DevExpress VCL v15.1 – supported compilers

ctodx
11 June 2015

With v15.1 we are trimming the number of compilers (and therefore IDEs) that we are supporting with the DevExpress VCL subscription. As I’ve said several times over the years, supporting older compilers comes with a cost, perhaps intangible in many ways, but it’s still there and does have an effect.

In essence, if the compiler has XE in the name (and there are eight of these, times two for Delphi and C++Builder), we support it in both 32-bit and in 64-bit modes with our VCL Subscription. That’s the simple rule. Rule 2 is that RAD Studio 2010 is also supported (for now), although the new Rich Text Editor – you saw the beta announcement here 6 months ago, stay tuned for more news in another post – is not supported. And that’s it.

The biggest change then from v14.2 to v15.1 is that we are dropping support for what might be termed “the non-Unicode compilers”: Delphi 7, Delphi 2007 and C++ Builder 2007. As it happens, the new controls we’ve released from v14.1 onwards (spreadsheet, rich text editor, maps, gauges, etc) have not supported these compilers anyway. All we’ve provided over the past year for these compilers have been some enhancements plus bug fixes. Please note that Embarcadero do not provide support for them either (in fact, the last email I read was that XE3 is about to be dropped from their support and upgrade paths).

(Aside: it’s at this point that I did some research. Delphi 7 was released in August 2002, very nearly 13 years ago. I was using a Dell Inspiron 8000 at the time, with a Pentium III and 512MB RAM, running Windows XP (it cost me $3K). I wrote the Deflate and Inflate code for TurboPower’s Abbrevia on that machine. Delphi 2007 was released in March 2007, over 8 years ago. By any stretch of the imagination, these are old: just think of the progress made in computers, technology, apps, run-times, and programming languages over the last 8+ years.)

With v15.1 we wanted to do some major restructuring of the controls. The first part of this will be using the engine that’s part of the new spreadsheet control to provide way better XLS/XLSx export facilities to the grid, treelist, etc. This, candidly, would not be possible with the non-Unicode compilers. All in all, we felt the best business course of action was to consolidate our code to use the latest compilers and language features; it’s the only way we feel we can continue to provide deeper, broader, and, frankly, better features and functionality to our VCL customers.

Having said that, v14.2 is not going away just yet. Yes, it will be superseded by v15.1 in a couple of weeks, but we shall continue to provide bug fixes to it for the next year. Hence if you are an active customer you will still be able to download the minor releases until it, in turn, is retired.

My recommendation though is to move on. It seems to me that every month Embarcadero are providing discounts to upgraders. I would take advantage of them. Retire your legacy apps perhaps, or migrate them to the latest RAD Studio: there will come a day that we will start removing support for the early XE IDEs too. And, of course, if you’re using a later RAD Studio already, stay tuned for more news over the next few days on the new features in v15.1 of DevExpress VCL.

7 comment(s)
Daniel Rail
Daniel Rail

How would the installation go for someone that is using Delphi 7, XE7 and XE8?  That is our scenario at the moment, at least until our Delphi 7 application is migrated to XE7.  Will it be easy to have v14.2 installed for Delphi 7 and have v15.1 installed for XE7 and XE8, on the same computer, without being in different VMs?

12 June, 2015
Alex M (DevExpress)
Alex M (DevExpress)

Daniel,

Running the v15.1 installer to update v14.2 installed for any of the unsupported IDEs (Delphi 7, Delphi 2007, or C++ Builder 2007) displays a corresponding warning. Proceeding with installation will remove all installed files for these IDEs.

As for having two coexisting versions, the safest method is to use VMs to avoid so called "package hell".

15 June, 2015
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Daniel

I would agree with Alex here. Because of the way RAD Studio works within the Windows environment, it's always been ... challenging, shall we say, to have two or more of our installs working together on the same machine at the same time. If you don't want to use separate machines, VMs are by far the best answer for this. (I only use Delphi in a VM; Paul Usher, our tech evangelist in Australia, uses VMs for everything since he has a MacBook Pro as his main machine; our dev team use VMs as well.)

Cheers, Julian

15 June, 2015
Daniel Rail
Daniel Rail

Thanks for the information.  So, that will mean that I'll have to stay with v14.2, until Delphi 7 is retired from my computer, hopefully, within the next 2 months, once all of our development is in at least XE7.  Then, I'll be able to install v15.1.  And, thanks for the good work.

16 June, 2015
Christian Peppermueller
Christian Peppermueller

Sad for me as I still love debugging and writing in Delphi 7 (the final application is compiled in XE2). So I think I'll stay at v14. Good news you are still supporting v14!

29 July, 2015
Niels Søndergaard
Niels Søndergaard

Too bad that you are not supporting Delphi 7, which is what my unicode subtitling/translator program is utilizing. So using unicode as an excuse for dropping support for that compiler is a poor excuse.

14 August, 2016
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Niels: dropping Delphi 7, which came out 14 years ago (I just looked it up: 9 August 2002), turned out to be about a lot more than just Unicode. Indeed I touch upon some of it in this post you commented on from over a year ago. You may not use any of the later Delphi language features, fine, but we do. We have to: the newest controls we've provided rely on those later language features. Since it is impracticable to maintain two sets of code, we decided to move on.

Cheers, Julian

14 August, 2016

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