Code Faster in Delphi
Code Faster in Delphi
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Code Faster in Delphi

Last updated on 2020-09-14

About the Book

Don’t touch that mouse!  Hands on the keyboard, and eyes front. You’re about to embark on a Bootcamp to tone your coding muscles, sharpen your shortcuts, fix forms faster, and accelerate your career as a Delphi Programmer.

Now drop and give me twenty lines of code and five laps of that while loop.

This book will help you Code Faster in Delphi through a vast array of tips, tricks and hacks to squeeze every bit of productivity out of yourself and the Delphi IDE.  

Some ways your coding will be made easier:

By enhancing the IDE with plugins.  

You’ll be introduced to powerful language features such as:

  • Interfaces
  • Generics
  • Anonymous Methods

Get started with some of the best parts of the Run-Time Library, including:

  • Generic Collections
  • Parallel Programming Library
  • Regular Expressions
  • Enhanced RTTI
  • FireDAC

Use Meta-Programming to write and modify code to save you from horribly repetitive tasks.

Improve your physical environment with easy solutions to hardware and station problems.

And of course, once you’ve mastered these, where to go to get even faster and better.

With over one hundred areas of improvement covered, this holistic approach to Coding Faster In Delphi will boost your productivity, and therefore your value to your clients, bosses, and colleagues.

About the Author

Alister Christie
Alister Christie

Alister Christie has been programming in Delphi since 1999, building and maintaining applications for the real estate, banking, racing, and legal industries here in New Zealand. In these roles, he has also used other technologies such a C#, Ruby on Rails, Android/Java, but Delphi is his preferred environment.

Alister loves to teach, and has also held training seminars on coding for his teammates, user training for clients, as well as producing the content found here. Most of his free videos also appear on YouTube, as at January 2020 have over 1.58 million views and around seven thousand subscribers.

Alister has presented at numerous online CodeRage conferences. These conferences last for an entire week with thousands of participants. The replays for all his presentations are available on this site.

Alister has been an international guest speaker at ADUG (Australasian Delphi Users Group) Symposia since his debut in 2013. Alister is honoured to be invited back to present again and again.

In 2012 Embarcadero invited Alister to join a select group of Delphi experts from around the world to form the Embarcadero MVP program for which he was the first from New Zealand.

Alister’s books “Code Better in Delphi” and “Code Faster in Delphi” will be out soon. Reserve an advance copy here.

Alister holds a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Victoria University, Wellington. He lives near Wellington, New Zealand.

When Alister isn’t doing all that, he’s investigating new technologies, hanging out with his family, playing guitar, investing in real estate, working out, farming his lifestyle block (hobby-farm), renovating, and running a B’n’B.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Copyright 1

Dedication 1

Table of Contents 2

Foreword 6

Preface 7

Acknowledgements 8

Introduction 9

Conventions Used in this Book 9

Scope 10

Code Samples 10

Code Faster by Typing Faster 11

Touch Typing 11

Getting Started with Touch Typing 13

Know Thy Keyboard Shortcuts 14

The Delphi Code Editor 16

Keyboard Shortcuts 16

CodeInsight 26

Code Templates 27

MultiPaste 30

The Editor Toolbar 31

IDE Insight 33

Structure View 33

The Class Explorer 35

Code History 36

Macros 38

Surround 39

SyncEdit 40

The Delphi Form Designer 41

Keyboard Shortcuts 41

Quick Edits 43

Quick Actions 44

Add Control and Add Component 45

Object Inspector 45

Structure View 46

The Component Palette 48

Editing the Form’s Source 50

Editing the Clipboard 52

Aligning Controls 52

Position 53

Alignment (and Size) 53

VCL Guidelines 56

Windows Magnifier 56

Customising the IDE 57

IDE Layout 57

Unpinning and Undocking 57

Desktop Speedsettings 60

Changing the ToolBar and ToolButtons 62

Welcome to the Dark Side 63

Write Your Own IDE Plugin 65

Further Learning 69

Language Features 70

Interfaces 70

Further Learning 72

Generics 73

Generic Collections 75

Anonymous Methods 76

Variable Capture 78

Anonymous Threads 79

Further Learning 80

Inline Variables and Type Inferencing 80

Know the RTL 82

Measuring Time 82

Generic Collections 83

TDictionary 85

Further Learning 88

Parallel Programming 88

No Parallel Example 89

Background Thread Example 91

Multiple Tasks Example 92

Parallel For Example 94

Further Learning 97

Regular Expressions 97

IP Address Validation 97

IsMatch 98

Match 99

Matches 100

Replace 101

Summary 102

Further Learning 102

Enhanced RTTI 102

Reading Properties 103

Writing Properties 104

Further Learning 106

FireDAC 106

TFDConnection 106

Adding a TFDQuery 109

But There’s More 110

Further Learning 111

Tools and Plugins 112

Third-Party Tools 112

cnWizards / cnPack 112

Structural Highlighting 112

Tab Order 115

Component Prefix Wizard 117

ModelMaker Code Explorer 119

Live Documentation 120

Class Browser 121

Tip of the Day 123

The MMX Toolbar 123

Navigator 125

Bookmarks 127

CodeSite 129

Further Learning 130

GExperts 130

Clipboard History 131

File Favorites 131

AutoCorrect 132

Backup Project 133

Other Non-Delphi Specific Tools 135

Third-Party Libraries 135

Metaprogramming 136

Case study - BDE Replacement. 136

Find and Replace 137

In the IDE 137

Turbo GREP 137

Delphi AST 140

DFM Parser 142

reFind 143

Mida Converter 145

cnWizards Property Corrector 146

GExperts Replace Components 147

Your Physical Environment 150

Hardware 150

Keyboard 150

Mouse 150

Computer 150

Screens 151

Chair 151

Desk 151

Other Considerations 152

Environmental 152

Interruptions 152

Multitasking 153

Sharpening the Saw 154

Where to go when you are Stuck 154

Google is Your Friend 154

Asking Questions 155

Stack Overflow 155

Recommended Reading 155

Social Networks 156

Facebook 156

LinkedIn 156

Twitter 156

Meetup 156

YouTube 157

StackOverflow 157

Delphi-PRAXiS 157

Becoming Known as an Expert 157

What’s Improved Productivity Worth 158

As an Employer 158

As an Employee 158

Self Employed 159

Diminishing returns on investment 159

Further Learning 159

Final Words and Conclusion 160

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