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Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports

A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
My question is quite simple -- which is it?
--
David S. Becker
ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
(503) 402-3236
--

ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
(503) 402-3236

 

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
David S. Becker wrote:

> A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
> bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
> Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
> My question is quite simple -- which is it?
> --
> David S. Becker
> ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
> mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
> (503) 402-3236
> --

> ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
> mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
> (503) 402-3236

I just bought that book for our company last night.  
It appears to be one of the most exciting books on
programming I've seen.  I started to go through the
introductory pages and I'm very anxious to dig into
this book.  The author and publisher have the good
gusto to include all/most of the chapters on CD-ROM
that were in the original Unleashed book (15
chapters) that are not in this book!  The book's
philosophy on teaching the programmer is apparently
different from other books as it teaches you How
and Why Delphi and Windows 32 work the way they do
versus just how to do a project.  I checked out the
other books on Delphi 2 on the shelf and none can
hold a candle to this book!  As a test, just look
at how well OLE Automation is handled between any
two books and you'll see how and why this book
stands apart from the others.
--
Bruce Goldstein
Software Engineer
Interactive Strategies, Inc.
br...@centcon.com

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
David S. Becker wrote:

> A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
> bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
> Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
> My question is quite simple -- which is it?
> --
> David S. Becker
> ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
> mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
> (503) 402-3236
> --

> ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
> mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
> (503) 402-3236

I liked it!  It provided a good intro to Win32 that, for a programmer
with experience only in Win16, was quite valuable.  There was a lot of
other good info as well.  

The only complaint I have about the book, or at least about the CD that
accompanies it, is that most if not all of the shareware stuff is for
D1, which is a pain considering the book focuses on D2.  Also, the
"free" software, in particular the Map Developer's Kit, "a #495.00
value!", is available free from the manufacturer's web site!  This seems
to me to be a little bit deceptive advertising!  According to the
author, he did not have a lot of control over what was on the CD.  His
main focus was on getting the text done. The publishers (Sams/Borland
Press) were the ones that put all the other stuff in.

brian

my opinions are my own,
and since I'm self-employed,
I guess my employer shares them.

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


R. Brian Lindahl (blind...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: David S. Becker wrote:
: >
: > A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
: > bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
: > Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
: > My question is quite simple -- which is it?
: > --
: > David S. Becker
: > ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
: > mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
: > (503) 402-3236
: > --
: >
: > ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
: > mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
: > (503) 402-3236

I have Mastering Delphi 2 and Delphi 2 Unleashed.

I think MD2 is much better written and integrates very well with the CD,
instead of long listings taking space up in the book you just get code
fragments, with all the code and .exe files on the CD.

D2U does go much more into how D2 works and how it interacts with the
WinAPI. If you want to know how to write API rich code in D2 this is
probably a good starting point, but you will probably like me need MD2 or
some other similar book to get a feel for the system.

I also agree with other comments it's CD isn't that good, but it's not
dire or anything drastic.

--

 Adam J Trickett      | Voice   +1 (413) 545-1037    | Insert your
 Entomology UMass     | Fax     +1 (413) 545-2115    | silly phrase
 Amherst MA 01003 USA | email trick...@ent.umass.edu | or comment
 http://www.leeds.ac.uk/genetics/resear/butlin/      | here!

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


In article <31922240.7...@ix.netcom.com>,
   "R. Brian Lindahl" <blind...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Quote
>I liked it!  It provided a good intro to Win32 that, for a programmer
>with experience only in Win16, was quite valuable.  There was a lot of
>other good info as well.  

I must agree with that. This book is phenomenal. I'm only 200 pages into it
and I've already learned so much!

Quote
>The only complaint I have about the book, or at least about the CD that
>accompanies it, is that most if not all of the shareware stuff is for
>D1, which is a pain considering the book focuses on D2.  Also, the
>"free" software, in particular the Map Developer's Kit, "a #495.00
>value!", is available free from the manufacturer's web site!  This seems
>to me to be a little bit deceptive advertising!  According to the
>author, he did not have a lot of control over what was on the CD.  His
>main focus was on getting the text done. The publishers (Sams/Borland
>Press) were the ones that put all the other stuff in.

Don't buy the book for the free components. The Lightlib VCLs tank on 8MB Ram
anyway. This is the only book I've found that doesn't start off by explaining
the IDE and VCLs.  I don't need that stuff, I learned that when I was using
Delphi 1.0.

--------
Mike Harrison
mhar...@interlog.com
http://www.interlog.com/~mharris

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


David S. Becker <d...@plaza.ds.adp.com> writes:

Quote
>bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
>Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
>My question is quite simple -- which is it?

Assuming it's not much changed from version 1, I'd say it's OK if you
don't mind wordy, patronising prose and a bunch of sample code with
inappropriate variable names. It certainly isn't anywhere near as
advanced as the back cover would have you believe, either.

I found it a very shallow book written in a style that basically forces
you to flip pages looking for some meat.

Luke
--
Luke Webber

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

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


On 8 May 1996 15:12:14 GMT, David S. Becker <d...@plaza.ds.adp.com>
wrote:

Quote
>A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
>bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
>Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
>My question is quite simple -- which is it?
>--
>David S. Becker
>ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
>mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
>(503) 402-3236
>--

>ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
>mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
>(503) 402-3236

I didn't find it all that useful but I can't help but think this
question is a lot like "Is the Volkswagon beatle" the best/worst car
ever made.  Ask 100 people, get 101 answers!.  Personally I only
really love books that are written by the Wait Group and Published ny
Sams.  If it "anything" Primer Plus I'll buy it :)

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


I am enjoying it!  It is a great book.  The first Delphi Developers
Guide is horrible.

Gnow...@dfw.net

Quote
ja...@sisna.com wrote:
>On 8 May 1996 15:12:14 GMT, David S. Becker <d...@plaza.ds.adp.com>
>wrote:
>>A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
>>bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
>>Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
>>My question is quite simple -- which is it?
>>--
>>David S. Becker
>>ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
>>mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
>>(503) 402-3236
>>--

>>ADP Dealer Services (Plaza R&D)
>>mailto:d...@plaza.ds.adp.com
>>(503) 402-3236

>I didn't find it all that useful but I can't help but think this
>question is a lot like "Is the Volkswagon beatle" the best/worst car
>ever made.  Ask 100 people, get 101 answers!.  Personally I only
>really love books that are written by the Wait Group and Published ny
>Sams.  If it "anything" Primer Plus I'll buy it :)

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
Adam J. Trickett wrote:

> R. Brian Lindahl (blind...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
> : David S. Becker wrote:
> : >
> : > A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
> : > bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
> : > Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
> : > My question is quite simple -- which is it?
[Snip]
> I have Mastering Delphi 2 and Delphi 2 Unleashed.

I, too, have both books and I really like both of them.....  They seem to fill
different niches in my library...  If one does not have the answer to a
question the other usually does.  I bought the Unleashed book primarily b/c it
has a very good discussion of threads.  (A topic I knew very little about and
really wanted to learn)

Quote
> I think MD2 is much better written and integrates very well with the CD,
> instead of long listings taking space up in the book you just get code
> fragments, with all the code and .exe files on the CD.

The MD2 book integrates very well with the CD.  (I particularly like the
copiled demo programs on the CD.  I guess I am kinda lazy.) The Unleashed book
does not do nearly as good a job with its CD.  I actually think the CD is quite
poor for several reasons most of which have already been mentioned in this
thread.  Also, the install program on the Unleashed CD barfs half way
through....  I am getting a new CD sent to me but I dont think this will solve
the problem..  In any event I am able to access all the code snippets and all
the components.

Quote
> D2U does go much more into how D2 works and how it interacts with the
> WinAPI. If you want to know how to write API rich code in D2 this is
> probably a good starting point, but you will probably like me need MD2 or
> some other similar book to get a feel for the system.

I agree with this entirely.  I highly reccommend both books for their
respective nieches...

Paul
--
Please visit the Pets Unlimited Shelter Page at:
http://www-personal.usfca.edu/~magipa00/petsunlim.html

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


David,

For some people a book is as personal a thing as a pair of underwear.  
You'll find an extreme of subjectivety when speaking of 'good' or 'bad'
books.  I found Calvert's book to be pretty good; He covers a lot, and
it's easy reading.  

Charlie

Quote
David S. Becker wrote:

> A few weeks ago, there was a long thread in which numerous people were
> bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
> Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
> My question is quite simple -- which is it?

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
Mike Harrison (mhar...@interlog.com) wrote:

: This is the only book I've found that doesn't start off by explaining
: the IDE and VCLs.  I don't need that stuff, I learned that when I was using
: Delphi 1.0.

Delphi 2 Unleashed is really nicely done. IMHO it's a good book for
someone who's comfortable with Delphi, objects, etc., but who's
new to Windows development. I appreciate the way Charlie & Co. took
the introductory Object Pascal material out but put it on the CD.
A nice way to keep a book up to date without getting too huge or
losing too much old material.

(Though I usually don't bother with the CD, this seems like a good
application of it. Certainly better than the CD from Java!, which
had less than 500K of material on it.)

The organization's a little weird: The database material seems like it
was dropped in the middle of the book between two chapters dealing
with messages and events. The only other quibble I have is that the
index seems to miss some things: TDump.exe is mentioned at one point
but isn't listed in the index.  

Including the Games SDK and Internet chapters is a nice touch as well.
The bit on exporting objects from a DLL is a quite useful bit, to boot.

The book described in the critical posts doesn't sound like the book
I'm reading. I know at least one person is describing the 1st ed., but
from the sound of it I'm not sure the two editions are comparable.

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
Luke Webber (l...@ozramp.ozramp.net.au) wrote:

: David S. Becker <d...@plaza.ds.adp.com> writes:

: >bashing the book "Delphi 2 Unleashed" as the worst thing ever written.
: >Now, I see numerous postings recommending it as an excellent reference.
: >My question is quite simple -- which is it?

: Assuming it's not much changed from version 1, I'd say it's OK if you
: don't mind wordy, patronising prose and a bunch of sample code with
: inappropriate variable names. It certainly isn't anywhere near as
: advanced as the back cover would have you believe, either.

'Inappropriate variable names'?

: I found it a very shallow book written in a style that basically forces
: you to flip pages looking for some meat.

Seems to be quite a bit of meat in the 2nd ed.

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Quote
uhen...@meaddata.com (John Hendry) wrote:
> Luke Webber (l...@ozramp.ozramp.net.au) wrote:
> : Assuming it's not much changed from version 1, I'd say it's OK if you
> : don't mind wordy, patronising prose and a bunch of sample code with
> : inappropriate variable names. It certainly isn't anywhere near as
> : advanced as the back cover would have you believe, either.

> 'Inappropriate variable names'?

> : I found it a very shallow book written in a style that basically forces
> : you to flip pages looking for some meat.

> Seems to be quite a bit of meat in the 2nd ed.

I have the second edition, and I have to agree with Luke.  Delphi Unleashed
presents a good overview of nearly all Delphi's features, as well as some
good information on the Win32 API in general.  It doesn't get too bogged
down in "Here's how to open a file in the editor" kind of instructions
either.  However, a programmer who has any familiarity with any of the
covered topics will be flipping pages looking for "meat".

Many topics are fluffed up with basic information that is not appropriate
for the target audience, which appears to be intermediate to advanced
programmers.  For example, these programmers do not need to have pointers
and memory explained to them, especially with a metaphor as basic as the
"memory theater."  They wouldn't need to see the benefits of a relational
database described again.

My final beef with the book is the habit of printing example programs in
their entirety when the author only speaks directly about a few small
functions.  If the author didn't think it was important enough to discuss,
why did he fluff up the book with page after page of code I could have
referenced much better on the CD-ROM.  All this does is increase the weight
of the book, making it unpleasant to carry and read.

I'd still recommend the book, but with the caveats I've mentioned above.

Mike

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike McCallister   --   mccal...@netcom.com
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


On Wed, 29 May 1996 03:53:12 GMT, mccal...@netcom.com (Mike

Quote
McCallister) wrote:
>My final beef with the book is the habit of printing example programs in
>their entirety when the author only speaks directly about a few small
>functions.  If the author didn't think it was important enough to discuss,
>why did he fluff up the book with page after page of code I could have
>referenced much better on the CD-ROM.  All this does is increase the weight
>of the book, making it unpleasant to carry and read.

You may have noticed a trend where computers books are getting fatter
and fatter. Some publishers use thicker paper. Others pad the books
with code. I've seen one book that repeats all the code examples: once
in the text of the chapter, and then again at the end of the chapter.

Why? A fat spine is more visible on a bookstore shelf.

The only way to reverse this trend is to inform the publishers that
their tricks don't work. When you see a bloated book in the bookstore,
note its title and publisher. Then write a letter to the publisher,
saying how you would have purchased the book, but it was too big and
heavy, so you bought a smaller book instead.

Isn't it interesting how the best books are the smallest? (I think the
three best books on software ever written are: Fred Brooks, The
Mythical Man-Month; Kernighan and Plauger, Elements of Programming
Style; Dalh, Dijsktra, and Hoare, Structured Programming. The longest
is about 200 pages.)

By the way, I plead guilty to contributing to the book bloat trend.
I just finished a book (Secrets of Delphi 2) that is about 650
manuscript pages, and is likely to be about 800-900 pages when
published (August, probably). Although I did not deliberately pad the
book, it is longer than I wanted it to be.
--
Ray Lischner                              li...@tempest-sw.com
Tempest Software, Corvallis, Oregon, USA  http://www.tempest-sw.com

Re:Delphi 2 Unleashed - Conflicting Reports


Yes, compare to all the other Delphi books, "Developing Custom
Components with Delphi" by Ron Konopa (spelling?) is probably one of
the _best_ Delphi books I've ever read.  And tak note, it doesn't
weigh a ton and fits nicely in my pack when I hit the road.  Size does
not equal quality of depth.

Benson
ben...@primenet.com

On Sat, 01 Jun 1996 17:09:44 GMT, li...@tempest-sw.com (Ray Lischner)
wrote:

Quote
>On Wed, 29 May 1996 03:53:12 GMT, mccal...@netcom.com (Mike
>McCallister) wrote:

>>My final beef with the book is the habit of printing example programs in
>>their entirety when the author only speaks directly about a few small
>>functions.  If the author didn't think it was important enough to discuss,
>>why did he fluff up the book with page after page of code I could have
>>referenced much better on the CD-ROM.  All this does is increase the weight
>>of the book, making it unpleasant to carry and read.

>You may have noticed a trend where computers books are getting fatter
>and fatter. Some publishers use thicker paper. Others pad the books
>with code. I've seen one book that repeats all the code examples: once
>in the text of the chapter, and then again at the end of the chapter.

>Why? A fat spine is more visible on a bookstore shelf.

>The only way to reverse this trend is to inform the publishers that
>their tricks don't work. When you see a bloated book in the bookstore,
>note its title and publisher. Then write a letter to the publisher,
>saying how you would have purchased the book, but it was too big and
>heavy, so you bought a smaller book instead.

>Isn't it interesting how the best books are the smallest? (I think the
>three best books on software ever written are: Fred Brooks, The
>Mythical Man-Month; Kernighan and Plauger, Elements of Programming
>Style; Dalh, Dijsktra, and Hoare, Structured Programming. The longest
>is about 200 pages.)

>By the way, I plead guilty to contributing to the book bloat trend.
>I just finished a book (Secrets of Delphi 2) that is about 650
>manuscript pages, and is likely to be about 800-900 pages when
>published (August, probably). Although I did not deliberately pad the
>book, it is longer than I wanted it to be.
>--
>Ray Lischner                              li...@tempest-sw.com
>Tempest Software, Corvallis, Oregon, USA  http://www.tempest-sw.com

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