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I've barely succeeded in this, I'm just wondering how you convinced your boss to update and if you're faring better than me.

Here's where I stand:

  1. I'm using Delphi 7.
  2. We've bought Delphi 2009 for each programmer.
  3. I'm still using Delphi 7.
  4. It's almost 2011 and Delphi 2010 and Delphi XE area already out.

So I'm stuck in a timewarp, there are too many commitments to bother about creating bugs by updating our IDE.

I have a bad feeling that when we do finally start using Delphi 2009 it'll be as obnoxious as Delphi 7.

(This may be a bad generic example as there are special Unicode considerations in the 2009 update, but I'd like general answers - because I do more than just Delphi programming for my company)

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I'm not familiar with Delphi. You don't have project upgrade tools like Visual Studio ? What is the problem with your boss if he already purchased the licenses? –  user2567 Oct 1 '10 at 21:49
    
No, you just get a discount every time you want to update. Embarcadero has All Access which is kinda like MDSN, but it's too expensive and all we need is Delphi. The problem is we're still using Delphi 7 and the second problem is we took 8 years just to update from Delphi 7, when we should have been at least exploring continuously updating, because an all-in-one, once per decade update is probably a lot more expensive. –  Peter Turner Oct 1 '10 at 21:53
    
Sorry, I still doesn't understand the problem. Is there any breaking changes between the problem. It looks more like a psychological blocking to me... –  user2567 Oct 1 '10 at 22:05
    
@Pierre: That's probably because that's exactly what it is. And those are harder to overcome than technical blockings. –  Mason Wheeler Oct 1 '10 at 22:11
    
You don't get a discount if you try upgrade from very old versions of Delphi, as a colleague of mine just found out. But hey, at least Delphi 7's less obnoxious than D5 or D2006. –  Frank Shearar Oct 2 '10 at 6:58
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the boss has a specific objection, go after the objection. For example, if he says that the update might introduce bugs, use a bit of personal time to make a private build that compiles right under Delphi 2009. (Unicode issues notwithstanding, this shouldn't be too difficult or time-consuming unless you're using a ton of third-party libraries that can't be updated easily.) If you can, get a supportive QA engineer to help out by running tests against it so you're sure it's pretty solid. Once you have a good build, then run a demo for the boss.

Once you've shown that basic functionality works more or less as expected, then show the boss all the productivity-enhancing features of the new version, like SyncEdit, built-in refactoring, new syntax that wasn't available way back in D7, new debugger features that help track down and remove any bugs that do get introduced faster, etc.

Show the boss that 1, you've already got the port created and ready to check in to source control with his approval, and 2, this provides benefits both to the developers and also the clients, he's a lot more likely to see the upside. One of the biggest benefits he can turn around and show to other people is Unicode support, especially if you're trying to sell to any international customers who use a non-Roman alphabet.

(Yeah, this was pretty specific to Delphi, because I know Delphi real well. But you can apply the same principles to just about anything. Also, if at all possible, try to update to Delphi XE. One of the biggest new features for developers is Generics, and they were pretty badly broken in D2009, and mostly (but not completely) stable in D2010.)

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If you're working with Indy, D7 uses Indy 9 while later versions use Indy 10. (I know D2006 uses Indy 10, but possibly the switch happened earlier.) Porting Indy 9 -> 10 is not entirely a trivial operation. –  Frank Shearar Oct 2 '10 at 7:00
    
Yeah, I was really looking forward to using Generics with D2009. Sucks that I've heard they're so broken. Does foreach as least usually work with D2009? How is it changed with XE? –  Peter Turner Oct 2 '10 at 14:51
    
@Peter: Yeah, for..in has worked fine since it was introduced. –  Mason Wheeler Oct 2 '10 at 15:32
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heh, you can tell I haven't gotten to use it much! Too much PHP for me... –  Peter Turner Oct 2 '10 at 15:33
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