There is no .Net in the new Delphi roadmap you say. And this is not true. HL is a .Net release. and there is more to it…
There is my take on this: Why should we care so much about “platform” layer? Why are we forcing CG to care so much about platform layer?
Nowadays environment is no longer “pure” such as – only Win32, or only .Net. There is mix of old and new applications.
Approach taken with BDS and early VS was great – one can develop both Win32 and .Net.
Now with CG being between two (three) fires and being burned from both sides, it is tough for them to please both with approach taken – by using “pure” adoption of both platforms.
I strongly agree with some, we need VCL 2, aka redesigned and abstracted from OS level and having adapter layer for each platform (if and where it is needed). I love idea of having one IDE and one language for all platforms – VCL->.Net->Win/Mono or VCL->Win32/Win64 or VCL->Mac.
Can it be done? Yes.
Will it require resources? Yes.
Can it be done? Yes, but…
First, CG has to have strong cash flow and able allocate resources for research not for maintenance/improvement purposes, but for actual research of new infrastructure.
What I see today is that CG taking on something they are comfortable with – Win32. I do not think there was ever clear understanding in the team on why they need .Net support. I do not see sometimes that MS has this understanding.
And might be a new roadmap just show it – taking step back into comfort zone, looking around and see what was gotten wrong.
Should we be worry about support for .Net? yes. Do we like it or not it will be around. It is almost a decade past of people talking how Unix/Linux/Java is great and free, but Windows is still around and growing.
So I think way to survive and innovate in such environment is to do not care about platform and trying to target directly one platform or another, but instead go further and above all of this.
First step would be to make compiler/IDE work for every platform and being as simple and open as possible. Have N compiler layers for N platforms. Have it pluggable into IDE.
Second, take all new good stuff and bring it into Delphi as language (forget VCL for a second)
Keep in mind though, that which IDE is developed set of basic components will be collected, but since IDE will be above platforms, so newVCL will be as well. Stop!!!!! Yes, VCL model should be in place taking best of VCL 1.0, .Net FW, etc. Then components developed for IDE should fit this model and thrive on it. And … we would have Delphi 1.0 for MPE (multi-platform environment).
Having that will ansure future of Delphi as a language and as an environment along with future of CG.