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Developer Stories: Julian Ziersch Engages On His fotoARRAY Application

fotoarray interview

Julian Ziersch has been programming with Delphi since 1996. His showcase entry (fotoARRAY Is An Amazing Image Manager For Easier Photo Browsing And It Is Made In Delphi) was featured at the Delphi 26th Showcase Challenge. He also shared with us his amazing experiences with programming in Delphi. Visit the fotoARRAY website for more information.

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When did you start using RAD Studio/Delphi and have long have you been using it?

I started with Delphi in 1996. Soon after I wrote and marketed word processor components (WPTools). These components are still my flagship products even today. At the time, Delphi was a ground-breaking developing environment, which allowed you to write native Windows programs that were very fast and had little overhead. Delphi is a compiler language and yet is just as easy to use as an interpreter language. Nowadays these differences don’t exist anymore, since we have just-in-time compilers, but back then this was very important and extremely helpful.

What was it like building software before you had RAD Studio/Delphi?

I was passionate about programming in C and later in C++ and had a successful database program on the market. However, at the time, the possibilities for debugging a program were very limited and it was often the case that the programmer ended up searching for errors longer than they did programming. Often, you also had to deal with the MFC and C++.

How did RAD Studio/Delphi help you create your showcase application?

Delphi provides the FireMonkey graphics library, which is ideally suited to program a presentation program like fotoARRAY. On the other hand, that is because it allows a scalable user interface, on the other hand, because it is extremely fast in displaying images and animation. And then you can also translate your programs for MacOS.

What made RAD Studio/Delphi stand out from other options?

Delphi is so practical because you can program for other platforms using a single project file. On the other hand, the run-time is relatively small and does not need to be installed in the system. This allows Delphi programs to run with very low maintenance. They can also be easily started from a storage medium without installation to the system. I could also envision a version of fotoARRAY or my word processor WPTools on Android, running on a tablet computer.

What made you happiest about working with RAD Studio/Delphi?

For me one of the best Delphi features is the complier speed. You never wait more than 2-3 seconds for the program to start. I also like the underlying language, Pascal, which is not so prone to errors as C++. Another advantage that I have come to appreciate is the FireMonkey. With FireMonkey amazingly complex user interfaces are possible without using many components. This is because you can nest components and sub-windows inside each other.

What have you been able to achieve through using RAD Studio/Delphi to create your showcase application?

I was able to fulfill a dream of mine within a relatively short period of time. This dream, which I have cherished since the introduction of digital photography, was to program my own photo management. In the meantime, the program even includes its own set of unique, yet powerful tools for photo editing.

What are some future plans for your showcase application?

I have plans to incorporate my word processing technology (WPTools) to make it possible to create documents, which not only include text but also numerous images. Using regular word processors on the desktop, such as documents often cause an exponential increase in memory consumption. With my technology, I can avoid this problem. Furthermore,  I want to use my PDF technology (wPDF) to create PDF files from image libraries (contact sheets) and from the aforementioned photo stories. The embedded photo editing tools should allow the user to quickly edit RAW formats – particularly if no specialized program is available. Or also to process .jpg files without altering the originals. The main focus of the editing is to adjust the colors and exposure of the image, whereas other steps, such as compositions, can be done with external programs. Ultimately, it is more important to me to create a good interface with external RAW and image processing tools than integrated processing – there are some very good tools available on the market and the user should not be locked in with one tool. On the whole, I would like to reach a wider audience with fotoARRAY. I also plan to incorporate new technologies into fotoARRAY but will take care that it remains a fast tool for image browsing.

Thank you, Julian! You may click the link below to view his showcase entry.


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