Instant Delphi Programming
by Dave Jewell

This book review was first published in the Aug/Sept 1995 UK-BUG newsletter
Instant Delphi Programming
Dave Jewell
WROX Press
450 pages (softcover with disk)
US$ 24.95

Instant Delphi is one of the first books on Delphi - in fact, in Europe (and especially the UK) it might just be the first book on Delphi. Dave Jewell has tried to include not only do-stuff but read- and reference-stuff as well, as compared to Delphi for Dummies (reviewed earlier for The Delphi Magazine). Each chapter has only one or two examples that are used to illustrate the points and issues that Dave focusses on in that particular chapter. This way, you slowly learn more while the example application grows with you. Further, each chapter contains some exercises at the end, a nice way to not only help the reader check if he truly understood the chapter, but also to challenge the reader to try some enw stuff with Delphi.

Instant Delphi consists of two parts. The first part introduces Delphi and explains what issues arise when (starting to) work with Delphi. Examples of these issues are the design of a Graphical User Interface, adding Event Handling and Menus, but also customizing and managing Delphi projects and debugging with Delphi. These first chapters give you a detailed insight in the first fundamentals of Delphi program development, together with useful little applications which show you to apply what you've just learned. At the end of this first part, Dave shortly gives an overview of what we've just learned. This can be used by somewhat more experienced Delphi programmers to check out whether or not they actually need to read the first part (well, it certainly won't hurt anyway).

The second part is the more interesting aprt of the book. Here, Dave delves into more complex topics such as using Graphics and how to use Exceptions in your own application. He also gives a complete overview of all the components that are part of Delphi. I'm only a little disappointed that this component overview consists of merly a list with a short description of each component, whereas I would have preferred an example of each component (but I guess I need Neil's book for that).
Finally, there are chapters on Component Building (a very interesting topic), further customizing Delphi, and a final (short) chapter on database access with Delphi. Note that this last chapter contains the only database stuff from the book.

The appendix discusses - in short - Delphi for Pascal and Delphi for Visual Basic Developers. It shortly illustates the language differences between Delphi's ObjectPascal and Borland Pascal, and compares Delphi with the VB environment.

Instant Delphi is a good introduction to Delphi, the components of Delphi and ObjectPascal. If you're starting with Delphi, or just want to experiment with Delphi, then this book will help you on your way. If you want a more advanced book on Delphi, or a book on Delphi and (C/S) databases, then I suggest that you wait just a little longer for books (and reviews) to come...

(Bob Swart)

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