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Home: Books

Mastering Delphi 2

Mastering Delphi 2

Table of Content


Here is the TOC of the book, with new or heavily corrected parts in bold. Consider, anyway, the full text and many examples have been updated to make use of new Delphi 2 features, such as long strings or radio menus.


Chapter 1: A Form Is a Window
  • Creating Your First Form
  • Adding a Title
  • Saving the Form
  • Using Components
  • Changing Properties
  • Responding to Events
  • Compiling and Running a Program
  • Changing Properties at Run-Time
  • Adding Code to the Program
  • A Two-Way Tool
  • Looking at the Source Code
  • The Textual Description of the Form
  • The Project File
  • Summary

Chapter 2: Highlights of the Delphi Environment

  • Different Versions of Delphi
  • Asking for Help
  • Delphi Menus and Commands
  • Using the Menus
  • The SpeedBar
  • The SpeedMenus
  • Working with Forms
  • The Components Palette
  • The Object Inspector
  • The Alignment Palette
  • Writing Code
  • Managing Projects
  • The Project Manager
  • Setting Project Options
  • Compiling a Project
  • Exploring a Compiled Program
  • The Integrated Debugger
  • The Object Browser
  • Additional Delphi Tools
  • The Files Produced by the System
  • Summary

Chapter 3: The Object Repository and the Experts

  • The Object Repository
  • The Pages of the Object Repository
  • Delphi Experts
  • The Database Form Expert
  • Customizing the Object Repository
  • Adding New Application Templates
  • Adding New Form Templates to the List
  • The Object Repository Options
  • Summary

Chapter 4: The Pascal Language

  • Pascal Data Types
  • Predefined Data Types
  • Specific Windows Types
  • Typecasting and Type Conversions
  • The Variant Data Type
  • User-Defined Data Types
  • Pascal Strings
  • Long Pascal Strings
  • C-Like Character Arrays
  • Coding Style
  • Comments
  • Use of Uppercase
  • White Spaces
  • Pretty-Printing
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Pascal Statements
  • Expressions and Operators
  • Simple and Compound Statements
  • Pascal Conditional Statements
  • If Statements
  • Case Statements
  • Pascal Loops
  • For Statements
  • While and Repeat Statements
  • The With Statement
  • Pascal Procedures and Functions
  • Reference Parameters
  • Constant Parameters
  • Open Array Parameters
  • What Is a Method?
  • Forward Declarations
  • External Declarations
  • Procedural Types
  • Summary

Chapter 5: Object Pascal as an OOP Language

  • Introducing Classes and Objects
  • The Delphi Object Model
  • The First Delphi Example with Classes
  • Declaring a Constructor
  • Classes and Information Hiding
  • Private, Protected, and Public
  • Public and Published
  • Classes and Units
  • The Interface of a Class
  • Units and Scope
  • Encapsulating Changes
  • A Date Unit
  • Units and Programs
  • Advanced Topics Relating to Methods and Classes
  • The Self Keyword
  • Class Methods and Class Data
  • Method Pointers
  • Class References
  • Inheriting from Existing Types
  • Inheritance and Type Compatibility
  • Virtual and Dynamic Methods
  • Overriding Virtual and Static Methods
  • Virtual versus Dynamic Methods
  • Message Handlers
  • Abstract Methods
  • Run-Time Type Information
  • Handling Exceptions
  • An Example of the Use of Exceptions
  • The Finally Block
  • Summary

Chapter 6: The Visual Component Library

  • The Conceptual Foundation
  • The VCL Hierarchy
  • Components
  • Objects
  • Exceptions
  • Using Components and Objects
  • Properties
  • The Name Property
  • Properties Related to Component Size and Position
  • The Enabled, Visible, and Showing Properties
  • The Tag Property
  • Properties Related to Color and Font
  • Component Methods
  • Component Events
  • Delegation Is the Key
  • Events Are Properties
  • Using Delphi Collections
  • The VCL Source Code
  • Summary

Chapter 7: A Tour of the Basic Components

  • Windows' Own Components
  • Clicking a Button
  • The BUTTONS Example
  • Clicking the Mouse on a Component
  • Adding Colored Text to a Form
  • The LABEL_CO Example
  • The Standard Color Dialog Box
  • Dragging from One Component to Another
  • The Code for the DRAGGING Example
  • Accepting Input from the User
  • Handling the Input Focus
  • Entering Numbers
  • Sophisticated Input Schemes
  • Creating a Simple Editor
  • The Font Dialog Box
  • Creating a Rich Editor
  • Selecting a Choice
  • Grouping Radio Buttons
  • The PHRASES Example
  • A List with Many Choices
  • The Form for PHRASES2
  • Working with the List Boxes
  • Removing a Selected String from the Other List Box
  • Allowing Multiple Selections
  • The Third Version of PHRASES
  • Many Lists, Little Space
  • Choosing a Value in a Range
  • The Scroll Color Example
  • Summary

Chapter 8: Creating and Handling Menus

  • The Structure of a Menu
  • Different Roles of Menu Items
  • Changing Menu Items at Run-Time
  • Editing a Menu with the Menu Designer
  • The Standard Structure of a Menu
  • Menu Shortcuts
  • Using the Predefined Menu Templates
  • Responding to Menu Commands
  • The Code Generated by the Menu Designer
  • The Code of the MENU_ONE Example
  • Checking and Disabling Menus
  • Changing Menu Items
  • Changing Pull-Down Menus
  • Changing the Menu Structure at Run-Time
  • Short and Long Menus
  • Customizing the Menu Check Mark
  • Changing the System Menu
  • The NOTES Program Menu
  • Loading and Saving Files
  • Pop-Up Menus (and the Right Mouse Button)
  • The LOCAL Example
  • Changing a Pop-up Menu When It Is Activated
  • Handling Pop-Up Menus Manually
  • Summary

Chapter 9: Back to the Form

  • Forms versus Windows
  • Overlapped, Pop-Up, and Child Windows
  • The Application Is a Window
  • Setting Form Styles
  • Creating Topmost Forms
  • Avoiding Topmost Flickering
  • The Border Style
  • The Effect of the BorderStyle Property
  • The BORDERS Example
  • The Border Icons
  • Setting More Windows Styles
  • Forms in Different Screen Resolutions
  • Manual Form Scaling
  • Automatic Form Scaling
  • Setting the Form's Position and Size
  • The Size of a Form and Its Client Area
  • The Maximum and Minimum Size of a Form
  • Automatic Form Creation
  • Closing a Form
  • Getting Mouse Input
  • Using Windows without a Mouse
  • The Mouse Events
  • Drawing on the Form
  • The Drawing Tools
  • Drawing Shapes
  • Drawing and Painting in Windows
  • Painting a Single Shape
  • Painting a Number of Shapes
  • Delphi Output Components
  • Summary

Chapter 10: Graphical Components

  • Improving the User Interface with Graphics
  • A Bitmap in a Button
  • A Car in a Button
  • An Animated Bitmap in a Button
  • A Two-State Button
  • Many Images in a Bitmap
  • The Rotating World
  • A List of Bitmaps, the Use of Resources, and a PaintBox
  • An Image Viewer
  • Drawing in a Bitmap
  • Drawing Shapes
  • Graphical Lists
  • The Outline of the Book
  • A Tree of Chapters
  • The Nodes of the Outline
  • A Graphical List
  • Building Grids
  • A Grid of Fonts
  • Mines in a Grid
  • Choosing Colors
  • Summary

Chapter 11: A Toolbar and a Status Bar

  • Grouping Controls with Panels
  • Building a Toolbar
  • A Simple Toolbar
  • Enabling and Disabling Toolbar Buttons
  • Adding Hints to the Toolbar
  • Adding Hints to a Form
  • Customizing Hints
  • Adding Features to a Toolbar
  • A Combo Box in a Toolbar
  • A Toolbar You Can Drag
  • Creating a Status Bar
  • Menu Hints in the Status Bar
  • Speed Button Hints in the Status Bar
  • Summary

Chapter 12: Multiple Forms and Dialog Boxes

  • Dialog Boxes versus Forms
  • Adding a Second Form to a Program
  • Modal and Modeless Forms
  • Two Forms, Two Menus
  • Merging Form Menus
  • Creating a Dialog Box
  • Modal Dialog Boxes
  • A Modeless Dialog Box
  • Using Predefined Dialog Boxes
  • Windows Common Dialogs
  • Message Boxes Parade
  • A Dialog Box as a Main Window
  • Extensible Dialog Boxes
  • Special About Boxes
  • Using the System About Box
  • Building a Custom Hidden Screen
  • Visual Form Inheritance
  • Inheriting from a Base Form
  • Polymorphic Forms
  • Summary

Chapter 13: Scrolling and Multipage Forms

  • When Forms Are Too Big
  • Scrolling a Form
  • The Scroll Testing Example
  • Automatic Scrolling
  • Scrolling an Image
  • Scrolling and Form Coordinates
  • Building Notebooks with Delphi
  • TabControl, PageControl, and TabSheets
  • A Notebook with a Tab Set
  • Changing the Page of a Notebook
  • Tabbed Notebooks
  • Notebooks without Tabs and Tabs without Notebooks
  • A Presentation in a Notebook
  • An Image Viewer with Tabs
  • An Image Browser with Tabs
  • A Multipage Toolbar
  • Summary

Chapter 14: Splitting Windows

  • Form Splitting Techniques
  • Splitting with a Header
  • Using the HeaderControl component
  • Using the Header Component
  • Setting a Maximum and Minimum Size
  • A Header behind the Scenes
  • Splitting with Panels
  • Drawing a Split Line
  • Direct Mouse Splitting
  • Dragging the Mouse
  • The Dragging Code
  • A Custom File Manager
  • Components Used in the File Manager
  • Adding a Preview Pane to the File Manager
  • Summary

Chapter 15: Creating MDI Applications

  • MDI in Windows: A Technical Overview
  • Frame and Child Windows in Delphi
  • A First Delphi MDI Demo
  • Building a Complete Window Menu
  • Building a Child Window
  • MDI Applications with Different Child Windows
  • Adding a Bouncing Shape
  • The Menu Bar of the New Child Form
  • Changing the Main Form
  • A Fast Start with MDI
  • Summary

Chapter 16: Using OLE Controls

  • What Is an OLE Control?
  • OLE Controls versus Delphi Components
  • OLE Controls in Delphi
  • Installing a New OLE Control
  • The TOLEControl Class
  • Using OLE Controls
  • Building a Chart
  • But What about Writing OLE Controls in Delphi?
  • Summary

Chapter 17: Building Database Applications

  • Data, Files, Databases, and Tables
  • What Is a Table?
  • Operations on Database Data
  • Delphi Database Components
  • Tables and Queries
  • Other Data-Access Components
  • Delphi Data-Aware Components
  • Building Database Applications by Hand
  • A Grid of Countries
  • Customizing the DBGrid
  • Navigating through Countries
  • Using a Query
  • A Query with Parameters
  • Using the Database Form Expert
  • Accessing the Fields of a Table or Query
  • The TField Components
  • An Example of a Calculated Field
  • Using Fields to Manipulate a Table
  • Looking for Records in a Table
  • Changing the Data and Computing New Values
  • Exploring the Tables of a Database
  • Choosing a Database and a Table at Run-Time
  • A Table Viewer
  • A Field Editor
  • An Outline for a Table Browser
  • Creating a Graphical Table
  • The Form and Its Startup Code
  • Creating a New Table
  • Choosing a Table with the Proper Fields
  • Adding or Removing Records
  • A Multi Record Grid
  • Moving Control Grid Panels
  • Building a Master Detail Form with the Expert
  • Making a Join with SQL Queries
  • Providing a Closed Selection in a Combo Box
  • A Lookup in a Grid
  • Summary

Chapter 18: Client/Server and Advanced Database Applications

  • Accessing a SQL Server
  • A First InterBase Application
  • Accessing a SQL Server
  • InterBase Server Tools
  • Upsizing an Existing Program
  • Copying a Table
  • Porting the Application
  • Using the Visual Query Builder
  • From Porting to Upsizing
  • Joining Tables with the Visual Query Builder
  • A Join with Three Tables
  • A Join with More Tables
  • From a Two-Tier to a Three-Tier Architecture
  • Creating a Data Module
  • A Data Module for Multiple Views
  • Setting Fields Properties and Initial Values
  • Standard Tables Filtering
  • Custom Table Filtering
  • Custom Filtering and Client/Server Development
  • Delphi Data Dictionary
  • Summary

Chapter 19: Discovering the Application Structure

  • Using the Application Object
  • Showing the Application Window
  • Checking for Multiple Instances of an Application
  • Testing to See if Another Instance Is Running
  • Activating the Previous Instance
  • Handling User-Defined Windows Messages
  • Searching the Windows List
  • Programming without Components
  • The Smallest Delphi Program?
  • Reading the Command Line
  • Using the Command Show Parameter
  • Events, Messages, and Multitasking in Windows
  • Event-Driven Programming
  • Windows Message Delivery
  • Building a Clock with a Timer
  • Behind the Timers: The Clock
  • A Full-Scale Graphical Clock
  • Painting the Seconds Hand with Raster Operations
  • Idle Computing and Multitasking
  • Background Processing
  • Computing Prime Numbers the Dumb Way
  • Multithreading in Delphi
  • The TThread Class
  • A First Example
  • Setting Threads Priorities
  • Synchronizing Threads
  • A Final Multithreading Example
  • Using the Screen Object
  • Getting Screen Information
  • Handling the Forms List
  • Saving Status Information
  • Using Windows INI Files
  • Using the Registry
  • Summary

Chapter 20: Exploring the Behavior of a Program

  • Debugging with the Debugger
  • Debug Information
  • Setting Breakpoints
  • Inspecting Values
  • More on Breakpoints
  • Tracing through the VCL Source Code
  • Alternative Debugging Techniques
  • Debugging with a Terminal Window
  • Debug and Release Versions
  • Viewing a Compiled Program with the Object Browser
  • Exploring the Message Flow
  • Using WinSight
  • A Look at Posted Messages
  • The Memory Image of an Application
  • Windows System Memory
  • Free System Memory
  • Summary

Chapter 21: Using Resources

  • Resources in Windows
  • Using Resource Editors
  • Loading Resources in Delphi
  • The Icons for Applications and Forms
  • Adding Alternative Icons for Different Conditions
  • Using the Cursor in Delphi
  • Designing a Custom Cursor
  • A Flexible Cursor
  • Using String Table Resources
  • Translating the Strings into Another Language
  • Summary

Chapter 22: Adding Printing Capabilities to Delphi Applications

  • Printing a Whole Form
  • A Custom Print Dialog Box
  • The Standard Print Dialog Boxes
  • Accessing the Printer Object
  • Printing Graphics and Using Print Preview
  • Painting to the Printer
  • Printing Text
  • Printing Database Records and Tables
  • The QuickReport Components
  • A Quick Example
  • Creating ReportSmith Reports
  • Building a Custom Report
  • Writing a ReportSmith Macro
  • Quicker Than ReportSmith
  • Summary

Chapter 23: Adding File Support to Applications

  • Files and the Pascal Language
  • Handling Text Files
  • A Text File Converter
  • Saving Generic Data
  • File Support in Delphi Components
  • File System Components
  • Streaming Data
  • The Idea of Persistency
  • Summary

Chapter 24: Exchanging Data

  • What Is the Clipboard?
  • The Clipboard in Delphi
  • Copying and Pasting Text
  • Copying and Pasting Bitmaps
  • Copying Delphi Components to the Clipboard
  • Copying Custom Data to the Clipboard
  • Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE): A Technical Overview
  • DDE Conversations
  • Roles of the Server and Client
  • DDE in Delphi
  • A Simple Example of DDE
  • Copying and Pasting DDE Links
  • Copying Link Data to the Clipboard
  • DDE with Timers and Graphics
  • The Automatic Server
  • A Graphical DDE Client
  • Summary

Chapter 25: The Power of OLE

  • What Is an OLE Object?
  • The Flavors of OLE
  • OLE Behind the Scenes
  • OLE Support in Delphi
  • Building the Minimum OLE Container
  • The Minimal Menu of an OLE Container
  • Visual Editing and Toolbars
  • The OLE Standard Dialog Boxes
  • Multiple OLE Containers
  • Creating OLE Containers at Run-Time
  • Dragging Components and Activating OLE Containers
  • OLE Automation
  • Sending Data to Word
  • Writing an OLE Automation Server
  • Automating an MDI application
  • Registering the Automation Object
  • Writing a Test Program
  • The future of OLE
  • Summary

Chapter 26: Multimedia Fun

  • Windows Default Sounds
  • Every Box Has a Beep
  • From Beeps to Music
  • The Media Player Component
  • Playing Sound Files
  • Running Videos
  • A Video in a Form
  • Working with a CD Drive
  • Summary

Chapter 27: Creating Components

  • Extending the VCL
  • Delphi Components Are Classes
  • Static Linking Components
  • Rules for Writing Components
  • Introducing Some Simple Components
  • The Fonts Combo Box
  • Using the Fonts Combo Box
  • Creating a Tabbed List Box
  • Testing the Tab List Component
  • Building Brand-New Components
  • A Graphical Component Built Step by Step
  • Defining an Enumerated Property
  • Drawing the Arrow Component
  • Testing the Arrow
  • The Point of the Arrow, Plus a Pen and a Brush
  • Testing the Second Version of the Arrow
  • Defining a New Custom Event
  • Testing the OnArrowDblClick Event
  • Adding a Bitmap for the Components Palette
  • The Final Test of the Arrow Component
  • Correcting Bugs in the Arrow Component
  • Arrows and Shapes
  • The Clock Components
  • The Digital Clock
  • The Analog Clock
  • A First Test
  • Installing the Clock Components
  • Defining an Array Property
  • The New Tabbed List
  • Using Dialog Box Units
  • Installing the Component
  • A Header and a Tabbed List Box
  • Writing a Property Editor
  • Forms Are Components, Too
  • A Dialog Box in a Component
  • Using the Nonvisual Component
  • Summary

Chapter 28: Dynamic Link Libraries

  • The Role of DLLs in Windows
  • What Is Dynamic Linking?
  • What Are DLLs for?
  • The System DLLs
  • Differences between DLLs and EXEs
  • Rules for DLL Writers
  • Win16 and Win32 DLLs
  • Using Existing DLLs
  • Calling a C++ DLL
  • Creating a DLL in Delphi
  • Routines, Methods, Objects, and DLLs
  • A First Simple Delphi DLL
  • Placing a Form in a DLL
  • Calling the DLL Form from Delphi
  • Calling a Delphi DLL from Other Languages
  • A DLL of Icons
  • Loading the Icons from the DLL
  • Calling a DLL Function at Run-Time
  • A DLL in Memory
  • Summary

Appendix A: A Short Overview of OOP Concepts

  • Abstraction in Programming Languages
  • Classes
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism
  • A Definition of OOP
  • OOP Languages
  • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
  • Summary

Appendix B: An Introduction to SQL

  • What Is SQL?
  • The Select Statement
  • The Where Clause
  • Avoiding Duplicates
  • Making a Join
  • More Select Clauses
  • Choosing an Order
  • Computing Values
  • Defining Groups
  • Beyond Select
  • Summary