Monthly Archives: September 2008

Audio Quality

As a new podcast creator audio quality is a big deal to me.  In this last podcast I tried a few things differently to get better audio quality.  In my opinion it is a lot better, but the voice levels are uneven now – with me a lot quieter now.  The odd thing is my headphones I use when editing actually made it sound like they were equal.  Now when I am listening to it at my headphones at work it is obvious that they are unequal.  I wouldn’t have expected the two pairs of headphones to be that different.

I am curious how it sounds to everyone else?  Is it better?  Are the voices equal volume for you?  Do you care?

7 – Beyond Compare

Craig Peterson - Lead Developer for Beyond CompareThis week is an interview with Craig Peterson, the Lead Developer on Scooter Software’s Beyond Compare, one of my favorite utilities.  We discuss deveoping on the Linux platform with Kylix, adding Unicode Support pre-Delphi 2009, the new version of Beyond Compare and some tips for using it, plus a whole lot more.

Be sure to listen to the podcast to get your 25% discount code on Beyond compare version 3.  Also still good is the RemObjects 20% discount code.  Both are valid through the end of October!

Intro to Generic Collections with Delphi 2009

A very short introduction to Generic Collections in Delphi 2009. Create a TList of Integers and show adding and removing items from it. Showing some of the differences in types, gotchas and errors you might get.

Generics, or parametrized types, are a type that works with another type that is defined later. Collections are a great example of using them. You create a generic TList, and then when you use it you declare what type it will contain. Then it will be strongly typed to that specific type, both in adding items and removing them.

Delphi Generics work with all types in Delphi: native types (Integer, string, etc.), Records, Objects and Interfaces.

This is screen cast episode 2, shot with Camtasia and hosted on Vimeo.  I had to shoot it at 1280×720 so they will offer it in HD and not downscale it.  Let me know how it works for everyone.

As was pointed out in the comments, the download link only works after you sign into Vimeo.  If that doesn’t work for people let me know and I will come up with a different solution.

Favorite Podcast Format

New Poll for your voting pleasure.  Please let me know your favorite podcast format of the ones I have provided so far.  I plan on mixing it up with a couple different formats, but it would be nice to know the preferred format.

Favorite Format

  • Screencast (42%, 26 Votes)
  • Technical Interview (39%, 24 Votes)
  • News Roundtable (13%, 8 Votes)
  • News Interview (5%, 3 Votes)
  • News Monolog (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 62

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BTW, there is another screen cast coming . . . .

Update on Explore Tool

MikeG reported that he wasn’t able to get the Explore Tool in Delphi to work in XP.  I tried it on XP today and it worked fine.  It might be that something was missed.  Here is a nice reference of the important bits from that screen cast:

Go to Tools / Configure Tools / Add

Adding an Explore Tool

The Title can be anything you want.  The program is Explorer (the .exe is optional) and the parameters must be /select, $edname (be sure you remember the comma!)

That should do it for you to open an explorer window with the currently edited file selected.

Update: More explorer parameters.

ScreenCast 1 – Adding an Explore Tool

This is basically an experiment with the new Jing tool from TechSmith and creating a screen cast with Delphi 2009. Just so you know up front, there is no editing, so you are getting the raw screen cast (although I did a few takes) so it isn’t as polished as my usual podcast.

You can download the SWF file or use the link above to view it online.  It is really small (5.64 MB) and should stream quickly.  Like I said, this is an experiment, so I would really like your feedback on the process so I can tune future screen casts better.

Thanks!

[Update: I took off the enclosure.  I don’t think most video players can handle the SWF file anyway.]

6 – Cast on News

This episode is the first of what I hope to be a recurring feature where I get together with other bloggers and community members to discuss Delphi news.  We talk about Delphi 2009, Stack Overflow and their OpenId Issues, why we use Delphi, and other current events.

Roland Beenhakker is a long time Delphi user since version 1. He started his own company Beensoft Software Engineering. In this company a small team of professionals build software and webapplications to customer’s specifications, using Delphi and other tools. He is located in Heiloo, Netherlands, which is about 40 kilometers north of Amsterdam. His blog is Delphi Power Unleashed.

Jolyon Smith has been using Delphi since literally before it was realeased, as he has access to the Borland Early Experienec Program through his employeer at the time. Before that he was developing client/server Windows applications before it became fashionable, primarily using Gupta SQLWindows and SQLBase. Apart from software development, he is a rabid movie geek, a devoted family man, a voracious reader and an enthusiastic singer. He lives in Aukland, New Zealand and his blog is Te Waka o Delphi.

marc hoffman is the Chief Software Architect for RemObjects and a Spare-time Photographer. When he is not guest appearing on this podcast he runs a blog at RemObjects.com where he talks about Oxygene and shares some of his photographs. marc lives in Berlin Germany, and prefers his name all lowercase.

Also tune in for the great 20% discount from RemObjects!

Hidden Features of Delphi

There is a thread on Stack Overflow listing the hidden features of Delphi. Worth checking out. If you don’t see the features you know of then be sure to add them.

Additionally I added a side bar on the left that lists the 10 most recent Stack Overflow questions related to Delphi.

Caused Stack Overflow

There is a new programming community site on the internet today.  It has been in beta for a while, but today it is open to the public.  The site is Stack Overflow and it is the brain child of Jeff Attwood and Joel Spolsky.  If you are software developer who reads blogs then you have most likely heard of them and read their work.  

Think of Stack Overflow as a combination of a Wiki with a Forum.  There is a little bit of Digg / Reddit thrown in and a touch of a blog.  Here is Jeff’s Venn diagram to explain it:

So that little asterisk in the middle.  Everything is tagged, so you can filter for only the Delphi questions.  It is pretty active and sometimes it is good to see how the other side lives.  There is a pretty good community forming already.  

I am trying to keep an eye on the Delphi questions, there are currently 37 of them, but I occasionally check out other topics too.  It doesn’t replace CodeGear’s forums (which now have an accept answer feature) but I like the fact it is much more focused to being on the topic of a question and an answer and less on a discussion.

So far I have seen some past guests on our podcast there including both Nick Hodges and Barry Kelly.  When will I see you out there?  Put a link in the comments.  I’ll be sure to vote up most Delphi questions and good answers too.

5 – Oxygene and .NET

Back in episode 2 Nick Hodges told us to learn the latest features of .NET since the future version of Delphi for .NET will have full support of all .NET features.  Instead of learning C# or VB.NET, we can use Oxygene by RemObjects.  In this episode we talk with marc hoffman of RemObjects about Oxygene – the surprisingly complete Object Pascal implementation for .NET.

Also a note about last week’s episode: In addition to all the great information on using generic collections, I also had asked our guest, Julian Bucknall, some questions about the implementation of the TDictionary class.  Julian did not write this class, nor did he heavely research the code.  He did  tell me how he understood it worked.  Well it turns out he a missunderstood some of the implementation details.  Barry Kelly, the author of that class added some comments on the show notes for that show.  Check those comments out for a correction on the implementation of the generic TDictionary in Delphi 2009.