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Atozed Home  »  IntraWeb  »  IntraWeb Blog

XI: IntraWeb XI New Roadmap

3/22/2010

If you are using IntraWeb 10, you should strongly consider migrating to IntraWeb XI soon.

IntraWeb XI

We have tried over the last months to message the reason behind IntraWeb XI, but somehow the message has not been conveyed well. IntraWeb over the years has gained a lot of legacy code including support and design decisions made around browsers as old as IE 3.0, which did not even support frames. This has created a lot of baggage in the IntraWeb source code.

IntraWeb XI is a step to eliminate much of this old code which complicates the support of IntraWeb. There are some API changes, but our target is to allow users to upgrade projects of any size in less than 15 minutes, and maintain nearly 100% run time compatibility. Some features have been removed, but they are features that do not make sense in the current Internet world, and are used by few users today.

While XI contains some new features, most features are being pushed to XII. This will further stabilize the XI code and give users more confidence moving to XI from 10, and allowing us to put the new features in XII. This will allow users to move and take advantage of the new lighter code base, while allowing others to experiment with the new features in XII betas.

Download

Download the latest version of IntraWeb XI now.

The New XI Plan

Revised from the original XI plan.

Overview

Our original plans for IntraWeb 11 are just too big to perform in one step. During the beta, we still need to maintain 10, and overall it would prolong the development. Because of this, we have decided to split the original plans into IntraWeb 11, and IntraWeb 12. IntraWeb 11 will be a major change in our development process moving forward.

IntraWeb XI

To differentiate this, it will be called IntraWeb XI (11 in roman numerals).

We wanted to avoid the confusing mess that some companies have created with version identifiers (Windows 3, 3.1 numbers, 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, and finally back to numbers again, 7), but still somehow signify that XI is not just the next version of IntraWeb, but a major change.

IntraWeb XII

IntraWeb XII is the next version after XI and will contain the integration with CrossTalk and ASP.NET. IntraWeb XI lays the groundwork for this major step and will allow us to spend less time on maintenance versus IntraWeb 10.

Goals

The goals of IntraWeb XI are:

  • Simplified code base for easier maintenance
  • Very high level of compatibility with IntraWeb 10
  • Provide foundation for IntraWeb XII and beyond

New - Integrated Page Mode (In progress)

More information will be posted in the future on this topic.

New - Code Cleanup and Streamlining (Completed)

Despite the fact that IntraWeb some time ago dropped support for Kylix, Visual Studio.NET, and Delphi.NET there are still many IFDEF statements and extra code left over. We generally left them because we did not want to risk changing working code. As part if IntraWeb XI we will remove this extra code, and refactor many areas to be much simpler now that we can focus exclusively on native VCL.

New - Simplified Build Process (Completed)

The source code tree has been simplified which makes performing builds easier.

New - More Source

We intend to ship more source code for developers to use.

New - Website (Completed)

The complete Atozed website is being redeveloped from scratch. We will keep the general design and layout, however the content is being reworked from scratch. Other parts of the Atozed site have already been completed. Next is the IntraWeb section.

New - Unified Project Type

Services and GUI standalone can now be handled in a single project type.

Discontinued Features

IntraWeb XI will discontinue many older features to allow us to clean the code base. Because there are some users using some of the discontinued features, unlike previous releases, IntraWeb 10 will continue to be supported after IntraWeb XI is released for these features.

Discontinued - WAP and HTML 3.2

Both of these features have been mature for several years. While they are supported up through IntraWeb 10, no major changes to their functionality has been made since their introduction to IntraWeb several years ago. A few users do use these features, but they add complexity to the code base. WAP and HTML 3.2 users will continue to be supported with our extended support of IntraWeb 10.

Discontinued - Older Browsers

We have yet to decide on what the minimum browser standards will be for IntraWeb XI. We are investigating the following based on current browser usage.

  • Firefox 3.0 - Firefox 2.0 is rarely used.
  • Internet Explorer 7. - IE 6 is waning quickly in usage in favor of 7 and 8. By the time IntraWeb XI is released, IE 6's numbers are expected to be very minimal. In addition, there are several active web campaigns to eliminate support for IE 6. In early 2010, a mock funeral was held.
  • Chrome, Safari
Opera numbers continue to drop and are well below below 5%. Applications might run in Opera and no code will be added to prevent such, but we do not plan to make significant tests or investments in special code to run in Opera.

Discontinued - Development Environments

IntraWeb 10 supports Delphi 5 to Delphi 2010 (except Delphi 8), and C++ Builder 5 through CDS 2010. At a minimum we know that we must support Delphi 7. Supporting Delphi 6 and Delphi 5 do not require much extra effort, but do complicate the build process quite significantly. Our proposed development environment support for IntraWeb XI is as follows. Users of discontinued environments will still be supported for IntraWeb 10. IntraWeb 10 is not being "end of lifed".

Version Delphi C++
5 No No
6 Maybe No
7 Yes
N/A
8 No N/A
2005 No No
2006  Yes  Yes
2007 Yes Yes
2009 Yes Yes
2010 Yes Yes

These are the proposed supported environments. If there is enough demand for ones marked as "no", they will be re-examined.

Discontinued - Client Side Data Sets (Completed)

These are not the VCL CSDS, but the IntraWeb ones. These use an older technology, that we will replace at a later time using newer functionality now available in browsers.

Discontinued - Client Side Charts (Completed)

For the same reason as Client Side Data Sets.

Discontinued - umPartial (Completed)

umPartial was many years ahead of its time. Even today umPartial can do many things that AJAX cannot. However maintaining two implementations has grown quite complex. From IntraWeb XI and forward, we will continue to upgrade our AJAX support so that it can match all the features of umPartial and also remain more powerful than other AJAX implementations.

Discontinued - Page Mode (Completed)

IntraWeb XII will contain a new more advanced page mode with more features and better integration with application mode.

Discontinued - Apache DSO (Completed)

CodeGear discontinued it a long time ago and we only "unofficially" support it now, now we will fully discontinue it. Further, Apache can now run ISAPI DLLs.

Discontinued - DynGrid (Completed)

The DynGrid depended on client side datasets (discontinued) and will be replaced with an enhanced Silverlight based control.

Discontinued - Tracking Options (Completed)

IntraWeb 10 supports tmURL, tmHidden, and tmCookie. When the tracking options were first designed, most websites did not use cookies and many users explicitly blocked all cookies. Browsers and websites have matured, and on today's Internet, cookies are much more common. In those days, many users also completely disabled Javascript. Both Javascript and cookies are essential to the modern Internet. Users who which to control cookies, control them with granularity by monitoring them, rather than restricting all. Corporations, instead of applying blanket policies, enforce URL based restrictions.

Using cookies to track sessions allows IntraWeb to implement many more features, including a better page mode that is integrated with application mode, and URL mapping. Because of this, all sessions in IntraWeb XI will be tracked using cookies.

Some users used tmHidden or tmURL to allow single users to run multiple sessions in separate tabs or windows. tmCookie does not allow this. We are aware of this need, and because of this a new property named AllowMultipleSessionsPerUser in the ServerController is being added. This will allow users to run separate sessions in each browser tab or window, yet still use cookies.

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