5 Minute Snack: GetIt — the Delphi package manager…
Sometimes — if you work with Delphi almost every day and have been in the community for so long — that some new features and terms you mention are not that present in the community yet.
Just today, I saw a post in the community forums about how to download the Konopka VCL controls. The post got a reply – short and simple – use GetIt.
The replier assumed that the recipient was up-to-date with all the features that Delphi or – to be more precise – RAD Studio 10.2 offers. This was not the case. The recipient needed some research in order to find out what GetIt was.
So what is GetIt? GetIt is a package management system that allows you to extend your Delphi experience by downloading and installing packages that contain 3rd party content as component libraries or IDE extensions. In the .NET world there is NuGet, Linux distributions have Apt, Rpm, Yast, …
So basically the process of looking for a certain component on the web can become much simpler now: search in GetIt and it will yield a list of matching software packages that might just help you solve your problem.
You find GetIt in the Tools menu:
After clicking “GetIt Package Manager…” the following window allows you to filter the packages by certain categories or search for a keyword:
Coming back to the initial problem – let’s search for “Konopka” in order to find the Konopka VCL controls:
As you see the controls can be installed with a click of a button. The package will be downloaded and the setup process will be started. Even the IDE will be restarted if required. Be aware that there are free packages as well as packages that require you to purchase a license in advance. The installer will then ask for a license key at some point, as is the case with the Konopka VCL controls.
New in Update 10.2 is the availability of a command-line client of GetIt. This will allow you to include GetIt into scripts for automated tasks:
It has to be said that the number of packages available on GetIt is still growing significantly right now as it is a rather new feature. Hopefully this blog post will make it more present in the minds of Delphi developers.