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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Chapter 4: Core Library Classes


We saw in the preceding chapter that Delphi includes a large number of functions and procedures, but the real power of Delphi's visual programming lies in the huge class library that comes with it. Delphi's standard class library contains hundreds of classes, with thousands of methods, and it is so large that I certainly cannot provide a detailed reference in this book. What I'll do, instead, is explore various areas of this library starting with this chapter and continuing through those that follow.

This chapter is devoted to the library's core classes as well as to some standard programming techniques, such as the definition of events. We'll explore some commonly used classes, such as lists, string lists, collections, and streams. We'll devote most of our time to exploring the content of the Classes unit, but we'll also examine other core units of the library.

Delphi classes can be used either entirely in code or within the visual form designer. Some of them are component classes, which show up in the Component Palette, and others are more general-purpose. The terms class and component can be used almost as synonyms in Delphi. Components are the central elements of Delphi applications. When you write a program, you basically choose a number of components and define their interactions— that's all there is to Delphi visual programming.

Before reading this chapter, you need to have a good understanding of the language, including inheritance, properties, virtual methods, class references, and so on, as discussed in Chapter 2, "The Delphi Programming Language."

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