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Kylix: The Professional Developer's Guide and Reference Paperback – November 27, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 984 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st edition (November 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115897
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,683,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon Shemitz has been programming since he was 12, when he learned Focal on a PDP-8, and has been programming professionally since he graduated from Yale University in 1981. He's been using Borland's Pascal since Turbo Pascal 1.0. He's written several magazine articles and several book chapters. He also authored KYLIX: The Professional Developer's Guide and Reference. Learn more about Jon at MidnightBeach.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

NEWTON FAMOUSLY SAID, "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." This made a big impression on me as a boy, and to this day I still think that the highest thing one can do is to add something to the store of human knowledge. Spreading some of that knowledge a bit more widely is probably the next best thing. So, when I set out to write a programming book, I don't want to write a book that will be pulped in six months. I want to write a classic like K&R or The Camel Book that will go through multiple printings and multiple editions. When a small bookstore only carries one Kylix book, I want it to be this book.

The hallmark of programming classics seems to be that not only do they have something for everyone, but that they are also worth keeping around for reference. A Kylix classic needs to introduce Kylix to people who've never used Delphi or Borland Pascal, and it needs to introduce Linux programming to experienced Windows programmers. At the same time, it needs to be deep and well organized, so that it's the first place you turn when the on-line help isn't enough.

These are not necessarily easy goals to reconcile. I think I've done a pretty good job, but of course only you can make that decision.

This book is a tutorial or a guide, in the sense that each section assumes nothing but intelligence and a broad programming background. I explain Pascal so that someone who's done lots of programming, but not in Pascal, can understand every detail of the language and how and why to use it. I explain Kylix's tools and libraries so that anyone who's done any GUI programming can understand the architecture and how to use it. I explain Linux programming so that anyone who knows what files and processes are can understand how files and processes work under Linux.

At the same time, this book is a reference in that it's full of details and is organized so as to make it easy to find answers to specific questions. This is a big book, but that's because it covers a lot of material, not because it's full of white space and screen shots. I don't expect you to remember everything you read; I expect you to come away from each chapter and each section with enough of a feel for the material to go out and get in trouble. Then come back to check the details. I've provided lots of tables and a global index to them, and every chapter has a detailed table of contents that lists every section heading.


More About the Author

I do software contracting and consulting, and write by way of advertising and keeping myself current. In addition to my two books, I've written dozens of magazine articles and contributed chapters to five different books.

www.midnightbeach.com has more information about me and my books (including the tables of contents and sample chapters) and also has online versions of most of my smaller publications.

Customer Reviews

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Duntemann on January 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are an infinite number of ways to skin any given cat, and when covering a new RAD environment, which one you use depends almost entirely on who your target audience is. Jon Shemitz has written his book for the experienced programmer coming to Kylix from other RAD environments on platforms other than Linux/X. This, I feel, is the source of Kylix's user base: Not the casehardened command-line Unix-lifer gcc guys, but people who have been using Delphi, Visual Basic, or Visual C++ under Windows.
For people like that, it's a natural. Jon begins with a "Hello Kylix!" project to let people get their bearings within the Kylix idea, and then systematically explores the programming language (object Pascal), the environment and toolset (Kylix itself) and finally the underlying platform (Linux, Qt, and X.) People who already have their Unix scar tissue can skip the Linux section, but Windows expatriates will be glad it's there. The coverage of Object Pascal skims the simple stuff and emphasizes the subtleties that most books gloss over: inheritance, properties, class references, and the rest of the OOP machinery that far fewer people understand than claim to. (For that part of it, I recommend this book even to people who are sticking with Delphi under Windows!) The Kylix coverage, again, goes for depth: The section on threads is clearer than anything else I've read on that topic. The Unix material is well-chosen, and I learned far more about Qt from this book than I did from the Qt doc.
The overall quality of the book is very high. The writing is superb, and the screen shots are well-chosen and clearly reproduced. Scattered throughout the text are "Kylix is not Delphi!" tips, which people coming to Kylix from Delphi had better read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob Swart on October 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I received this book, I was impressed by the fact that it contained 943 pages on Kylix - without covering any database or internet development. Now that I finished the book, I'm even more impressed. Not by what's not in the book, but by what's actually covered in the book.
Somehow, the book reminds me of the years I spent at the University of Amsterdam (back in 1983), and first learned to work with UNIX and Minix.
I'm not sure why. Maybe the fonts, maybe the quality. But one thing is for sure, like the cover said: this is not a Delphi book 'ported' to Kylix. This
is a true Kylix/Linux Development book, and as such, I'm sure every Delphi developer can learn something from it.
The book consists of four sections, and a number of appendices. The first section contains about 250 pages about Object Pascal. But before we
start the first section, there's chapter 0: Hello Kylix, in which the author explains why Kylix is great, and what this book will offer (and what not -
so you'll know right away). It also explains where to download the sample code, and then continues with a first hands-on getting started tour in
Kylix.
The first real section of the book consists of four chapters (252 pages) and is about Object Pascal. From data types and datastructures to program
syntax and structure. As a Delphi developer, it was the 'least interesting' section of the book to read, although I would still recommend browsing
through the pages, since there are numerous tips or footnotes that are worthwhile to read (as the back cover says: "even long-time Delphi
programmers will find some surprising details here", such as the part on libraries and dynamic linking).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Helen Borrie on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Well done, Jon Shemitz. Two things jump out from this book: first, lots of text and virtually no screen shots. That means a LOT of very erudite content. Second, brilliant organisation. It's not a feature of many Delphi/Kylix books, even the worthy ones, and it is manna when it droppeth.
The book touts itself as "a comprehensive guide for developers wishing to make quick inroads into developing native applications for the Linux platform". Comprehensive it is, but this is no quickie how-to. This author goes the extra yards and provides good, lucid explanations for why a certain thing is as it is. It reflects excellent research, meticulous QA and the trait of the true teacher, to share what he knows. As a result, I'm finding topics in this this book that have eluded me for years of Delphi work - being absent from the popular titles, the Borland help and the Borland knowledgebase.
When (not if!) you buy this book, pay attention to the Notes panels and the footnotes. Shemitz (or his editor) has been very tight about delivering the story. His post-its and those vital snippets of experiential background are not buried in the main story but are distilled out expertly and consistently into these two reader aid devices. The plot stays right on target and those tricky bits are just where you want them, without having to dive off to a cross-reference.
Because I live in a remote area, I have to buy books "sight unseen". Hence, my tech library is a "lucky dip" of useful titles and doorstoppers. With this one, I really lucked in. I think it was a gutbuster to write and consider it worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears.
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