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Delphi in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) Paperback – March 23, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Aimed at the working Delphi developer, Delphi in a Nutshell is an effective desktop reference to this popular programming tool. Besides listing all core classes and methods, this book also provides a host of expert dos and don'ts for mastering the newest features in Delphi's Object Pascal.

The heart of this book is its reference sections on built-in Delphi language features and other useful information on this development tool. Each entry has a guide to syntax, a description of all parameters and return values, and code samples, plus many entries feature "tricks and tips" with additional information. While this title concentrates on the "core" language (instead of Delphi's extensive support for visual components), there's little doubt that it will be useful if you work with the tool on a daily basis.

The book also delivers an advanced guide to ramping up on the latest and greatest in new language features in Object Pascal. Material on using classes, and the type of information features available in today's Delphi, are particularly effective. There are a lot of smart tips on proper class design techniques, including using properties, constructors, and destructors. (Delphi has its own conventions here, and this book will fill you in if you are coming to Object Pascal from another programming language.) Along the way, the author offers numerous expert nuggets on when to use (and when to avoid) using certain features. Whether you are a novice or a more experienced developer, this tutorial and reference is all you need to be productive with the latest and greatest in object-oriented programming with Delphi. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Overview of Delphi Object Pascal, units and libraries, data and string types, exception handling, file I/O, classes and objects, inheritance, constructors and destructors, interfaces, reference counting, Windows messages, memory management strategies, virtual method tables (VMTs), properties, using TypInfo, virtual and dynamic methods, automated methods and COM, Delphi type information and RTTI, concurrent programming with threads, synchronization, thread local storage techniques, Delphi language reference, system constants, operator reference, compiler directives, code samples, and programming tips.

Review

'... in my view it is the best Delphi Pascal reference around, if only for the great tips and tricks that really are relevant.' - Bob Swart Developers Review, August 2000. "While this not the only book you'll ever need on Delphi, it is likely to be one of the most useful you'll ever buy." Programming, August 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 578 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565926595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565926592
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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122 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Robert Meek on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you frequent the many Delphi newsgroups and programming lists available to all via the Web as I do, you'll note one question in particular that gets asked time and time again. "Can you please advise as to a good Delphi book?" It's a question that comes in many flavors, depending of course upon the proficiency of the writer, but unfortunately is rarely answered sufficiently. Not that there aren't quite a few high-quality books being published on the subject. There are! But like so many informational resources today, these books are usually written in devotion to one or two particular areas of Delphi interest or endeavor! Great for those who already command the language and need to explore in more detail their current needs. And of course there are a few beginner's books to be found, but these seem to mostly rehash simple descriptions of the VCL components, or take the reader on an example-filled journey through basic programming situations without considering the basic information necessary to satisfying the beginner's need to know why! "Delphi in a Nutshell" is the first and ONLY manual on the Delphi programming system that blends a complete overview of the subject with the kind of nuts and bolts information that every programmer, regardless of skill level, needs available every single day! Starting with a very precise look at what a Delphi project is, how it is managed, and the many files that make it up, Lischner continues ferociously into Types, Arrays, Methods, Exception handling, pointers, and just about every conditional need a programmer might come up against! A whole chapter is devoted to the Delphi Object Model, another on Runtime Type Information, and yet another on Threads called "Concurrent Programming"...Read more ›
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jack B. Lyle on July 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a book about Object Pascal the language, something that is long overdue. The Delphi IDE is way cool and I love using it, but the language is what makes the tool worthwhile. When I solve a work problem I do it in the language. The IDE is just a pleasant place to get the work done.
This is a reference manual not a textbook. The author's style is simple and to the point. There are no silly embellishments that get in the way of the information. However, I did read the book from cover to cover and that introduced me to several new Delphi features that I haven't explored before. Now it sits on my desk and gets picked up when I have a problem.
I hope this book is the start of a trend; Delphi books that are about just part of the product. There aren't many books on the Delphi section of the shelf (even at Amazon) and unfortunately way too many of those have a distressing sameness. Part one covers the neat stuff you can do by dropping components on a form (Delphi as Visual Basic) and part two drives off into database programming (Delphi as Cobol). That was fine the first couple of times I read it, but my user interfaces are very simple (usually just one form) and I don't do database programming. My work tends to be mathematical. There have been no books on mathematical simulations in Delphi, but I can tell you it works very well for that job (yes I admit it, Delphi as Fortran).
There is a practical problem with this book. The cover fell off the second day I had it. That's a shame, because the picture of the Lynx is very nice.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery P Overcash on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Delphi in a Nutshell" isn't just another ordinary Delphi book. Once again Ray has manage to take on topics that are unique and not covered in any detail if at all by other authors. The chapters on RTTI and the Delphi object model alone are well worth the price. This goes onto my short list of "must have" Delphi books for any serious program (Ray actually now has 3 of the 5). Good work Ray.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Grant Nixon on August 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a novice at object-oriented languages and I'm learning to use Delphi. I recommend this book because it delivers something not found in the the other books out there - a reference to the base language that is up-to-date! The bulk of the book is the language reference section. There are a few other chapters that are masterly-written in a style (reminiscent of Kernnigan & Richie of C-language fame). The author knows his subject deeply his writing is commensurate with this knowledge. I think the short chapters on the Delphi language and the Object model are worth the meagre price of the book alone. I only wish that Lischner would take the time to write a separate Delphi overview covering the VCL - we would all learn a lot!
Don't be discouraged by warnings about the poor binding - I used a glue-stick to put it back together several months ago and it is doing just fine!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Casey Manus on October 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love ORielly reference books, this follows the pattern of most of them, however I was not able to use it to pick up and learn Delphi, as I wanted to. This is not for the beginner, but I have a feeling it will be a useful reference later.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Martin on February 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have adequately covered the positive aspects of this book -- with which I largely concur -- but I encountered some annoyances with its organization. Lischner has separate sections for the language reference and the many useful functions in the SysUtils unit. To a programmer, this distinction means very little, and I'd much rather see the two combined into a single reference. He compounds this problem by organizing the two chapters in very different ways. The first is alphabetical -- the second divides functions into logical groups. These groups aren't listed in the Contents, and functions in the SysUtils chapter don't even make it into the index! Cross-references are also inconsistent. For example, the SetCurrentDir function in SysUtils rightfully mentions that it is an alternative to ChDir in the language section; but ChDir doesn't make the complementary reference. Bottom line: this book does little to help those programmers who find themselves writing their own functions, only to discover later that they are provided in SysUtils.
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Delphi in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
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