Cool Apps News

Cool App Contender: Network Fool Card Game

I don’t know Russian, but I suppose I think I’m pretty good at recognizing Cyrillic characters and assuming it must be Russian. But I checked with Google Translate and it tells me that this is Russian for “Network Fool game.” The video also includes some Cyrillic text on buttons and such, but no audio.

It turns out Network Fool isn’t just a card game. It is an plugin for the chat system CommFort. Maxim describes the architecture pretty well:

Since the text chat is a client-server structure I had to write the server side of the game – to store statistics and other calculations, as well as the client part. However, the client side is not so simple, it not only communicates with the server, but also starts a separate process for the graphic display of the game and builds a GUI in the chat window. The server and client side is a dll library written with VCL, and the graphical shell is a separate exe using FMX.

I love that network fool integrates with a 3rd party system, extending a chat system into a full card game platform. The fact that is uses both FireMonkey and VCL to make it all work is a great example of flexibility and versatility. It is developed with Delphi, and uses FireDAC and Named Pipes to make it all work.

Watching the video I would not have expected that it was a card game plugged into a chat system. It looks more like a card game with an integrated chat window. I’m always tickled to see people extend systems in new and creative ways like this. Certainly a cool app contender.

Built with Delphi Built with FireMonkey Built with VCL

Notice the VCL button doesn’t have an icon on it? You may remember the old one with the colorful, 3D shaded shapes: circle, cube and cone. I’m working on a new one that I hope you all like just as much. Stay tuned!


Top 11 Computer Programmers of All Time

The problem with top 10 lists is they never include everyone, but this one goes to 11. My son helped me put this one together. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Throughout the ages, many great minds have arisen from the masses and changed the course of humanity for better or for worse. In the span of only a century humankind has advanced from barely being able to prototype our own armored combat vehicles to now being able to maneuver unmanned combat aeroplanes from the comfort of our own living room on the other side of the world using our watches and phones. How is it that we have managed such a radical feat? It is thanks to some of the greatest minds of our time; computer programmers.

Lady Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace portrait
Lady Ada Lovelace

Computer programming first started with Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace, born Byron; or as most of the world knows her, Ada Lovelace. Back in the mid 1840s, Charles Babbage hypothesized and attempted the creation of the Analytical Engine, an early mechanical general-purpose computer. His seminar about the engine was translated by Lovelace through a commision of Charles Wheatstone, and in the process of her translating she added quite a few notes including an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to calculate Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is cited as the first “computer code” as it was a process that was written for the purpose of a machine calculating independent of human correction.

I am more than ever now the bride of science. Religion to me is science, and science is religion. In that deeply-felt truth lies the secret of my intense devotion to the reading of God’s natural works. It is reading Him. His will — His intelligence –Lovelace


Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper, USN

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN
Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN

Fast forward about a century later and now computers are few and far between and can only do arithmetic, at least, that’s what they say. Grace Hopper however chose not to listen what everyone else was saying the limitations of computers were, and that enabled her to build the world’s first ever compiler, A-0. Even once she had completed her compiler, it took a full four years before anyone even believed her that it even existed. Apparently the impossible does happen sometimes.

If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission. –Hopper

Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus E. Wirth is a Swiss computer scientist who achieved his fame through the creation of several different computer languages, Algol W, Euler, Modula, Modula-2, Oberon, Oberon-2, Oberon-07, and Pascal, and due to the widespread use of his book, written in tandem with Kathleen Jensen, The Pascal User Manual And Report served as a basis for many other languages such as Delphi. In addition, in 1984 he won the Turing Award for the number of useful computer languages he created, this award is generally seen as the highest honor in computer programing.

Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster. (AKA Wirth’s Law)

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton during the Apollo program
Margaret Hamilton (photo by NASA)

Margaret Hamilton was the Director of the Software Engineering Division for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory during the time that her division developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo space program. Also, in 1986 she became the founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a company based around the Universal Systems Language.

The photo is Hamilton standing next to the code she wrote for the Apollo program.

Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself” Wired Magazine, 13-Oct-2015

Donald Knuth

Donald Knuth (photo by Jacob Appelbaum)
Donald Knuth (photo by Jacob Appelbaum)

Donald Knuth is known as the “father of the analysis of algorithms” for many reasons. Take his multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming for example. This comprehensive monograph takes many of computing’s biggest algorithms and then explains and analyzes them in order to help set forth a compendium of computer science. He is also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family of typefaces.


Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do. – Knuth

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie (photo by Denise Panyik-Dale)
Dennis Ritchie (photo by Denise Panyik-Dale)

Dennis Ritchie created the C programming language and was a partner in creating the Unix operating system. For his work on Unix, him and his partner received the Turing Award in 1983, the Hamming Medal in 1990, and the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999.


Quote: “[C has] the power of assembly language and the convenience of … assembly language.”

Homepage at Bell Labs


Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson
Ken Thompson

Kenneth Lane “Ken” Thompson invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to C invented by Dennis Ritchie, and was one of the creators/early developers of the Plan 9 operating systems. Since 2006, Thompson has worked for Google, where he was a partner in the invention of the Go programming language. Notably, he also did a fairly large amount of computer chess work, including the creation of endgame tablebases and the chess machine Belle.


Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup
Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup is the creator and early developer of C++, a descendant of Ritchie’s C programing language. He was also elected member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2004, a Fellow of the ACM, an IEEE Fellow, and a Fellow of the Computer History Museum on the basis of his inventing the C++ programing language.

A program that has not been tested does not work. –Stroustrup

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee (photo by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation)
Tim Berners-Lee (photo by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation)

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS, AKA Tim Berners-Lee, is the creator of the World Wide Web in the year 1989, a senior researcher and holder of the founders chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and was named a member of the board of trustees of the Ford  Foundation.

I think in general it’s clear that most bad things come from misunderstanding, and communication is generally the way to resolve misunderstandings, and the Web’s a form of communications, so it generally should be good. –Berners-Lee

Anders Hejlsberg

Anders Hejlsberg (photo by DBegley)
Anders Hejlsberg (photo by DBegley)

Anders Hejlsberg created Turbo Pascal. He is also the chief architect of Delphi, C#, and TypeScript. In 2001 he received the Dr. Dobb’s Excellence in Programming Award for his contributions to the world of software development. Anders is from Copenhagen, Denmark and graduated from the Technical University of Denmark.

When asked about all he’s accomplished in the world of software development he famously said “we are all standing on the shoulders of giants.” When discussing the influences of previous languages on new languages he said “good ideas don’t just go away.”

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds (photo by Krd)
Linus Torvalds (photo by Krd)

Linus Torvalds is one of the most influential developers of recent time as the creator and long-time principal developer of the Linux kernel, which later became the kernel for operating systems such as GNU, Android, and Chrome OS. He also has received many many awards: C&C Prize (2010), EFF Pioneer Award (1998), Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum (2008), IEEE Computer Pioneer Award (2014), Internet Hall of Fame (2012), Lovelace Medal (2000), Millennium Technology Prize (2012), Takeda Award (2001), Vollum Award (2005), and the World Technology Award (2002).

I’m personally convinced that computer science has a lot in common with physics. Both are about how the world works at a rather fundamental level. The difference, of course, is that while in physics you’re supposed to figure out how the world is made up, in computer science you create the world. Within the confines of the computer, you’re the creator. You get to ultimately control everything that happens. If you’re good enough, you can be God. On a small scale. –Torvalds

Who did we miss? Who would you add?


Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

I found this article on the top 10 reasons to be a Delphi developer. I’m curious what your top reasons to be a Delphi developer would include.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

DelphiThe job of a software developer is pretty interesting. You learn programming languages to develop a variety of software to digitize the world, but while doing this, you sometimes fall into situations where a small error takes away your sleep for many days and nights. The best of this experience comes out when you actually find the solution and give a tap to you with a smile on your face saying “OMG! Was this small issue making me restless?” It may happen with any software developer, but the final outcome is always pleasing that is why the job of a software developer is pleasing the youth across the globe.

Depending upon the programming languages you have studied and implemented the chances of being stuck in a small issue may vary. A complex language may get you restless nights many times during a software development. On the other hand, an easy programming language with simple syntax writing and other useful features can turn your life as software developer into a life that everyone would love to have. Delphi is such a programming language, which is known-as one of the easiest programming languages with easy-to-write syntax.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

If you want to be a software developer, you may not want to start with a difficult language, which puts your morale down. So, to keep your passion of being a software developer up with full enthusiasm, starting with Delphi programming language will be a brilliant option. Starting your career as a Delphi Developer brings you several benefits.

Let us have a look at some of the top reasons to understand why you should be a Delphi Developer:

  1. It is a combination of programming language and Software Development Kit (SDK), which allows application development for desktop, mobile, consoles, and web.
  2. It is a simple programming language with clear syntax.
  3. Code written in Delphi, is easily readable; for example, you can concatenate strings using the “+” sign rather than any function.
  4. Documentation of Delphi is well-organized to help you give a quick start.
  5. Comes with an Integrated IDE, which allows you to easily develop GUI using drag & drop, addition of event handlers, and many other features.
  6. Supports real-time testing, making it easier and faster to find and fix issues.
  7. Supports Rapid Application Development (RAD) with features, such as an application framework and visual window layout designer.
  8. Supports client-server architecture and SQL databases.
  9. Supports complete Windows API.
  10. Allows creating components for easy integration in the IDE.
MVP News

MVP Spotlight: Dr. Bob Swart

I’ve never asked Bob if he actually has a PhD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does in being Awesome. Either-way, he deserves the Dr. title for all the great work he does on his site, speaking at conferences and in his writing.

Currently Bob is enjoying his semi-annual holiday at Euro Disney with his two kids Erik Mark Pascal and Natasha Louise Delphine. Yes, those are their actual names! So cool.

Bob Swart at EuroDisney

I’ve met Bob a few times, once when I was in the Netherlands for the Software Development Conference. That was a great treat, and Bob was amazing to work with. I’ve ran into him at various conferences too.

The most recent time I met Bob was when he was hosting the Delphi Developer Days with Cary Jensen. I was one of the guest speakers. I love the Delphi Developer Days events because they are always full of great technical content, and it is a great opportunity to visit with amazing people like Bob.

Bob is a great guy and an amazing MVP. You can follow his Delphi Notes Weblog, check out his Training and Consultancy events, or his Delphi Clinic for the latest news. If you buy Delphi or RAD Studio from his Webshop then he also includes some of his courseware.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Bob for all he does! He is an outstanding MVP and a great guy.


MVP Spotlight: Cary Jensen

Cary JensenThere are a handful of people who I believe are key to the developer community, and Cary Jensen is one of them. He’s been a rock in the community since the beginning. Even before Delphi he was instrumental with the Turbo Pascal community.

Cary consults, writes, presents, and trains on Delphi, databases and other related technologies. Cary’s authored over 20 books, with his latest being Delphi in Depth: ClientDataSets, 2nd EditionHe’s also presented multiple RAD-in-Action webinars online. You can catch the replays and check out the accompanying white papers.

Delphi Developer DaysI met Cary the first time in Darmstadt, Germany at the Entwickler Konferenz, aka EKON. I think it was lucky #13. I thought it was rather ironic that we were both from the US, but finally met in Germany. Since then I’ve met with him a few more times in Germany, and he invited me as a guest presenter at his Delphi Developer Days.

Nick HodgesIf you’ve not been to one of his Delphi Developer Days then you really should do what you can to attend this year. Each year he teams up with a co-host, and this year it is none other than Nick Hodges. They just opened registration for the 2 day event, so act fast to take advantage of the very early bird discount.

  • Chicago, Illinois – November 14-15, 2016
  • Baltimore, Maryland – December 5-6, 2016
  • Copenhagen, Denmark – November 24-25, 2016
  • Frankfurt, Germany – November 28-29, 2016

And if none of those date work, then you can catch Cary back in Darmstadt for EKON 20 on November 7th.