I hereby humbly offer the following four suggestions to improve the Delphi product and community.
Acquire the Assets of DevJet
Have you guys seen the stuff done by DevJet? This is some seriously excellent work. They have two main projects — Documentation Insight and Code Insight Plus — that are both excellent, polished, and incredibly useful. Code Insight Plus is worth its weight in gold. Embarcadero should strongly consider including these two projects as part of the RAD Studio product. Shoot, they should get DevJet to write a bunch of features for the IDE.
Now maybe DevJet doesn’t want to be acquired, I don’t know, so it’s just an idea. But definitely worth considering.
Open Source Their Unit Tests
I’ve suggested this before, and want to suggest it again. I can’t add much to the post other than to say there is no downside and all upside. I argued pretty strenuously for this, and continue to believe it is a good idea.
Build for Raspberry Pi
I spent a bunch of time this weekend squaring away my four Raspberry Pi’s. I have a 1, a 2, a three and a Zero. They are fun. They are cool. They are powerful. And, they are hard to develop for (though I am going to spend some time soon loading up ASP.NET core on to one of them.) I think that the next big platform that Embarcadero should add is the Raspberry Pi. It’s an ARM chip running Linux. It would be awesome to take the current Linux capabilities and make them available to run on Pi’s. I would love this. Shoot, I got my Pi Zero for five dollars! I would love to be able to write server applications and deploy them to a Raspberry Pi. I absolutely am not the only one. This would be a trailblazing thing to do, and could have a big impact on the spread of Delphi to new users.
Open Source (or at least put on GitHub) Their Visual Frameworks (RTL, VCL, and FMX)
I was at Philly Code Camp this weekend. It was fun as always. At the after-party on Friday night I talked to a guy who took a day long class on Microsoft’s Rosalyn compiler. He talked about all the cool things he was building to automate code reviews by doing static analysis on the compiled code using the extensions from Rosalyn. I was at a talk where they mentioned how many bug fixes and improvements have come to .Net Core since it was open sourced. And this is code from Microsoft. Microsoft! They open source their development environment and it is thriving. Check this out — here is Anders Hejlsberg’s check-in log for TypeScript for the month of March. You can interact with Anders on GitHub!
Embarcadero should follow suit.
Now, I can hear the objections. So I’m not going to push to have these frameworks be open sourced. I can understand why that might not happen. But the source is already out there. Why not put it on GitHub with the same license it has now? You don’t have to open source it, but by putting it on GitHub you invite the community to provide pull requests with fixes and improvements. You could recruit MVPs to vet the pull requests. You can get the benefits of community input without an open source license. The frameworks aren’t much good to anyone without the Delphi IDE and the Delphi compiler, so there isn’t much being given away.