Google Trends graph for “Delphi for PHP”:
Is it time to start preparing our Delphi for PHP eulogy?
Anyone remember Delphi for PHP, the much discussed RAD IDE for PHP? Its RAD features (think visual web page design, only not Frontpage style but VB style) were pretty cool. The idea of a common interface to open source components was also pretty awesome. And the product itself was decent, despite being somewhat buggy – hey, it was a version 1 release, can you blame them?
I had the pleasure of getting a pre-release copy for review purposes and found that, barring a problem with the licensing system, it was really quite good.
Of course, nobody I’d talked to about it managed to get it working for anything. I couldn’t achieve much with it either. It took me presenting at a Delphi User Group about the product and trying to work it out with a room full of Delphi developers before I managed to even fetch records from a database.
So maybe it wasn’t the next killer product for PHP developers. But it was the next killer product for Delphi developers. They sure seemed to understand it, and my crash course in PHP syntax was enough for them to understand its inner workings – after all, it was exactly what they’d been doing for years with pure Delphi, only with a different language underneath.
Some suggested it would create a massive dilution in quality of PHP developers, as developers working with Delphi for PHP would not really understand PHP application development. But where has this fantastic product, doomsayer predictions and all, gone?
Since its initial release, the product has been updated but in general is still in its buggy version 1 state. There is some private beta testing of the next major release, but we haven’t yet heard anything and the product has long lost its momentum in the community.
Where is the product headed now? If you are reading this, chances are you hadn’t heard of D4PHP before. It never really gained much traction, it lost what little it had, and now it’s sort of hanging in limbo. CodeGear will have to really impress us with version 2 if they want this project to make it.