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The latest C++ Builder compiler (Version 10.2) is now available as a FREE starter edition, available at this address

If there is the slightest possibility that you might wish to develop the program further or even just experiment with it sometime in the future then I urge you to download the free compiler as soon as possible because it might well not be available indefinitely.

Railway program development to date has used the Borland C++ Builder 4 compiler, released in 1999 and incredibly still working.  Borland was taken over by Embarcadero Technologies in 2008, and they continued developing the product, the latest version being 10.2 released in March this year.

I downloaded the compiler some weeks ago and have been busy updating the original source files so that they compile with the new version.  It took a while because as you can imagine there have been many changes between 1999 and 2017.  The main difference is that the new compiler relies on Unicode, which is a text coding system that can code any character in any language.  There were quite a few changes needed in the original files to ensure compatibility, but I was very pleased that there weren’t more.  Embarcadero have done a very good job of allowing for backward compatibility.  I feared that the later version would be so different that the original files would need to be largely rewritten, but happily that wasn’t the case.

The new version is released as v2.0.0 Beta, Beta because although I’ve done a lot of testing I can’t be sure that there aren’t still some incompatibilities left, so I hope users will try it out and let me know of any errors or odd behaviour – many thanks.  It’s available on the Downloads page.  One thing to be aware of is that the program is restricted to 256 colours, so depending on the operating system in use the display might not appear correct.  In this case right click on the program icon, select the compatibility tab, and tick the box for 256 colours.

The earlier version v1.3.2 will remain available until the new version has been very thoroughly tested.  The availability of this new compiler should future-proof the program for many years to come.  The new version also includes a few relatively minor changes as detailed on the ‘Version Information’ page.

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