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UCL as a Delphi package name suffix – remember before the KSDev days?

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/31

A while ago, I noticed the UCL as a suffix in a few 3rd party Delphi package names.

It was from a version close to the very first FireMonkey release. FireMonkey is based on the OpenGL based VGScene (and in part DirectX based DXScene) which was bought form KSDev in 2011.

Contrary to VGScene and DXScene, the early versions of FireMonkey were buggy and when updating to a new version you had to cope with a lot of breaking interface changes. In Delphi XE2 for instance, there were two totally different implementations (FMX for Windows and OS X; FMI for iOS) that merged after Delphi XE3.

Around Delphi XE6 it became more stable and now – apart from some design issues I wish they had done differently – it is coming along sort of OK for Windows and OK for cross-platform development.

Compared to the VCL you have a lot less HiDPI issues but the designer is much more layered (which gives you the same design-time pain as WPF) and the default “Live Binding” is still buggy as hell (though if you use something like MVVM or roll your own UI bindings it becomes bearable).

A long time ago – during the Kylix era – Borland developed the cross-platform CLX library which – for the UI part – was based on Qt and ran on both Windows and Linux.

It looks like before the KSDev take over there seemed to be a UCL (would that have been for Universal Component Library or Universal Control Library?) as the name pops up in quite a few package names.

Browsing through the source code I could not find any hints so I really wonder what UCL was about. Was it again based on Qt (which compared to the Kylix era has become much more mature and has widespread use) or a different technology like LCL (given that in Delphi XE2 they used FreePascal to compile for iOS)? I rule out OpenGL as otherwise the VGScene acquisition would have been done a lot earlier.

–jeroen

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