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Delphi in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))

Delphi in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) [Kindle Edition]

Ray Lischner
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

Delphi is quite rightly reckoned to be one of the best IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), and ideal for rapid program development thanks to its use of VCL. The Nutshell series are information-dense reference titles, and Delphi In A Nutshell doesn't disappoint.

After a fast tour of Delphi's version of the Pascal language and the files and forms used in the Delphi IDE you get an overview of object oriented programming as it relates to Delphi. There's coverage of of Delphi usage including scheduling, thread synchronisation and so on, then it's on to the language itself. Each language element is named, its syntax and a description with any gotchas noted. There's a tips and tricks section followed by example usage and pointers to related material.

This is a lot to pack in for every Delphi language element. One consequence is the need to limit the examples, which is a pity as they're often the most useful information. At the end of the book the last chapter deals with compiler directives and two appendices cover Delphi's command line tools and the separate but indispensable SysUtils unit. Delphi In A Nutshell isn't the kind of book you read in the bath, but it is one every Delphi programmer should have available when out of it.--Steve Patient


'... 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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1205 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (29 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #330,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lischner tells it like it is... 9 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ray Lischner is probably the reason I'm a professional Delphi developer. His previous books (Secrets of Delphi 2, and Hidden Paths of Delphi 3) taught me more about what Delphi was capable of (compared to other, lesser development environments) than any others. This is his latest, and, on first (and maybe even second) glance appears to offer nothing new.
But delve deeper, and have this book on your desk for a couple of weeks, and you'll find yourself going back to it more and more. It won't teach you Delphi, or programming, but its the best Delphi reference book there is.. and no matter how good a programmer you think you are, you *will* find yourself learning things about the language & environment that you didn't know before.
My only (slight) complaint is the quality of the binding of this book - it has a tendancy to curl up etc. I'd like to see a second edition with a spiral bound, so it can lie flat on a desk at any page.
Apart from that, I can't fault this book. It's proved its worth ten times over in the last month or so. If you use Delphi regularly, this book is a must have. And at the price, its a steal!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the online help 24 Aug 2000
By A Customer
At the price this is an ideal reference book for Delphi. It is quite selective in detail but covers all those bits of the language that are easy to forget and harder to find in Delphi's less than wonderfull on line help. It does not cover all ov the VCL types just the "built in" ones (if that is the correct way of putting it). The big let down is the ... binding. My book fell apart in just a few days! This type of book really needs a spiral binding, even if it does make it a bit more expensive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delphi in a Nutshell Review by Robert Meek 30 Mar 2000
By Robert Meek - Published on
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"...three subjects sorely under documented over the years. And broaching topics I've not read more than a few paragraphs about elsewhere, the author considers Delphi's command-line tools in detail, explaining what they're for, when to use them, and providing a complete list and definition of every parameter! Finally, the SysUtils unit is broken down in it's entirety, providing not just a brief overview, but a complete listing and explanation of every procedure, function, and constant it provides us, broken down by use in such a way that makes Delphi's own help files on the subject seem amateurish by comparison! The discussion on it's Error-handling hierarchy alone is worth the price of this book. Never before reading this had I really grasped the elegant way Delphi provides for this practical need! Saving the best for last, the largest chapter in this book is called, "Language Reference". Stuck right in the middle, making it easy to get to with the thumb and forefinger, Lischner has documented for us EVERY keyword, directive, function, procedure, variable, class, method, and property that Delphi's version of Pascal provides for us! And these aren't the simple descriptions we're used to dealing with, but detailed explanations of their use, including return values, parameters, and even error conditions. In fact, in the final pages of this chapter he offers a complete list of all the runtime exceptions, their codes, and the exception classes that handle them! Delphi coders have been waiting for this since version one, and it's inclusion here has guaranteed a place for this book on my desk! To be fair, I do have two complaints about this book. First, and as it seems to be with all great reference works, it simply isn't big enough! And I'd like to see the author expand his expertise into other, equally important aspects of Delphi, and programming in general. And second, books such as this, which will undoubtedly be handled on a daily basis, should be bound in a manner that meets this need. This one isn't, and I'm sad to say that after only two nights of reading, I'm already forced to tape the pages back in place! Even at the expense it would cause, I'd lie to see this and other references bound in spiral notebooks, or even offered as unbound, punched pages which could then be placed in readily available loose-leaf binders. If there is, and I certainly hope to see one, a second edition of this book, PLEASE bind it properly! In closing, I just want to say that I own quite a few really great Delphi books, all of them being well used as a reference during my programming excursions, but "Delphi in a Nutshell" is the FIRST one that I have actually read cover to cover! Besides it's necessary factual information, it includes a plethora of tips, warnings, and other practical considerations that could only come from someone who has spent more time actually working with Delphi than most of us could ever attest to. And is written by someone who is so conversant in the language as to make even the most complicated subjects easy to understand and follow! Lischner is to be applauded for not only providing us with an invaluable reference work, but also with a pleasurable reading experience that meets and then surpasses all competitors. For once you can believe what it says on the back cover. ""Delphi in a Nutshell" is the ONE indispensable reference for Delphi programmers!"!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Trend? 22 July 2000
By Jack B. Lyle - Published on
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.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Lischner 31 Mar 2000
By Jeffery P Overcash - Published on
"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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an Object-Pascal Reference! 10 Aug 2000
By Grant Nixon - Published on
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!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strickly a Reference 17 Oct 2001
By Casey Manus - Published on
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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