Some of you might be interested to know (okay, one of you, if “you” includes me) that Borland (as CodeGear, as turboexplorer.com) is still hanging in there with Win32 (non-.NET) development, and there’s even a free version now/again. You can’t find it from the real site, and it looks fake when you get there, but apparently this is legit. The product I’m referring to is Turbo Delphi 2006.
Here’s an article that goes into it a little more. I agree with the assessment that Delphi/Pascal is essentially a nostalgia project at this point (although I’m sure there are eastern European
hackers shareware authors who would argue). But depending on what’s available out of the box (typically they’ve left out critical network stack interfaces in the sub-Pro versions), this is interesting to me because invoking the .NET framework (as you do automatically in Visual Studio) for a tiny helper app or test harness is computationally expensive and leads to its own version of “DLL hell.” Plus, the .NET compilers are offensively slow even with up-to-date hardware.
If I try this out and it blows me away in some regard, I’ll follow up.