Currently IntraWeb 14 supports from Delphi/C++ 2009 forward. This means IntraWeb 14 supports twelve versions of Delphi/C++. In most cases it is not a big problem to build for so many versions, but it does create roadblocks. For example, Delphi 2009 has generics but they are horribly buggy and require the disabling of inlining to even have any hopes of working. Thus, IntraWeb avoids generics. This is just one example, but supporting compilers from 8 years ago does hold our development back and it is measurable.
Recently we started collecting anonymous telemetrics which let us see which Delphi versions our current customer base is using. We do not collect any information other than simple anonymous data such as the Delphi version, edition, IntraWeb edition, etc.
Using this information we can better plan the IDE support for our future products. IntraWeb 14 will not change it’s level of IDE support, but for the upcoming 16 and 17 we likely will move up our minimum IDE support.
Moving up the minimum IDE version helps us better develop IntraWeb by:
- Reducing the number of build variations in our build and installer
- Reduces differences that must be tested and supported between compilers and IDE versions
- Allows us to take advantage of newer compiler features such as generics
- Reduces workarounds that are sometimes necessary for compilers that are no longer supported or patched by Embarcadero
- Simplifies code by reducing the number of IFDEF statements
With the ARC compiler and other changes affecting the newer IDE versions this is becoming more and more important to keep our code base in a reasonably maintainable state.
Several years ago we moved our minimum IDE support from Delphi 7 up to Delphi 2009. For users using IDE versions prior to Delphi 2009 we offer older versions of IntraWeb such as IntraWeb 11. Even in 2017 we still sell licenses for these older IDE versions and still have some users purchasing these licenses for older IDE versions but they are small in number.
Looking at our recent telemetrics from 2009 through 10.1 Berlin reveals the following data among:
- Paid current IntraWeb licenses
- Period of ~Feb 2017
- Based on actual launching of the IDE with the most recent IntraWeb 14 versions
This does not include users running older versions of 14 or older IntraWeb versions, but does represent our main user base. From this data and user set we can determine:
- Delphi 2009: 0%
Despite this, we know we have a few Delphi 2009 users based on support requests.
- Delphi 2010: 0.6%
- Delphi XE through 10.1 Berlin: 99.4%
- Delphi XE2 through 10.1 Berlin: 98.2%
- Delphi XE5 through 10.1 Berlin: 94.1%
IntraWeb 16 and 17 are still in early but active development. If we were to make the decision today, it appears that we could move to XE or XE2 as a new minimum. Possibly by the time IntraWeb 16 and 17 are released, we may even be able to go to XE5.
If you are a paid and active IntraWeb user using an IDE pre XE5, or especially pre XE2 – Can and would you be willing to upgrade your Delphi IDE to something newer? Or how important is pre XE5 and pre XE2 support to you as a customer? Please let us know via the support forums.