Delphi turns 25 years old today…
It is hard to believe as it just seems like yesterday that the mailman delivered Delphi 2 Standard with a huge set of manuals to my doorstep in March 1996. My personal journey started with Delphi 2.
I would like to focus on the people along the road, not on the features.
Delphi 1 was released on February 14, 1995, and changed the programming language landscape forever. At the time, the RAD approach and ease to build database desktop applications was revolutionary. To this day, in my opinion, it is still the best development environment and productive tool to build software.
Yes, there have been a few dents in the road, but just as in life, sometimes you need to correct course.
Getting the Standard edition in 1996 was very special for me. I was a user of Borland Pascal and contacted Borland Germany. Back then, Sabine Rothe, who is still with Embarcadero Germany today, was still using her maiden name Pienitz. She helped me to get an academic version of Delphi as I was still in school at the time. Only the academic pricing made it possible for me to get started and gain the experience. Today, I make use of the skills I gained back then every day.
In the last 24 years, I was lucky being able to meet some of the most influential and known Delphi people in person. For example, I met David I, Nick Hodges, Cary Jensen, Marco Cantu, Ray Konopka, Brian Long, Lino Tadros, Olaf Monien, Chad Hower, and Bob Swart at a conference in the Netherlands in 2004. All of them I knew from articles in magazines, components or from conference reports. I listed the names in no particular order as I cannot remember in which order I met everybody. At that time I also was able to get an impression on how to talk about Delphi topics. Today, my videos and events are highly influenced by these experiences and people.
Along the road I also met Bruno Fierens at an EKON conference in Germany. I was fascinated and excited about his components. As a student, he gave me the opportunity to use them in exchange for offering software testing.
Jim McKeeth, Robert Love, John Kaster, and Allen Bauer I met in 2009 at the only Delphi conference in the US that I was able to attend. In Germany, at other events, I have met Sabine Rothe, Matthias Eissing, Roland Appel, Thomas Kremser, Daniel Wolf, Stefan Glienke, Jeroen Pluimers, Daniel Magin, and many others …
Now, in 2020, I am still using Delphi on a daily basis and I am still on touch with most of the people I met on this journey. That is what makes Delphi so special. The people. Not the features.
In 2005, Microsoft started to give away free versions of Visual Studio. I had a brief dip into that world. How many people did I meet and still am in touch with today? Zero.
Delphi is special as the community around it is special.
Some of the people I met along the road are working on different products by now, but most of them still are a part of the Delphi Community and are fellow MVPs.
I will reach a personal milestone this year by publishing my first Delphi book in German. Web Development with Delphi … hopefully, it will trigger enough interest to make an English translation happen.
Finally, and this one is very important to me, Embarcadero started offering a free Community Edition of Delphi again. Students can use Delphi for free again! This is excellent! However, as a special present for Delphi’s 25th birthday, TMS announced their academic license program! Now, students are able to get to know and use their great components and products during their studies for free. This is great news for Delphi and the community as it will allow more young people to gain knowledge about and experience with Delphi.
Cheers to Delphi!