancy graphics.
  10. And some of it was finished.
  11. And the Sons of Kahn looked upon the new Delphi. And they were pretty bullish about their prospects.

Arrival of the users of Delphi

  1. Then one day a great noise was heard in the valley of the Scots.
  2. And the Sons of Kahn became excited, for they said: It is here. It is the Second Coming of Pascal.
  3. And soon two grizzled columns of users of Delphi came marching down into the valley, one from the one side, and one from the other. And as they marched, their grey nose-hair did twinkle splendidly in the sunshine.
  4. And great was the noise was their singing. For column of the north did sing a loud song:
    FreeAndNil! FreeAndNil!
    FreeAndNil will make you ill.
  5. And the column of the south also did sing a loud song:
    FreeAndNil! FreeAndNil!
    FreeAndNil's still a brill thrill.
  6. For a great schism had rent in twain the tribe of users of Delphi. And it concerned the FreeAndNil() system call, as you had perhaps gathered.
  7. And this argument was even fiercer than the one about whether Scotland should remain part of England, or whether it is sensible to drop bone-handled knives in the washing up.
  8. And it was the great intellectual debate of the day.
  9. (It is not fit that this strictly neutral historical record to opine which side was correct. However posts like these surely sufficeth to convince that the anti-FreeAndNil faction is as mad as a box of frogs.)
  10. Then the Sons of Khan spake unto the users of Delphi, saying: Behold! We have made a new version! It doth 64-bit and Apple and fancy graphics and everything you desired, according to the annual user survey.
  11. And some of the users of Delphi replied unto them, saying: Why? Hath FreeAndNil been marked 'deprecated', then?
  12. And other users of Delphi piped up, saying: Nice try, wiseacres. Why don't you go away and write one of those perfect programs that we hear so much about? And is it also true that the farts of your bottoms smell like loganberries?
  13. Whereupon the two factions went at it, hammer and sickle.

Apascalypse Delayed

  1. And sophisticated discussion continued in this manner for forty days and nights, at least.
  2. Yet nobody took much notice of the white papers of the Sons of Khan advocating the many XE2 improvements since Delphi 7, nor yet the YouTube demonstrations.
  3. Whereupon the Sons of Kahn were a bit perplexed.
  4. And one spake unto another, saying: if this is the Second Coming, then it is not quite as I had imagined it.
  5. And the other replied, saying: Never mind. I am confident they will all grow up, and making great apps, and teach the children the art of Pascal, and dangling honeysuckle and whatnot, and all will be well.
  6. And the great prophet M'andee-rice Davies looked up from her knitting, and she did wink. ®