Flotsam and Jetsam #113

  • I’d like to offer my public and profuse thanks to the Danish Delphi Developers group – and most notably MVP Jens Fudge and his family – for their wonderful hospitality while I was in Denmark presenting at the DAPUG group.  I talked for two days and had a great time.  They were also kind enough to allow me to bring my 13 year old daughter along, who had a great time and a great experience.  It was my third trip there and it’s always a very, very pleasant and enjoyable time.  (Hidden secret of the conference:  The hotel is magnificent and the food – oh, the food!  — is incredible.)  Anyway, thanks very much to all involved, and again, to Jens for his always superior kindness and hospitality. 
  • I seriously think that most people don’t understand Markdown.  Markdown is supposed to be human readable and human writable.  You aren’t supposed to need a special tool to use it.  It’s so simple that you should be able to deal with it just fine in Notepad.
  • I was honored to be the MVP of the Week this week.  The best part was a chance to chat with my good friend Jim McKeeth on the Delphi Podcast.  I don’t think it is posted yet, but I’ll publish the link when it is. I appreciate all the kind words.
  • Baoquan Zuo has released a fantastic new IDE tool – CodeInsightPlus.  This thing is pure gold.  Go out and get it right now. My typing speed easily doubled with this thing, even over regular Code Insight.  My favorite feature is when you have a class named “TWidgetDatabaseProcessor” and you type “twdp” and then hit enter and it finds it and completes it.  And that just touches the surface of what it will do.  Seriously, this is really cool.   When you add this to the stuff coming from Parnassus, Source Oddity, and others, it’s a great time for the Delphi IDE. 
  • In a related matter, Delphi developer David Hoyle has released a very nice and very useful book on the IDE’s Open Tools API (OTAPI).   The best part it is actually a free PDF download.  Well worth a look.  (And David, if you want to actually publish and sell this marvelous book, please let me know. I can make that happen.)
  • Not that anyone probably cares, and not to be too much of a martyr, but I’ve quit the Delphi non-tech group.  It was just getting so tiring, and I didn’t like how it kind of made me obnoxious. I fully confess I was addicted to reading and posting there.  I decided it wasn’t a productive use of my time, and won’t be posting there anymore.  Like I said, maybe no one cares, maybe people are happy.  All I know is my blood pressure is reduced.  😉  If you want to find me, I’m active on the Delphi Developers Google Plus community.
  • Does anyone know what the hell this “Delphi Parser” thing is? Are you getting emails on it? They’ve been sending me advertising emails, and I don’t have any idea who they are or what they do.  I do know they win the prize for “The Most Expensive Delphi Tool of All Time.”  Am I missing something?
  • Have you donated to your favorite productivity tool lately?  I just made a humble donation to Test Insight.  I really like it, and so I donated.  I encourage you to do the same for your favorite tool or framework, whether it be for a Delphi tool or framework, or a general utility, or whatever.  If we all started making donations – even small ones – to those folks who make our developing and computing experiences better, well, I think that would be a good thing. Go on, do it right now.

More Coding in Delphi

First of all, I want to once again thank all of you who have purchased, read, or otherwise supported my book Coding in Delphi.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again  — the response has been overwhelming and humbling.  The book has been more successful than I could have ever hoped for.

It’s so successful, in fact, that I’ve decided to write another one – More Coding in Delphi.  I am once again using the LeanPub publishing platform.  LeanPub is really an interesting tool – it makes it really, really easy to produce a book. Highly recommended.  You write the book in Markdown, and they take that and turn it into PDF, MOBI, and ePUB files for you.  Easy as pie.  I’ve been using MarkdownPad for writing the book.  It does a nice job of helping you write Markdown text. 

By default, LeanPub uses DropBox.  First, I granted LeanPub access to a shared folder on Dropbox.  Then, when I go to publish a preview or the real thing, LeanPub looks in that folder for a file called “Book.txt” which describes the format of the book by pointing to *.md files.  It then accesses those files in the shared folder and creates the book. 

This time around, though, they’ve added a new feature where you store the book in GitHub and they pull from the repository to get the files for the book.  Cool.  When the book is ready for proofing by any of you interested in doing so, you’ll get access to the manuscript by pulling it from the private repository on Github.  So if you want to help out, you’ll need to brush up on your Git. SmileIt also means that I get the benefits of a DVCS, and you guys can make pull requests if you have improvements for me. 

Right now, the outline for More Coding in Delphi is currently:

  • Four Thoughts on Coding Before We Start
    • Encapsulation, CQS, Postrel’s Law, Compostion over Inheritance
  • Duck Typing
  • JSON
  • Aspect-oriented Programming
  • Design Patterns
    • Observer Pattern
    • Adapter Pattern
    • Decorator Pattern
    • Another Pattern to be named later
    • Another Pattern to be named later
  • Parallel Programming
  • Model-View-ViewModel

That feels a little thin to me right now, so I am seeking more topics.  If you want to suggest anything, I’m all ears — either comment here on this post, or join the Google Community for the book.  Remember the philosophy of the book, though – it’s all about the code.  I’ll write about code frameworks, RTL type stuff, etc., but I don’t want too many screen shots of forms in the book.  There will be some in the MVVM chapter, but the idea is that the book covers code and how to write good code.   That’s what I want to focus on.  I’m also open to turning “Four Things” into five or six or seven things, so if you have small topics – a page or two, not enough for a full chapter — I’d love to hear those as well.

Okay, so now the real work begins.  It’s a lot of work to write a book. My hope is to have the book published by the end of this year.  I know that I can’t do it without your help – you guys made the first book possible.  Again, I’m grateful to all you readers and supporters.