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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mastering Delphi 6

The Structure of the Book
The book is divided into four parts:
• Part I, “Foundations,” introduces new features of the Delphi 6 Integrated Development
Environment (IDE) in Chapter 1, then moves to the Object Pascal language and
to the run-time library (RTL) and Visual Component Library (VCL), providing both
foundations and advanced tips.
• Part II, “Visual Programming,” covers standard components, Windows common controls,
graphics, menus, dialogs, scrolling, docking, multipage controls, Multiple Document
Interface, the Action List and Action Manager architectures, and many other
topics. The focus is on both the VCL and CLX libraries. The final chapters discuss the
development of custom components and the use of libraries and packages.
• Part III, “Database Programming,” covers plain database access, in-depth coverage of
the data-aware controls, client/server programming, dbExpress, InterBase, ADO and
dbGo, DataSnap (or MIDAS), and the development of custom data-aware controls and
data sets.
• Part IV, “Beyond Delphi: Connecting with the World,” first discusses COM, OLE
Automation, and COM+. Then it moves to Internet programming, covering TCP/IP
sockets, Internet protocols and Indy, Web server-side extensions (with WebBroker and
WebSnap), XML, and the development of Web services.
As this brief summary suggests, the book covers topics of interest to Delphi users at nearly
all levels of programming expertise, from “advanced beginners” to component developers.
In this book, I’ve tried to skip reference material almost completely and focus instead on
techniques for using Delphi effectively. Because Delphi provides extensive online documentation,
to include lists of methods and properties of components in the book would not only
be superfluous, it would also make it obsolete as soon as the software changes slightly. I suggest
that you read this book with the Delphi Help files at hand, to have reference material
readily available.
However, I’ve done my best to allow you to read the book away from a computer if you
prefer. Screen images and the key portions of the listings should help in this direction. The
book uses just a few conventions to make it more readable. All the source code elements,
such as keywords, properties, classes, and functions, appear in this font, and code excerpts
are formatted as they appear in the Delphi editor, with boldfaced keywords and italic comments
and strings.

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