[fpc-devel] Status of Delphi-like packages (Class+RTTI aware DLL/SO)?

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Thu Sep 9 16:04:20 CEST 2010

In our previous episode, Hans-Peter Diettrich said:
> > Note that I have never heard anybody complain about the quick lazarus
> > startup time relative to Delphi.  That is the flip side of dynamic packages
> > !!!
> Right, but that's no reason for not using packages somewhere else.

I was only talking about packages in Lazarus (designtime). I don't see a
large benefit, and versioning an insurmountable problem.

I think plugin uses for users are a perfectly fine application. Actually
that is IMHO pretty muchthe only reason, since I'm no firm believer that in
this day and age the possible filesize savings are still that important.
(and even less so when this finally reaches production)

Unfortunately, this (packages) is a feature that afaik requires heavy
compiler and deep RTL work.  Moreover the inner workings of the Delphi
package are not very well documented (which is why I created the wikipage)
> IMO the implementation of Delphi packages in FPC depends on two things: 
> the resources required for such an implementation, and the chance for 
> closed-source libraries. When we want to disallow or even discourage 
> closed-source FPC projects, I see no urgent need for implementing Delphi 
> packages.

I don't see any connection why the situation with packages would be any
different, licensewise, from the current situation with EXEs.  

... Most notably since a EXE+packages is essentially just an EXE fragmented
over multiple parts.

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