22 Votes

Original Delphi is too expensive - Are there Alternatives?

Question by Guest | 2013-07-31 at 23:45

Up to now, for several years, I have been using the Turbo Delphi that was freely available at that time for developing small to medium programming tasks. Unfortunately, I am coming more and more to the limits of the Turbo Version. Above all, it bothers me that I can not embed components into the IDE (a restriction of the free Turbo Version) and that the program does not provide automatic support for Unicode characters (in those days that concerned all versions of Delphi and it is very cumbersome to adjust).

Above all of the other things, these are the reasons, why I have been looking for an alternative for some time. I am more than satisfied with the programming language Pascal/Delphi and therefore, I would gladly stay with Delphi. However, the new Delphi versions are much too expensive for my circumstances and apparently, they are unnecessarily bloated. I tried to install a trial version and apparently my Windows XP is no longer supported because the program constantly vomits error messages. Also, I wonder why Delphi takes so much memory - the older versions came out with about 500 MB and they were much leaner and faster! In addition, sometimes I am working on my laptop and sometimes on my desktop PC and it seems to me, that I would have to buy two separate licenses for them - priceless for me!

My search for a suitable program/IDE to perform my programming projects, has led me to several other languages like C++ or C# and Eclipse. Nice point here is that the IDE is free and I was able to start immediately. However, I'm really used to the Delphi language and I don't like the way how even simplest tasks such as clicking on a button has to be programmed in languages like C++ and C#! While in Delphi, it is sufficient to click on a button in the GUI designer to assign a procedure, only this step alone takes ages in the other languages (listener and so on).

Now I am back to the beginning and I would like to ask here, whether someone can help me. Is there a real alternative to Delphi?

8Best Answer8 Votes

I think there is a real alternative. It is called Lazarus and should meet all of your requirements.

  • Lazarus is an open source project and can be downloaded free of charge. Therefore, it can be installed on any computer and it can even be used for commercial purposes.
  • Lazarus is using Free Pascal as programming language what is almost completely identical to the Delphi language. This means that you can continue using your old projects with Lazarus (sometimes minor adjustments are required) and you do not need work in a new language.
  • Lazarus is also providing the tools and windows known from Delphi such as the Object Inspector and those things. Additionally, Lazarus also has some useful things that Delphi is not providing (for example, a code search in all libraries).
  • By default, Lazarus is using Unicode UTF-8 for strings. So, all controls and strings are automatically supporting Unicode.
  • And perhaps the best for last: Lazarus is very slim, it is installed in minutes (Delphi sometimes takes hours) and will start in a few seconds. Lazarus is also platform independent and can be installed on Windows, Linux an Mac OS X. Programs that do not use the specific API-functions of an operating system, can be unmodified compiled and used on all the systems.

Personally, I was skeptical when I first heard of Lazarus. But, by the time Lazarus became better and better and above all it is independent of the commercial Delphi. This is a greater planning security for projects and I must say that I am now completely switched over to Lazarus with my new projects, I am only using Delphi for my older projects. And please do not scare away after you see the big size of the EXE file after compiling on Windows as I did after my first trial. If you go to the options, you can simply determine that the debugging information should not be written into the file which makes your EXE coming back to a normal size.
2013-08-01 at 10:38

ReplyPositive Negative
02 Votes

You also might take a look at a couple of other visual object Pascal programming environments, both free of charge. One is Code Typhon, the other mseide.

The website for Code Typhon is www.pilotlogic.com, and the website for mseide is www.msegui.com.

Both, like Lazarus, are works in progress, but each has its strengths, and it's good to see that someone is responding to the very complaints you have about Delphi.
2014-02-01 at 11:30

ReplyPositive Negative
33 Votes

Code Typhoon is just a rebadged Lazarus with a few bits and pieces nailed too it, and the credits grinded off. I'd avoid it, personally.
2017-10-30 at 01:20

Positive Negative

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