CodeGear puts 64-bit on the roadmap

CodeGear has updated its Delphi Roadmap. Newly added is Delphi codename “Commodore”, set for Winter 2008, which is to include native 64-bit development. After that the company is promising to focus on multi-core/multi-threaded development.

What else is coming? Delphi “Highlander”, due later this year, is a belated update to Delphi .NET, will support .NET 2.0, and has a new .NET database called SQL Datastore (likely some sort of port of JDataStore). No word on WPF or LINQ though – CodeGear is still playing catch-up here.

Delphi “Tiburón”, due next year, will bring another long-requested feature: full Unicode compatibility in the Win32 Delphi language and VCL (Visual Component Library), along with parameterized types. C++Builder “Barracuda” will follow, bringing the same features to C++.

The really interesting stuff comes at the end. CodeGear is “researching” a number of areas includes development for mobile devices, Rich Internet Applications, and cross-compilation to other operating systems. All this is at the “sometime, never” end of the time scale, so don’t get too excited.

All the above will be welcomed by Delphi developers, though I fear most of the potential .NET market has already been ceded to Visual Studio.

It’s not a bad roadmap though. That said, to my mind the most critical issue for CodeGear is quality control. Poor quality is what spoilt the launch of Delphi for PHP earlier this year. I discussed this issue with the new CEO Jim Douglas and EMEA product Director Jason Vokes when I was researching a recent article for The Register, and got the sense that the familiar pressure of having to release product (ready or not) to hit particular financial quarters is still a problem. Still, Delphi 2007 was a smoother launch than Delphi 2006, and that was miles better than Delphi 2005, so leaving aside Delphi for PHP things are improving.