Amazon.com Widgets Flotsam and Jetsam #73

Flotsam and Jetsam #73

By Nick at January 07, 2013 20:51
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam, Delphi
  • Do you think it is safe to say that this map is a pretty good illustration and approximation of world-wide Delphi use?  It’s a map of visitors to http://www.spring4d.org.  There are even Delphi users in Iceland! The information you get from this Google Trends search also reveals some interesting geographical information.  It seems that there are a lot of Delphi developers in Russia.  (These types of searches are complicated by the fact that Delphi is also a major auto parts company…)
  • The new year means an updated look at the TIOBE Index!  And guess what language is #1 for 2012?  C.  Not C++, C.  It’s moved past Java as the most popular language.  That’s kind of a surprise to me, anyway.  Delphi continues to hold it’s spot in the “A” language at #15.  They seemed to have combined “Delphi” and “Object Pascal”, but put “Pascal” in its own category. This makes no sense to me, but oh well.  If you combine the numbers all up, “Delphi/Object Pascal/Pascal” ends up at number 11 ahead of Ruby. Completely respectable if you ask me. Another surprising thing to me on the index is how low Javascript ranks. 
  • New Delphi Blog of the Week comes from Francois Piette
  • The Delphi Developers Community on Google Plus is quite active – if you aren’t a member, you should join up and contribute.  Maybe you’ll be the 1000th member!
  • New Delphi Components of the Week:   Chrome Tabs – It’s open source, too.  Pretty nice. 
  • Question of the Day: Arduino or Raspberry Pi?  Why?

Comments (7) -

1/7/2013 9:39:03 PM #

Arduino or Raspberry Pi? The answer is yes. I got an Arduino to play around with and to learn more (any) electronics, but it is basically a great switch. Hooks up to input, drives output. It makes it much easier to work with controller chips but that is what it does. So I can see working with it to do something cool and will learn more.
Raspberry Pi is my next purchase...it's a full linux box. I can program in linux. I do all kinds of things in linux. I'm thinking I will be able to do those things, but smaller.
So they both have a place. If you made me choose one over the other, I'd probably go for Raspberry Pi because I will be able to do more with less of a learning curve, but fortunately, I don't have to choose.  I take all of the above.

Doug Johnson United States |

1/7/2013 10:20:56 PM #

C news doesn't surprise me, there's an awful lot of people dropping into C from time to time to do stuff. Arduino programming for example Smile Also Mindstorms.

The "which micro" question is very much "what for". Might as well ask "should I use C or javascript?"

I've got an arduino datalogger on its way because that lets me run on batteries for extended periods (less than 1mW if I push it, 10mW is fairly easy) while still polling a pile of sensors at 1Hz or so. Or I can plug it into POE and see what's happening around the house. I'm tempted to buy several with wifi adapters just so I don't have to run cables around the little apartment we live in. But first, pretty plastic cases so there's less whining from the non-engineer part of the household.

The Pi would suit something more intensive. I fear my velomobile monitor may end up needing sufficient processing power to require a Pi if I'm to get proper power metering (bicycle power metering is tricky). But I don't have that even designed, let alone a hardware spec yet, so I don't have a Pi.

In terms of time cost, I studied electrical engineering so the whole soldering and twiddling side is pretty old hat to me, and experience suggests I should buy the pre-assembled one just because machines solder so much more reliably than inexperienced people (I haven't used a soldering iron to do anything tricky for 25 years). Getting back into the lowish level programming interrupts, state machines and event loops sounds fun to me. Having someone else's kernal do all the work is more power than I want to spend (how many years will a Pi run off 4xNiMH AA cells between charges?). If you don't really like soldering chips onto boards you can buy Arduino kits prebuilt, but with Pi that's really the only option. OTOH, just about everything is an optional extra with the Arduino, but all sorts of handy things are built into the Pi. Perhaps get both, drive a little screen etc off the Pi and use it to talk to your Arduino?

Also, get a passthru USB power adapter so you can drive the "high power" Arduino from your phone. That makes field playing much, much easier. I am waiting on a combo battery+hub toy from China so hopefully I can run a USB keyboard and the Arduino off my phablet to do in-the-field reprogramming. lack of cursor keys on the phone is surprisingly annoying when coding.

BTW, EneLoops FTW. Also the "little acorn" battery powered motion sensing camera. That's the other half of your datalogging needs right there, all it's missing is a "trigger out" port so you have to open it up a little.

Moz is still around Sri Lanka |

1/8/2013 8:41:28 AM #

Arduino for me, because I'm just not a Linux guy, and on the other hand, I am a huge fan of the AVR chips. Not yet convinced about the Arduino language; all the exploring I have done with AVRs has been in assembly language, and their architecture and instruction set are really nice. Scary fast devices, too, for low power chips.

William Meyer United States |

1/8/2013 7:02:40 PM #

The map looks plausible. By the way, maybe you've also noticed a certain empty spot: India.
One out of 6 humans comes from India, and as India is called THE software development centre of the world, you'd expect a high concentration there.

So, what's up?

It's partly caused by the fact that Indian developers are supposed to "grow" much more rapidly in their careers. They start as a tester. After a year they become developer, after 3 years they become architects. 2 years later they either have to become managers, or if they're not good at that, they are fired. I've lost many good coworkers in India because of that.

Now, how does that relate to Delphi? Well, we already know that Embarcadero does nothing to recruit new developers on universities. Everyone who once programmed in Delphi is now too old and expensive to work as a developer in India, or they are now team leaders or project managers.

Those in India who do program in Delphi are juniors who maintain legacy systems, or their work is to port stuff to C#

A full enterprise license costs the equivalent of multiple year salaries per junior developer. That doesn't help either.

If Embarcadero would recruit on universities, and it would lower its prices, there could be a boost in countries like India. But as it's standing right now, the number of users will inevitably dwindle down over the coming years.

Wouter Netherlands |

1/10/2013 2:47:21 AM #

Hi Nick,

Long time reader, first time commenter Smile

I've been working with Arduino for almost a year now. It's a great tool for learning (electronics, micro-controllers, even C for those who don't know it yet), and for making small, standalone projects. You can also take out the programmed chip directly from an "Uno" board, solder it onto a dedicated circuit, then buy another.

The Pi, like others here said, is essentially a PC that happens to have some GPIO. So the answer to your Question of the Day is indeed: what do you want to do with it?

P.S. Being an amateur Delphi programmer and an active member of my local Arduino community, I always tell everyone how easy it is to create Delphi desktop applications that talk with the Arduino Wink Here's a very small example, if I may: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHdr4RRHNBk

Cheers,

Ido Gendel Israel |

1/10/2013 9:38:48 AM #

Ido --

Thanks for the info and thanks for the link.  I'll post some more on what I'm thinking soon. Wink

Nick

nick United States |

1/10/2013 8:26:04 AM #

Arduino,  mostly because I don't have local support for the Raspberry PI. I have excellent local support for the Arduino(QC Colab Hackerspace).  I do wish there was a development environment that used Pascal instead of the pseudo C that is used in the Arduino development environment.

Paul Vandermyde United States |

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