New Delphi / FPC market, get in early!
Being able to target and get involved with an operative-system early is imperative for success in the field of software development. The Delphi community knows all about this, being thrown into iOS and Android at the eleventh hour – when the market was fully saturated, leaving Delphi programmers with nearly zero potential for economic advantage.
To make a long story short – those languages which can target a platform early, tend to be the languages that secures a long-standing, solid foothold over the platform. While the iOS and Android train has left the building – and we can now only compete on quality and complexity: there are more operative systems rising which can be potential gold-mines for Delphi and FPC developers.
You have probably never heard about AROS. It’s not Linux, it’s not Windows, It’s not Unix nor is it based on Spar, be-OS, RISC OS some other esoteric operative system. Aros is a free-standing alternative, open-source and free for use, who’s quality has now reached the point where viable, commercial applications is a reality. It has gain momentum and that’s the perfect time to invest in something..
Aros was created to be a clone of Amiga OS, which is probably one of the most advanced operative systems the world have ever seen. Many of the features that OS X have added only recently are actually over 20 years old (like inter-process scripting, AREXX in Aros terms) and ran on Amiga workstations and servers years ago.
For those that havent heard about Amiga OS or who just remember it as a multimedia-computer from the late 90’s, Amiga OS in many ways the perfection and blend between Unix and OS/2. It sported a full multitasking desktop 10 years before the PC got Windows, a desktop which is more or less identical to what OS X and Windows have today (20+ years ahead of its time). Amiga OS was wildly popular in Europe during the 80’s and 90’s, but somehow it never got a foothold in the united states (with exception of high-end movie production companies), mainly due to the onslaught of Atari, Apple and Microsoft marketing.
The Amiga went out of commercial use around 1996, but in Europe the platform is still in use by enthusiasts. Which is ultimately where AROS for x86 and ARM comes in. There is still a very evolved, very modern version of the “official” Amiga OS, which you find here: http://www.amigaos.net/, but this article focuses on the X86 and ARM ready open-source clone: Aros.
As of writing, freepascal and Lazarus is being ported to Aros. This is fantastic news because it means that object pascal is finally getting into a near-future-economic platform early. The operative system has been using the linux kernel for a few of years (in order to boot up properly and take care of memory models and various other “tidbits” we take for granted), but now it finally has it’s own sub-systems and stands on it’s own feet.
It’s pretty awesome considering the amount of work involved!
Uses for Aros
If you feel Linux is to complicated to deploy in a work situation, and Windows and OS X to expensive — then Aros might be for you. It was originally written for x86 but has recently been ported to ARM (with a PPC port also being worked on). This means that the OS can run on anything from mobile devices to high-end servers. It is a perfect candidate for embedded systems.
Aros follows in the proud Amiga tradition of “performing miracles with extremely few resources”, meaning that the operative system itself requires very little RAM and disk space compared to Windows or OS X. It will happily run full-speed with 1 gigabyte of memory and 400 megabytes of disk space (and smaller for that matter).
It’s also modular, which makes it an exceptionally good embedded operative system, along the lines of QNX Real-Time OS, which costs a truckload of money. Aros on the other hand is open-source and free (!)
So if you feel like getting into the operative-system early, porting over software from Delphi to Aros Exec, now is the time to find out what it’s all about!
As you have probably heard, the Mozilla foundation (the guys behind firefox) has ventured into the mobile operative system market, and FireFox OS is becoming a reality.
This may not sound like good news but it is, because it means you can use your Delphi and FPC skills with Smart Mobile Studio and create complex and solid applications immediately. You will also have a distinct edge in how SMS gives you true OOP, while native JS developers are stuck with ordinary prototypes.