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Books : Mastering Delphi 6

Mastering Delphi 6

Commented Table of Contents

To have an idea of the content of the book and of the actual coverage of Delphi 6 topics and of other improvements over past editions, you can read the following table of contents with extended comments form the author. See also the list of new Delphi 6 features covered in the book.

Part I: Foundations

Chapter 1:
The Delphi 6 IDE
This chapter discusses all of the new features of the IDE (and there are indeed many) suggesting some non-obvious tips (and some undocumented registry entries). The material has been updated with the same structure of the previous edition.
Chapter 2:
The Object Pascal Language: Classes and Objects
The first step in the discussion of the language has little new content (the new compiler directives) and has been extensively rewritten for clarity, reorganizing the content of this and the next chapter.
Chapter 3:
The Object Pascal Language: Inheritance and Polymorphism
Another chapter that has been reorganized, adding and modifying material, but has very little about Delphi 6 (because there is very little new in this area).
Chapter 4:
The Run Time Library
This is a brand new chapter, covering the function-based runtime library, including both classic units and all of the units (StrUtils, DateUtils, ConvUtils, and so on). It is not a reference, but a list of tips and suggestions, highlighting some little-known gems.
Chapter 5:
Core Library Classes
As in the past edition, this chapter covers the core elements of the library, including TComponent and related classes. There is some new material on streams, including custom streams, and containers, even if little has changed in Delphi 6.

Part II: Visual Programming

Chapter 6:
Controls: VCL Versus VisualCLX
This chapter covers the TControl class is both VCL and CLX libraries (the latter is obviously brand new in Delphi and in the book). Most of the examples have been translated from VCL to CLX, and a few have been added.
Chapter 7:
Advanced VCL controls
Covers features like anchors, page controls, the rich edit, splitting, hints, and other assorted UI techniques. There isn't a lot of new stuff here.
Chapter 8:
Building the User Interface
This covers actions, toolbars, and docking. There is information about the new Action Manager architecture and some brand new examples.
Chapter 9:
Working with Forms
Not too much new material, beside CLX versions of all of the examples, plus coverage of alpha blending and the like.
Chapter 10:
The Architecture of Delphi Applications
This is a new chapter collecting material previously spread in the book (and some new examples): includes the application object, frames, visual form inheritance, MDI, and more.
Chapter 11:
Writing Delphi Components
An update of the material in the last edition, with coverage of some new features like exposing compound components in properties and a limited update of the ToolsApi examples.
Chapter 12:
Libraries and Packages
Some classic topics, plus a couple of extended examples of dynamically loading/injecting packages in running applications.

Part III: Database Programming

Chapter 13:
Delphi's Database Architecture
A condensed summary of the core coverage of Delphi database programming, although Paradox is almost out of the picture. The foundations, with little new.
Chapter 14:
Client/Server Programming
A highly rewritten chapter now including some elements of database design, a lot about the ClientDataSet component, and an in-depth introduction of dbExpress.
Chapter 15:
InterBase and IBX
A short chapter totally focused on InterBase and the presentation of a simple but full-blown application.
Chapter 16:
ActiveX Data Objects
A complete rewrite of the ADO chapter of the last edition, done by Guy Smith-Ferrier.
Chapter 17:
Multitier Database Applications with DataSnap
An update of the material on MIDAS, with coverage of the few new components and features, and some extended examples.
Chapter 18:
Writing Database Components
A brand new chapter discussing in details the development of data-aware controls and of custom datasets. The material originated in Delphi Developer's Handbook, although the custom data sets architecture presented is brand new. Little specific for Delphi 6, but a lot of new value for the book.

Part IV: Beyond Delphi: Connecting with the World

Chapter 19:
COM Programming
A condensed update to the chapter of the last edition, also because there was ver little new to say
Chapter 20:
From Automation to COM+
An update of the last edition, with coverage of COM+, COM+ events, and some of the other limited updates related to COM in Delphi 6.
Chapter 21:
Internet Programming: Sockets and Indy Components
A large rewrite of the similar chapter of the last edition, now with more multi-threading examples and coverage of Indy.
Chapter 22:
Web Programming with WebBroker and WebSnap
The introduction to WebBroker of the last edition, followed by many pages of brand new material on WebSnap.
Chapter 23:
XML and SOAP
A totally new chapter, covering the BizSnap technologies of Delphi but also introducing XML and related technologies (XSL-T, SOAP, DOM programming...). The long chapter includes also coverage of technologies not directly supported by Delphi, such as SAX parsing.