While maybe not as significant as Unicode support or other compiler changes, the VCL in Delphi 2009 sees a number of small but important improvements (some of which have been requested for a long time by Delphi users). In this chapter I'll focus on some assorted improvements and new controls, while the one after next is dedicated to the new Ribbon component.
The VCL is one of the cornerstones of Delphi and its architecture has significantly contributed to the success of the tool. Even today, looking at userinterface frameworks designed after many years by large IT companies, the VCL stands out considerably112.
112 If you compare the VCL with the WinForms library of the .NET framework or with leading Java libraries you'll see what I mean. One of the key elements of the VCL, its strict relationship with the Windows API, though, is also one of its weaknesses, as porting it outside of the Windows world has proved hard (as the CLX project and, in part, the VCL for .NET project have demonstrated).
With four brand new components (BalloonHint, ButtonedEdit, CategoryP-anelGroup, and LinkLabel) plus Ribbon support and countless small enhancements, the VCL has seen a significant update in Delphi 2009. Some of these updates are specific for Windows XP or Windows Vista and further enhance the support for Vista that's in the VCL since Delphi 2007113.
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