Welcome to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* (FAQ)

Archive-name: clpd-welcome.txt
News-answers-archive-name: pascal/delphi/welcome
Posting-Frequency: weekly, alternating between
  comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases,comp.answers,news.answers and
Last-modified: June 25, 1998

Welcome to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* (FAQ)

Latest changes:
  Update URL for Torry's Delphi Pages.

0. Overview
1. Newsgroups in the hierarchy
   A. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy
   B. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce
   C. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.misc
   D. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage
   E. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing
   F. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases
   G. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc
2. Other Borland Delphi related newsgroups
   A. comp.sources.delphi
   B. alt.lang.delphi and alt.comp.lang.borland-delphi
   C. borland.*
   D. installshield.*
   E. Groups in regional or language hierarchies
3. General MS Windows programming newsgroups
4. Newsgroups that don't want to hear about Borland Delphi
   A. alt.online-service.delphi
   B. clari.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia and
   C. comp.lang.pascal.borland
5. Other resources on the Internet
   A. Delphi Archives
   B. FAQ sites
6. A few netiquette points
   A. Minimize crossposting
   B. Use a meaningful Subject
   C. Don't expect an immediate answer
   D. Read the newsgroup  
   E. Pros and Cons of address mangling
7. Disclaimers and Copyright

0. Overview

This document deals primarily with the main Usenet hierarchy concerned
with Borland Delphi, comp.lang.pascal.delphi.*, and secondarily with
other newsgroups that Delphi programmers may be interested in.  A few
pointers to useful WWW sources have been thrown in as an afterthought.

It doesn't provide any answers to programming questions.  Instead it
will, hopefully, help the reader get such questions answered by using
the newsgroups in the comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* hierarchy effectively.

1. Newsgroups in the hierarchy

   A. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy

      Description: Contentious issues related to Delphi.

      Charter: This group is for the discussion of Borland Delphi as
      it compares to other products with similar purposes.  This
      includes debate over decisions made by Borland in the
      development and marketing of Delphi.

   B. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce

      Description: Delphi related announcements. (Moderated)

      Article submission: cl...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us
      Admin contact address: clpda-requ...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us

      Posting guidelines:
      Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/

      Charter: A moderated newsgroup for the posting of announcements
      and information relating to Borland Delphi.  This includes
      one-shot announcements such as:

        New/revised components, libraries and tools for Delphi
        Publication of books and magazines on using Delphi
        Web and FTP sites devoted to Delphi
        Users-group formation and meetings

      In addition periodic postings such as Delphi FAQs, FAQ pointers
      and HOWTOs are encouraged.

      Among the types of article not appropriate for posting are
      employment related announcements or articles containing
      binaries or significant amounts of source code.  In all cases,
      follow ups are to be directed elsewhere in the
      comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* hierarchy.

      The purpose of moderation is to keep the group within its
      fairly narrow charter.  Follow ups and other general posts are
      to be rejected with a pointer to a more suitable group.  It is
      also the moderator's duty to verify the URLs of Web and FTP
      sites to confirm that they are reachable and contain Delphi
      related material.

   C. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.misc

      Description: General component issues.

      Charter: This group is for general discussion of Delphi
      components, both those supplied by Borland and those available
      from third parties.  In particular, attempts to locate
      components for specific tasks and opinions about the relative
      usefulness of available components are directed here.

   D. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage

      Description: Using pre-written components.

      Charter: This group is for questions and discussions on how to
      use existing components in the course of writing Delphi
      programs.  It covers both Borland supplied and third-party

   E. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing

      Description: Writing Delphi components.

      Charter: This group is devoted to writing components for use
      with Borland Delphi.  Writing components (whether original or
      derived), creating property editors and creating Help files for
      them are on topic, usage questions are not.

   F. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases

      Description: Database aspects of Borland Delphi.

      Charter: This group would be for discussions related to using
      the database aspects of Delphi.  Discussions of Database
      Desktop and Reportsmith would belong here, as would
      discussions of the database aspects of VCL, client-server
      issues, and most other things relating to databases.

   G. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc

      Description: General issues with Borland Delphi.

      Charter: This would be the catch-all discussion group not
      dealing with the specific technical issues covered in the
      other groups.  The name "misc" was chosen to be in line with
      current newsgroup name conventions.

      Discussions of how to use the IDE and help system, how to
      install components including VBXs, how to use VCL and Object
      Pascal (except database specific issues)*, how to port code
      from other languages to Delphi, how to create DLLs, bugs and
      workarounds in VCL, announcements of new products**, general
      help in getting started, where to find ftp and www sites
      regarding Delphi, etc. would all be on topic here.

      * later moved to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage
      ** later moved to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce

2. Other Borland Delphi related newsgroups

   A. comp.sources.delphi

      Description: Delphi and ObjectPascal source code. (Moderated)

      Article submission: c...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us
      Admin contact address: csd-requ...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us

      FAQ: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/csd-faq.txt
      Posting guidelines:
      Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/csd/

      Charter: A moderated newsgroup for the posting of Borland Delphi
      and ObjectPascal sources, specifically source code and
      associated binaries such as .RES or .DCR files.  submissions
      must meet the following criteria:

       - Source code and files necessary for compilation _only_.
         Precompiled units and executables will be rejected.
       - You are legally permitted to submit the files for posting.
       - The moderator is legally permitted to post the files.
       - The files contain no viruses or trojans.
       - Binary files should be uuencoded.
       - Small sample data files may be submitted with a project.

      The moderator will take all care to ensure that copyrights are
      enforced, but will not be held responsible in the event of a
      mistake in this regard.

      Articles which are not acceptable include anything which is not
      required for compilation or an associated sample data file.

      The purpose of moderation is to keep the group within its narrow
      charter.  Followups and other general posts are to be rejected
      with a pointer to a more suitable group.

   B. alt.lang.delphi and alt.comp.lang.borland-delphi

      These two newsgroups were created soon after the first version
      of Delphi was released in a futile attempt to get rid of the
      traffic that was then flooding comp.lang.pascal.  Despite the
      fact that their creation went against all the guidelines for
      creating alt groups, they've managed to get decent propagation
      and get a reasonable amount of on-topic traffic.

   C. borland.*

      Inprise has established a private hierarchy that contains a
      number of Delphi related newsgroups.  The home of this hierarchy
      is their NNTP server: forums.inprise.com.  Some of these
      newsgroups appear to be being propagated to outside servers.

      See http://www.inprise.com/newsgroups/ for further information.

   D. installshield.*

      Installshield appears to have established some private
      hierarchies to support its products, including a group for the
      version that ships with Delphi.  The home for these is at
      news.installshield.com.  Some of these newsgroups appear to be
      propagating to outside servers.

   E. Groups in regional or language hierarchies

      This list is based on a quick run through the active file.
      Additions and corrections would be greatly appreciated.

       de.comp.lang.pascal.delphi (German)
       es.comp.lenguajes.delphi (Spanish)
       fido7.kharkov.delphi (Russian)
       fido7.ru.delphi (Russian)
       fido7.ru.delphi.db (Russian)
       fido7.ru.delphi.info (Russian)
       it.comp.delphi (Italian)
       pl.comp.lang.delphi (Polish)
       z-netz.sprachen.delphi (German)

3. General MS Windows programming newsgroups

If you have a problem with something in the Windows API that isn't
encapsulated by the VCL, asking questions in a Delphi oriented
newsgroup may not be overly effective.  The answers that you get in a
more general newsgroup will probably be in C++, rather than Pascal.
Windows is written in C++ and learning to at least read the language
is a necessity if you want to go beyond hooking black boxes together.


The microsoft hierarchy was created by Microsoft.  It was originally a
private hierarchy, but is now widely carried.  Potentially interesting
newsgroups include:


4. Newsgroups that don't want to hear about Borland Delphi

   A. alt.online-service.delphi

      This newsgroup deals with the online service Delphi, which
      operates in the US and UK.  Their use of the name predates
      Borland's by several years.  The regulars on this newsgroup
      sometimes get irate when people ask them programming questions.

   B. clari.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia and

      While it should be obvious that these to newsgroups have nothing
      to do with Delphi, they get hit when someone tries to post to
      every newsgroup that has 'delphi' in its name.  Both newsgroups
      are moderated.

   C. comp.lang.pascal.borland

      This newsgroup deals with Turbo/Borland Pascal in all of the
      versions that predate Delphi.

5. Other resources on the Internet

Neither of these lists is exhaustive.  There are a huge number of
Delphi related WWW sites.  These are merely intended to provide a
starting point.  Additions and corrections welcome.

   A. Delphi Archives

      Delphi Deli: http://www.delphideli.com
      Delphi EXchange: http://www.delphiexchange.com/
      Delphi Super Page: http://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/delphi/
      Torry's Delphi Pages: http://www.torry.ru/

   B. FAQ sites

      Inprise's Delphi 3.0 FAQ:
      Delphi FAQ site: http://www.sbrain.syh.fi/delphi/delphi_faq.html

6. A few netiquette points

This section is not intended to replace the articles to be found in
news.announce.newusers.  If you're new to Usenet, reading what's
posted there is an excellent starting point.  This section is
concerned with practices that might help get your questions answered.

   A. Minimize crossposting

      Very few articles are really on-topic in more than one or two
      newsgroups.  While crossposting to every newsgroup that seems
      vaguely related might appear to be a way to reach more people,
      there are several factors that can negate that.

      To begin with, many news sites quietly drop articles crossposted
      to more than a certain number of newsgroups.  This means that
      your article won't be seen by readers at those sites, or at any
      site that gets net news from them.  Individuals often do the
      same thing on a smaller scale by killfiling articles crossposted
      to more than a few newsgroups.  Properly designed newsreaders
      only show a given article to a reader once, in the first
      newsgroup that the reader looks at, and many people won't reply
      to an article that seems to be in the wrong place.  Finally,
      many people will respond to a crossposted article only in the
      newsgroup where they read it, and you'll miss the reply if you
      aren't actually reading that group.

      Don't, however, take this to mean that you should post the same
      article to several newsgroups individually.  Crossposting is
      evil, but multi-posting is worse.

   B. Use a meaningful Subject

      People are more likely to read your article if the Subject line
      gives some indication of the contents.  "Please help" or "TEdit
      problem" isn't very helpful.  On the other hand, you don't want to try
      to fit the whole contents of the article into one huge line.  Try to
      indicate the general problem in 20-40 characters, then be as specific
      as you can in the body.

   C. Don't expect an immediate answer

      Your article may not get of your home news server for hours, and
      may not reach someone who can and will answer it for weeks (if
      at all).  Be patient.  Remember that everyone reading the
      newsgroup is a volunteer, and that your problems are not
      necessarily a priority for them.

   D. Read the newsgroup

      Read before you post.  It will give you an idea of what the
      newsgroup is actually about, and you might stumble across
      something useful.

      Read after you post.  Even if you ask for mail replies, many
      people will only respond in the newsgroup.

   E. Pros and cons of address mangling

      Some people mangle their e-mail addresses in an effort to stay
      off of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) lists.  This can work
      to some extent, especially if you've never used the address
      publicly in news or on a web page.

      On the other hand, in some quarters using a mangled address is
      viewed as net abuse in its own right.  It violates several
      standards, and makes extra work for the DNS and mail servers.
      It also makes it harder for the people that you do want to send
      you mail to do so.

      Mail filtering is a better option.  If you have a shell account
      that will let you use procmail, a few simple recipes can work
      wonders.  If you only have dial-up access, there are several
      free mail clients that can sort your mail and bury the unwanted
      stuff in a junk folder.

7. Disclaimers and Copyright

All trademarks used in this document are the property of their
respective owners.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not those of any
other organization.  The author is not responsible for the content of
newsgroups or WWW sites referred to.  The information provided is
distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or

This document is Copyright 1997-1998 by Donald A Croyle.  It may be
used or reproduced freely, under the terms of the GNU General Public
License, see http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/gpl.html for details.
Approval for posting does not constitute an endor{*word*224}t.
Articles posted to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce are archived at:
WWW Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/