Delphi vs Java

The Department of Basic Education recently released a circular stating that the programming language for Information Technology will be standardised to Delphi from 2014. Currently some provinces teach Java, an open source programming language while others teach Delphi.

Delphi is a programming language based on Pascal which incorporates object-orientation and is built around a graphical environment. It is event driven in that you begin with your interface, place graphical objects on to this and then provide the events and user objects as necessary.  Java is more “pure” in its object-orientation in that you always work with a class which then becomes an object.

There have been many parties in education and industry that feel negatively about this change and with good reason. It will be difficult to effectively train teachers new to Delphi and have them sufficiently well-resourced by 2014 in order to teach effectively in the new language. Another complaint is also how the DBE went about its decision and the way in which the change was discovered. These issues do not change the fact though that the programming will be standardised to Delphi and so educators and departments need to train for this. The good news is that it will be easier to build and find resources for a single programming language. The exit practical examination in grade 12 will be more easily aligned with the CAPS document and in fact allow for more creativity within the  exam as the examiners do not have to ensure that every concept that is examined can be equally assessed in both Java and Delphi without any advantage or disadvantage to either side. This is a critical factor that could strengthen the subject.  Decisions and changes like these will always be extremely controversial but it is a situation where everyone needs to make the best of it.


8 comments on “Delphi vs Java
  1. Gregory Gregoriou says:

    Once again the department of education has made a mistake. Delphi is old and obsolete. Anyone who wants to study IT at University will be confronted with Java.

  2. Ruvern Naidoo says:

    again the government fails us in terms of education.I myself will suffer because of the java to delphi change X_x

  3. Gerhard Steyn says:

    They like Microsoft so much, why not use the .Net framework. Using VB.NET or C# would be closer to what is actually being used and free versions is available. NMMU in PE uses C# and most of the programmers in the region seems to use the .NET framework in some form or another.

  4. Gerhard van Molendorff says:

    One must keep in mind that the purpose of IT is to teach the concept of programming, not the language.

    Proper analysis of the question (task definition) is needed followed by designing a solution (algorithm) and finally the implementation (program) and testing thereof. The implementation can be done in any language.

    I think it is good that The Department of Basic Education has standardised on one language from both a teaching/learning and evaluation/examination point of view.

    Surely all IT teachers must have a degree in Computer Science and the switch from Java to Delphi must be easy for them all. Most of them must have had some exposure to the Pascal language at University level. It would probably be a good exercise for them.

  5. Shaun Roselt says:

    Delphi is a pretty powerfull language and rapidly growing. Delphi currently stands top 20 in the Tiobe programming index and with Embarcadero Delphi XE6 you can build apps for windows, ios, os x, android, google glass and wearables.

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  7. Philip Swift says:

    If you wish to study JAVA surely you can do that outside of the schooling parameters, maybe as a ‘hobby’? It may be best to consider what programming language will give you the best chance as moving in to the workplace, whether that be in SA or another country. I would think JAVA is probably the best language for this.

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