30 September 2008

Delphi 2009

I downloaded a trial version of Delphi 2009 Architect to see if much has changed with Delphi. So far I've hit the following issues:
  • Cannot enter '\' in the installer. So, typing C:\dir resulted in dirC:. Most bizarre.
  • Circular uses clause still exists. Tsk, tsk. This is 2009, how come we're still living in the dark ages?
  • Still cannot have local variables per begin...end block.
  • Cannot export functions declared in C source files. The linker warning is undocumented, the symbol doesn't appear in the DLL.
  • C++ Builder doesn't distinguish name of project and name of a file in the project. More dark ages.
  • No way for Delphi to see C++ Builder class except via COM.  How pedestrian. I can do this in Visual C++ with Managed C++.
After spending a year developing with C#, managed C++ and C++, going back to Delphi was... interesting.

Looks like the following has been fixed - it only took, what, four years?
  • Select a token, hit F1. Delphi 2005, 2006 couldn't find its own help. Delphi 2009 can.
  • .NET support for .NET 2.0. What about 3.0/3.5?
I think my original decision not to buy any further upgrades to Delphi/C++ Builder stands. It's still broken; it's not worth it.

11 September 2008


I read about Spore a while ago. I've played Sim City several times and liked it, so spore was interesting. I tried the Creature Creator trial and liked it, so I bought the full version of the creator. That led to buying a prerelease version of spore and downloading an encrypted version early.Spore was released last Friday (with a few server hiccups), I've been playing it ever since. It's addictive. So far I've found the cell stage the most fun.

Omnivore is the most fun of the three types - you get to suck vegetables or other creatures. The expressions on them is very funny - the eyes bug out and all the frills etc. stretch out as if horrified. The sound effect is of you sucking noisily on a straw!

Once you evolve your creature starts to develop further - here's the omnivore at the creature stage:

Even in the cell stage you get an editor - here you can rearrange parts, pull off parts to replace them or add new bits and bobs to make your creature more adaptive to its environment. Here's the omnivore in its latest phase (in tribal):

As you play the game, more stages open up and you can jump in at those points (cell, creature, tribal, civilisation and space), or you can let your character evolve through each stage on the way.

After the cell stage, creature stage didn't strike me as that wonderful for a while - until I saw my own creatures I'd created in the creature editor appear as giant versions in game with 1000 points and terrorising the neighbourhood!