In a Weblog post, Borland Software Corp.s chief scientist Danny Thorpe talked about how Borlands Delphi programming environment can take advantage of LINQ (Language Integrated Query) to enable developers to more easily integrate and manipulate data in building Delphi-based applications.
Microsoft Corp. defines LINQ as a set of language extensions to the C# and Visual Basic programming languages that extends the Microsoft .Net Framework by providing integrated querying for objects, databases and XML data.
Using LINQ, developers will be able to write queries natively in C# or Visual Basic without having to use other languages, such as SQL or XQuery.
Many observers see LINQ as the kind of innovative technology that developers have been longing for.
"Im still in a state of great surprise because I didnt expect this," said Clemens Vasters, a PDC attendee who is co-founder and chief technology officer at Newtelligence AG of Korschenbroich, Germany. "When I saw it, my immediate reaction was Bang! The world has changed," he said.
And Borland is poised to provide support for LINQ from its Delphi platform. "LINQ for Delphi?" Thorpe asked in his blog. "In a word: Yes."
"I was very interested to see if the PDC sessions would have any tangible content about where LINQ draws the line between proprietary language magic and system-supported infrastructure that all languages can leverage," Thorpe said.
"If LINQ were mostly a C# compiler trick, then that would be the end of the story. No excitement, nothing to write home about. But Anders Hejlsberg is no dummy. While he is often labeled the C# language architect, his true task is to advance the .Net platform. Advancing the platform requires rising above any particular language, including your own," he said.
"Anders never fails to deliver on content, and I am pleased to see that LINQ provides significant system infrastructure for languages to leverage in implementing their own support for LINQ-style operations," Thorpe added in his blog.
Indeed, as Hejlsberg also was the lead developer and thinker on the development of Delphi while he was at Borland, it is perhaps most fitting that Delphi could be one of the first non-Microsoft languages to support LINQ.
However, "Make no mistake—there is an enormous amount of work that we need to do to the Delphi syntax, compiler and tool chain just to get to the point where we can start playing with LINQ notions," Thorpe said.
In addition, Thorpe said he thinks LINQ could have even greater benefits than data integration.
"LINQ presents an enormous opportunity to put parallel computing in a package that everyday coders can use safely and easily," he said. "Exploit those multicore processors! Even grid computing is within reason."