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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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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 [WayBack] 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 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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