Embarcadero have announced that those on subscription upgrade with Architect or higher license for Delphi or RAD studio can now install the FMX for Linux package.
This promises Delphi users the ability to use the Firemonkey framework to write Linux GUI applications and as such is a major new development.
Again it shows the advantage that Embarcadero have when developing products based on their propriety form of pascal (Delphi = Object Pascal). They don’t have to jump through many hoops to get the compiler targeting different operating systems.
Even though RAD studio uses versions of open source (clang) C++ compilers (thus theoretically requiring no “original” development) Embarcadero seem reluctant to develop and sell C++ equivalents to their cutting edge Delphi offerings.
As well as the lack of FMX for Linux using C++ there is also the recent lack of commitment to provide 64 bit C++ support for Android and iOS.
If you are looking at Windows only applications then Embarcadero C++ (VCL or Firemonkey) is still a sound choice. But, in this day and age, how can you be sure that your application will remain in the “Windows only” category?
For more information on FMX for Linux search on line for the webinar of 9th July 2019 “Introduction to FmxLinux – Delphi’s FireMonkey for Linux Solution” presented by Jim McKeeth.
The FireMonkey framework (commonly abbreviated to FMX) allows cross platform development for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android from the same code base (either Delphi or C++).
A very common question is “when is FireMonkey for Linux coming?”. Embarcadero are regularly asked this and their reply is always along the lines of “we are keeping an eye on it but at present the market place doesn’t make it worth while”.
Developing general purpose tools for Linux is challenging because there are so many different versions of Linux out there.
However one firm ARE promoting FireMonkey for Linux – using Delphi as the supported language.
Interested parties may like to take a look at FMX for Linux
Embarcadero have just announced the availability of RAD Studio Rio 10.3.1. This follows (fairly) hot on the heals of Rio 10.3 which was released in Nov 2019
This release has some minor new additions but is basically a bug fix release. You have to uninstall 10.3 and then install 10.3.1 using the same type of installer (either ISO or www) that you originally used for the 10.3 install.
Registered users can use the following download links
RAD Studio Rio
C++ Builder Rio
The “Community Edition” (free of charge (subject to restrictions on use) version) is available at
C++ Builder Rio Community Edition
Delphi Rio Community Edition
Jim McKeith has recently posted a webinar replay called “Get the most out of Android with 10.3 Rio”. It’s worth watching and it’s at.
Get the most out of Android with 10.3 Rio
In the webinar Jim points out that Android is now the most used operating system in the world (in terms of numbers of devices it is installed on). He also points out that Samsung are much more involved in the control and steering of Android then many people realise (most folk just assume Android = Google).
Samsung have the “Dex” scheme (short for “Desktop Experience”) which allows users to quickly and effectively turn their smart phone into a desktop PC. Clearly another attempt at encouraging the world to drop Windows.
What does all this mean to software developers?
The short answer is that any new projects that are likely to be “on going” (and professionally developed software that isn’t aiming to be “on going” is a contradiction in terms) should be designed with a view to migration from one platform to another being a genuine consideration.
One could write books on this subject (and people have done so). Of course what is good for one person may not be seen as such by someone else. This is particularly so when designing UIs to be used by people with little or no familiarity with the digital world.
One of the problems is that a good UI is also a moving target.
I used to advocate Windows applications as being easy to use if you just followed the simple rules:
1) Tell the computer what you “thing” you want to do something to, by selecting it (often a single click with the mouse or a click and drag).
2) Right click and pick what you want to do with the pop up menu.
This scheme used to work with all good Windows applications. Sadly this uniform approach has gone and users (particularly those in the “addicted to mobiles” category) seem to be happy with the chaotic “every application has it’s own way” approach.
Thinking and planning the basic approach to your UI design must be sensible. I find that David Millington’s three postings about this subject are a good succinct set of documents to read and consider before starting a new project.
David Millington’s Good UI Design – part 1
David Millington’s Good UI Design – part 2
David Millington’s Good UI Design – part 3
Behind Embarcadero’s first class products are a strong on-line community and a company keen to keep it’s customer base bang up to date with what’s going on. One way they achieve this is an annual on-line event, “Code Rage. This is a free series of presentations that cover a very wide range of programming aspects. It most definitely is NOT a series of sales or marketing talks!
It’s free to anyone and registration is simple and quick. Once registered there is no obligation to attend any o the on-line events, but when you see the line up, why wouldn’t you?
To register, head over to Embarcadero CodeRage 2018
Embarcadero have just announced the availability of RAD Studio Rio 10.3. The road map published this summer promised this before the end of the year so they have delivered on time.
This release has many major new features and enhancements. I talk more about this release in future postings here, but in the meantime to see “what’s new” information have a look at this link.
What’s new in Rio 10.3
There is an ongoing debate about the advantage of using/not using an automatic reference counting approach to compiler memory management.
Embarcadero are not immune to this discussion and have recently hinted that they may be changing direction here with their Delphi compilers. This is a big step which will affect virtually everyone who uses Delphi so you can be sure that the designers at Embarcadero will have taken this decision after much discussion.
For a little more information have a look at this link.
Embarcadero blog about Delphi ARC
I mentioned the release of the free version of the Embarcadero C++ or Delphi development environment back on 19th July 2018.
This version is free to most people who make litte or no money from s/w development. There are full details of the precise license restrictions at the download links at the bottom of this posting.
This has gone down very well with hobbyists and open source enthusiasts and also allows “start up” companies to get going with a professional s/w development IDE and only have to pay when they start to make some genuine income.
Since it’s release two other advantages have occured to me.
a) Customers who are worried about ongoing support their software that I have supplied, should my company suddenly collapse (or be taken over) can now get hold of a genuine copy of community edition and can prove to themselves that the source code package I am supplying can actually be compiled and linked by someone else. I’ve always known this but now they can check for themselves. [This only applies to customers who are not in the software development business of course, but this applies to all of my company’s customers (that’s why they use my company)].
b) Anyone applying for a job at my company can now be asked to get a copy of Community Edition and be asked to develop or debug code using their copy as part of our interveiw/selection process.
Community Edition is great: Here are the links, if you are new to Embarcadero products go get it now!
C++ Builder Community Edition
Delphi (object pascal) Community Edition
Embarcadero continue to add innovative features to their RAD Studio (C++ Builder and Delphi) product. They have just released an updated product road map which shows their plans for the rest of 2018 and the start of 2019.
The introduction of C++ 17 support and the improved support for high DPI screens are two of the many features mentioned.
For full details of the road map go to
Road map (Aug 2018)
For convenience we reproduce a copy of the road map here: