Friday, 7 August 2009

Behind The Scenes 2009

Filed under: Just Great Software — Jan Goyvaerts @ 16:08

A lot has changed since last year’s behind the scenes post. I have a new blog (three actually), a new home with a much bigger office, and a new PC. Instead of a dual core with dual 19″ LCDs I now have a quad core with dual 24″ LCDs.

The era of single-threaded applications is really coming to a close (an article I wrote in 2005!). Intel’s latest i7 CPU is a quad core with hyperthreading, meaning a single-threaded application can’t push the Windows task manager beyond 12.5% of CPU usage. Any developer of CPU-bound applications (i.e. the user has to wait while the app maxes out the CPU) should have at least a quad core CPU. That’s the only way to test whether the application properly scales on multi-core CPUs.

The dual 24″ LCDs are very nice too. While square 19″ LCDs allow you to put two windows side by side (one on each monitor), widescreen 24″ LCDs have just enough space to put four windows side by side. I use a small utility called WinSplit Revolution to quickly put windows into the left or right half of either screen.

On the software front, all present Just Great Software products are being maintained with Delphi 2007. RegexMagic 1.0 was the last major release developed with Delphi 2007. Future new products and major upgrades will be developed with Delphi 2009 (or later), making them full Unicode applications. Though the migration to Unicode is quite straigthforward, I’ve decided to make the migration when a product receives a major upgrade. The main reason behind that is that applications developed with Delphi 2009 require Windows XP or Windows Vista (or Windows 7 when it’s released).

Just Great Software behind the scenes 2009


  1. “applications developed with Delphi 2009 require Windows XP or Windows Vista”

    Applications developed with Delphi 2009 will also run in Windows 2000.

    Comment by Jon Robertson — Saturday, 8 August 2009 @ 0:55

  2. “The main reason behind that is that applications developed with Delphi 2009 require Windows XP or Windows Vista (or Windows 7 when it’s released).”

    That seems like it would limit your market quite a bit. I run a small business myself so I realize that you have to focus your resources, but have you ever played with Lazarus, which is another incarnation of any open-source Delphi? I recall that you tried to use Kylix for a Linux version of Editpad but stopped when Kylix fizzled.

    It seems like the Mac might be a good target market for you with the explosion of the Iphone App business. And, no I am not an Apple fanatic; it’s just an example. I would be interested in a Linux version of Editpad.

    Comment by Bob — Monday, 10 August 2009 @ 0:12

  3. Applications created with Delphi 2009 will most likely run on Windows 2000, but CodeGear does not officially support Windows 2000.

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Monday, 10 August 2009 @ 12:24

  4. Great to see one (successful) software house is not giving up on Delphi!

    Had not come across the term CPU-bound application before, a definition I found is: “A CPU-bound application is an application that constantly interrupts the processor in case there is data to be processed. An example of a CPU-bound application is the Slide Show in Microsoft PowerPoint.”

    Regarding threading, interestingly, if one has a web app that one is porting to Google’s appspot space, one has to bear in mind that GAE starts each app as a single-threaded process. So if your app uses and 3rd party libraries that spawn separate threads you have to “clean” that up for GAE.

    Comment by boardtc — Monday, 10 August 2009 @ 18:51

  5. Jan,

    Can you please provide a reference for this? This is contrary to everything I can find, including this press release from CodeGear: http://www.codegear.com/article/38512

    “Delphi and C++Builder 2009 support development and deployment on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.”

    This is very important to me because many of our customers are still using Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 2000 Server and we’re in the process of migrating our project from Delphi 6 to Delphi 2009.


    Comment by Jon Robertson — Monday, 10 August 2009 @ 20:02

  6. I was under the impression that Windows 2000 was no longer supported by Delphi 2009. If the press release mentions Windows 2000, then I was obviously wrong.

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Wednesday, 12 August 2009 @ 15:34

  7. With “CPU-bound” I meant an application of which the performance is bound by (limited by) the CPU; an application that can only be made to run faster by the end user by getting a faster CPU.

    The article that you link to uses the term “CPU-bound” in the same way, emphasising that an application that uses 100% CPU can make other applications run slowly. On modern multi-core systems, disk-bound applications are more likely to bog down the system (i.e. applications that are constantly reading from disk as fast as they can, starving other applications and Windows itself for disk access).

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Wednesday, 12 August 2009 @ 15:40

  8. One more comment, hopefully my last. :)

    I just had an issue where a Delphi 2009 application would not launch under Windows 2000. When creating a component with streamed properties, a “stream read error” occurs. Googling revealed that ensuring Service Pack 4 was installed resolved this for others.

    I can confirm that installing SP4 resolved the issue for my customer. There were four workstations where the app failed, none of which had SP4. After installing SP4, everything ran fine.

    Others indicated that SP4 was not required for apps built previous to “Update 3” but were required for apps built with “Update 3”. In my scenario, the apps were built with “Update 3”.

    The installation readme for Delphi 2009 states that SP4 is recommended but does not list it as required. The readme for Update 3 makes no mention of OS requirements. :(

    Comment by Jon Robertson — Saturday, 15 August 2009 @ 5:28

  9. Thanks for your feedback, Jon. I guess the problems on Windows 2000 systems without SP4 are what made me believe Windows 2000 wasn’t supported.

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Tuesday, 18 August 2009 @ 11:17

  10. Good article, I liked it and I also like the cat, like mine likes to sleep on my keyboard.

    Comment by flowers — Tuesday, 27 October 2009 @ 20:19

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