Discussion:
RAD 2007 documentation
(too old to reply)
Ed
2008-01-11 09:44:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

After giving RAD2007 a whirl for the past few weeks, I have *MAJOR*
gripes about the new help system.

1) It is TIED to MS' help framework. Can't you create your own
help system? (Why re-invent the wheel? Because, 1) you can.

2) The moment I click on help, it tries to contact an external
site. The first time it did that I went into the
properties/options and removed all references to MSDN (COME ON
CG! MSDN??!). Subsequent usage of help still tries to contact
an external site. Sure, I deny these accesses. But WHY is
it necessary for dexplorer.exe to phone out? I've already
removed all 'external sources' from the help properties. What
more am I missing?

3) It's SLOW as heck searching for items. The old winhelp
system? It was faster.

Unfortunately, now that MS has dumped winhelp.exe in favor of this
dexplorer.exe, I don't think I have a choice. But is it necessary
for CG to use MSHelp? (Rhetorical question, really. Seeing CG
has no option but to comply with the MS platform, what else can I do?)

This is a perfect example of taking a perfectly useful help system and
replacing it with a POS. The thing is, BDS2006 documentation
bit the bullet not because of any technological wizardry issues.
It's because the content, or lack thereof, was the problem. Now
changing the method of presenting the content doesn't establish better
content. Just a better way of viewing the content(or lack of).

Quite frankly, seeing BDS2006's help and RAD2007's help, the
only discernible difference I see is the layout. I have yet to
see any difference in the content.

That said, I am now updating my edition to the December update, but
am having some difficulties. (Should I be surprised here?) I
hope the update will prove to be an improvement. (Crosses fingers)

Edmund

Edmund
Simon Beesley
2008-01-19 00:25:24 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Ed
That said, I am now updating my edition to the December update, but
am having some difficulties. (Should I be surprised here?) I
hope the update will prove to be an improvement. (Crosses fingers)
As far as I can see the update makes not the slightest difference. RAD
2007's Help is practically unusable.

It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good help
system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it. Sad to see such a great product
being run into the ground. No one who wasn't already familiar with Delphi
could possibly get started with RAD 2007.

Simon
Tiedo Kruisselbrink
2008-01-21 07:18:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Beesley
As far as I can see the update makes not the slightest difference.
RAD 2007's Help is practically unusable.
AFAIK The december update doesn't do anything with the Help. There has
been a separate help-update in november 2007.
Post by Simon Beesley
It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good
help system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it.
No, this is easy to understand: MS has decided not to support the old
html-help system anymore, so something had to be done...
Post by Simon Beesley
No one who wasn't already
familiar with Delphi could possibly get started with RAD 2007.
Have a look at www.delphibasics.co.uk/

Tiedo
Simon Beesley
2008-01-21 10:06:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Tiedo Kruisselbrink
Post by Simon Beesley
It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good
help system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it.
No, this is easy to understand: MS has decided not to support the old
html-help system anymore, so something had to be done...
That doesn't explain why the RAD 2007 help is so much worse (painfully slow
among other things) than RAD 2005 help and MS's Visual Studio help.

Of course CodeGear had to go along with MS's new help system, but did they
have to screw it up in the process?

Simon
DJSox
2008-01-21 16:07:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tiedo Kruisselbrink
Post by Simon Beesley
No one who wasn't already
familiar with Delphi could possibly get started with RAD 2007.
Have a look at www.delphibasics.co.uk/
Tiedo
That's precisely the problem! How would someone new to Delphi find that
site? Without new users Delphi will die, right now it takes a real effort to
get started with Delphi if you are new to it. CG should place some links on
the welcome page to sites like the one above to make it easy new users to
find. They should also subsidize/support a select number of Delphi Basics
websites as well, at least until the help is improved enough so that anyone
can start programming in Delphi.

Dan
Jim Higgins
2008-01-21 20:22:31 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 00:25:24 -0000, "Simon Beesley"
Post by Simon Beesley
Hi,
Post by Ed
That said, I am now updating my edition to the December update, but
am having some difficulties. (Should I be surprised here?) I
hope the update will prove to be an improvement. (Crosses fingers)
As far as I can see the update makes not the slightest difference. RAD
2007's Help is practically unusable.
It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good help
system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it. Sad to see such a great product
being run into the ground. No one who wasn't already familiar with Delphi
could possibly get started with RAD 2007.
Simon
Are there any books available? Especially ones useful to someone new
to the latest version of "Turbo Delphi?" I saw a few on Amazon and
the like - mostly rather old ones - and couldn't tell if the newer
ones were applicable to the program I downloaded for free a few weeks
ago.

Any pointers appreciated.
Dave Keighan
2008-01-21 22:50:53 UTC
Permalink
Jim,
new to the latest version of "Turbo Delphi?"
Any pointers appreciated.
Inside Delphi 2006 by Ivan Hladni
http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Delphi-Wordware-Developers-Library/dp/1598220039
Ignoring the C++ half of things, it's an excellent book.

Totally Turbo applicable.
--
Dave
Jim Higgins
2008-01-22 17:06:36 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 14:50:53 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
new to the latest version of "Turbo Delphi?"
Any pointers appreciated.
Inside Delphi 2006 by Ivan Hladni
http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Delphi-Wordware-Developers-Library/dp/1598220039
Ignoring the C++ half of things, it's an excellent book.
Totally Turbo applicable.
Thanks! I saw that one, but was hesitant given the "2006" in the
title. Reviews are good so I'll give it a try based on your "live"
recommendation. Thanks again!

So, assuming I absorb what this book has to offer, do I need another
book to get me up to the 2007 level or should that pretty much work
itself out as I gain experience?

Anything good out there (and is it even really needed) that will fill
in the gaps between 2006 and 2007?
Dave Keighan
2008-01-23 02:47:16 UTC
Permalink
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
So, assuming I absorb what this book has to offer, do I need another
book to get me up to the 2007 level or should that pretty much work
itself out as I gain experience?
Hang on a sec ... I thought you said you were using Turbo Delphi? Turbo
Delphi is derived from Delphi 2006. D2006 had several "personalities" it was
dismembered and the Turbo products are the result. Turbo Delphi being one of
them.
Post by Jim Higgins
Anything good out there (and is it even really needed) that will
fill in the gaps between 2006 and 2007?
Sure ...
Delphi 2007 Handbook by Marco Cantu'
http://www.lulu.com/content/1069254
--
Dave
http://tdelphihobbyist.blogspot.com/
Dave Keighan
2008-01-23 02:59:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Keighan
Hang on a sec ... I thought you said you were using Turbo Delphi?
Is missing it's emoticon ...
:-)
Post by Dave Keighan
Turbo Delphi is derived from Delphi 2006.
You may not have been aware of this.
--
Dave
Jim Higgins
2008-01-23 19:13:11 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:47:16 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
So, assuming I absorb what this book has to offer, do I need another
book to get me up to the 2007 level or should that pretty much work
itself out as I gain experience?
Hang on a sec ... I thought you said you were using Turbo Delphi? Turbo
Delphi is derived from Delphi 2006. D2006 had several "personalities" it was
dismembered and the Turbo products are the result. Turbo Delphi being one of
them.
Yes, I'm using Turbo Delphi downloaded for free a few weeks ago.

I'm new to Delphi and I guess I'm laboring under a misimpression. My
understanding from the assorted info on the Borland/Codegear sites
that had me running in circles was that free Turbo Delphi is really
the latest and greatest Delphi but with certain functionality highly
useful to those who use it to make a living disabled. I gathered that
the IDE was the latest and that certain language features like adding
my own controls were locked up. Buy a key and apply it to the Turbo
Delphi and have the latest and greatest without additional downloads.
Or so I gathered at the time.

So if it's just Delphi 2006, or a subset or "personality" (I don't
know quite what that means) of it, and the earlier Delphi 2006 book
recommendation is all I need, then I'm good to go because it's on
order. If something additional is needed to gain understanding of all
features, then I'm looking for more recommendations for later use.
(Thanks for the pointer to the Cantú book if I ever get that far.)

Can you (or anyone) point me to a page on the Borland/Codegear sites
that will clear up my misunderstandings about what I have here?
Hopefully with some detail as to the differences between Turbo Delphi
and Delphi 2006? I spent time on the Codegear site and about all I
got for it was dizzy from chasing around in circles. I'll certainly
try again since now I know I got the wrong impression before, but a
pointer sure would be nice.

Thanks!
Brad White
2008-01-25 14:17:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Higgins
Yes, I'm using Turbo Delphi downloaded for free a few weeks ago.
I'm new to Delphi and I guess I'm laboring under a misimpression.
Welcome! Feel free to ask questions on the newsgroups.
People here are *very* helpful.
Post by Jim Higgins
My
understanding from the assorted info on the Borland/Codegear sites
that had me running in circles was that free Turbo Delphi is really
the latest and greatest Delphi but with certain functionality highly
useful to those who use it to make a living disabled. I gathered that
the IDE was the latest and that certain language features like adding
my own controls were locked up. Buy a key and apply it to the Turbo
Delphi and have the latest and greatest without additional downloads.
Or so I gathered at the time.
That was true when they wrote it. It hasn't been kept up to date.
Post by Jim Higgins
So if it's just Delphi 2006, or a subset or "personality" (I don't
know quite what that means) of it, and the earlier Delphi 2006 book
recommendation is all I need, then I'm good to go because it's on
order. If something additional is needed to gain understanding of all
features, then I'm looking for more recommendations for later use.
(Thanks for the pointer to the Cantú book if I ever get that far.)
There is not Turbo for D2007 yet, so it seems clear that
you have the 2006 version.

HTH,
Brad.
Dave Keighan
2008-02-21 16:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
Can you (or anyone) point me to a page on the Borland/Codegear sites
that will clear up my misunderstandings about what I have here?
Sorry to have dropped out of the conversation but I've been away.
Everything sorted?
--
Dave
Jim Higgins
2008-02-21 20:10:01 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 08:30:17 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
Can you (or anyone) point me to a page on the Borland/Codegear sites
that will clear up my misunderstandings about what I have here?
Sorry to have dropped out of the conversation but I've been away.
Everything sorted?
Yes, all sorted out.

But I'm now having a problem with Nick Hodges "Camtasia" tutorial #23
not wanting to continue after pausing more than 1:40 (min:sec) into
the tutorial. I've been waiting for some local friend to check it to
see if it's something on my computer or something with the tutorial,
but he's not getting around to it. ;-)

Would someone like to play the tutorial at the URL below and verify
(or not) that farther than about 1:40 into it it can't be resumed
after a pause? (I entered it twice figuring at least one won't wrap.)

http://bdntv.borland.com/pix/nickhodges/Camtasia/23FileMenu/TurboPadFileMenu.html
Post by Dave Keighan
http://bdntv.borland.com/pix/nickhodges/Camtasia/23FileMenu/TurboPadFileMenu.html
Very nice set of tutorials for a beginner.

Thank you.
Dave Keighan
2008-02-21 21:26:51 UTC
Permalink
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
Would someone like to play the tutorial at the URL below and verify
(or not) that farther than about 1:40 into it it can't be resumed
after a pause?
Not a problem with it. Paused before, at [well, near] and after 1:40 - no
problem. Jumped around in it, paused - still ran fine.
--
Dave
Jim Higgins
2008-02-22 16:53:22 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 13:26:51 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
Would someone like to play the tutorial at the URL below and verify
(or not) that farther than about 1:40 into it it can't be resumed
after a pause?
Not a problem with it. Paused before, at [well, near] and after 1:40 - no
problem. Jumped around in it, paused - still ran fine.
Thank you. Now to figure out why it won't resume after pause here.
Jim Higgins
2008-02-23 20:00:22 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 16:53:22 +0000, Jim Higgins
Post by Jim Higgins
On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 13:26:51 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
Would someone like to play the tutorial at the URL below and verify
(or not) that farther than about 1:40 into it it can't be resumed
after a pause?
Not a problem with it. Paused before, at [well, near] and after 1:40 - no
problem. Jumped around in it, paused - still ran fine.
Thank you. Now to figure out why it won't resume after pause here.
And following up to myself... why it takes my son in another state a
number of clicks to get it to restart on his new Dell Win Vista
computer. Dell WinXP here.
Dave Keighan
2008-02-23 22:37:40 UTC
Permalink
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
And following up to myself... why it takes my son in another state a
number of clicks to get it to restart on his new Dell Win Vista
computer. Dell WinXP here.
I was using FireFox 2.0 ... dunno. I did manage to get it to stall this time
- at the link you gave. Don't know if it was moving the slider that caused it
or not. Can stall it every time now.

Have you tried down-loading the zips and running them on your machine?
http://blogs.codegear.com/nickhodges/index.php?p=26687
[the one you are having problems with is 60MB]
I just had a go at the download and it wasn't any better.

Running the swf file located in the zip in a SWF player, worked great. I
tried out this one:
http://www.eolsoft.com/freeware/flash_movie_player/?fmp
Pause - Play is toggle space-bar.
Setting View to No scale seemed to work the best for me - looked blurry
otherwise.
Toggle off play-list editor - bottom tool-bar.

A lot of bother eh? Be nice if it just worked as advertised :)
--
Dave

http://tdelphihobbyist.blogspot.com/
Jim Higgins
2008-02-24 17:47:04 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 14:37:40 -0800, "Dave Keighan"
Post by Dave Keighan
Jim,
Post by Jim Higgins
And following up to myself... why it takes my son in another state a
number of clicks to get it to restart on his new Dell Win Vista
computer. Dell WinXP here.
I was using FireFox 2.0 ... dunno. I did manage to get it to stall this time
- at the link you gave. Don't know if it was moving the slider that caused it
or not. Can stall it every time now.
Have you tried down-loading the zips and running them on your machine?
http://blogs.codegear.com/nickhodges/index.php?p=26687
[the one you are having problems with is 60MB]
I just had a go at the download and it wasn't any better.
Yes, I've downloaded all the ZIPs. Same issues whether I play it from
the web site or from my hard drive or from a DVD. Problems with
several after #23, but any notes on that are buried somewhere. I
figure solve the problem with one and then apply that to all.
Post by Dave Keighan
Running the swf file located in the zip in a SWF player, worked great. I
http://www.eolsoft.com/freeware/flash_movie_player/?fmp
Pause - Play is toggle space-bar.
Setting View to No scale seemed to work the best for me - looked blurry
otherwise.
Toggle off play-list editor - bottom tool-bar.
A lot of bother eh? Be nice if it just worked as advertised :)
I don't mind one bit using a separate player. Thanks for the info;
I'll check that out.

Jim H

DJSox
2008-01-23 02:39:11 UTC
Permalink
Try searching LuLu.com, I think Mastering Delphi 2007 by Marco Cantu is
available there, as are several other Delphi related books. I haven't used
LuLu.com myself, but it seems the consensus in the NG that it is quite good.

Dan
Post by Jim Higgins
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 00:25:24 -0000, "Simon Beesley"
Post by Simon Beesley
Hi,
Post by Ed
That said, I am now updating my edition to the December update, but
am having some difficulties. (Should I be surprised here?) I
hope the update will prove to be an improvement. (Crosses fingers)
As far as I can see the update makes not the slightest difference. RAD
2007's Help is practically unusable.
It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good help
system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it. Sad to see such a great product
being run into the ground. No one who wasn't already familiar with Delphi
could possibly get started with RAD 2007.
Simon
Are there any books available? Especially ones useful to someone new
to the latest version of "Turbo Delphi?" I saw a few on Amazon and
the like - mostly rather old ones - and couldn't tell if the newer
ones were applicable to the program I downloaded for free a few weeks
ago.
Any pointers appreciated.
Ed
2008-01-23 01:14:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Beesley
As far as I can see the update makes not the slightest difference. RAD
2007's Help is practically unusable.
It's usable alright. If you know what you're doing. Otherwise,
you really have no clue what to do with some of the methods.
(Ok. I don't.)
Post by Simon Beesley
It's hard to understand how Code Gear can take an exceptionally good help
system (up to at least D7) and sabotage it. Sad to see such a great product
To be fair, I think it was Borland's doing on the BDS2006 help issue.
I don't know the help system with D8 and D2005, but between D7 and
D2006, Borland took six steps back. CG is trying to recover from that
help (or lack of) negative progression.

Edmund


Edmund
Simon Beesley
2008-02-09 11:14:08 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Ed
To be fair, I think it was Borland's doing on the BDS2006 help issue.
I don't know the help system with D8 and D2005, but between D7 and
D2006, Borland took six steps back. CG is trying to recover from that
help (or lack of) negative progression.
Edmund
This is simply not true. D2005's help system is not as good as D7's but very
much better than D2007's. Most importantly, you can actually use it. So this
can't be blamed on Borland.

This whole thing would be a lot less infuriating if CodeGear would just
admit the scale of their blunder, and would give up this kind of
mealy-mouthed excuse-making, and then make a public commitment to putting
matter right.

Simon
Caleb Hattingh
2008-01-24 09:03:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed
Hi,
3) It's SLOW as heck searching for items. The old winhelp
system? It was faster.
My shortcut to get to the info I usually look for is this:

ms-help://borland.bds5/devcommon/languageguidepart_xml.html

There is no simply shortcut to a contents page for just the VCL (that I know of), because each unit seems to have its own entry, for example, StrUtils:

ms-help://borland.bds5/delphivclwin32/StrUtils.html

You can, however, browse to each of the VCL controls from the Contents pane on the LHS of the help screen.

IMO there are three primary problems with the new help:
1) Even though all the old information is in there somewhere, there is a massive amount of additional information that many native Win32 developers will hardly use. This seems to make searching difficult, because now search terms get many more hits which are often false positives.
2) In the old days, selecting a keyword or type and hitting F1 would produce specific help for that item nearly instantly. This is no longer the case.
3) Not only is the launching of dexplore slow, but it is a RAM munching behemoth, and it often seems to persist in task manager even after Delphi is closed. The "snappiness" of the help is gone.
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