Lazarus versus Delphi
The most obvious reason for preferring Lazazus: it is free.
Compare this to Delphi: the cheapest version, Delphi Professional, was priced at $1719 in 2018 (other versions: from $4041 to $6466). Note that there is also a free Delphi Starter
with severely limited features, notably with regard to database applications and the installation
of third party components.
Features that are almost the same
- Lazarus uses Free Pascal as its programming language, very compatible with Delphi's
- The Lazarus LCL component library is very similar to Delphi's VCL.
- Tons of code written for Delphi can be used with Lazarus, either directly or after automatic conversion.
- The size of an executable file is much larger with Lazarus than the
Delphi equivalent, because Lazarus stores debug information
within the executable rather than as separate files. But the executable file size can be
significantly reduced with settings in the Compiler options.
- Some file formats: Lazarus uses .LPI, .LPR and .LFM, Delphi uses .DPR and .DFM
- The documentation: Delphi's Help system is more complete. The Lazarus Help files that are
installed are not very detailed, when you ask for context sensitive help. Most of the Lazarus documentation
is found on the web at wiki.freepascal.org.
Tip: you could also download the
offline CHM Help for
Delphi (215MB) for additional info ;)
- Delphi's Code Completion is called Identifier
Completion under Lazarus.
In Lazarus, Code Completion combines Automatic Class Completion, Local Variable Completion and Event Assignment Completion. All of
them are invoked by Ctrl+Shift+C. The IDE determines what is meant by looking at the cursor position.
- Lazarus supports Include files, that make it possible to write
platform (in)dependent code without messing up your code with IFDEFs.