New is drifting out concerning CodeGear’s plans to evolve its development tools. Here’s a snippet from Michael Swindell, CodeGear’s VP of products, writing in the Delphi non-technical newsgroup:
Dynamic languages such as PHP and Ruby new areas where we will be going. Some products will be more in the RAD camp, aligned with Delphi and VCL, and others will be more in the Open Source/Eclipse/Enterprise world. As a developer focused company we cannot be just the Object Pascal, C++, Java development company… there is way too much happening in the world of programming and languages and frameworks for us to stand still.
All a bit vague, but I do get the impression of renewed energy at CodeGear now that it is somewhat independent of its parent company, Borland. There are also mutters about Ruby and about another take on Kylix, Delphi for Linux.
Is PHP a good bet? Possibly, insofar as PHP is hugely popular but not particularly well supported by development tools. Personally I’d rather work in ASP.NET or Java; yet I have huge admiration for WordPress, to mention just one PHP-based application. As ever, CodeGear will be up against strong free tools, not least the existing Eclipse PHP Development Tool.
Cast your mind back 12 years, if you have been around that long. Borland’s Delphi 1.0, released in 1995, was worth paying for, in fact a fantastic bargain, because it cracked the problem of combining visual RAD productivity and fast native compiled code. What could have a similar impact today, when Microsoft has Windows development wrapped up, and Java has a surfeit of high quality free tools? I don’t find it easy to see.