The Other Side Of Delphi

This was a UK BUG MasterClass held on 19th February and 23rd October, 1997 in Hammersmith, England.

Click here for the files that accompany this seminar.

10:00 a.m. Introduction

Looking Through Windows

This section will focus on the Windows API. It will begin with an overview of attempting to tackle the Windows API from the perspective of a Delphi programmer unfamiliar with it, or scared by it.

Sending Messages

Here we investigate the message-based model of Windows and examine the approaches available in the API and natively in Delphi for sending messages around the system.

Receiving Messages

The tables are turned here and we look into the mechanisms in place for receive messages for custom processing:

Non-standard VCL messages and their raîson d'être:

The special case of application window messages, exemplified by enabling a TScrollBar to correctly react to system user interface changes.

11:30-11:45 a.m. Break

Launching Applications

Delphi does not support launching other applications with any cosy VCL routines. It is not necessarily obvious how to deal with the various APIs that help you out so we will look at them here.

Win16 approaches to launching applications:

Win32 preferred approaches:

Waiting For Programs To Terminate

When you launch an application, you sometimes need to be notified when it finishes. This is quite easy in Win32, although there are a few choices to make for smooth operation.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch

Ensuring Only A Single Instance Of Your App

This explores a suitable approach to ensuring an application can only have one instance executing at any one time:

Once you stop a second instance being executed, you need to bring the first instance back to the foreground. We look for a system that works in Delphi applications.

Sharing Data Between Processes

In Win32, applications are resident in separate address spaces and so data cannot be readily exchanged. There are numerous available operating system mechanisms to help. We will look at some of them in this section:

4:00-4:15 p.m. Break

The Windows Registration Database

Accessing the Windows registry is a necessity for many applications now that INI files are passť. Delphi has full support implemented in two VCL objects.

The Windows 95/NT 4 Task Bar

In this part we look at how to put a task bar application together in Delphi, and also how to ensure it gets loaded when Windows starts.

Run-Time Type Information (RTTI)

What is it? Why is it? What can it do for you? Nuff said

Organised Filing

This section will be included if time permits.

Sometimes a database table is over the top and you just want to store information in a normal disk file. Delphi has complete support for this, but not everyone can find it. We will browse through the support for: