IntraWeb XII news
We still have some more updating to do on the website and we still have a major effort in the docs area that we hope to unveil soon.
XII has shipped with XE2 with 64 bit support and many new features over XI. XII for other IDE’s has now shipped, however there is one change that has been made between the betas and the release.
As I’ve discussed before, a major problem is code maintenance. In fact I hate IFDEFS and in the Indy code you will see they were originally extremely marginalized and isolated, although in more recent versions I believe team members have expanded them a bit.
From .NET to Kylix and so forth IW code has become dependent on too many IFDEFs. Fortunately we have been able to rid our code of the .NET and Kylix code, but up to and including XI, we still support back to Delphi 7. This introduces three major variants for us:
1) Slight but important differences in the VCL going back to Delphi 7.
2) Delphi 7 is the older IDE, while newer IDEs were rewritten. The newer IDEs generally load the older design packages, but it does have impact. More importantly we cannot take advantage of newer APIs and features because of Delphi 7.
3) Unicode vs non Unicode. I’ve heard repeatedly from developers that its not hard to develop for both. For a typical Delphi component, especially UI components that is true. But IntraWeb has to deal with encodings – and a LOT of them in many places. ISAPI, HTTP and many other places. Many parts of the VCL also act differently with Unicode and non Unicode. This causes us to create two completely different implementations of many parts of our code.
And now with XE2 we have a 64 bit variant. Fortunately that one while it does have impact is much smaller than the Unicode one. But each of these variants create often dozens of code paths to fix bugs in and test.
Several years ago we declared a period of “super stabilization” focusing on bugs. This unfortunately became a swamp because of the above factors and slowed down feature development significantly.
We had discussed dropping pre Unicode IDEs for IntraWeb XIV. Based on the feedback and offline user surveys of what IDEs are still being used, as well as expressed intent to upgrade to XE2, we are making this change effective for IntraWeb XII. The betas of XII did support non Unicode, but moving forward the maintenance is just too much to handle for the number of users who are still using pre Unicode IDEs. This means that XII will be supported only for Delphi 2009 and forward.
What about Delphi 2007 and 7 users? We will continue to support IntraWeb XI, especially for these IDEs.
What else is coming in XII? Because of this IDE change, many of the features planned for XIV will be moved forward to XII. This is also an added bonus for XE2 users, because they will receive these upgrades for free. Of course our Ultimate users who have a current subscription will receive updates as well.
We are working on a lot of things in the pipe – but let me give you a few of the items we are considering bringing forward to XII:
- New project type that can be loaded dynamically by ISAPI and SA – and possibly dynamically unloaded as well. ie server management of ISAPI and SA. This also means many SA apps can run on a single port.
- HTML 5 support. This has been an obstacle before because it will break a lot of JS code, and 3P code. We plan to put a property on the form level that will let you choose PER FORM HTML 4 or 5, so you can move one form at a time.
- File upload – A complete rewrite of the file upload component to take advantage of newer options now presented to us by the more modern browsers.
- And more to come as well….
The above changes as well as a focus on modern browsers (as well as legacy support for older ones) will allow IntraWeb to again become focused on features and move forward into the modern web era.