Remember Delphi ? When it came out it was a killer development environment compared to Visual Basic and Visual C++. At the time Visual basic and Visual C++ had separate IDE’s. Delphi was far better than both of them and it didn’t hurt that Delphi is Pascal based. All around it was very nice, but it never gained any real traction. Pascal is like a hybrid between Basic and C++, it’s lo level enough yet easy to understand. MS is always able to half way give away their development tools or at least keep them at a price point were it is very hard to compete. For that and some other mainstream reasons Delphi never got spread out the way it should compared to features ease of use etc. Don’t get me wrong it’s used, it’s used by a fair amount of developers and they love it. Today Delphi supports .Net, C++ and PHP along with Pascal.
From the business side of things Delphi has gone through some changes, the devision was spun of from Borland to CodeGear which then recently was sold to Embarcadero. Embarcadero is the developer of the powerful ER/Studio data architecture and design software among others.
All of that brings me to a point, as I have been impressed with Delphi and then with C# after working with it for a while. At first I did not understand how MS got C# correctly on the first try. The story with MS is that once they have put out three versions of a product it’s finally stable and usable. This time around there was something different going on. .Net had been in beta for over 3 years and 1 year behind initial schedule when it was finally release to the masses. C# was started later on in 1999 and seemed throroughly tested before release. It looked rock solid and was and is still today more productive than Java and even faster in execution. But it only runs on one platform so what do you expect, unless your want to Mono that’s a totally different story though. Then I read about who was involved and sure enough Andres Hejlsberg had joined MS from Borland and now I started understanding what really happened at MS. They got some really good outside talent to do the job and do it right. Not that Andres did it all by himself here is the C# team and reflections from them.