Delphi 2007 Component Palette Improvements

Recently, Jeremy North, Marco Zehe and Primoz Gabrijelcic have all blogged about some great tool palette enhancements in the Delphi 2007. One item I haven’t seen mentioned is better keyboard support. Since the Tool Palette is now organized like a treeview, albeit a two level treeview, we felt it should support similar keyboard navigation. Marco Zehe pointed out that categories are now selectable but additionally you can use all the normal treeview keystrokes to expand/collapse categories and navigate the palette which is much more consistent UI.

5 thoughts on “Delphi 2007 Component Palette Improvements

  1. Steve, I don’t wanna discourage you and CG team (and fans!)
    I’m a Delphi fan myself and my whole business is built on Delphi/CG technology, so don’t get me wrong.
    But the way I see it, the things that you guys stress on, are lowering Delphi. I can’t believe with all compiler shortcomings, VCL problems and shortcomings, and other issues in the product line, and with all that history for once-almighty Delphi with it’s eye catching new features, now there have been numerous blog posts by many known Delphi experts about new enhancements in component palette! Even open source free enhancements for Delphi 7 IDE, like DDevExtensions, have these features!
    If you really want to introduce a new feature, please add a full featured Undo/Redo in Form Designer, then that would deserve a blog post from famous Steve Trefthen 😉

  2. Interesting – I haven’t used any Delphis since the D7 Enterprise release, so I don’t know if there is any kind of form designer undo/redo already offered (in D8, D2005 etc), but it would be a significant productivity aid if the editing of component properties, the placing of components and the addition/deletion of components could all be made to work under a standard ‘undo’ function.
    As a Win32 only developer, I’m really excited about the new version though – the upgrade price is fair, there’s enough in there to entice me to jump from 7, and some of the productivity enhancements I’ve been reading about sound great. My armoury of third party components is quite compact – DevExpress, ReportBuilder and some Core Labs DBX stuff – so I’m not anticipating too large a headache when I come to start upgrading projects.
    And I see my purchasing of the new release as a ‘vote of confidence’ in what CodeGear are trying to do – so even if I still spend the next year or two working more in 7 than 2007, I will still have registered my ‘vote’ of support for them. Vista isn’t so important to me right now, but using a 4-5 year old compiler is a worry, and I want to do my bit to encourage CodeGear and ensure that Delphi has a future.

  3. K.A.
    I think your focus on the component palette is rather over exaggerated. The switch from the old style palette to the new palette caused quite a stir so the recent blogging about the palette doesn’t surprise me at all. Personally, I care more about good keyboard support than the slightly modified search but hey that’s just me.
    FWIW, we have lot’s of features in the works that we can’t really discuss at this point (and no it’s not lost on me that that sounds like a cop-out) but there will be plenty to talk about in the coming months.
    I won’t disagree with you regarding undo in the designer that’s a feature long overdue and I’ll re-raise it first thing after we ship Delphi 2007. I’d be very interested in reading your list of compiler and VCL shortcomings so if you get a chance please put it together and email it, blog it or otherwise get it to me (use the contact link here on my blog top of the left hand column or at steve dot trefethen at codegear dot com).

  4. Rob,
    Undo – noted and I completely agree with you and unfortunately it’s not in Delphi 2007.
    Thanks for the "vote of confidence" I honestly think we’re in a better position to deliver for our customers now than we have been since D3. Don’t know if you read my post "CodeGear Help Wanted" but I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that we’re hiring for these positions as I think it’s just fantastic news.
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  5. K.A. -> In fairness, DDevExtensions’s tool palette features were bringing the new features back to D7 rather than something that’s been around since D7. If there are other tool palette utilities that predate D2005/D2006’s toolpalette search, I’d like to hear about them to check them out.
    Andreas simply made the feature better – he has some real skill for that. I’m surprised Codegear hasn’t beat a path to his door in the hopes that he’ll lend his brand of magic to the whole IDE. I’ve got D2007 and I’m hoping to get a compatibly version of DDevExtensions soon – the form/unit list is simple worlds beyond the feature in the IDE that hasn’t changed since D1 (it might not be broke, but it’s still like using a rock as a hammer compared to what DDevExtensions provides)
    I personally have no love for the screen wasting toolpalette Delphi now provides. The search isn’t innovation so much as a bandaid on a severed limb. I never had any problems with the old palette, and I could quickly find any component I needed, and if I couldn’t, well I used the search that has ALSO been in since way the heck back when. If you combine the D7 palette with GExpert’s popup menu AND DDevExtensions’s search feature, then you have a truely powerful combination that the current palette and search feature simply can’t hope to compete with.
    Yes, it IS better, but consider how far it has fallen. Turbo Delphi was leaps and bounds faster than D2005, but it was still like programmer over remote terminal on your local station. Anyone using D7 could see clearly that, improved as it was, it was still slow as a glacier. The speed improvements in D2007 also help drive that point home.
    It is only a shame that it took so darn long for the dev group to refocus on actual quality – imagine where we could be now! (yes, I am pretty happy with 2007 so far, a few irritating quirks not withstanding)

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