Tuesday, February 8, 2005

10 Years of Delphi

That's right, on February 14th, St. Valentines' Day, Delphi will become 10 years old.  Delphi 1.0 was released to a standing room only crowd at the 1995 Software Developers Conference West.  I remember cringing when Anders Hejlsberg demoed the exception handling capabilities by dereferencing a nil pointer.   I had done all the work to map the hardware exceptions (via. the Windows 3.x toolhelp.dll) into language exceptions.  Windows 3.x at the time had no OS supported exception mechanism.  Remember all those “General Protection Fault” dialogs? brrrrr...  Here's a picture of an October 1994 pre-release CD of what was then known as “Delphi '95.”  Yep, “Delphi” was still only a codename at that point.

If you look closely you can see a reflection of me snaping this awful picture using my cell-phone ;-)..  Oh, and the postcard to the bottom left is one that was sent out to all the Turbo Pascal customers introducing Borland Pascal 7.0, which was the first product I worked on after joining Borland.


  1. I remember my first Delphi '95 prerelease manual. It had a lot of empty spaces with comments like "insert picture here".

    I first saw Delphi at Comdex in November 1994 in Toronto. I went to the show to check out CA Visual Objects and was amazed at the demo the Borland booth of Delphi. I didn't even know it existed until that moment.

    Sometimes in your life you get a feeling, an event happends and you know, at that moment, that your life is going to change. I remember feeling that as I watched that demo. I knew from that point on my life was going to change.

    I bugged, pestered and made a general nuisance of myself for the next month with phones calls almost daily to the Borland offices on Young Street. Then one day in early December of 1994 I called they said it came in. I said I would be right there and they told me to wait because they hadn't had time to photocopy the manuals yet. I didn’t care. I rushed over anyways.

    I became the very first person from Canada (outside of the official beta) to get my hands on Delphi. I waited in the Borland offices while they burned the CDs and printed out manuals. IIRC, they called it the Early Awareness program. It cost me around a $100 for the cd and manuals. Best $100 I ever spent.

    I had to sign NDA and I had no idea who else was on the program. It kinda sucked not being on an official beta because I had no support at all. No newsgroups, no one to correspond with. All I had was a couple of articles from Ray Konopka from a column he did on creating custom controls.

    I went home installed the cd and flipped thru the sparse manuals. Delphi was the best development environment I had ever used and it made programming fun again.

  2. I was at the launch event at SD'95. There was a palpable buzz in the room, and it was /packed/. I had to stand by the wall.

    When Anders referenced that nil PChar, there was a literal hush in the room, and when it didn't crash, putting up an exception instead, the place went crazy.

    The MS people in the back were carried out on stretchers, I think from hyperventilating. ;-)

    Keep up the good work. It's been a fantastic ten years.

  3. And I'll be celebrating the event by taking my wife out for a very nice (read: expensive) dinner on Monday ;-).. She was with me at that event... and I've never lived it down...

  4. I remember getting my hands on Delphi 95 when I was working for a "Borland Connections" partner... I couldn't believe my eyes... (Where's Resource Workshop? Does it mean I'll never have to override SetupWindow again?)

    That was the most fun I ever had with programming and it still is!

  5. Happy Birthday, my fair lady. Like a fine wine, you get better with time.

  6. It's been a great 10 years!

    I remember when I met Mike Leftwich at a Delphi Technology Transfer training session in 1994. Randy Haben (Borland SE) trained us on the FT version.

    Meeting Mike Leftwich there was the beginning of us starting discussions about forming the Dallas user's group (3D--Delphi Developers of Dallas). IIRC, we had over 350 people at the first meeting to see Charlie Calvert do a Delphi presentation. Mike did an awesome job leading the group for 5+ years.

    I remember the exception handling well. We actually added a menu pick to create a GPF in our application just to show off how our application written in Delphi wouldn't crash when an error like that occurred. It was great for demos.

    Happy 10th Birthday Delphi!

    David R.

  7. Heh, You 'old timers' crack me up! :-)

    I've only known Delphi since D3, but I've grown to fondly love her nevertheless.

    Happy Birthday Delphi. May the next 10 years be as strong for you (and Borland) as they were for the last 10. And if D2005 is any indication, they will be.

  8. Unfortunally, the first timne that i saw Delphi was in 1998. Was it Delphi4 Version. My great lucky was to know "The Right Thing" for all developers before to know others...

    From Brazil, Happy 10th Birthday Delphi!

  9. The vcl was the greates idea i think.Delphi was really the best RAD tool that i use !!!

    Thank you for every Delphi release.

    bst rgds

    Ivan Revelli

    P.S. : i was born on 1973 feb 16, only two days later....

  10. I was struggling with other tools at the time, saw an ad for Delphi and I knew that was the tool for me and I have never looked back! Thankyou Borland for fueling passion for quality software creation! From Denton, TX - Happy 10th Birthday!

  11. I can still clearly remember answering the post on the BPASCAL (CIS) forum from Waite Group Press soliciting for Delphi authors. They liked the sample article I submitted and in November I had a copy of Delphi running. Writing led to me quitting my last job and getting my first independent contract. So I can definitely say Delphi changed my career course!

  12. Delphi is my favorite tool. My friend introduced me to Delphi 1 as 'Visual Pascal'. Delphi has been and still is a great tool to work with. The language, the IDE, the framework, and the community makes Delphi great.<br>

    Happy birthday!

  13. Uh ... looking back at my first program developed using Delphi 1 ... coming from VB (like many those days) ... I couldn't believe my eyes.

    Rock on!

    ~Zarko Gajic

  14. I was using TP5.5 at that time and saw VB in some magazines. I decided to wait for "Visual Pascal" to arrive and as soon as Delphi 1 was launched, I bought my first Delphi :-)

  15. I have a lot of fun working with Delphi, everytime. OOP is the better way to put ideas to code. Im feeling more and more productive thanks to that wonferfoul piece of software. Thanks for ten years of enjoy and fun programming! And for ten years to go!

  16. I saw Delphi in 1995 at the University...

    ...and I fell in love...

    Happy Birthday Delphi!

  17. Just no comments!

    Delphi is an exellent thing!

  18. Two things stand out for me with Delphi. The first is when a bunch of us in the Paradox for Windows team were invited to the main conference room for an informal demo by Anders H. There were only a few of us, and he was demonstrating Scribble and how few lines of code it took to write it. Of course, the component palette had maybe 5 items on it, and we were pestering him about whether it would support VBX controls! The next one would have definitely been the day Anders Hejlsberg turned me from a C++ developer to a Delphi developer. I was working on some code to subclass a ListView into a grid like 'thing' for the Query Builder I was designing, and Anders came in to check it out. He asked me why the heck I was doing it in C++ instead of Delphi. I meekly responded my Pascal wasn't the greatest. "Nonsense" he told me. "Try it out and see if you don't get along better". The rest, as they say, is history. A week later I was several weeks ahead of where I would have been with C++, and I never looked back. It's been a great 10 years. Never have I been a more productive coder.

  19. Yesss! Up the Delphi!

    The power of ...




    Enjoy the party Guys!!!

  20. I was at the launch... and I have a few collectibles form the time I've posted to my site at: http://www.marcocantu.com/delphibirth/default.htm. There are a few more CDs, including the one ditributed at the SD event, the invitation to the SD event, pages from the conference brochure... and much more!

  21. I remember getting my hands on Delphi 95 when I was working for a "Borland Connections" partner... I couldn't believe my eyes... (Where's Resource Workshop? Does it mean I'll never have to override SetupWindow again?)

    That was the most fun I ever had with programming and it still is!

  22. the best language programming

    Delphi ....DELPHI...DELPHI


    ilove you Delphi

  23. Delphi ThE BBEEEESSSSTTTTT!!!!

    ??????? ?????? ? ???????? ?????? :)

  24. I didn't have the chance to experience delphi95 as i would of only been 8 :(, but i have used turbopascal and Delphi 6. I love them, it's makes coding easy. it's only resently that i have come to reall love Delphi more than anything, as i have to use vb at collage :|. which i dont like.

    i make my programs in Delphi first then in vb. it's quicker :D. i hope Delphi goes on forever..

  25. I like Delphi very much! I have used it since 1999.

  26. It still seems like yesterday when I was programming in Turbo C++ and a variety of other so called 'visual' development tools. The difficulties of creating a simple application was astonishing, there was nothing visual about writting hundreds of lines of code when you can just drop a component on the form. Best part was it kicked VB's ass to the moon!

    I picked the right tool, Delphi arrived at a good time, without it I would have given up programming and gone in to construction. :)


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