Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Something something Delphi, something Hanselman...

Ah, the age-old question; Who is still using Delphi?

As it turns out, the original answer still applies; Lots of people.

There are some great, current examples in Embarcadero's case studies and in their Cool App competition (past winners are here). And there are the well known Good Quality Applications Built With Delphi and Good Quality Applications Built With CppBuilder pages, which have been around for a while, but are still being updated. These are wiki pages, so please feel free to contribute and maybe clean up any entries that are out of date.

Any other suggestions?

I constantly hear about one interesting app or another that also happens to be written in Delphi, which usually sparks some discussion in the Delphi programming community. It happens so often that I joked about calling it Hanselman's Law. please don't sue me...

Whoops. It looks like that phrase has already been coined. A few times. Maybe Hanselman's Fourth Law? The Hanselman corollary of interesting software? Hanselman's rule of thumb for Delphi applications?

OK, so it's not a perfect fit, but the observation still holds. Given any list of interesting and useful software,  chances are good that at least some of them were made using Delphi. Historically, this has just been for Windows software, but expect to see more and more Delphi software for Mac, iOS, Android and now Linux in common use.

So, back to that list. Scott Hanselman maintains The Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows, which he updates every few years (maybe due for another update soon?). I knew that a few of the items on the list were made with Delphi, but I hadn't really checked any of the others, so I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look.

Oh, and a bunch of the software really is useful. Bonus!

After some fiddling around, I came up with an incomplete list of applications from Scott's list that were written in Delphi, C++ Builder or Lazarus. A bunch of the software is free. Where possible, I looked at trial or light editions. I didn't bother with anything that was too difficult to install or required me to sign up for something, so feel free to fill in any blanks.








The PortableApps launcher is written in Delphi and so are a bunch of the apps in the PortableApps library. Which I think helps support my point.

  • AIMP
  • AniFX
  • Ant Renamer
  • Avidemux
  • Balabolka
  • CDex
  • cdrtfe
  • Checksum Control (Lazarus)
  • Colour Contrast Analyser
  • CubicExplorer
  • Database Browser
  • Don't Panic!
  • DUMo
  • Emsisoft Emergency Kit
  • FastStone Capture
  • FastStone Image Viewer (Delphi and C++ Builder)
  • FileAlyzer
  • FileVoyager
  • FotoSketcher
  • fre:ac Free Audio Converter
  • FreeCommander XE
  • Free Download Manager
  • FreeUPX
  • Greenfish Icon Editor (Lazarus)
  • HM NIS Edit
  • IcoFX
  • IDPhotoStudio
  • IniTranslator
  • IObit Uninstaller
  • IObit Unlocker
  • Iron
  • Jarte
  • jPortable Browser Switch
  • KCleaner
  • LazPaint (Lazarus)
  • Lucas Chess
  • MediaInfo
  • NSIS
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • PDFTK Builder
  • PeaZip (Lazarus and Delphi)
  • PhotoFiltre
  • PicPick
  • PopMan
  • Puzzle Collection
  • PWGen
  • Q-Eye
  • Raw Therapee
  • RegAlyzer
  • ReNamer (Lazarus)
  • ResourceHacker
  • SimpleSudoku
  • Smart Defrag
  • Skype Portable Windows Client
  • Spybot Search & Destroy
  • SSD-Z
  • Startup Sentinel
  • SUMo (Software Update Monitor)
  • System Explorer
  • TAudioConverter
  • TEncoder Video Converter
  • TreeSize
  • UUID GUID Generator
  • Virtual Magnifying Glass (Lazarus)
  • WAtomic
  • WinSCP
  • WinWGet
  • Wise Data Recovery
  • Wise Disk Cleaner
  • Wise Program Uninstaller
  • Wise Registry Cleaner
  • XN Resource Editor
  • ZSoft Uninstaller


Not associated with PortableApps above, but the same principle - portable applications that can run from a USB drive without being installed. I only checked the most recent 10%. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to check the other 90%.

  • AIMP v4.13
  • Magnifixer v6.1
  • ColorMania v6.3
  • PrivaZer v3.0.19
  • MediaInfo v0.7.94
  • Balabolka v2.11.0.624
  • Free Audio Video Pack v2.15 (26 Delphi apps!)
  • ReNamer Lite v6.7 (Lazarus)
  • EssentialPIM Free v7.24
  • MobaXterm v10.2
  • Music Collection v2.8.5.0
  • Info-Base v6.7
  • TreeSize Free v4.0
  • SRWare Iron v57.0.3000.0
  • Resonic Player v0.8.6b
  • MiTeC Mail Viewer v2.3.0
  • MiTeC XML Viewer v5.5.0



  • ClipMate 7
  • Moba XTerm
  • Screenshot Captor
  • IZArc
  • IObit Advanced System Care Ultimate
  • JoyToKey
  • Subtitle Workshop (C++ Builder)
  • HxD
  • Space Sniffer
  • Mmm Free (C++ Builder)
  • Inno Setup
  • Cobian Backup
  • WizTree
  • Executor
  • iPrint
  • FreeCommander (Delphi and C++ Builder)
  • Revo Uninstaller
  • GifCam

And, of course, there were a handful of applications that include one or more Delphi DLLs, but it would be a stretch to say that these were written in Delphi.


- Added FileVoyager to list of PortableApps written in Delphi
- Flagged ImgBurn as being built in C++ Builder
- Added FastStone Image Viewer to PortableApps
- Added ReNamer to PortableApps written in Lazarus
- Added IDPhotoStudio, KCleaner, ResourceHacker, SimpleSudoku and SUMo to PortableApps
- Added DUMo, Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Startup Sentinel to PortableApps
- Added FastStone Capture to PortableApps
- Added free:ac Free Audio Converter to PortableApps


Wouter van Nifterick said...

Huh? The #1 Delphi application, which is spectacularly slick, complex, extensive and immensely popular seems to be missing: flstudio!

It's getting updates all the time, it's modern looking, works fast, there's a 64 bit version, and there's a religious following of hardcore fans. Just look at all the video tutorials on YouTube.

They use their own OpenGL based GUI, which looks great, and works fast. To me it's the best showcase to demonstrate what you can achieve with Delphi.

Imagine having to recreate this in popular languages like Python or JavaScript...

Bruce McGee said...

@Woulter: I was specifically listing Delphi applications mentioned in Scott Hanselman's tools list.

However, FL Studio is included in the Good Quality Applications Built With Delphi page.

$ABBA said...

Smart Mobile Studio is also written in Delphi. Not sure if that is on his list, but its a massive undertaking.

A lot of people (typically C++ or C# developers) state that Delphi is somehow incapable of large systems, especially compilers and "that line of work"; which is pure ignorance.

Delphi and object pascal in general is actually perfect for parsers, codegens and working with large quantities of data in any form. And our adapted variation of pascal, a dialect called "smart pascal" that interfaces better with the JSVM (be it node.js or v8 via the DOM) has features not even delphi supports. Like partial classes and lambdas.

Im tempted to say that Anders Hejlsberg got it right the first time ;)

kmorwath said...

Mostly minor and aging application many never heard of. Skype is moving to an UWP application (a full, real one, not a repackaged one), thereby it will be no Delphi soon. And UWP packaging will make tools like InnoSetup irrelevant.

Keep on living the illusion, though.....

Wouter van Nifterick said...

It's 2017. Do you think that UWP is going to change the world or something?

It only works on windows while the world has already moved to web based applications. On mobile devices there were some delays because of limited sandbox APIs and performance, but it's just a matter of time before the web makes app stores useless on mobile devices too.

There's still a market for a few desktop applications, but there the exact distribution channel or support for ARM based windows is mostly irrelevant.

Bruce McGee said...

A couple of people today have dismissed the Hanselman list (or at least the things written in Delphi?) as out of date or irrelevant. Which I suppose is understandable if you only look superficially. Some of the applications mentioned haven't been updated in a while, and the list itself was last updated at the end of 2013.

However, many of the applications have recent updates and aggregate sites such as PortableApps, PortableFreeware and Chocolatey publish updates on a daily basis.

There are some pretty useful applications here, and not just the ones that were written in Delphi. Highly recommended.

The case studies and Cool App competition also cover current and growing companies using Delphi.

31 Battalion said...

I still code in Delphi. We are still alive!