Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Tue, 04 Nov 2003 11:04:01

Hi all

The company I'm working for is developing products using C++, with
Microsoft tools. While the core of the product cannot use anything else
but an MS compiler, the current MFC user interface could be rewritten
quite easily because it's loosely coupled to the core. I'm in the
process of considering the options available around and here is what I
1) Stick with MFC, and get stuck in a maintenance nightmare for the GUI,
along with a really bad design environment (no RAD at all). However,
this is the easiest solution as the experience from the developers is
great in this area.
2) As we're using VS.Net to develop, we could move to managed C++ and
Windows Forms. This would allow to take advantage of the editing
environment and the new technologies available. However, this would
force all our customers to move to at least Windows 2000 in order to get
the .Net framework. Moreover, the third party components available are
not quite numerous.
3) Use C++ Builder 6, but that would mean heavy training for the
developers who all have a strong link to MS development environment. It
would however allow to use 3rd party components like the JVCL and take
advantage of the RAD environment. However, with all the buzz going
around Borland's C++ policy, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble if my
company has to change again in 6 months because Borland stopped their

Because I come from a Delphi background, I'm most interested in the 3rd
option but the "problems" mentionned here about CBuilderX will most
likely make my boss wonder.
I don't intend on launching any troll here, and I'd be delighted to have
your constructive opinions on that matter. I really need some strong
arguments for any solution.

Thanks in advance for your help

Olivier 'OBones' Sannier.

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Randall Pa » Tue, 04 Nov 2003 11:32:41


The uncertainty about VCL support in BCB/BCBX will be resolved by
Borland at some point. If Borland says they will add a VCL forms
designer to BCBX at some point in the future then going with BCB until
BCBX gets a VCL forms designer would make a lot of sense. It would make
even more sense of Borland decides to bring out a BCB v6.5 that includes
the new compiler and linker, some IDE fixes, and the Delphi v7 or later
VCL controls.

If you are not in a rush then wait a few weeks and see what Borland
decides to announce.


Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Michael Mc » Tue, 04 Nov 2003 13:43:01

On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 12:04:01 +1000, OBones

If you want to find a gold mine of VCL components, go to SourceForge
and search on "Turbopower". It's a veritable feast and all I've tried
so far work well with Delphi and BCB.

Too bad all of those great components may only be compatible with a
soon to be dead-end, unsupported development tool.

Michael McCulloch

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Tue, 04 Nov 2003 14:11:59

That's another concern to me as I'm on to making the upcoming version 3
of the JVCL compile and work with BCB5 and BCB6. So far, everything is
fine, and if you want to have a crack at it, it's available as daily
snapshot here:

Olivier Sannier

PS: If I broke any netiquette rule by giving this link, let me know.
This isn't intentional and I think quite harmless as this is free work

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Michael Mc » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 00:23:12

On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 15:11:59 +1000, OBones

Wow, thanks. Another "gold mine" of components. It had been a while
since I check out the state of the JVCL project. It looks to be
progressing nicely. I haven't upgraded from BCB4 though, primarily due
to all the reasons sited in this group: high price (I don't need all
the DB-related stuff), lack of support, new bugs, etc. I assume it
will not work with anything less than BCB5?

Again, a sad day if this is all marked for end of life.

Michael McCulloch

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Michael Mc » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 00:33:32

On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 10:23:12 -0500, Michael McCulloch

Actually, to be more accurate, I was going to upgrade this summer to
BCB6. After reading much complaining in this group and Borland's lack
of response/action after having months to do so, I chose instead to
order VS .net 2003.

Looks like I made the right call for the long-term.


Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Marcelo R. » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 07:23:34

Yeah ? Just try using the TurboPower set of components...their BPK's are all
over the place.
They've got this Mozilla license header at the top of the XML file which
doesn't allow Builder to import them, and even if you get that and all the
stupid directory inconsistencies to match up, BCB6 STILL refuses to load the
BPK complaining about a "Project Rule" being incorrect. Nevermind that BCB
doesn't TELL you which Rule was the problem, so you could fix it.

Then, if you try to create a package yourself, and include all the .PAS
files, you still get compiler errors saying it can't find the "DesignIntf"
module ( even if you specifically requested designide.bpi to be included )
....You can't win for trying sometimes...

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 07:58:18

The official line for the JVCL is to only support the current and the
previous version of any given compiler. However, we still support Delphi
5 because the efforts to have the compliance are not too big and because
some of our members still use it.
As to BCB support, we are only two people working on it. One on BCB5,
one on BCB6. So it will only work with those two, unless someone wants
to make the effort to try to have this work with BCB4.
I compiled some guidelines in the accompanying documentation, it may
help you have it work with BCB4, if you ever find the time to do such a
thing. But please keep in mind that we were on the verge of completely
discarding BCB support quite a number of times, because of it's buggy
nature. In the end, it works quite well, but it wasn't without any pain.
If anyone wants any support with it, please ask your questions on

Olivier Sannier

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 08:19:11

Never had that one...

You have to add designeide.bpi for the linker to work, but for the
pascal compiler to work, you must add -LUdesignide at the end of the
value for the PFLAGS node. This is described somewhere deeply burried in
the help files.

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Randall Pa » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 10:18:46


There are bugs in BCB that are not in Delphi that affect components
coded in Pascal? I thought BCB comes with the Delphi compiler and OP
libraries. So I would expect bugs to be a rare thing. What causes those
problems if you don't mind explaining?

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Wed, 05 Nov 2003 10:45:49

Well, actually, the bugs are not really in the pascal compiler itself,
even if the documentation for it is quite thin. The problems are with
the linker which crashes for some unknown reasons. It seems it has been
fixed by update 4 for BCB6, but it is still there with BCB5. For
instance, one unit that compiles perfectly with BCB6 and Delphi5-6-7
generates a linker error under BCB5 like this one:
[Linker Fatal Error] Fatal: Type index 2147479547 is bad in module
Quite frankly I've rarely seen such a useless message. And we couldn't
get the file to work, because the simple fact of using the following
construct makes it crash:
TCommonDialogClass = class of TCommonDialog;
So we decided not to include this unit in the package for BCB5.

Another really annoying issue is that the project manager checks every
dependency for every package each time it is about to build one. Say for
instance that you have A.bpk and B.bpk in your bpg file with B requiring
Ensure no output file is available (clean install) then open the bpg
file. Choose 'Build all' and observe the message asking for the location
of A.bpi when it is about to build A.bpk !!!!! Now imagine this with 25
packages all requiring the very first one...
I've left a message on Quality Central about that, but didn't received
any comment yet. The solution we came up with was to tell our users
about this issue and give them a batch file to build the group file frm
the command line, where amazingly, the make tool works.

Finally, there is no way from the IDE to tell the pascal compiler where
to look for additional units. In Delphi, you have a line to set this up
in the Environment options, but this is not there in BCB. As a result,
we had to add ' -U"$(PATH)"' at the end of every PFLAGS node
so that it would check the directories from the PATH environment
variable. This comes from the fact that the JVCL requires the JCL to be
there and compiled. The recommended installation is that users put it
the same tree as the JVCL, and so our packages all use ..\..\JCL to
refer to the JCL location. But some users want to keep stuff even more
separate and as a result, the JCL is not at its expected place. The fact
that we can't specify such a basic thing in the IDE forced us to ask our
users to change their PATH environment variable...

If you want more insight on the adventures of the JVCL team in BCB's

search for posts by me, Leroy and Terry. You'll see heaps of fantastic
tales about legendary beasts !


Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by dontusethi » Thu, 06 Nov 2003 01:31:34

Why dont you just use wxWindows or QT and VC++ 7.1?

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by OBone » Thu, 06 Nov 2003 08:19:10

Because I want a RAD environment. I don't want to have to rely on my
imagination to see what my GUI will be. What I like with Delphi/BCB/VB,
it's the visual design part. I drop a component, and I directly see
what's gonna look like.

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by dontusethi » Thu, 06 Nov 2003 14:49:08

there are designers for both toolits

Migrating to BCB: Is it worth it ?

Post by Marcelo R. » Wed, 12 Nov 2003 02:02:02

I did all that....I indeed get it to work, but I get the feeling that what
was put into Open Source was NOT
the latest source they had at hand. It looks like it was just a CVS dump
that had the Mozilla notice headers tacked on.