Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

 

Expert

After reading the latest book from Author Pawel Glowacki the feeling of fresh FireMonkey Delphi material left an excellent karma.  It should be part of anyone’s Delphi Library since it has great reference material.  The book was written by Pawel Glowacki whom is Embarcadero’s European Technical Lead for Developer Tools.

The book begins with a basic primer on Delphi helping you get accustomed to the IDE and the Object Pascal language.  It quickly moves into advanced concepts dealing with FireMonkey.  You should be able to build server-side services, create new Internet of Things (IOT) and integrate your applet with web services to deploy them to market.

As always the pricing from PackT is on the mark.  The writing is very clear at 506 pages and does come with the eBook Format for those wanting that instead of print.

Pawel touches FireDAC which is the database component to gain access to various databases.  DataSnap as well as Rad Server which allows your software to request data from a secured environment.  Finally the pieces alone on FireMonkey are well worth the price.  It takes you from installing, preparing and developing a smart phone applet.  There is a section on deployment to the various platforms.

FireMonkey is RAD

Working with Delphi VCL and FireMonkey provide any software developer to quickly build a solution for either clients or market.  The Delphi library on the FireMonkey side is growing and with the ability of building Linux server command line applications it is opening new doors.

You can visit the Embarcadro web site for additional information pertaining to either the C++ or Delphi or Rad Studio which includes both compilers.  The other thing to know that you will need the enterprise addition to create Linux applications as well as DataSnap.

You can visit the Packt web site to check the table of contents but Baron Software highly recommends to purchase a copy.

Object Pascal Handbook

Embarcadero is offering the Object Pascal Handbook free (PDF) for all developers if you sign up for the free addition.   Marco Cantu wrote this masterpiece and it provides a simple but in depth view of Delphi which is Object Pascal.

From writing desktop apps to client-server applications, from massive web server modules to middleware, from office automation to apps for the latest phones and tablets, from industrial automation systems to Internet virtual phone networks… this is what Object Pascal is used for today, in the real world.

The idea of the book is to explain core concepts and immediately present short demos that readers are encouraged to try to execute, experiment with, and extend to understand the concepts.

The book that offers complete coverage of the Object Pascal language as it is today. It’s a language manual for new developers and for developers coming from other similar languages.

The Object Pascal Handbook uses a logical approach, progressing through the topics and covering how the language works, and how to best use it.

This newly updated 500-page ebook is a complete guide to the current, modern Object Pascal programming language by best-selling Delphi books author and Delphi Senior Product Manager, Marco Cantu. This new language manual for new & existing Object Pascal developers covers core language features, object-oriented programming with Object Pascal, and the latest language features like generics, anonymous methods, and reflection in today’s Delphi compilers.

After you submit the form, the ebook will be sent to your inbox. Be sure to use the correct email address.

halt_and_catch_fire_intertitle

Season 3 of Halt and Catch Fire

The season finale of Halt and catch fire was shown last week for a solid 2 hours.  The entire show has gone from the personal computer start to about the 1990s with the advent of Windows 3.

The series has had it’s moments with characters that tend to be flaky but came up with inventive ideas that brought social up with ease on social interactions (Mutiny), personal computers that were built to take on the business world (Giant) and finally what IPOs can do to a person.

Flawed Characters that know how to party!

The characters have grown but in reality some of them would have been in prison for the shady dealings such as “Joe”, a person who destroyed the personal computer that was dealing a blow to IBM in season one, gave up on a boyfriend, destroyed a company in season two as well as a marriage and finally taking software anti-virus code and giving it to a person “Ryan” who was mentally unstable.

“Cameron” is a flake, whose ideas of C++ object oriented is crap but she can make a company using a Commodore Vic-20 and wrapping up season 3 by having a one night stand with “Joe”.    Somehow she creates Mutiny, loves chaos and doesn’t get a descent haircut after 3 years.

“Gordon” is a engineering genius but has a disease that may kill him and most likely will occur in the final season.  He also decides to go back with “Joe” to take over the internet.

Finally “Donna” who worked extremely hard to get the IPO and make millions but is totally dissatisfied with what her life has turned into, wishing to get all 4 characters into one room to rekindle the past.

Season four is the series finale

It has been a pretty good series but the time to close it out comes next year with 10 episodes.   The producers have taken 30 years of the rising personal computer along with the internet.  They have put it into 30 or more episodes making viewers see a distorted past.  The recommendation is to read the biography of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.  That will give you a real prospective of what transpired during those years.

 

Erick Engelke

Using Elevate Web Builder Book Review 2nd edition by Erick Engelke

Erick Engelke has written the first ever book about using the Elevate Web Builder product from Elevate Software.

What is Elevate Web Builder ?

Elevate Web Builder is a visual rapid application development environment for web applications. It is simple and easy to create beautiful web applications by simply dragging and dropping components on to forms, and then changing their appearance and behaviors as desired.  EWB is written with Delphi Pascal as the driving force allowing software developers to quickly build a web based application using a great software language.

Elevate Web Builder Book or on-line manual ?

The book simply provides code samples along with a description for the section from using PHP, JavaScript, JSON, etc.  It is a self published type of manual that retails at $59.95 (USD) as well as being charged taxes and could be purchased from Amazon.  The cost is a little high and should have been in the range of $39 to $44 but the self publishing world is becoming much more greedy.

The overall book should have been designed with technical people in mind.  Step by Step with simple projects go a long way in comparison to code snippets that tend to show but not going into deep detail.  The controls should have been in the rear section under the heading reference with the different syntax for each control.

By using a simple project which could have been a film history/description or a shopping cart provides the reader as to how to do something and what the end result would be.  That could have demonstrated why EWB is a rapid development tool for the web.

Some sections that were missing concerns on the operating systems that the project could be implemented on which is Linux or Windows.  The requirements to build any project using EWB or can the discussion on building a custom component for the product which is what Delphi is about.

One thing about a self published manual / book is that the images tend to get blurred and the font used could have been better.

The recommendation is that you review the book on line to see if it fits your need otherwise you can use the ElevateSoft on line guide which is limited and very much disjointed.  Using the EWB product is simple, you really only need to understand Pascal and have a solid idea on how Delphi works which the EWB does follow in rapid design.

More Coding in Delphi

More Coding in Delphi Book Review

Nick Hodges has released the latest additional to the Delphi world called “More Coding in Delphi”.  The book is a pretty neat manual but more on the theory side then actual code.  There are samples in each chapter but this is not a typical technical manual that breaks down the syntax concerning Delphi.  The predecessor “Coding in Delphi” was very similar and could be considered part one that dives into object pascal aspects of Delphi.

The Chapters are about 12 to 20 pages each and deals strongly in the object oriented Delphi or Object Pascal.  You can pick up both books together for a low cost at various web stores and they are a highly recommended book to pick up.  You can use the knowledge you gain when working with C# as well.

The writing is good and a reader can get this done in less then a day with about a little over 200 pages.  This will not go into the form designer, VCL, or the Firemonkey (FMX)  framework but you will pick up tips on:

* How to write stronger code using Delphi.
* Using Delphi with design patterns like the Factory, Observer, Adapter, Decorator, and Command Patterns.
* How to take advantage of Operator Overloading to simplify your code.
* How to write multi-threaded and parallel code and take advantage of the multiple cores in your CPU.
* How to write Aspect-oriented code to help separate your concerns.
* The history of and an deep-dive into the world famous TSmiley component.

Author Nick Hodges has been a part of the Delphi community from the very beginning working with various developers and I did have the pleasure of running into him in Baltimore during the Delphi Developers Day.  Nick has a good sense of humor and there are numerous videos you can watch on YouTube.

Learning_iBeacon

 

Learning iBeacon which was written by Craig Gilchrist is a solid technical manual that provides Objective-C / iOS source code that demonstrates various methods to interface with a iBeacon.  Now for folks that do not know what an iBeacon is, they are a small electronic that transmits a signal for an application that is attempting to locate the proximity of a person to where they currently are.

Shown below, the iBeacon is no bigger then a quarter and can be placed anywhere within your store or location to send out a beacon to inform the user which area they are in.  Now the signal is just that, a signal your application does everything else.  So if I walk into a store and step by the shoe department, using the app I can get possible current sales information.

iBeacons work with Bluetooth and the demos actually can work on your iMac if you do not have a Apple developers account.

dot-store-main_large

 

Going back to the Gilchrist manual, it is broken up into 9 chapters at 180 pages.  There are excellent examples allowing you to develop the applet and test it either on a iMac or on your iPhone.   Each chapter is contains a simple theme and the following describes it fully by the author:

Chapter 1, Welcome to iBeacon, introduces you to the technology and the incredible opportunities it offers us as developers. We’ll cover the technological advancements that have made iBeacon possible and we’ll discuss some of the options which you have to get your hands on for some real beacons. Finally, we’ll create the age-old Hello World application and start detecting beacons easily.

Chapter 2, Detecting Beacons – Showing an Advert, introduces you to beacon detection in more detail. We’ll show you how to differentiate between beacons using the values that they broadcast and we’ll introduce the concept of regions and some of the CoreLocation classes used to represent regions and location. We will also cover the user permissions needed to monitor beacons before building a tutorial using our new-found knowledge to build an app that shows different offers as you approach different beacons.

Chapter 3, Broadcasting Advertisements – Sending Offers, introduces you to the important classes in the Core Bluetooth framework and discusses how to handle the variations in beacon broadcasting power before building a functioning beacon broadcasting app. Now that you know how to detect beacons and act on their unique broadcasting values, you will learn how to turn your iPhone or iPad into a fully functioning iBeacon broadcaster.

Chapter 4, Ranging Beacons – Hunting for Treasure, introduces the concept of ranging beacons and determining their distance from the receiver. This chapter expands on the CLLocationManager class usage and will take you through a tutorial that allows one device to be configured as a sender and another as a receiver to ultimately build a simple treasure-hunting app.

Chapter 5, Detecting Beacons in the Background – Location Dating, introduces you to the core responsibilities of the iOS in monitoring beacons in the background. We will discuss how iOS takes over beacon monitoring when the app is in the background and will also launch the app if it has been terminated.

Chapter 6, Leaving Regions – Don’t Forget Your Stuff, discusses other uses of beacon technology and introduces functionalities based on when a user leaves a region. This chapter will introduce you to the possibilities of the technology for home automation before showing how to develop an application that ensures you don’t leave your keys or wallet at home.

Chapter 7, Vendor SDKs – Buying and Configuring Beacons, discusses some popular vendor implementations of iBeacon hardware and takes you through some of the vendor software development kits to build a beacon configuration tool using the Estimote SDK, as buying iBeacon hardware can be difficult. By the end of this chapter, you’ll be armed and confident to go and buy beacons for your commercial implementation.

Chapter 8, Advanced Tutorial – iBeacon Museum, pulls everything together with a more advanced tutorial. The tutorial focuses on an imaginary museum, which has different exhibits and multiple displays within each of the exhibits. As the user travels around the museum, the information shown in the app changes to show information about the display that they are currently closest to. As the user travels around the museum, you can track the user’s journey on an interactive website.

Chapter 9, iBeacon Security – Understanding the Risks, arms you with a complete idea of the security vulnerabilities that need consideration when building apps that use iBeacon. This chapter also dispels any myths around security that concern users and discusses ways to naturally request the security permissions in an app without scaring users.

SQLite Essentials

 

I recently had the pleasure of reading Android SQLite Essentials by Vikash Kumar Karn / Sunny Kumar Aditya. The book details about using SQLite with your android and some tips about accessing the database from multiple applets on your android device. The book is rather small about a little over 90 pages which I do not understand how Amazon comes up with 127 pages unless they are counting certain sections twice.  The chapters are simple concepts that anyone can understand and within an hour you can have a pretty good idea on what to expect as well as how to use SQLite.

The chapters are listed below, you can complete the book within an hour and get developing.   The source code is available from their web site and as always the publisher PACKT does a nice job putting the book together.

Chapter 1 – Enter SQLite provides the reader the ability of knowing what SQLite can do for your Android device as well as the simple steps on maintaining and overall usage.
Chapter 2 – Connecting the dots provides the reader with the simple mechanics of allowing the developer to write the necessary routines for the client to maintain their database. Simple Edit / Delete / Update / Insert instructions are discussed.
Chapter 3 – Sharing is caring discusses the important concept of content provider so that other applets on the device can retrieve the centralized data.
Chapter 4 – Thread carefully wraps up the book talking about loaders and something we tend to forget, security.

Overall the cost is low about $20 on Amazon, it is a simple quick read that provides an understanding about SQLite but is not in depth,  if you are looking for that I would suggest Using SQLite by Jay A. Kreibich which does go over the syntax and design using the SQLite database for your applications.  Still I do recommend that you give the book a try.

The Tomes of Delphi Algorithms and Data Structures by Julian Bucknall has been revised and is currently selling on lulu.com. Bucknall is the chief technology officer at Devexpress which writes software for Delphi and Microsoft Visual Studio. It does seem that Devexpress is heavily moving towards the Visual Studio product line and will not put too much into the Delphi VCL product line. Their products are very well written but the cost to the development is extremely high where you can begin to spend about $900 for the low end or as high as $2200 for the yearly subscription.

Their competition in the Delphi world is TMS Software and that is something Bucknall does not want to speak about since TMS is about 2/3 lower in cost and the components are well written.

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Bucknall wrote the original book back in 2001 and decided to have it republished for the current date. Now that being said I found the book to still have the original content from 2001 (speaking about accessing the CD which is not even part of this revision) so in basic terms, I could have found a copy from 2001 and use that instead of purchasing the newly bounded book.

The books does provide an overview of using algorithms and data structures as well as a discussion of algorithm performance, and provides simple coverage of topics such as arrays, linked lists, and binary trees. The book also provides search algorithms (sequential and binary searches) as well as including bubble, insertion, Shell, quicksort, merge sort, and heap-sort. There is a limited view of hashing, hash tables, priority queues, state machines and regular expressions which wraps up with data compression techniques.

It provides source code but using very early Delphi versions, you wonder if Bucknall was looking to cash in by doing a simple reprint without doing any sort of work as well as selling this as if it was updated to a Delphi version that at least is in this decade or did he sell the rights to the book for someone to do this sort of deceitful publishing.

Bucknall tends to come off with such a heavy head you wonder whether if can walk down the street informing folks that this book was sold for a huge amount of money when in fact I would feel sorry for a fool and their money.

My recommendation is to get the PDF at the low cost because you will not be using it very often.


Product Details

Publisher: Julian Bucknall
Published: September 25, 2006
Language: English
Pages: 524
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink: Black & white
Weight: 2.28 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 7.44 wide x 9.68 tall