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How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)

Hi everyone,

As sad as this may sound, I enjoy checking out the newsgroups daily to see
what is going on, try to answer what questions I can and also hope to pick
up some new tricks.  Every time I am 'here' I can't help but be completely
blown away by the knowledge of some of the posters (especially Team B'ers!).
With that said, I would like to ask how one goes about getting to this level
of knowledge.  Apart from the usual thing (work experience), is there
anything specific that comes to mind.  I have a BSc in comp sci and about 5
years experience so I guess you can say that I understand what I read (most
of the time ;).  I have a decent grasp of Delphi, but what  interests me
most are things like windows messaging, i.e. something I learned yesterday:

SendMessage (ListBox1.Handle, LB_SETHORIZONTALEXTENT, 500, 0);

for setting a horizontal scroll bar in a list box .. how cool is that?!

What gets me is that I wouldn't even know where to look for information like
this .. heck .. I wouldn't even know to look for it since I didn't know it
could be done.

I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info will
be more than what I already possess :)

Thanks to all my fellow programmers!

Gordon

 

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Quote
"gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com> wrote in message

news:3eef772b$1@newsgroups.borland.com...

Quote
> I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info will
> be more than what I already possess :)

What I've found the best is to start from first principles. Yes, dropping a
TTimer on a TForm will work, but how? (Via posting or sending WM_TIMER to
TForm.Handle, if you're curious ;) )

Grab a copy of Microsoft's Platform SDK and work through it without using
any of the VCL units. It can be done, and you'll learn a _hell_ of a lot all
through it.

Cheers,
  Ignacio

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Now how did I know that Ignacio Vazquez would be one to reply ;)  You are
one of those people I mentioned in my original post .. thanks Ignacio.

Quote
"Ignacio Vazquez" <ivazquezATorioncommunications.com> wrote in message

news:3eef78ee@newsgroups.borland.com...
Quote
> "gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:3eef772b$1@newsgroups.borland.com...
> > I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info
will
> > be more than what I already possess :)

> What I've found the best is to start from first principles. Yes, dropping
a
> TTimer on a TForm will work, but how? (Via posting or sending WM_TIMER to
> TForm.Handle, if you're curious ;) )

> Grab a copy of Microsoft's Platform SDK and work through it without using
> any of the VCL units. It can be done, and you'll learn a _hell_ of a lot
all
> through it.

> Cheers,
>   Ignacio

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Quote
> I would like to ask how one goes about getting to this level
> of knowledge.  

Have a brain the size of a planet :-)

Cheers,
Jim Cooper

____________________________________________

Jim Cooper      jcoo...@tabdee.ltd.uk
Tabdee Ltd      http://www.tabdee.ltd.uk

TurboSync - Connecting Delphi with your Palm
____________________________________________

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


"gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com> wrote in
news:3eef772b$1@newsgroups.borland.com:

Quote
> What gets me is that I wouldn't even know where to look for
> information like this .. heck .. I wouldn't even know to look for it
> since I didn't know it could be done.

Take Mr. Vazquez advice.  Doing a windows app with the big giant case
statment in the message handler is an eye opening experience.  

--
Iman

"If I had to live my life all over again," said Woody Allen, "I'd do it all
exactly the same - only I wouldn't read Beowulf."

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Work on your timing...

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Hi,

Quote
gc wrote:
> I would like to ask how one goes about getting to
> this level of knowledge.

That's a good question actually. I don't know, but with me it just happens.
Often because I am forced to look into stuff that just doesn't work as
expected. The more I dig into it, the more I understand.
(Ok, I am just pretending to be a Delphi guru, in reality I am just a no
longer beginner. ;-) )

Quote
>  Apart from the usual thing (work experience), is there
> anything specific that comes to mind.  I have a BSc in comp sci and about
> 5 years experience so I guess you can say that I understand what I read
> (most
> of the time ;).  I have a decent grasp of Delphi, but what  interests me
> most are things like windows messaging, i.e. something I learned
> yesterday:
> SendMessage (ListBox1.Handle, LB_SETHORIZONTALEXTENT, 500, 0);
> for setting a horizontal scroll bar in a list box .. how cool is that?!

Hm, that's something you could get from the Windows SDK, but you'd still
have think of looking there. On the other hand this trick is rather old,
you will find it in most tips and tricks collections on Delphi on the web.

shameless plug: Check out
http://www.dummzeuch.de/delphi/object_pascal_templates/english.html

Quote
> I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info will
> be more than what I already possess :)

I guess my answer wasn't any better. ;-)

twm

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 16:16:43 -0400, "gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com>
wrote:

Quote
>up some new tricks.  Every time I am 'here' I can't help but be completely
>blown away by the knowledge of some of the posters (especially Team B'ers!).

A clue is looking at how the TB'ers post.  Remy is all over winsock
questions.  DPate knows com inside and out.  One unnamed TB'er is a
pro at composing google searches ;)

As for the question, I'd recommend:

1. Build a great foundation.  General code design and implementation,
data structures and algorithms, etc.  You probably already have this
if you have a comp sci degree.

2. Learn object pascal *very* well.

3. Learn Delphi *very* well.  Delphi Developers Guide, Delphi
certification materials, etc are good resources.

4. Bury yourself into the topic you're interested in, like Deborah or
Remy mentioned above.

At this point you're a good programmer, a good Delphi programmer, and
a topical guru.

A friend of mine who I consider a guru knows quite a bit about digital
logic, assembler coding, and hardware.  I think that knowledge can
really help but I wouldn't put it before the other items.

Others have mentioned that learning other languages has made them
better programmers in general.  Besides making sense, this is a good
idea for many reasons.

Speaking of gurus, I miss Stefan Hoffmeister's kylix contributions.

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


On 17-Jun-03, Iman L Crawford said:

Quote
> Take Mr. Vazquez advice.  Doing a windows app with the big giant case
> statment in the message handler is an eye opening experience.  

Not to mention mind-numbing <g>.

--
Bill
--------
People have a right to their own cultures -- even Americans. Those who come here and say that they cannot follow some of our laws that conflict with their culture are free to leave. -- Thomas Sowell

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Is not hard. Think in this:

1- You MUST have experience in anything
2- You are able to comunicate
3- You can understand the "others" ideas
4- So, in some way, you are a Guru in progress

This sound like a arbig adage (bad translate, from arabig to spanish to
english ;)

"If you don't know, and you don't realize that you don't know, you are a
ignorant.

If you don't know, but you know that you don't know, you are humble, need
only information

If you know, and you don't realize that you know, you are lost, requiere a
little push

If you know, and you realize that you know, the you are a master!"

So, simply think about what you know (you have BSc in comp sci, i don't know
what is it, but look good), and apply this information to programing.

For example a lot of mathematician, really are not "good" developers, but
this guys apply a theory, build a solution and code it: Are Gurus in math
programing!

Simply tell us how apply your knowledge in Delphi programing terms, or
hobbis, or anything...

Api programing is not so cool. Cool is build 3D things for play or
commercials, provide geological programs, a database to help a company to
grow (or like the succes history in comunity.borland, a system, for help to
find a cure about something), driving a web community. This is cool...help
to solve problems!

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


Quote
On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 16:16:43 -0400, "gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com> wrote:
>What gets me is that I wouldn't even know where to look for information like
>this .. heck .. I wouldn't even know to look for it since I didn't know it
>could be done.

google

Whenever I don't know how to do something in delphi/windows, I go to
google, Advanced search.

By playing with the keywords (and including Peter Below in the 'Poster'
field :-) I almost always find something, or get started in the right
direction.

Then it's just a matter of never forgetting anything you've read once
:-)

(To be honest, I start locally in the "PeterBelow.chm" file that someone
put together - when this fails, I go to google)

--
Anders Isaksson, Sweden
BlockCAD: http://user.tninet.se/~hbh828t/proglego.htm
Gallery: http://user.tninet.se/~hbh828t/gallery/index.htm

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


How I learned a lot about Win32 programming:

[1] Look at Borland's source. How do they create a button or a listbox. I
also looked at how they create common dialogs (and receive return messages,
the hard part). I used this to create a TBrowseForFolder component wrapper
around the Win32 version. While doing this I discovered I needed to create
my own version of TCommonDialog because the original was hiding just too
much.

[2] You could also try to make your own messages and learn how to send and
receive them.

[3] Finally something fun. This application shows the class of the component
the mouse cursor moves over (the component can be from any application!).
Figure out how it works. You could "improve" the app by enabling it to
change the captions of those components by sending WM_SETTEXT messages.

type
  TSpyForm = class(TForm)
    lblHandle: TLabel;
    lblClassName: TLabel;
    lblText: TLabel;
    SpyTimer: TTimer;
    procedure FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
    procedure SpyTimerTimer(Sender: TObject);
  public
    procedure ShowHwndAndClassName(CrPos: TPoint);
  end;

implementation

{$R *.DFM}

procedure TSpyForm.ShowHwndAndClassName(CrPos: TPoint);
var
  hWnd: THandle;
  aName,
  Text :  array [0..255] of char;
begin
  hWnd := WindowFromPoint(CrPos);
  lblHandle.Caption := 'Handle: ' + IntToStr(hWnd);
  if boolean(GetClassName(hWnd, aName, 256)) then
    lblClassName.Caption := 'ClassName: ' + string(aName)
  else
    lblClassName.Caption := 'ClassName: Not found';
  SendMessage(hWnd, WM_GETTEXT,
              SizeOf(Text), Integer(@Text));
  lblText.Caption := 'Text: ' + Text;
end;

procedure TSpyForm.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
begin
  FormStyle := fsStayOnTop;
  SpyTimer.Interval := 50;
end;

procedure TSpyForm.SpyTimerTimer(Sender: TObject);
var
  rPos: TPoint;
begin
  if Boolean(GetCursorPos(rPos)) then
    ShowHwndAndClassName(rPos);
end;

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


go to
http://www.dpassmore.com/links/delphistuff.asp
and download
Peter Below's Snippets:  snippets2001.zip

Then, when you need to know something,
search through the Below wisdom.

Quote
gc wrote:

> Hi everyone,

> As sad as this may sound, I enjoy checking out the newsgroups daily to see
> what is going on, try to answer what questions I can and also hope to pick
> up some new tricks.  Every time I am 'here' I can't help but be completely
> blown away by the knowledge of some of the posters (especially Team B'ers!).
> With that said, I would like to ask how one goes about getting to this level
> of knowledge.  Apart from the usual thing (work experience), is there
> anything specific that comes to mind.  I have a BSc in comp sci and about 5
> years experience so I guess you can say that I understand what I read (most
> of the time ;).  I have a decent grasp of Delphi, but what  interests me
> most are things like windows messaging, i.e. something I learned yesterday:

> SendMessage (ListBox1.Handle, LB_SETHORIZONTALEXTENT, 500, 0);

> for setting a horizontal scroll bar in a list box .. how cool is that?!

> What gets me is that I wouldn't even know where to look for information like
> this .. heck .. I wouldn't even know to look for it since I didn't know it
> could be done.

> I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info will
> be more than what I already possess :)

> Thanks to all my fellow programmers!

> Gordon

--
Dr. J. Mark Horridge, Centre of Policy Studies,
11th floor Menzies Building, Clayton Campus,
Monash University, Wellington Road,
Clayton VIC 3800, AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 3 9905 2464  Fax: +61 3 9905 2426
email mark.horri...@buseco.monash.edu.au
WEB http://www.monash.edu.au/policy/jmh.htm

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


To everyone who replied,

Thank you so much for the time you took in your replies (well .. most of you
anyhow ;)  Talk about good people!  I am going to take all your suggestions
seriously and start 'hacking' around.  Now if I could only find the time!

The problem with learning something new is that you are exposed to even more
of what you don't know .. talk about a vicious circle.

Sincerely,

Gordon Cutts

Quote
"gc" <gcu...@fimc.nospam.com> wrote in message

news:3eef772b$1@newsgroups.borland.com...
Quote
> Hi everyone,

> As sad as this may sound, I enjoy checking out the newsgroups daily to see
> what is going on, try to answer what questions I can and also hope to pick
> up some new tricks.  Every time I am 'here' I can't help but be completely
> blown away by the knowledge of some of the posters (especially Team
B'ers!).
> With that said, I would like to ask how one goes about getting to this
level
> of knowledge.  Apart from the usual thing (work experience), is there
> anything specific that comes to mind.  I have a BSc in comp sci and about
5
> years experience so I guess you can say that I understand what I read
(most
> of the time ;).  I have a decent grasp of Delphi, but what  interests me
> most are things like windows messaging, i.e. something I learned
yesterday:

> SendMessage (ListBox1.Handle, LB_SETHORIZONTALEXTENT, 500, 0);

> for setting a horizontal scroll bar in a list box .. how cool is that?!

> What gets me is that I wouldn't even know where to look for information
like
> this .. heck .. I wouldn't even know to look for it since I didn't know it
> could be done.

> I know this was a pretty vague question but what the heck .. any info will
> be more than what I already possess :)

> Thanks to all my fellow programmers!

> Gordon

Re:How to become a Delphi guru .. or at least a wanna be guru :)


"William Meyer" <> wrote in news:3eefb50a@newsgroups.borland.com:

Quote
> Not to mention mind-numbing <g>.

True.  We figured it would take about the same amount of time to write an
windows application in C as it would just to wait for a decent framework to
be developed by someone else.

--
Iman

"If I had to live my life all over again," said Woody Allen, "I'd do it all
exactly the same - only I wouldn't read Beowulf."

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