Nick Hodges

Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene #159

02 Jun

17 Responses to “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene #159”

  1. 1
    Jim McKeeth Says:

    It is buy RAD Studio 2010 and get Prism 2011 free (the new one, not 2010).

  2. 2
    Mason Wheeler Says:

    It doesn’t look like you’re on the speakers list for Delphi Live this year, Nick. It also doesn’t look like they’ve got a schedule prepared yet. I find those both a bit unfortunate.

  3. 3
    Jim McKeeth Says:

    An even better IDE feature for XMLDoc comments would be to format them in the IDE to hide the tags, but leave the comments, making them look like nice documentation.

  4. 4
    Jim McKeeth Says:

    @Mason: They have R&D sessions planned, but they won’t show up until they publish the schedule. The "What’s Cooking in the Lab" will be staffed by Nick, R&D and Developer Relations most likely.

  5. 5
    Nick Hodges Says:

    Jim –

    Thanks, I fixed the error.

    We will probably be doing some "What’s New, What’s Cooking" kind of event, as well as some sort of a meet the team event.


  6. 6
    tondrej Says:

    Hi Nick,

    some time ago I’ve implemented a workaround as follows: enclose the xmldoc comments in ‘xmldoc’ regions, and install a keyboard binding to quickly show/hide them all with Ctrl+Shift+D.



  7. 7
    Daniele Teti Says:

    New (and old) compiler’s features of Delphi Prism are really nice.
    When we will have some of this in the native Delphi?
    There are any plan?

  8. 8
    M J Marshall Says:

    The Prism press release clearly states: "…develop cross-platform applications on Mac OS X, and even create iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications". Isn’t that clearly contradicted by Apple’s infamous iPhone developer license that effectively bans Mono/.NET?

    Can someone from Embarcadero please comment?

  9. 9
    Nick Hodges Says:

    M J Marshall –

    The current version of the iPhone app store allows development with MonoTouch.

    The new license is only in effect for the beta version of the iPhone, and thus isn’t in force yet.

  10. 10
    Jolyon Smith Says:

    XMLDoc is an abomination. You should have incorporated Doc-o-matic style natural language documentation extraction YEARS ago (and you still could).

    Just because Visual Studio embraced XML that shouldn’t stop Embarcadero from, oh, what’s the word… begins with "i"… ah yes… INNOVATING (or IMPROVING). Ticking the box that says "we do it the same as XYZ" is the very definition of s product that is BEHIND the curve and FOLLOWING the competition.

    Being DIFFERENT is the only way to be BETTER.

    At the very least you should re-instate/complete the facility to maintain documentation separately from the code.

    YOU may find that it doesn’t clutter the code, but there are TWO distinct forms of documentation that are needed when creating re-usable components:

    1) "How to use it" documentation

    2) "How to understand the way it works" documentation

    It is ONLY the 2nd type that should be in the code. The 1st type really has no business being tied to the code itself and requiring it to be there leads to all sorts of jumbled noise and confusion as the two different sets of documentation seek to differentiate and separate themselves from each other.

    Additionally, it is ONLY the 1st type that really needs to worry about translation to other languages, and again, allowing such documentation to be provided separately from the source code would make this easier.

  11. 11
    Ken Knopfli Says:

    "You’ll still be able to get your Delphi like you always have."

    OK, that’s good information. I was beginning to panic.

    @Joylon: sometimes the competition gets an idea that really advances the programming process. If you have genuine improvements to add to the concept, well and good. But changing it just for the sake of changing it is not. (there could be legal aspects, of course).

    Separating documentation from the code leads to the two drifting apart. (even happens even if they are next to each other!) Some form of non-intrusive integration is better.

    If we can stop thinking of code in terms of a flat text file and recognize that we write code with a sophisticated IDE with hide/expand functions (and not just a text editor) we can stop worrying about "clutter".

    Indeed, with appropriately designed tools, it even becomes irrelevant where the description is physically stored. I just want to get the help I need where I need it and only the help I need, and that is what Insight/Intellisense does (if it worked properly…)

    Remember the days when F1 would bring up the entire help file? And how Borand’s innovation of only bringing up the help of what you highlighted? This is refinement of that concept.

  12. 12
    Mason Wheeler Says:

    While I wouldn’t go so far as to call XMLDoc an "abomination", I think Joylon’s sorta on the right track. XML is a bloated mess, and just about anything that it gets used for is usually overkill. It would be nice if we had something simpler.

  13. 13
    aldo Says:

    I also am one of those who doesn’t like xmldoc, i think it pollutes my code.

    On the other side when writing php or java code, php/java doc is much much cleaner, and i really enjoy reading it.

  14. 14
    Xepol Says:

    I’m a big fan of the built in XMLDoc stuff. I think the VCL should be EXTENSIVELY documented with it. It makes great sense to me for the code and documentation to co-exist. Aside from allowing the IDE to easily build the help tips, it keeps the help near the code it refers to which makes keeping the 2 in sync a much more straightforward affair. Alter code, alter help. Rebuild code, help rebuilds. - no need to fire up tools, track down entries, build help which may or may not stay in sync.

  15. 15
    Xepol Says:

    @Jolyon: different is not always better. Often it is only different or worse.

    Also I disagree with your comment about the types of comments that should be in the code, pretty much completely. Since the XMLDoc stuff is actually optional, I would suggest the current method allows you to not use it, and me to use it - the best of both worlds.

    Understanding, of course, that XMLDoc and the related tooltips are no substitute for a good help file and higher level documentation which should really cover "how to use all of this together effectively"

  16. 16
    Rif Says:

    @Nick Hodges

    "Delphi Programming is now at #9 with two up green arrows"

    That is standing from last month May 2010. TIOBE is always late with their monthly updates.

    If you find TIOBE important I suggest you add "Delphi Programming" to all the relevant pages of the Embarcadero site, because this is how this ranking is made. E.g. The Delphi language guide could have this tag on its pages.

  17. 17
    Nick Hodges Says:

    Rif –

    Yep, every time Tiobe sees "Delphi Programming", then the index goes up. That is why I type "Delphi Programming" as much as I can, and why I encourage all of you fine people to type "Delphi Programming" as much a you can as well.


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