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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Delphi 3 Super Bible
Author:
Paul Thurrott et al
ISBN:
1 57169 027 1
Publisher:
Waite Group
Pages:
1310pp+CD
Price:
$54-99
Reviewer:
Brian Bramer
Subject:
borland; delphi
Appeared in:
10-1
Delphi is Borland's rapid application development environment based on Object Pascal for Windows 95/NT. It suffers from the same problem as all large environments - one has difficulty navigating around it and finding the particular objects and methods required to solve the problem at hand. This (very large) text is a catalogue of the Delphi application framework, the Visual Component Library or VCL.

The book is in six parts with the first a very short overview. Parts 2 and 3 deal with objects (

TObject
and its descendants) and persistent objects (
TPersistent
, etc.) Part 4 describes components and how attributes are inherited from
TComponent
. Parts 5 and 6 complete the volume, dealing with Non-windowed and Windowed controls. Throughout the text each object, method, etc. is specified in detail with a note of its function, declaration, a description, objects affected, etc. plus an example of use (varying in length from a couple of lines to a small program of ten, twenty or thirty lines). The CD contains all the sample code and other examples plus a copy of WebHub, a Delphi web-server utility (not Delphi though - you will have to buy that!)

On-line help systems are OK for casual use but I find references such as this essential when developing large scale software using complex environments (Java is another example!) I loaned this text to one of my colleagues who is using Delphi as a front end to a graphical database of DNA fingerprints. He found it very useful, clarifying many subtle points and was most unhappy when I took it back.

This book is not suitable as a student text or for learners to teach themselves Delphi (and it is not intended as such). I would recommend it as a reference for professional programmers using Delphi in a real world development environment.