Monthly Archives: October 2009

ShineOn 1.0.1.0 Released

Per Carlo Kok, ShineOn 1.0.1.0 is released today.  ShineOn is a library for Delphi Prism to assist in porting Delphi/Win32 and Delphi for .NET projects to Delphi Prism by providing a subset of RTL and core VCL classes that can be used instead of replacing all RTL/VCL calls with native FCL alternatives.

This is the first actual release.  Previously you had to download it from SVN.  It still appears to be a little lite on the documentation though, but it is exciting to see this project progressing forward.

Spirit of Delphi Poll

Typically the Spirit of Delphi award winner is chosen by the Delphi R&D team, but this year it would appear there is a community poll.  I am quite honored to find myself on the list of nominees.  To be numbered among such other great contributors is a treat in itself.

I encourage you all to get out and vote in the poll.  It closes this Saturday the 24th of October.

34 – Craig Stuntz

Today we are talking with Team-B member Craig Stuntz.  We are talking about a wide range of topics, including Entity Framework with Dephi Prism, Functional programming with Delphi Native, Attributes, RTTI and the future of programming languages.

Some of the other topics we talked about:

  • Dynamic typing
  • Dynamic method invocation
  • Attributes
  • The future of programming languages
  • Network aware development
  • Static Code Analysis
  • Unit Testing
  • REST

Also check out

Thanks Craig!

Making a Podcast

I’ve had people asking me about what goes on behind the scenes here with the Podcast at Delphi.org.  Here is a little glimpse into the tools and process that I use for the podcast.

  • Planning - Since the interviews are in different timezones I use The World Clock Meeting Planner to find a time that works for everyone.  It makes the process really easy.  Once I have a time that works, I put it on my Google Calendar.
  • Skype - Possibly the most popular application written in Delphi, Skype Voice over IP what I use to connect with everyone for the interviews.
  • Pamela – A good full featured Skype recording tool.  Records audio and video both.  An important feature it has is recording to wave files in stereo, with me on the left, and everyone else on the right.  It is $30.
  • Callgraph – Is a free call recording tool that also supports stereo and recording to wave files.  I used Callgraph for most of my podcasts until recently.  It has a slight echo at least with my sound system, even with the echo cancellation turned on.  This might not be an issue on other systems, or even be a big deal to most people.
  • Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB HeadsetLogitech ClearChat Comfort USB headset - This is the headset I used for microphone and headphones through episode 32.  It does a really good job, for a really reasonable price, and because the microphone is held by your mouth the background noise is very low, plus it includes pretty good headphones.  If you are just starting out then this is a great option, and if you need both headphones and a microphone then you can kill two birds with one stone.  There are 3 levels of microphone connectors: Analog, USB and XLR.  The analog microphones use the 1/4 jack to connect to your computer.  It delivers an analog signal to your sound card where it is converted to digital .  The problem with this is inside your computer is noisy, and that noise gets into your recordings.  USB and XLR both are converted to digital signals outside the computer, so they have much less noise.  XLR is the professional microphone format, which requires external hardware to do the conversion.  So USB is the poor-man’s digital solution, but still good in my opinion.
  • Blue Microphones Snowflake USB MicrophoneBlue Snowflake Microphone – Entry level professional quality portable USB Microphone.  I’ve heard it recommended as a good entry level podcast microphone by other podcasters too.   Amazon has the Snowflake on sale at a really good price right now because they have a new one with a built in camera that just came out.  The Snowflake is a better then average USB microphone, but still at a good price.
  • AudacityAudacity editor – Is a free, open source, cross platform program for editing and recording sound.  It is a really effective tool for editing audio, and your can’t beat the price.  I actually tried a number of commercial and professional level tools, and I found Audacity easier to use, and just as effective.  Maybe someday I might upgrade to a different tool, but this one really does the job, and I can’t beat the price.
  • Levelator – A specialized tool for normalizing, compressing and limiting the audio.  Just drag and drop the wave files on it after removing the noise in Audacity and it does the rest.  Be sure to use Levelator before you include music or sound effects.  It is only designed for working with voice.  One odd thing I discovered with it is some times if you have slight noises like swallowing or breathing, sometimes it will boost it up much louder.  I am hoping that my new microphone does better with this . . .  Let me know how it sounds.
  • CyberEars hosting – Podcast hosting has been provided by CyberEars.com.  They are big Delphi fans there.  Thanks guys!

Tune in next time for a video of the entire production process.

Note from Jeroen Pluimers: Actually, only Digital XLR is done outside the computer.  Normal XLR does not, but usually does not suffer from noise:

  1. Because most computers don’t have built-in XLR
  2. It is shielded much much better
  3. Signal strength usually is higher

Audacity can also level your sounds

Update: Levelator automatically does a much better job then I have been able to achieve with Audacity.  Maybe if I knew exactly what I was doing I could get better results with Audacity, but Levelator does really good, and I don’t have to worry about doing it right.

33 – Andreas Hausladen

Andreas HausladenFor our first podcast after an extended hiatus we spoke with the amazing Spirit of Delphi 2007 award winner Andreas Hausladen.  For those who don’t know Andreas, he is the creator and maintainer of a number of Delphi addons, libraries and fixes, including DDevExtensions, VCL Fix Pack and IDE Fix Pack.  Much of the code of his DelphiSpeedUp were incorporated into Delphi 2007 and most all of it into Delphi 2009.

This is the first podcast recorded with my new Blue Snowflake microphone.  Let me know if you like the audio better.

The picture of Andreas is actually a few years old.  He didn’t have a current one.

Introducing The Delphi Hotline

Since CodeRage is done and I am back from Denmark and Germany (EKON/DelphiLive) it is time to get back in the saddle for the Podcast.  Coming up next I have a call with spirit of Delphi award winning Andreas Hausladen that I am really looking forward to, and according to our Uservoice Page, so are some of you.

Something new I want to do is start taking listener questions.  Some of these questions might be for a specific upcoming interview, while others might be for nobody specific, and I will do my best to find someone to answer it for you.  Sounds exciting, right?

There are a few ways to submit a question

  1. Call the Delphi Hotline at (361) 4Delphi and leave a message
  2. Send an email to questions this domain (feel free to send an audio file or just text)
  3. Leave a comment in the blog posts where I announce the next episode
  4. Post to our Uservoice page (or vote for someone else’s question)
  5. Figure out a different way to get me your question (be creative)

I am not making any guarantees that I can answer your questions, but I will do my best.

I look forward to your questions!