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Embarcadero Delphi involvement with the ESA Rosetta Comet 67P spacecraft project

Lee Clark in our Maidenhead England office reminded several of us about a 10 year old blog post, "Delphi begins its 10-year to the origins of the solar system", by Anders Ohlsson. In the post Anders displayed a Delphi newsgroup message by Kristofer Skaug, SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group, where he talks about his use of Delphi to create ground test equipment and interface simulator software for the ESA Rosetta mission. 

Here is the original Delphi newsgroup post by Kristofer on March 2, 2004:

"I would like to thank the Borland Delphi team for giving me the ideal tool to create ground test equipment software in support of the Rosetta comet-chaser mission, which launched successfully today. I can only guess that without Delphi, the years of work I put into that project would’ve been considerably less fun!"

Marco Cantu and I reached out Kristofer this past week after the successful Rosetta project’s touchdown of the Philae lander.We heard back from Kristofer who is still involved with the same company in the Netherlands.

Here is information that we received in two emails from Kristofer:

"Hello Marco and DavidI,"
"Nice to hear from you both, and quite remarkable that you recall this old message. Indeed I am still with the same company (although we have slightly streamlined our name) and we still use Delphi, recently upgraded to XE6."
"Here’s a movie (sorry about the stone age video quality) I made back in 2002 on the occasion of visiting the Rosetta spacecraft in the integration cleanroom at ESA. We built a lot of test equipment for Rosetta, in this video you see the TM/TC check-out equipment (with all the flashing LEDs etc), allowing the master Test system to communicate with the spacecraft via special bypass lines directly into the on-board computer. And that’s our Delphi-based Telemetry/Telecommand processing software you see in occasional screenshots. Around the 3-minute mark there’s even a glimpse of an honest-to-god Borland Delphi 6 IDE :-)"

D6 Rosis Screenshot

"We also built a series of Rosetta Spacecraft Interface Simulators ("ROSIS") which were used by all the science instrument teams for testing. The controller of this simulator was developed in Delphi 5. We went on tour around Europe and even to the U.S. (Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, where the "Alice" instrument on the Rosetta orbiter was being built and of course JPL in Pasadena, for the MIRO instrument) to conduct standardized tests with these systems, meeting all the Rosetta science teams… it was a great experience."
"Today, the Rosetta TM/TC SCOE test equipment (shown in the above video) is installed in a special facility at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, where it is used to talk to the Rosetta "Engineering Model" - the first mock-up version of the spacecraft, fully functional but with cheaper (non-space-qualified) materials. This is used as a simulator to try out command sequences and software patches for the real spacecraft. So that old Delphi-based software is still in use for the Rosetta mission, more than 16 years after its initial release!"
"Since the Rosetta launch in 2004, we have had no significant involvement anymore in the project. But we are still reaping the benefits: Just like the comets are speculated to have had a seminal role in formation of living planets, the work we did for Rosetta was the starting point of a very successful product line. In particular the Delphi code base (which started out in Delphi 2) gave birth to our first truly re-usable code library, supported by a strong set of DUnit tests which we have been maintaining and using intensively up to this date (now in Delphi XE6, some of the code still bears visible traces to the Rosetta project!)."
"The proven staying power of Delphi, the robustness and stability of the RTL/VCL, the long-term maintainability across multiple compiler versions, next to the unequalled ease of use and productivity: These combine to an unbeatable argument in Delphi’s favor when faced with the standard industry pressure to use more mainstream tools and languages. Holding its ground against C++ and Java for 20 years! Keep it up!"

Thank you, Kristofer, for using Delphi to help the Rosetta project and for continuing to update your code base to later versions of Delphi.

Delphi’s involvement with the ESA Rosetta Comet spacecraft project


New version of FastCube FMX for FireMonkey has been released

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RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder US Tour - 10 cities during December 2-4 - learn how to modernize your apps

Live RAD Studio events around the US with David I, Jim McKeeth, Sarina DuPont and more! Join us for lunch and learn what’s new in RAD Studio, Delphi, and C++Builder XE7. It’s all happening December 2-4 in Orlando, Raleigh, Denver, San Jose, Houston, Chicago, Irvine, Detroit, Pasadena and Dallas. Register in advance to save a seat for lunch. I will be visiting the California stops this December.

Details for each city:

Orlando - December 2
11:30am - 2:00pm
8986 International Drive
Orlando , FL 32819
Denver - December 2
11:30am - 2:00pm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
San Jose - December 2
11:30am - 2:00pm
940 Great Mall Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035
Raleigh - December 3
11:30am - 2:00pm
1105 Walnut Street, Suite E101
Cary , NC 27511
Houston - December 3
11:30am - 2:00pm
7620 Katy Fwy #100
Marq*E Entertainment Center
Houston, TX 77024
Irvine - December 3
11:30am - 2:00pm
71 Fortune Drive #960
Irvine, CA 92618
Detroit - December 4
11:30am - 2:00pm
45511 Park Avenue, Suite D
Utica , MI 48315
Chicago - December 4
11:30am - 2:00pm
1030 N. Clark Street
Chicago , IL 60610
Dallas - December 4
11:30am - 2:00pm
9450 North Central Expressway
Dallas , TX 75231
Pasadena - December 4
11:30am - 2:00pm
400 S. Baldwin Ave., Suite 930-U
Arcadia, CA 91007

If you are near one of these cities or will be in the area the first week of December 2014, join us in person for the full experience. You’ll get the latest info on RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder XE7, learn how to modernize your VCL applications, tether mobile/desktop apps, work with devices/gadgets, eat some food, ask questions, network with other developers and have a chance to win prizes.

 

CodeRage 9 replay videos are now on YouTube

The CodeRage 9 session videos are now viewable on the Embarcadero YouTube channel. Video replays of the sessions and live Q&A are posted for the C++ and Object Pascal tracks. You can access the videos using the following YouTube playlist URLs:

C++ Track:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwUPJvR9mZHgQ8WRCJkk8LKA0_ucuDOt1

 

Object Pascal Track:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwUPJvR9mZHhgQYWWgF6BCkgDwIpP78ZV

Bjarne Stroustrup "Make Simple Tasks Simple!" at CodeRage 9 - Wednesday, Oct. 29: 9-11am PDT

It is again my pleasure, once again, to announce that Bjarne Stroustrup will take part in the upcoming CodeRage 9 free online virtual developer conference next week. Bjarne last took part our CodeRage 7 C++ conference, "A Conversation with the C++ language designer and original implementer, Bjarne Stroustrup" back in November 2012.

This time we will be doing things a little bit differently. We will watch a replay of Bjarne’s wonderful CppCon 2014 Keynote, "Make Simple Tasks Simple!", and then have a live Q&A with Bjarne to complete the 2 hour session.

Bjarne’s session, "Make Simple Things Simple!" will take place on Wednesday, October 29 from 9am to 11am Pacific Time (12noon to 2pm Eastern Time) on the C++ track live stream.

Description from the CppCon 2014 site: "C++ faces two challenges: Helping programmers address the most demanding tasks in terms of performance, scale, and dependability. It must also help programmers be productive writing ordinary maintainable code. There is much more "ordinary code" than there is performance-critical code. Thus, C++ must make simple tasks simple while not getting in the way of tuning software for the last byte and last cycle where that’s necessary. This talk focuses on what C++11 and C++14 offers to simplify programming: auto, range-for loops, move semantics, futures, concepts, and more. However, the focus is not primarily on language features: the key is programming: how can we write better, more readable, efficient, and more maintainable code? If you think that the essence of C++ is clever pointer manipulation and huge class hierarchies you may be in for a few surprises."

Register for CodeRage 9 at http://forms.embarcadero.com/CodeRage9Registration.

You can submit questions live during the session or you can email questions in advance by sending them to davidi at embarcadero dot com using the subject line "Ask Bjarne during CodeRage 9".

REGISTER NOW FOR CODERAGE 9

Multi-Device Tips, Videos and Docs - a reply to a developer

I recently received an email from Martin asking several great questions after he tried Delphi XE7 and before he purchases the Enterprise edition. Here are Martin’s questions and my answers. 

1) “Can we completely eliminate/replace the FireMonkey Splash screen?”

a) For iOS a splash screen is required by Apple - you can change the bitmap

b) For Android this is optional - you can turn it off in your project settings, or do something yourself by creating a main form and doing whatever you want for a period of time (or forever) - and then show a different form after the timer or user decides. Marco Cantu blogged about this at: http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/splash_screen_delphi_android.html

 

Splash Screen doc for Android:

http://docwiki.embarcadero.com/RADStudio/XE7/en/What%27s_New_in_Delphi_and_C%2B%2BBuilder_XE7#Splash_Screen_Support_for_Android

 

2) “Is it only possible to develop Android stuff for the Android versions XE7 provides? What if new androids appear?” 

We support several versions of Android OS and are testing with the upcoming Android L.  We may decide to drop an older version of the Android OS when the % gets so low that no one really cares.

Here is the general statement about device support on our docwiki:

http://docwiki.embarcadero.com/RADStudio/XE7/en/Android_Devices_Supported_for_Application_Development

Here is Google’s Android OS usage Dashboard:

https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html

 

3) “Given the situation that there is a library on android delivering

some special feature, say 2D Code recognition, can I address/use that from Delphi? BTW: I DO need 2D code (QR or others). Can I do such development with XE7?”

Regarding other Android libraries, JAR files, etc - we have a utility (and are working on more for additional platforms) called Java2OP.exe that will take Android Java files and create Delphi/ObjectPascal interfaces for you:

Docwiki: Java2OP.exe

http://docwiki.embarcadero.com/RADStudio/XE7/en/Java2OP.exe,_the_Native_Bridge_File_Generator_for_Android

Jim McKeeth developer skill sprint video to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnMRXKvsDyg

There are several blog posts and 3rd party component sets about using QR Codes and BarCodes with our products. While we don’t currently have a barcode component, you can write your own code to use libraries and APIs that work with barcodes. Searching Google will find: 

http://www.debenu.com/open-source/delphizxingqrcode/

http://www.tmssoftware.com/site/blog.asp?post=280

http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/43269

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJI2HaNMReI

 

4) “As said, I am supposed to deliver the apps also to iOS. So, can the stuff above also be achieved on iOS?”

With our products you can do Multi-Device Development - same project, components and code for Windows, OSX, iOS and Android! Additional information is available in our documentation.

DocWiki - Multi-device application development:

http://docwiki.embarcadero.com/RADStudio/XE7/en/Multi-Device_Applications_Index

Watch the video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmA7KLlOR1U

 

5) "When buying XE7, what is the upgrade path? Will I get XE8… or do I have to buy some maintenance? The pace you publish XEs does not let me believe that you are patching/maintaining a base line too much …"

When purchasing XE7 you have a couple of options during and after:

a) During the purchase, you can add "Support & Maintenance" - it involves an additional percentage paid up front to join the program.  When you have this you get all releases during a 12 month period. At the end of the 12 months you can renew for the percentage. This is usually cheaper in the long run even though you pay a little more upfront the first time. You can find the information on the Embarcadero shop site (or from our sales office or reselling partner) when you click on a "buy" new license button for one of our products.

Support & Maintenance - Provides one year of upgrades and three support incidents.

http://www.embarcadero.com/services/maintenance

b) When the next release comes out (we are on a 6 month cycle now because of all the platform movements) you can "recharge" your version to get to the next version.  Additional information about this is available at

http://www.embarcadero.com/products/rad-studio/recharge

c) If you do not do one of the above - you can always buy an upgrade license to a future release as long as your current version is not older than 3 releases back. Upgrade pricing is higher than #1 or #2 above.

Upgrade pricing for XE7 for example - Upgrade Eligibility:

Available only to registered users of XE2-XE6 versions of Delphi Ent/Ult/Arch Academic editions do not qualify for upgrade pricing

 

6) "The pace you publish XEs does not let me believe that you are patching/maintaining a base line too much …"

As with other tool vendors (Microsoft, Apple, Google, and others) - we do release hot fixes and updates for our releases as needed. Otherwise, we put new features and additional quality improvements into the next and future releases of our products.

 

Try our Delphi, C++Builder and RAD Studio products free for 30 days at http://www.embarcadero.com/downloads

 

 

PAServer HotFix for Delphi XE7 and RAD Studio XE7 to support iOS 7.1 simulator in XCode 6

PAServer HotFix 09/26/2014 Hotfix for deploying iOS applications built with Delphi XE7 to the iOS 7.1 simulator With Delphi, C++Builder and RAD Studio XE7, we support deploying applications to iOS devices running both iOS 7 and iOS 8 out of the box. For deploying to the iOS Simulator with Delphi XE7, we currently support deploying to the iOS 7.1 simulator, and are actively working on enabling support for the iOS 8 simulator. If you checked the Mac preferences setting to automatically download and install new versions of your Mac applications in the background, then Xcode automatically updated to the newest version (6.0.1) on your Mac, assuming you previously had Xcode installed on your machine.

Download the hotfix at http://cc.embarcadero.com/item/30008

XE7 customers - Java2OP.exe is now available on Code Central reg user download area….

The Delphi, C++Builder and RAD Studio XE7 Java2OP command line utility is ready for registgered users to download. Java2OP.exe ("Java To Object Pascal") is a command-line tool that you can use to generate Object Pascal native bridge files from Java libraries (JAR or class files). You can use the generated files to provide your applications access to those Java libraries on Android. Available to registered users of RAD Studio XE7, Delphi XE7 and C++Builder XE7 (except Starter editions) and Embarcadero All-Access XE. You can find it (login required) at http://cc.embarcadero.com/item/30007

Java2OP.exe: New Native Bridge File Generator for Android

The process of allowing your application to use custom Java libraries on Android previously required you to manually create a native bridge file from a Java class file.

RAD Studio provides a new tool, Java2OP.exe (Java to Object Pascal), that automates the creation of a native bridge file for Delphi applications. This new tool allows you to generate a native bridge file from a set of JAR or Java class files, or from a specific subset of the Android API.

Busy live online schedule this week - you won’t want to miss a moment of it!

We have a full schedule of online events for developers this week. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - September 23,24,25 we have 13 live online events taking place covering Developer Skill Sprints, Delphi/C++Builder/RAD Studio XE7 whats new, and developing for the Internet of Things with Appmethod. You’ll find the list and registration links below. You’ll learn a wide range of tips, tricks and techniques you can immediately use in your C++, Object Pascal, VCL and FireMonkey applications. I hope to see you online for them all :)

Wednesday, September 24 - RAD Studio XE7 What’s New Webinar

See why XE7 is the must-have upgrade! - http://forms.embarcadero.com/RADStudioXE7WhatsNewWebinar

  • 6AM San Francisco / 9AM New York / 2PM London / 3PM Milan
  • 9AM San Francisco / 12PM New York / 5PM London / 6PM Milan
  • 2PM San Francisco / 10PM London / 25-Sept 6AM Tokyo
  • 5PM San Francisco / 25-Sept 9AM Tokyo / 25-Sept 10AM Sydney

RAD Studio, Delphi, and C++Builder XE7 has been available for a few weeks and customer are telling us this is the must-have upgrade. In this webinar, we will share the new features that have everyone excited about their possibilities with XE7.

Join Embarcadero’s David Intersimone for this exclusive webinar on RAD Studio XE7 and see why customers are saying:

  • “The XE7 FireUI Multi-Device designer allows us to create a master view and customize the layout for numerous other devices. The development time it saves is worth the upgrade to XE7 alone." - Andrew Tierney, CEO, CastleSoft
  • “Wow, big step forward. If you really want to go multi-platform, RAD Studio XE7 is _the_ choice." - Oliver Funcke, CEO, Software Union G.m.b.H.
  • “The Parallel Library in XE7 provides and easy and new way to think about concurrency in your applications.” - Robert Love, Team Lead, State of Utah
  • "XE7 Enterprise Mobility Services is exactly what I was looking for." - Darian Miller, CTO, Dealer Marketing Services, Inc.
  • “XE7 is mature and stable and very astutely addresses the modern day challenges that a profit conscience company is concerned to be competitive at the lowest investment, yet best quality.” - Gerhard Stoltz, U-RAD Technologies

Wednesday, September 24 - Develop for the Internet of Things with Appmethod

Become a part of the Internet of Things development - http://forms.embarcadero.com/AppmethodInternetofThingsWebinar

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • 6AM San Francisco / 9AM New York / 2PM London
  • 11AM San Francisco / 2PM New York / 7PM London
  • 5PM San Francisco / 25-Sept 9AM Tokyo

The Internet of Things presents developers with an amazing opportunity to create a whole new category of apps that take advantage of connected gadgets and devices. With products like Google Wear, the Apple Watch, FitBit and Nest devices, our homes, cars, even our bodies, will be more connected than ever to our digital world.

The Appmethod September 2014 Release delivers new technologies to build connected apps that use Bluetooth and WiFi to connect to the Internet of Things. This webinar will demonstrate Appmethod’s ability to enable developers to easily interconnect with thousands of available Bluetooth and Wifi enabled gadgets and devices. It will show you how you can develop amazing solutions in this new world of possibilities.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

  • Set up a gadget or device for pairing
  • Connect to the gadget to communicate
  • Integrate info from gadgets into mobile devices and cloud services
  • Tether two apps together to remote control one another

Tuesday and Thursday September 23 and 25 - Developer Skill Sprints

Tips, Tricks and Techniques in 20 minutes or less- http://forms.embarcadero.com/DeveloperSkillSprintsWebinarSeries

  • 6AM San Francisco / 9AM New York / 2PM London
  • 11AM San Francisco / 2PM New York / 7PM London
  • 5PM San Francisco / 25-Sept 9AM Tokyo
This weeks topics:
  • Tuesday, Sept 23 - Aspect-oriented Programming using DSharp with Nick Hodges, author of Coding in Delphi
  • Thursday, September 25 - Enterprise Mobility Services: Overview

Come join the development fun using C++ and Object Pascal

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