New Hope for Solving IDE Out of Memory Issues

Last night I I was reading some of the latest articles on Jon lennart Aasenden’s blog about Quartex. For those of you not following Jon on Google+ he is the founder of the DelphiArmy and the author of the Smart Mobile Studio IDE.  Quartex is an IDE for multiple languages (including Object Pascal) that Jon is working on that is to include the transcoding of languages.  IOW, you could take Delphi code and transcode it to C++ or C#.  The approach is to use the LDEF intermediate format, and from there you could either convert to a different language or compile it into binary code.

Quartex will be built on Jon’s cross platform framework and experience, and he is looking for others to join in. If the effort proves successful there could be another IDE choice other than Lazarus for XPlatform work. Imagine, a native IDE on the Mac compiling for OS/X or iOS, or a Linux IDE targeting Linus and Android. No more networking between machines with intermediate apps like PAServer, or using VMs to target mobile devices.

No more .NET subsystems like ErrorInsight that produces lots of false positives and never gets fixed. No more modelling support that no one uses, Refactoring that works some of the time and blows up out of memory or never comes back and no more half baked features that are abandoned. If Quartex ends up open source, and you find a bug that bugs you enough, you can fix it yourself or hire someone to do so.

Product direction would be a community decision, and both voting with your voice and your wallet would yield results. Object Pascal as a language would have a much better chance of surviving! It’s either that, or we continue with the high # of Quality Portal issue reports, and articles like this one that show how EMBT’s strategy is working in terms of quality (72 reports over the last 30 days without a single resolution).

I also thought I would mention that Marco has been on the EMBT quality portal. Good to see someone from EMBT providing an explanation of the complexity of the issue and what they’re doing.

5 Responses to “New Hope for Solving IDE Out of Memory Issues”

  1. nedko Says:

    I think you are wrong in part of your expectations. From what I read before this is going to be commercial product that would cost money and it would not be open source.

  2. Markus Ja Says:

    What would be the difference to RemObjects Elements? One Language, different Plattforms (Windows, MacOSX, Linux, iOS, Android, WinPhone).
    In my opinion, the problem is not the language, it’s the framework. If you develop Delphi apps using the Delphi RTL or VCL you cannot cross compile to C# or C++, since the missing framework. That is also the issue with RemObjects Elements.

  3. Larry Hengen Says:

    @Markus,

    You are absolutely correct in that REMObjects supports an Object Pascal language already on multiple platforms, however it is not compatible with existing Delphi code, and it does not support the RTL and VCL. That is the major impediment of OxyGene - getting enough developers to adopt it. Few companies will bet on products (no matter how good) that they cannot hire and keep staff for.

    What the Delphi/Object Pascal community needs is a more stable and fully featured IDE on multiple platforms. Since EMBT obviously does not have the resources to Fix or Enhance the IDE, Quartex is a potential solution, as is Lazarus.

    Any good, cross platform editor would be a possibility if you could incorporate available extensions like GExperts, cnPack, Parnassus Bookmarks etc through an OpenTools API compatible interfaces. The OpenTools API could also be used to hook in the existing EMBT compilers and debuggers. It would be great to have one IDE for FPC and Delphi.

    IOW, if EMBT open sourced the IDE or the community could produce a replacement, EMBT could devote more time to what currently only they can do…evolve the RTL, FMX, VCL and the compiler toolchain.

    As an alternate the community could develop it’s own compiler tool chain using LLVM. I know there is lots of interest, but this is technically challenging.

    At the end of the day, EMBT is increasing prices, trying to lock developers in to regular updates to receive bug fixes and styles for newer OS support, and delivering a decreasing quality across the board. This is not a tolerable situation, and will eventually drive the long time adopters away, and eventually I believe the mobile market will figure out using a more native approach with something like Elements or Xamarin, or the vendor tool chains is a better way to go.

    In the meantime, the Delphi community needs to be able to deal with the situation. You’re right in that the RTL and VCL are major stumbling blocks. That is not likely to change. What we can change is our dependance on EMBT for what our major impediments are:

    1) an IDE that is not being fixed or enhanced that carries too much legacy bloat (perhaps they should resurrect the Delphi 7 source code, or open source it).

    2) Native APIs for target platforms

    3) compiler support (64 bit for OS/X) and Linux support with better optimizations.

  4. John Friel Says:

    I agree with much, if not all, of what you said.

    I would add, that if ever there was a time for EMBT to make the correct move it would be to have them sell the VCL / RTL as a library to be used by other systems. Companies such as DevExpress have made it abundantly clear that libraries are profitable without the side effects of having to manage the IDE. I spend more on my DevExpress licenses for both VCL and C# yearly and would prefer to have them roll the RTL/VCL into a package I can license to use with Oxygene and the Microsoft Visual Studio. WIth that sort of package, I’d never have to bitch about a crappy IDE and lack of improvements.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Larry Hengen Says:

    @nedko,

    Yes Quartex will initially will be closed source, but who knows this could change in the future. It is far liklier that Quartex will become open source at some point than the Galileo or D7 IDE.

    Even if Quartex costs money, as long as it is reasonable and bugs get fixed in a timely fashion without having to buy the upgrade, and enhancements get implemented, I for one wouldn’t care because it is a better situation than what we currently have.

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