Delphi Prism, M.D.

Over the past couple months, a lot of progress has been made with getting Delphi Prism integrated into MonoDevelop. As mentioned before (and in our ROadmap), one of the “big” focuses in the current product cycle leading up to the August release next month has been a major refactoring of our internal IDE code, both in preparation for Visual Studio 2010 (Beta 1 of which which we’ll be supporting in August) and MonoDevelop.

So without further ado, below you will find the first ever screenshot of Delphi Prism being fully integrated into Mono Develop on the Mac:

Notice how we have a working Class Browser, Syntax Highlighting and Code Completion, as well as integrated building using MSBuild/XBuild.

Of course MonoDevelop is taking shape on Windows as well and of course (always has) runs on Linux, and Delphi Prism will integrate with it on all three platforms. Windows, i suppose, is the least exciting of these three options (after all, we already have Visual Studio, there), but having a native IDE running on either Mac or Linux should be a great boon for everyone using Delphi Prism to develop for these platforms.

So what’s the time line here, you’re asking? Good question! I cannot quite confirm a specific ship date, for two reasons. For one, while basic integration is working, there’s still a lot of Ts to dot and Is to cross. Lockdown for the August releases is imminent, so MonoDevelop definitely will not make it into that (also due to reason #2) – but then, hey, one new IDE per release should be enough, right?

Secondly, there’s still the remaining issue of MonoDevelop being licensed under GPL. The MD team, our team and a few contributors from the Delphi Prism community have done a great job moving this forward, but we still have some ~20 or so modules left that need to be rewritten before MonoDevelop is non-GPL and we can ship integration for it. Your help would be appreciated with this, so if you have some spare time, please check out our newsgroup to see how you can help (or drop me a direct mail).

As far as our coding efforts go, i would think we should be ready to ship a preview of MonoDevelop support sometime between the August and November releases. i would also hope that come November, MD will be GPL-clean, and we can officially ship this in the November release of Delphi Prism*.

Also, what about Sharp Develop? To be honest, we’re undecided. While SharpDevelop (a Windows-only IDE for .NET and Mono) is closely related to MonoDevelop, it is different enough that supporting it would mean extra work. With MonoDevelop starting to look good on Windows now, we’re not sure if there’s much sense going thru the effort to integrate with SharpDevelop as well. What’s your thought on that? Can you see any benefits to SD support (that MD does not cover)?

*So if you’re buying RAD Studio 2010, not Delphi Prism standalone, make sure to get Software Assurance to be eligible for new features in November!

marc hoffman

Chief Architect and CEO here at RemObjects Software. Project Manager for Elements and lead developer of Fire, our awesome new development environment for the Mac.