Delphi Programming Guide
Delphi Programmer 

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Part I - Foundations
  Chapter 1 – Delphi 7 and Its IDE
  Chapter 2 – The Delphi Programming Language
  Chapter 3 – The Run-Time Library
  Chapter 4 – Core Library classes
  Chapter 5 – Visual Controls
  Chapter 6 – Building the User Interface
  Chapter 7 – Working with Forms
Part II - Delphi Object-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 8 – The Architecture of Delphi Applications
  Chapter 9 – Writing Delphi Components
  Chapter 10 – Libraries and Packages
  Chapter 11 – Modeling and OOP Programming (with ModelMaker)
  Chapter 12 – From COM to COM+
Part III - Delphi Database-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 13 – Delphi's Database Architecture
  Chapter 14 – Client/Server with dbExpress
  Chapter 15 – Working with ADO
  Chapter 16 – Multitier DataSnap Applications
  Chapter 17 – Writing Database Components
  Chapter 18 – Reporting with Rave
Part IV - Delphi, the Internet, and a .NET Preview
  Chapter 19 – Internet Programming: Sockets and Indy
  Chapter 20 – Web Programming with WebBroker and WebSnap
  Chapter 21 – Web Programming with IntraWeb
  Chapter 22 – Using XML Technologies
  Chapter 23 – Web Services and SOAP
  Chapter 24 – The Microsoft .NET Architecture from the Delphi Perspective
  Chapter 25 – Delphi for .NET Preview: The Language and the RTL
  Appendix A – Extra Delphi Tools by the Author
  Appendix B – Extra Delphi Tools from Other Sources
  Appendix C – Free Companion Books on Delphi
  List of Figures    
  List of tables    
  List of Listings    
  List of Sidebars  

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Core Language Features

The Delphi language is an OOP extension of the classic Pascal language, which Borland pushed forward for many years with its Turbo Pascal compilers. The syntax of the Pascal language is known to be quite verbose and more readable than, for example, the C language. Its OOP extension follows the same approach, delivering the same power of the recent breed of OOP languages, from Java to C#.

Even the core language is subject to continuous changes, but few of them will affect your everyday programming needs. In Delphi 6, for example, Borland added support for several features more or less related to the development of Kylix, the Linux version of Delphi:

  • A new directive for conditional compilation ($IF)

  • A set of hint directives (platform, deprecated, and library, of which only the first is used to any extent) and the new $WARN directive used to disable them

  • A $MESSAGE directive to emit custom information among compiler messages

Delphi 7 adds three additional compiler warnings: unsafe type, unsafe code, and unsafe cast. These warnings are emitted in case of operations that you won't be able to use to produce safe "managed" code on the Microsoft .NET platform (more on this in Chapter 25, "Delphi for .NET Preview: The Language and the RTL").

Another change relates to unit names, which can now be formed from multiple words separated by dot, as in the marco.test unit, saved in the marco.test.pas file. This feature will help support namespaces and more flexible unit references in Delphi for .NET and future versions of the Delphi compiler for Windows, but in Delphi 7 it has limited use.

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