The Wiert Corner – irregular stream of stuff

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

  • My badges

  • Twitter Updates

  • My Flickr Stream

  • Pages

  • All categories

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,909 other followers

When your Delphi IDE suddenly skips unsaved changes during compilation(TL;DR: watch early signs your IDE is hosed, then restart without saving)

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/03/24

A while ago, I observed that when compiling, my Delphi IDE would not take into account unsaved changes any more.

This ws in a time when I was tracking down some hard to reproduce problems of code that sometimes would and sometimes would not compile at all.

The solution was this:


Somehow, the Delphi IDE had turned this flag to True without me telling it did, nor me changing an option (heck if you do a “Delphi” “BackgroundCompilation” – Google Search you hardly get any meaningful results).

Luckily, I did remember what happened around the bahaviour change: the compiler had encountered a strange error, and the IDE had become unstable.

With an unstable IDE, I did have seen damage in saved source files in the past, so I always use version control with Delphi as that allows easier to spot file differences.

What I did not anticipate was that it could corrupting my persisted IDE settings, though every now and then.

Detecting early signs of the IDE becoming unstable

  • any internal compiler error (AV or not)
  • refactoring not succeeding while it should
  • insert mode suddenly becomes override or vice versa
  • editor block selection is suddenly turned on
  • any access violation or pointer error exception

Sometimes (but not always) these can be early signs too

  • debugger blue dots not matching compiled code lines
  • the debugger not being able to debug code despite blue dots being there
  • properties in the object inspector having changed without manual action

Be prepared for an unstable IDE

  • Save your work often
  • At the earliest sign of an unstable IDE: kill (do not save work!) the affected bds.32 process using Process Explorer


A “Delphi” “BackgroundCompilation” – Google Search did not get much relevant results. Below are the most relevant ones I could find from it:

Too bad Google does not index the WayBack machine, as I think it contains relevant material that is now hard to find.

So it looks like the feature was introduced somewhere close to Delphi 5:

"Show Compiler Progress"="True"
"Warn on Package Rebuild"="-1"
"Compile Beep"="0"
"Cache Headers"="0"

“Delphi” “Background Compilation” – Google Search shows much more information, based on what it returned I found that the first actual documentation was for Background Compilation in Delphi 2010, some 10 years after it became available:

The image in the blog post of former product manager Andreano Lanusse shows why I did not see the behaviour: when background compiling is active, the progress dialog is transparent (and non-modal). I did not have the compiler progress enabled, so never saw that dialog change behaviour.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: