Products like Embarcadero Delphi comes with a rich set of controls ready for use in your applications. If we compare the resource demands of these controls today (Delphi XE or XE2) to those that once shipped with Delphi 1 – or Delphi 7 even, the amount of resources a well designed form consumes has grown exponentially over the years.
As the operative system was grown more complex both in terms for functionality, responsiveness, mobility and the developers need for modern features, the amount of methods and auxiliary classes connected to a single control has become very large. As a result, the amount of memory and CPU requirements have grown with it.
The mobile scene
- The HTML5 architecture is incompatible with classical VCL programming
- The controls would be to slow for practical use
Getting these things to even resemble the VCL has been, well, let’s just say I havent played with my kids in a few weeks.
Doing the math
Luckily, the complexity versus efficiency argument is turning in our favour. Delphi developers like myself have a tendency to over-think the actual needs of our customers, and inside our own heads we are always trying to outsmart other programmers that may – or in most cases – may not be going over our code with a fine tooth comb. This can either drive us to excel at what we do or into obsessive nerds that polishes a piece of code so long – that the platform is dead if he ever finishes.
So, once in a while it’s wise to do a sanity check on your code-base (and your own expectations). Fact is that mobile apps are for the most part quite lightweight. If we for sake of argument say that a mobile app has 10 forms (or views if you prefer) and each of these views is populated by 20 controls. Some controls are composite, meaning that they have child controls (like a toolbar which uses a buttons) while other are vanilla, run of the mill stuff like labels and lists. You may also have a database running under the hood as well.
Adaptable and suitable
To me at least, mobile development is about information and communication and presentation. It’s about getting or storing data and presenting it on a portable device in a practical manner. It’s also about using the format in a way that makes sense to the consumer.