Sunday, December 1, 2013

Future plans for Spring4D and DSharp

Some of you may have read the public letter about Spring4D project two weeks ago. So this is the promised post about the roadmap (well more of some plans that are not set in stone yet but in our minds) for the future.

First of all I am really happy when I hear that people are using Spring4D in their projects and that it is not just an experimental thing to bring some Java or .Net flavor into the Delphi world. And as always software only becomes better when it gets used. In the past there were many features added because you as the users needed them.

However communication and sharing experiences between you as users and us as the development team is still not as good as I wished. In the past there were many channels used to share experiences or ask for help. Getting them focused more in one place will help to share and build knowledge - so for everyone that is not following us please join us on!forum/spring4d.

The project is now hosted on Bitbucket in a Git repository which will make the workflow easier than it was with Subversion. We will follow the Gitflow Workflow which might look confusing first but is really easy. For you as user it means, clone from the master if you want the stable and thoroughly tested source. For stuff currently in development either clone the develop branch or one of the possible feature branches.

Some changes have been made to the collection types recently which are important things I will talk about in a few. These are mostly non breaking changes but there were some small API changes which are easy to apply after you got the latest version.

The DI container got some really nice features in the past months which will be subject of an extra blog post that will follow soon.

Ok, but what about the future?

One thing that is often criticized about the project is the poor documentation - apart from some blog posts here and there - this is something we want to change.We will improve the source documentation (using DocumentInsight actually makes this fun!) and the general documentation about the different features of the framework as well as best practices for dependency injection.

Another goal will be to improve unit tests as some parts are not as well tested as they should be. This will also help adding new features in the future and/or refactor existing ones.

Some other projects will work more closely with Spring4D - one being about ORM - more about that when we have more details.

We want to make Spring4D a de facto standard for Delphi developers.

There are also some interesting things about Spring4D in Nicks upcoming book - so you might to take a look.

Another project that closely works with Spring4D is DSharp. Currently there are some redundant parts in both frameworks and if you are using both it sometimes is hard to decide which one to use. Also this might cause incompatibilities. We are working on reducing and finally removing these.

DSharp had a very simple but powerful MVVM implementation for some while. This was very basic and more of a proof of concept than something you can use for bigger applications but I am happy to tell you that we are bringing you a MVVM solution for Delphi that is based on Caliburn Micro. Some people might have seen some previews by Jeroen Pluimers on the ITDevCon or the BE Delphi this year. Currently we are aiming for a beta in next spring and more details on that project will follow.

Are you interested in helping in one of the projects, have questions or just want to share your experience?Please let us know!

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