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Delphi 3, is it worth it?

I hope this qualifies as Delphi question -- borland.public.delphi.non-technical always eats my posts, or I'd go there.  Is it worth my time to learn Delphi via Delphi 3 Professional, or should I make an effort to get my hands on a more modern version -- and by "modern version" I'm thinking of something more than the free Delphi 6 Personal edition ffom Borland.  I'm interested in picking up Delphi, just to one day add Object Pascal to my resume, so it what I have a good place to start?

Andrew Burton
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Learning Delphi 3 is a perfectly acceptable means of learning Object Pascal. The language itself has not undergone any major changes since that release. The real differences in recent versions are improvements to the IDE, better support for COM, ADO, Web Services and most recently .NET.

Bryan Bedard
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Yes, it's worth it. I learned Delphi using Delphi 3. D3 added threading and a few other nifty little things to the VCL.

Since then, there have been a few additions to the language. Default parameters is the only one that really sticks out, though.

Anchors were added after D3 ... anchors are nice when laying out complex forms, but you can simulate them in software.

If you like D3, you can upgrade later on, but if you hate it, might as well not spend the cash for a recent version. Still, it is worth it, because Delphi is a dream for lots of development tasks. It's definitely my favorite language, and everything else seems clumsy in comparison. The nice, clear syntax, the self-sufficient executables, the extremely fast compile times, the automatic removal of trailing space ... all very well done.

Anthony Mills
Tuesday, October 8, 2002

I believe you can download an evaluation copy of Delphi 6 Enterprise.  Should be fully functional with a drop dead date, IIRC.

Alvin Lee
Wednesday, October 9, 2002

I may be wrong, but I think the correct support of COM started with Delphi 4.

If you plan to have low level integration with Microsoft components or use the COM/COM+ architecture, you'll be better with a later version.

Robert Chevallier
Wednesday, October 9, 2002

IIRC, dynamic arrays came in with Delphi 4. I remember writing my own classes to implement (slow-ish) dynamic arrays in my D3 days. Also not lifetime managed. I think method overloading (i.e. method of the same name with different parameter signatures) came in Delphi 5.

I'm still using 5 - the upgrade price hikes since have been just too much for the added extras.

Max Hadley
Thursday, October 10, 2002

As a rule of thumb, the odd version numbers of Delphi seem to be pretty good versions, in general! ;-)

Delphi 1 was fantastic in the 16-bit world, Delphi 3 was good, as was Delphi 5, and Delphi 7 shapes up to be as good as anything before. Avoid Delphi 4 at all costs, though!

You could also download the latest *FREE* Delphi 7 Personal from Borland's web site, or have them ship it to you for $99 (or pick it up locally at a bookstore / software shop). It gives you the Delphi 7 look & feel, however, it doesn't include any database or web components.

Marc Scheuner
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Delphi 6 Personal is available on Borland's web site, not Delphi 7.

Brad Clarke
Monday, October 21, 2002

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