Time for some Delphi and VCL news

31 March 2010

All this chatter since MIX10 about Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 and Visual Studio 2010 and this .NET thingy or that .NET wotsit is all very well, but let’s go native for a moment for a breath of fresh air.

The VCL team are implementing suggestions and requests for Build 50 (it’s the ‘half-century’ as they say in cricket). They’ve got a little way to go before release yet, but for a couple of beers they were willing to let me in on some of the stuff they’ve been working on (the support center ids are given so that you can click through to the actual support tickets):

1. A1543 - Make unified packages for Delphi/C++Builder personalities in BDS 2006, RAD Studio 2007, 2009, and 2010.

From Build 50 onwards, you can specify if you want to install packages to be shared with both personalities (Delphi and C++Builder). There’s a new option at the top right of the selection screen:

Setup selection screen, no shared packages

Select it and the selection pane changes:

Setup selection screen, with shared packages

If a particular product is not supported for one of the personalities (normally, that means C++Builder Smile), a warning icon is displayed next to the check box.

Setup selection screen, not supported icon

Shared packages are stored to a separate folder in the <DX Installation Folder>\Library folder and their names include RS (short for RAD Studio).

Using shared packages won’t be a problem if you have existing Delphi projects, but customers with existing C++Builder projects will have to update their project files with the new package names. We’re working on a Project Conversion tool (still being written) that will help our C++Builder customers accomplish this tedious task.

2. S90946 - Provide *.SKINRES files for built-in Skins.

Starting with Build 50, we'll be shipping the ExpressSkins Library with binary skin files (*.SKINRES files) containing our built-in skins. Each file will contain one skin. So, if you're dynamically loading skins in your applications, updating your look and feel with up-to-date versions of built-in skins will be as easy as ABC. *.SKINRES files are installed to the <DX Installation Folder>\ExpressSkins Library\Binary Skin Files folder.

3. S34045 - RAD Studio 2010 - Publish touch-based GUI related events and properties.

Break out your Tablet PC: the Touch property and the OnGesture event have been published in the TcxControl class. These members will now be available at design time in all TcxControl descendants. Touch FTW!

4. B131747 - cxGroupBox - Add the capability to specify the color of a caption when the PanelStyle.Active = True, or the Alignment = alCenterCenter.

To specify the caption color from Build 50 onwards, use the TextColor property of the Common.GroupPanelNoBorder skin element.

5. Q250737 - Grid - Add the capability to specify a group row's background, separator, and text colors if the OptionsView.GroupRowStyle property is set to grsOffice11

To specify these colors, use the additional Office11ContentColor, Office11SeparatorColor, and Office11TextColor properties of the Grid.GroupRow skin element:


6. S34521 - LayoutControl - Make a separate skin element for a layout group's expand button

We’ve introduced the Common.GroupExpandButton skin element to skin this particular button in Build 50. Previously, the button was skinned using the Grid.PlusMinus skin element.

I want to emphasize that these are just some of the items they’ve been working on during the three weeks or so since Build 49. There will be many more once Build 50 comes out, so this is just a taster. Plus, we’ve all just got away from all that .NET stuff for a little while...

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Claudio Piffer

Hi Julian,

thank you very much for this great news!

Best regards

1 April 2010
Phillip Roux
Phillip Roux

Thanks for the update Julian.  Any news on any new controls being developed or new versions thats in the progress eg. New ribbon control mentioned in road map.

Also, its been a while since we have heard from Richard...


1 April 2010
David Brennan
David Brennan

Thank you very much for the update.

Any chance that my request to stop randomly rearranging the order of the classes in the source files during installation is going to make it into Build 50?

By this I mean Q155621 at www.devexpress.com/.../Q155621.aspx

1 April 2010
Andrew Bond
Andrew Bond


My undertanding was that, by you providing unified packages, C++Builder 2007 users would be able to use new/updated VCL components that you have recently stopped supporting for the version of CB.

I am worried by your third screenshot, which shows the layout controls v2 not available for CB2007.

What components will NOT be supported for CB2007 in these unified packages?

1 April 2010
David Le Franc
David Le Franc

Good news.

I think it would be interesting to have also one .skinres file with all skins (S134312).

1 April 2010

Thank you for touch support ... this is really welcome... S34045

1 April 2010
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Phillip: A: No details yet. The team is currently estimating all the features planned in the roadmap, splitting them to tasks and into smaller ones, to be able to determine valid ETAs more precisely. I'm told this more detailed plan shold be available the end of April.

David: We'll probably implement this in Build 50.

Andrew: A: Unfortunately, although the suggestion's description reads, "Please provide unified packages so that it will be possible to have products installed both under Delphi 2006 & C++Builder 2006 at the same time.", it doesn't imply that we would extend support to C++ Builder if a product supported only Delphi. If a product cannot be compiled in C++Builder (and hence it's not supported), we cannot create the necessary files.

David: Yes, we'll try to implement this suggestion in Build 50. We'll call this .skinres file "AllSkins".

Cheers, Julian

6 April 2010
David Brennan
David Brennan

Thanks for the reply Julian, always encouraging when people reply to comments on their blogs! (doesn't always happen...)

8 April 2010
Oussama Al Rifai
Oussama Al Rifai

I am afraid that I misunderstood the message about new VCL release!

I am interested, more than anything else, in cxGrid. and I have noticed in your message only 1 new feature added (Group Style).

That's it? I thought there were thousands of suggestios sent to you for cxGrid Component.

9 April 2010
Alex M (DevExpress)
Alex M (DevExpress)

Oussama, Build 50 is a maintenance Build. It mostly contains bug fixes and only a few implemented suggestions. Yes, we have hundreds of suggestions made for the ExpressQuantumGrid, from which we selected some for the ExpressQuantumGrid v7 release later this year. So, please don't expect us to implement more features for the current ExpressQuantumGrid version, since the new version development is underway.



14 April 2010
Bernd Heinsohn


can you please provide some information about when Expressbars will provide guide diamonds for selecting the docking area (like in Visual Studio 2008) ?

Will ExtraBars 7 contain this feature ?

Since your Xtrabars package for NET has already provided this for some time it's confisung me that you don't port this feature to the VCL version :(

Thank you

1 May 2010

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