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 Kylix Reaches The Netherlands
See Also: Linux Book Reviews

By Arnim Mulder & Rick Beerendonk.

During the Conference to the Max which was held in Noordwijkerhout (Netherlands) on May 1st and 2nd, Charlie Calvert did present two Kylix sessions. Now everybody is curious what it will look like and you won't be surprised if we tell you that the room was packed with people. For those of you who couldn't be there, here is an abstract.

Charlie showed an alpha, not a beta version. This version came without an IDE which was a disappointment for most. Charlie was not allowed to talk about databases either. Because most of us will be working with databases, it was another disappointment. But for the rest it was a great show.

If you like to read about Kylix and databases you can read the interview with Chuck Jazdzewski on EXE OnLine. Chuck did what Charlie wasn't allowed to do: Talk (or in this case: write) about databases.

The session started with a little bit about Linux. The past was briefly addressed, the present and future was told to be very good especially for servers. Right now already 31% of all websites is powered by Linux, compared to 24% powered by Windows.

After this it was all Kylix. The first versions coming will be Delphi Standard and Delphi Professional. Although there were no dates given, we saw the text "Kylix Rules the World in mid-2000 (or sometime soon)" in one of the Demo's. The C++Builder Standard and Professional versions will follow later. The high end version of Kylix, called Enterprise Studio for Linux, will be released after the C++Builder version. Enterprise Studio will be one IDE for both Delphi and C++.

Now that we knew a little about the release plans, Charlie explained the goals of Kylix:

Linux vs Windows
The following slide, which is a comparison between Linux and Windows, was shown:

Charlie said that the Sockets in Linux were implemented without COM.

What about the VCL? The VCL depends on Windows and will only exist (now and in the future) on the Windows platform. For Kylix they developed CLX (pronounce "clicks"). CLX will be a cross platform library and will not only exist in Kylix, but should also become available for Windows. So if you want truly portable code you should use CLX instead of VCL components. CLX will depend on Qt. Inprise/Borland pays the Qt deployment licence (required for Windows), so we don't have to worry about that.

About components and properties. Some components won't be in Kylix, like the Decision Cube. Some properties will disappear and some new properties will be introduced. Inprise/Borland doesn't promise you a simple recompile of your current projects to run them under Linux. However, Charlie stated that for a typical project that took 6 months to build you can expect 1 month to adjust it for Kylix.

A list of small things:

Demo Apps
A couple of applications were shown. Nothing special about this except for the fact that it was truly Delphi running natively on Linux. What was remarkable was the uses part of one of the units:

   SysUtils, Classes, QControls, QForms, QStdCtrls, QGraphics, qt;
All units started with a Q depend on Qt. In another example we saw this:
   {$IFDEF WIN32}
Charlie commented that a new LINUX compiler directive is added to the compiler.

We wrote earlier that there was no database talk. However Charlie showed an executable built in Kylix which opened an InterBase table and gave the opportunity to browse through it (and add and delete records). Charlie promised cross platform database support. We wonder how they will do this!

Finally Charlie showed an application both under KDE and Gnome. It worked perfect.

Slowly Borland shows us more and more of Kylix. We got a good impression, but it is too early to say what the final product will mean for the Borland community.

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