To help or not to Help

Well, I've been cutting CodeGear some slack as promised, but it's now almost 2 (two!) months since Delphi 2007 is out and there are a couple things still missing... Not counting quite a few new bugs introduced in Delphi 2007 and the number of bugs (not so easy to query) that were reported against previous versions and are still present in Delphi 2007, there are two major issues that I still have with Delphi 2007:

1) (not so) Improved help, even using this hack, is a major drawback, not so much to my current work, but to the type of work I'm trying to perform on QC by helping testing/sorting out bug reports. Having to fight with the help system to get the correct definitions for things as basic as virtual, class, type, strict and more, just so I can be sure if something being reported is indeed a bug or if it's working as designed, does considerably lengthen the amount of time I need to spend on QC bug reports... I'm currently in the middle of one such fight that led me to blog a bit about this...

2) Lack of a decent backup solution and a decent installer for all those people like myself that didn't think of purchasing the Media Kit; sure, I've hacked it a bit by now, but I'd rather simply set a virtual drive to the ISO image (something that only those who do purchase the DVD get to download, go figure!), and install from there, rather than having to copy the install cache to the proper place to prevent it from re-downloading all again.

I just hope that CodeGear's way of fixing D2007 is not just wait until BDS 2007 is out and force users to move to that product to get the long promised improved help... For those thinking of criticizing this last comment, how can one not think that when they won't say a word about what's going on, be that due to SOX or to whatever?... No fixes, no word out, and two months are gone in a couple days...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: a fix a month that targets one major issue is way better then waiting 6 or more months for a huge fix... And, of course, the worst part of all this wait is that we have no feedback on whether those fixes are a day or a year ahead... :(


Anonymous said...

I've been loyally clicking "Check for Updates" once or twice a week since I received Delphi 2007... All the hoo-ha that was made about the new installer making it easier to release small fixes rather than waiting on big ones...


Anonymous said...


I agree that the new help is pretty terrible, I have a blog that rips it apart (there isn't even a Delphi language filter).

But my biggest pet peave with this release is Glass... it is just NOT a viable solution. I have done some comprehensive tests in my new blog, where I tested most of the controls.

I also think it is ridiculous to make us set "DoubleBuffered := true" on anything that is put on glass. Can't they just check if the control is on glass and then set it automatically?

I also found a DBExpress property called "AutoClone" which was screwing up performance and transactions against my MySQL database.

As you mention. They help is definitely NOT the best help ever. I have a blog somewhere on that too. I love the "no help found for context: (none)" message. One of my blogs really tears the help apart.

I really think that all the cheerleading coming out of CodeGear is hurting their image. I find that the developer blogs are lacking true credibility... and I just don't trust them anymore.