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: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far

Well, I bought a copy of Delphi Unleashed, by Charles Calvert, last
weekend, and  have  spent  some of this (long) weekend reading it. The
layout of the book is pretty good, and the  examples are useful. Most of
what I have read so far seems to be from a beginner/intermediate
viewpoint. I haven't gotten to the Object Pascal and OOP specific portions
 of the book yet, but I expect them to be well written also. The book
itself  is about 36 chapters, and 2" thick. All of the source code from
the  book and some additional software comes on a CDROM that is included.
Since the author is familiar with Borland Pascal for Windows and OWL,  
some examples of code in both styles is included in the book.
 

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


Quote
Timothy Barr <tab...@ix.netcom.com> writes:
>Well, I bought a copy of Delphi Unleashed, by Charles Calvert, last
>weekend, and  have  spent  some of this (long) weekend reading it. The

Funny, alot of other people seem to think this book isnt that good, maybe its
a personal taste kinda thing...

Quote
>the  book and some additional software comes on a CDROM that is included.

The CD-ROM includes demo versions of PowerTCP from what I have seen... what do
they mean by demo (crippleware, shareware?).  Have they left enough functionality
in place to allow one to build your own TCP/IP applications?

If so I might just bite the bullet and buy the book...

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Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


In article <3u037q$...@woodstock.socs.uts.EDU.AU>,
James Richard Webster <jrweb...@socs.uts.EDU.AU> wrote:
Quote
>Timothy Barr <tab...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

>If so I might just bite the bullet and buy the book...

The first parts of the book are a sort of introduction to programming.
It's useful for looking up certain details if you already know Pascal
(Turbo or otherwise).

The major disappointment I found is that it doesn't really cover any of the
VCL components.  I really hoped someone from Borland authoring a book on Delphi
might be able to give a little more insightful instruction on some of the
more obscure parts of the language/environment, ESPECIALLY those in which the
online docs are incomplete and/or totally useless and/or totally incorrect
(there is an unfortunately large number of these parts). FWIW.

The CD seems to have some good examples on it.

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


James Richard Webster (jrweb...@socs.uts.EDU.AU) wrote:
: Timothy Barr <tab...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

: >Well, I bought a copy of Delphi Unleashed, by Charles Calvert, last
: >weekend, and  have  spent  some of this (long) weekend reading it. The

: Funny, alot of other people seem to think this book isnt that good, maybe its
: a personal taste kinda thing...

Ditto...It is a good book if you are nw to pascal but as an experienced
pascal programmer I found it a waste of money.

Just my 2c worth.

Neil
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Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


In article <3u037q$...@woodstock.socs.uts.EDU.AU>,
   jrweb...@socs.uts.EDU.AU (James Richard Webster) wrote:

Quote
>Timothy Barr <tab...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

>>Well, I bought a copy of Delphi Unleashed, by Charles Calvert, last
>>weekend, and  have  spent  some of this (long) weekend reading it. The

>Funny, alot of other people seem to think this book isnt that good, maybe its
>a personal taste kinda thing...

*That's* funny--I know several people with the book (including myself), and
we are all impresses with it.  A great book.

Paul

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


My opinion...

A good book but, not great. I needed something more in depth as far as db
programming goes. It seems that anybody using Delphi in creating REAL db
apps' doesn't write about it.

I will not send this book back and I still recommend it. This book just
needs to be fatter and with smaller print between the covers ;)

Not covered:
Serious data validation and integrity issues.
Serious error handling routines.

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


Quote
samue...@netcom.com (Gary Samuelson) writes:

[snip]

Quote
>I will not send this book back and I still recommend it. This book just
>needs to be fatter and with smaller print between the covers ;)

Nope. It needs to be about the same size but with better examples and
less rambling. It also needs to be better organised. I find it very
difficult to read because it takes so long to get to the point. Very poor
style if you ask me.

Even as a non-pascal programmer, I got far more even from the Borland  
manuals than from Calvert's book. They're thinner, but not so chatty.

Luke
--
Luke Webber

* Note: The opinions expressed by Luke Webber are in no way supported *
*       by his employers, Luke Webber Consulting Services             *

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


Hi Luke!

In article <3u6p1h$...@werple03.mira.net.au>,
   web...@werple.mira.net.au (Luke Webber) wrote:

Quote
>samue...@netcom.com (Gary Samuelson) writes:

>[snip]
>>I will not send this book back and I still recommend it. This book just
>>needs to be fatter and with smaller print between the covers ;)

>Nope. It needs to be about the same size but with better examples and
>less rambling. It also needs to be better organised. I find it very
>difficult to read because it takes so long to get to the point. Very poor
>style if you ask me.

>Even as a non-pascal programmer, I got far more even from the Borland  
>manuals than from Calvert's book. They're thinner, but not so chatty.

This is one of the books I'm reviewing for The Delphi Connection, and am quite
frankly surprised by the number of scathing posts I'll find here concerning
the "quality" of Delphi books.

From what I can gather, it seems a lot of people want an authoratative
reference on Delphi's language, Windows' applications programming in general,
and every other concept directly supported by Delphi. Well, if that book ever
gets written, I can tell you that it's going to be about two years in
development, come in a 5-volume series, and probably cost more than any book
I'd ever buy!  

Ask yourself how old Delphi is, and how many books there already are for
Delphi... Imagine what the next 6 months is going to bring!

Basically, I liked Delphi Unleashed. Charlie Calvert doesn't "talk down" to
his audience, there's a ton of sample code on that CD-ROM, and overall, it's
probably one of the most "in-depth" books there is on Delphi.

Basically, on any given subject, there are no books that tell everything there
is to know about that subject.

-- Dan

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


In <3u6p1h$...@werple03.mira.net.au>, web...@werple.mira.net.au (Luke Webber) writes:

Quote
>samue...@netcom.com (Gary Samuelson) writes:

>[snip]
>>I will not send this book back and I still recommend it. This book just
>>needs to be fatter and with smaller print between the covers ;)

>Nope. It needs to be about the same size but with better examples and
>less rambling. It also needs to be better organised. I find it very
>difficult to read because it takes so long to get to the point. Very poor
>style if you ask me.

>Even as a non-pascal programmer, I got far more even from the Borland  
>manuals than from Calvert's book. They're thinner, but not so chatty.

I can't recommend it either...unfortunately, it seems to be about the
best book available.

I'd have to agree with most of the above complaints. I wish the book was
far more into examples on building components; the existing ones do not
have much breadth or depth. Also, Delphi has a few weird idiosyncracies
about it, and I wish there was more attention to pointing these things out...

/-------------------
Uh...words and stuff
fromh...@blarg.com
finger for PGP public key
/-------------------

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


Quote
>   fromh...@blarg.com  (Corey Barcus) writes:
>  In <3u6p1h$...@werple03.mira.net.au>, web...@werple.mira.net.au (Luke Webber) writes:
>  >samue...@netcom.com (Gary Samuelson) writes:

>  >[snip]
>  >>I will not send this book back and I still recommend it. This book just
>  >>needs to be fatter and with smaller print between the covers ;)

>  >Nope. It needs to be about the same size but with better examples and
>  >less rambling. It also needs to be better organised. I find it very
>  >difficult to read because it takes so long to get to the point. Very poor
>  >style if you ask me.

>  >Even as a non-pascal programmer, I got far more even from the Borland  
>  >manuals than from Calvert's book. They're thinner, but not so chatty.

>  I can't recommend it either...unfortunately, it seems to be about the
>  best book available.

>  I'd have to agree with most of the above complaints. I wish the book was
>  far more into examples on building components; the existing ones do not
>  have much breadth or depth. Also, Delphi has a few weird idiosyncracies
>  about it, and I wish there was more attention to pointing these things out...

        I can't believe you guys are so picky.
        Although I do argree with the comment about building components,  I think -over all- the book is
quite good.I don't agree the books chatty.  In fact, if it was, I would just skip the section that are 'chatty.'
I have learned far more from that book than the manuals. { not including the on-line help}   Also, I see no
comparison between the manuals and Delphi Unleashed.  Delphi Unleased did not specify on the conver that
it was a referance guide!  
        I think an  advantage of Calvert's book is that he has packed the CD with code examples.
I have never seen a programmer put so many code examples on a CD. (50+ -I'm guessing)   In my opinion,
Delphi has more to it than a certain writer can put in one book.  ( I.e. DB, components, Cleint/Server, etc.}  
Also, no writer can ever answer every person's questions about a certain topic.

        If you want to read something on a specific topic... well ... you just going to have to wait.  Or, if you
know a lot on a specific topic like component writing,  write the book yourself!

- Show quoted text -

Quote
>  /-------------------
>  Uh...words and stuff
>  fromh...@blarg.com
>  finger for PGP public key
>  /-------------------

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


dan.lut...@dfrontiers.com (Dan Luther) says:

Quote
>Basically, I liked Delphi Unleashed. Charlie Calvert doesn't "talk down" to
>his audience...

And the part explaining graphical user interfaces was...?
And the 3 page explanation of memory variables was...?

And this gem (on page 232):

"Sometimes, however, you want your code not to branch in one of two directions,
 but instead to perform some single action over and over until you ask it to
 stop. This latter process is called _looping_, and it is one of the most
 common techniques in computer programming." ...

"Why, some readers might ask, is looping so important?"...

No book which purports to be a thorough reference to a language or programming
system should attempt to be an introductory text on programming.  

I do not think Mr. Calvert's claim that his book is valuable to novices and
the experienced alike is valid. I found wading through all the introductory
and tutorial material on each topic to be very irritating. Yet the encyclopedic
treatment of each subject before moving on is exactly wrong for beginners,
who should be given a general run through once, limiting complexity (ie.
of variable types, control structure types, etc.), before being given more
in depth information on each language feature.

So neither constituency is well served, in the end.

Also, the book had serious editing problems. Vast amounts of "chatting" and
asides could have been eliminated, which would have made it much better
focussed.

Maybe I should write a book on Delphi. :-)

--
Brad Aisa        : "The highest responsibility of philosophers
Toronto, Canada  :  is to serve as the guardians and integrators
ba...@hookup.net :  of human knowledge."   -- Ayn Rand

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


In <3ucpjr$...@noc.tor.hookup.net>, ba...@hookup.net (Brad Aisa) writes:

Quote
>Also, the book had serious editing problems. Vast amounts of "chatting" and
>asides could have been eliminated, which would have made it much better
>focussed.

I have had the same feelings as I have read some of the book.  At times, I feel like
he is talking to me like a first grader, and then other times in the book I get pretty
good information from it.

There is definitely places where he could cut out the "chatting".  For instance,
his discussion of the "memory theatre" is very annoying.

Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


Quote
ksand...@mindspring.com wrote:

: There is definitely places where he could cut out the "chatting".  For
: instance,his discussion of the "memory theatre" is very annoying.

I found nothing of particular interest in this book, I can't see how he
can claim the book is for advanced users. It is definitly a beginners
book, full of long winded explanations on simplistic ideas, with a few
bits of gossip thrown in.

Calvert has at least one good book to his name but this is not one of them.
IMHO you can rip the book apart and chuck out everything before chapter
23, which covers SQL somewhat loosely, but is more informative then the
Borland help files.  I was amazed however to find some coverage of the
client/server version, since given the simplistic nature of the book, why
would you shell out that kind of money for the C/S version if you need
fundamental thing such as strings and Pstring explained??

Unleashed? I don't think so, maybe just whipped and choaked a little :)

While on the subject, is there any advanced references to Delphi around?
My normal book store has a couple of other colorfully illustrated books
in large print but nothing worth more than a cursory glance.

Brev

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Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


We bought the book as it was the only one available, at least at first
glance. I have to back up the complaints made, that this book is too
basic and lacks on those difficult subjects one may have problems
figuring out altogether or just not have the time for. I was greatly
disappointed. The title indicated tips and tricks on power programming.

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Re:: Delphi Unleashed good book, so far


In <3uftam$8p...@adelaide.DIALix.oz.au>, b...@adelaide.DIALix.oz.au (Neil Davies) writes:
Quote
>ksand...@mindspring.com wrote:

>: There is definitely places where he could cut out the "chatting".  For
>: instance,his discussion of the "memory theatre" is very annoying.
[snip]
>While on the subject, is there any advanced references to Delphi around?
>My normal book store has a couple of other colorfully illustrated books
>in large print but nothing worth more than a cursory glance.

I seem to recall that Jeff Duntemann has written a book.  I haven't seen or read it
but Jeff wrote a column for years in DDJ on Pascal, and even hassled Borland
about developing a visual Pascal.  Seems they finally listened...

Steve.

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