Monthly Archives: March 2005

Would it help if we were to at least recognize a bug even if we couldn't offer a patch/fix?

I was talking to Allen today and asking if he thought it might actually be useful if we were to make some sort of public acknowledgement of perhaps a few of the most talked about bugs from the newsgroups even in the case where we may not be able to ship a patch or update to correct the problem because of scheduling/testing/business conditions/development costs/integration issues etc. The idea being that at least people would know that we’re “dialed in” and aware of an issue that affects a good number of our users (I’m not talking about “small” stuff here). Basically, I’m talking about a “living readme.txt” if you will.

What do you think, would this help even if a patch/fix weren’t forthcoming?

Disclaimer: This idea is something I’ve had for quite some time but only now decided to post. It should in no way be misconstrued as having anything to do with any outstanding issues related to any existing Borland products. Basically, I’m thinking something more along the lines of the Cluetrain Manifesto where at least we could have some communication about the problems that are impacting people.

Posting a useful rant

I understand that the point of a rant really isn’t to provide useful
information but instead to vent some anger to a group of people who, hopefully,
can share your pain in some meaningful way. However, if ever you are inclined to
post a rant if you could keep the following in mind it might help your fellow
trenchmates who take the time to read your rantings to actually help you out.

  • Focus only on the facts as you know them
  • Be as specific as possible about what the problem is and how you got there
  • If there is an error message involved post the complete text of the
    error
  • Try not to embellish or if you have to try to be conservative
  • Avoid name calling
  • At the end, state that you feel better, I know it’ll be hard to do, but that
    way people will know you’re ready to move on and actually be open to offers for
    help

If you can’t seem to do any of the above you might want to save yourself the
typing and utilize whatever your favorite release mechanism is not related to a
computer.

That’s all I can think of for now, if I come up with anything else I’ll add
on as necessary.

Why do we need to format html in Delphi?

I know this issue has been pretty well discussed but someone recently asked me about it again and I put together a small example to help illustrate the problems that arise when using the MSHTML control and trying to preserve source code.

Here is what we hand the MSHTML control


  
    
  

  

        

  • one
        
  • two
      

  this is
wrapped text
  

    

      

  

we get this back (without editing anything btw):

  • one
  • two

this is wrapped text

Now, to point out the differences…

  1. All tags are now uppercase
  2. runat=”server” on title tag is gone
  3. Missing the first closing (notice the last one is preserved)
  4. A single space was added between “two” and
  5. The wrapped text has been unwrapped
  6. The order of the table tag attributes has been reversed
  7. The quotes around the table tag attribues have been removed
  8. The case of the table tag attributes has been changed
  9. TBODY tag has been added
  10. A closing TR tag has been added (but no closing TD??)
  11. All whitespace has been removed (except of course where it was added see above)

So, as you can see when it comes to source preservation using the MSHTML control we definately have our work cut out for us thus we currently reformat the markup to make it readable again. I’ll have more on this later.

Resources for converting from Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) to Borland's Delphi

In light of the recent developments surrounding the end of
Mainstream support for Visual Basic
I’ve decided to add this entry to my
blog so I can list resources for developers looking to convert from VB to Delphi. I’ll keep this entry
“open” so that as I find things or as people point them out to me I’ll add them
here. To kick things off I’ll name a few of the features in the IDE that were
designed to make it easier for any Visual Basic/Visual Studio developer to start
using Delphi.

  • Probably the most important would be the VB
    keybinding
    which you can set from the Editor Options page of the
    Tools|Options dialog.
  • Next, is the Visual Studio syntax highlighting colors (also available from
    the Tools|Options dialog)
  • Delphi 7 and later also have Object Inspector (Properties window) color
    settings that match Visual Studio which you can select from the Tools|Options
    dialog.
  • Delphi also has a set of “VB-like” functions available in the StrUtils.pas
    file including things like LeftStr, RightStr, MidStr and several others.

Here are a few more resources:

Ok, that gets us started. If you have more suggestions
please leave a comment and I’ll add things to this entry as necessary.

Updated March 28, 2006:

Removed the link to Delphi
wiki’s VB page as it is now blank. Added “Why Delphi??” link.

Do you use/like the Delphi 2005 Welcome page?

I’d like to try to found out what people dis/like about the Welcome page
included with Delphi 2005.
We spent quite of bit of time redesigning it for this release and I’m curious to
know if people find it useful. Feel free to post comments either way but if you
dislike the page please include at least a few examples of what you don’t like.
For those of you just looking for a way to turn it off altogether we got that,
how about telling us what would be useful enough for you to keep it around??
Btw, has anyone logged that request in QualityCentral?

Be sure to take a look at these posts as well:

Thanks!

Good quote from InformationWeek

“The
Big Picture: Opportunity And Optimism Abound”

“Anyway, landed in San Francisco right on time and rushed to a
company that I haven’t heard from in a while, Borland. It’s doing some exciting things
around application-life-cycle management and software-development optimization.
I wasn’t aware of the benefits of having a managed process for software
development, but it seems that a lot of IT organizations are looking at Borland
to help them save money and get their arms around massive projects. Who knew?
What excitement within the walls of that company. Either Borland’s employees are
that optimistic or they’ve replaced the water with Red Bull.” – Michael
Friedenberg

I don’t know about Red Bull but if you know me you know I’d take a protein
shake!

Richard Grimes questions .NET's future

In this article
Richard Grimes (DDJ magazine contributor) makes some interesting points about
the .NET framework. I don’t know that I agree with them but it’s good to get a
grasp on the issues from many different points of view. In particular, I was
interested in the comments relating to VB.NET and ASP.NET.

[Update: March 9, 2005] As I’m reading through my Bloglines I
discovered that Allen Bauer has also
mentioned this article.

Interesting take on the Linux "situation"

While browsing through my bloglines today I
happened upon what Who needs an
enemy when you can divide and conquer yourself?
I think the described
scenario is highly plausible if it hasn’t already happened.

While you’re there also take a look at this
article
by the same author. I really like the way Marcus thinks. I’ve been
burning CD after CD (haven’t moved to DVD yet, yeah I know you can’t say
anything to me that Mark Edington hasn’t already said regarding this issue) of
digital photos for archival purposes all the time wondering whether or not my
daughter who is now 16 months will be able to find a machine that will read them
when she reaches my current age? Will that machine even have a drive of some
sort? Perhaps I should buy a bunch of today’s hardware and put it in safe
storage so she can start a business 30 years from now reading all these
“ancient” CD’s.

Seriously, take a look at Marcus’ website he’s got some great material. I
love this sentence “Thus, a company increases its density of morons, by losing
non-morons and creating an environment where only morons will be happy to work.”
which is from this
article.

MVP's petition Microsoft to bring back VB

Scoble recently posted a link to
this
article
discussing a revolt amongst Microsoft MVP’s clamoring for
another non .NET release of VB. In fact, they’ve gone so far as to post an online petition. Now, imagine if Borland had done something
similar with Delphi. I
think it’s safe to say I’d probably be working at some other company by now,
fortunately, that’s not the case. With Delphi 2005 Borland has provided a single
IDE that targets Win32 and .NET with the same language
and the same framework.

I wonder where that company that had VB to Delphi conversion tools is today??
🙂

At any rate, if you’re a VB developer and you’re looking for a tools vendor
that continues to support their Win32 customer base and their
source code welcome to Delphi. Hey did you know that we even have a VB
keybinding?

[Updated March 10, 2005 Wow, the VB crowd is seriously upset
with Microsoft see A Marketeer’s
Worst Nightmare