GExperts and older / unpatched Delphi IDEs

GExperts is always compiled with the latest update of any of the supported Delphi versions. That unfortunately means that it may not work if the IDE hasn’t been updated to the latest version. E.g. The latest GExperts release will not work with Delphi 10.2, but only with Delphi 10.2.3, the latest update to Delphi 10.2. This is due to changes in the runtime packages that are not always backward compatible.

Until a few years ago, this was no problem because when you bought Delphi you were automatically entitled to receive all updates for this version. E.g. if you bought Delphi 2007 you could download all updates for it and GExperts would simply work for you.

This changed when Embarcadero tried to force all their customers to buy a maintenance subscription. Now, if you don’t have such a subscription, you will no longer receive updates and bug fixes. You automatically get a subscription for 1 year when you buy a new Delphi license so this sounds like a minor issue. But a subscription not only gets you updates but also upgrades to the yearly major releases, e.g. from 10.2 to 10.3.
So, if you do not extend an existing subscription shortly after a new major release you will not get updates and bug fixes for this release. You have only two options then: Stick with the previous major release + all updates and bug fixes, or keep using the latest major release and hope that you don’t need the updates for it. Of course that’s on purpose to keep customers extending their subscriptions.

This also affects GExperts: If you are stuck using a non-updated major release GExperts might not work for you.

I have been asked whether I could make releases for these cases. Unfortunately this would require me to keep all minor Delphi releases around, e.g. 10.2, 10.2.1, 10.2.2 and 10.2.3. These cannot be installed on the same computer so that would mean 4 virtual machines for Delphi 10.2.x alone + several for other major versions. Yes, I could do that. But since GExperts is currently a one man (me) show, it would take quite a lot of my time for very little gain. (But everybody is invited to contribute!)

So, what can be done? If you are one of those people affected by this, simply build your own DLL. It’s not difficult at all. This will create a DLL that is compatible to the Delphi version you are using, so your problem is solved.

If you want to comment on this blog post, you can do so in the corresponding topic in the international Delphi Praxis forum.