Category Archives: Firemonkey

FireMonkey Tips

Over at there is a great post outlining tips and tricks for FireMonkey and Delphi XE2.  Of you’re in the process of creating a FireMonkey app and you have a Win32 Delphi heritage this is a proverbial must read.  Find out more here:

Anyone else got some, “this has taken me 30 minutes to figure out” kind of FireMonkey tips?

VCL and the FireMonkey Framework (FMX)

We all know and love the VCL. So the qurstion looming large is how will the new FireMonkey son-of-VCL measure up?  Lars Fosdal has a great blog post showing the difference and thankfully the similarities of the VCL and the new FireMonkey framework, which has is know as FMX.

He sums it up as,

This was just a very shallow outline of some of the differences between VCL and FMX, but it is perhaps enough food for thought to make you realize that you most likely will have to put some effort into moving from VCL to FMX. In some cases, you can get away with minor adjustments, but when it comes to sophisticated GUI – or stuff that is based on Windows functions – you will need to rewrite parts of your code.

Details of Third Party XE2 & FireMonkey Support

DevExpress is one of my favorite Delphi component vendors.  So I was interested to read Julian Bucknall’s blog post outlining DevExpress’ plans for XE2, 64 bit and FireMonkey.  While DevExpress will fully support VCL in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavors, when it comes to FireMonkey he said,

we’re going to take a long term view for our support for FireMonkey. We will not support it immediately. Instead we will experiment to see what is involved in converting our controls to use it and will also monitor feedback and the market for it in order to make better informed decisions next year

So, quite sensibly they are taking a “wait and see” strategy.  Personally I think the demand for FireMonkey components will be significant. So I’m anticipating DevExpress committing to FireMonkey in 2012.

RemObject are taking the plunge and providing Hydra support for FireMonkey.  On the RemObject’s blog, Alexander Krakovskii said,

FireMonkey support in Hydra will ship soon™ after Delphi XE2 is generally available, and will be a free update to any customer with an active Hydra subscription.

Personally, I’m hoping TMS jump in and commit to FireMonkey.

Which components would you like to see for FireMonkey – please comment?

Delphi FireMonkey, iOS and the Free Pascal Compiler

In this forum post, we can read some interesting comments by Michael Swindell from Embarcadero:

Re FPC, we will be coming out with a Delphi ARM compiler at some point, but we’re appreciative that FPC is available today for ARM/iOS and we were able to leverage to get FireMonkey to iOS.

So it’s just a stopgap solution for them until they have time to build their own ARM compiler, but the fact that they will ship FPC definitely serves as a testament to its quality :) Very cool!

So FireMonkey will use the FreePacal compiler for iOS in XE2. But this will be a interim solution. For me the big test will come when Embarcadero releases it’s first none Intel x86 compiler. This will be the acid test as to whether they have snuff to really do cross compiler solutions (and I certainly hope they make the grade).

Windows Ribbon Control & FireMonkey?

I’m starting to think about the practicalities of developing for FireMonkey. One of our applications would be ideal for the Mac and would have little competition. Of course I’d like any FireMonkey applications to run on both the Mac and Windows (I accept iOS will need a separate GUI). So I started thinking about what the GUI would look like, and sketch out some plans.

All of our apps use Microsoft’s ribbon paradigm. I know some people hate the ribbon but I think it is an improvement over a simple menu and toolbar. And I think it’s here to stay.

So how will the ribbon paradigm translate to FireMonkey? I see the following options:

  1. Go back to a normal menu bar and toolbar (e.g. like Office XP) and ignore the benefits of the ribbon
  2. Create two GUIs, one with the ribbon for Windows and one without the ribbon for Mac
  3. Create a cool menu component which runs as a ribbon on Windows and a normal menu on Mac OS
  4.  Create a ribbon component for FireMonkey which brings the ribbon paradigm to the Mac (as well as Windows)

I don’t want to go back to a vanilla menu bar for Windows; and I don’t want to create two GUIs for Windows and Mac (it defeats the point of FireMonkey). So let’s hope there are some creative component developers which can deliver either options 3 or 4.

What do you think?