December 1st 2003

Paperclips Everywhere – Darren Ferguson

Mention the words MS-Office and paperclip together in the same sentence and most people will assume the foetal position and gently rock back and forward while muttering, “I’m not writing a letter…I’m not writing a letter”.

Underpinning this unfortunate implementation of what is essentially a great idea is a very solid and useful technology called Microsoft Agent. For the Delphi programmer Agent can easily be incorporated into their applications or websites in order to provide a useful user interaction mechanism.

In this presentation, Darren will explain what Agent is, show how it can be incorporated into a Delphi application, and demonstrate how to use the various mechanisms it provides in order to control it.

Integrating Windows Help – Darren Snodgrass

Software users expect well written help files, fully integrated with applications. Done properly, a help file can greatly reduce support calls, and increase user acceptance. With the correct tools, it is also possible to generate software manuals as well, with little extra effort.

This presentation covers some techniques involved with generating Windows help files, integrating them with a Delphi application and presents the “Help and Manual” software for generating (surprisingly) help files and manuals.

Tuesday 28 October 2003

Taming the Treeview – Duncan Margetts

Often code that manages a complex Treeview is badly structured, and unwieldy, its hard to add new functionality to the Tree and to manage the evolution of existing functionality. It’s even harder to extract parts of the Treeview so they can be used in different Applications and its often hard for more than one Developer to maintain the Treeview at once.

This presentation shows a method that results in small, well structured classes that manage discrete parts of the overall Treeview functionality. It aids projects that have multiple Developers and prevents code clashes in the monolithic Treeview management units that are usually adopted. The method allows small or large sections of the Treeview to be easily extracted for reuse in other Applications requiring the functionality.

Monday 29 September 2003

DUnit to the rescue! – Emlyn O’regan

Many programmers will by now be familiar with the benefits of an automated testing framework in the development of new applications, as championed by the various agile methodologies. But for those of us who work on large existing applications not developed via agile methods, automated testing can be just as useful.

Emlyn spoke about DUnit (the free open source unit testing framework for Delphi), and on how it can be used to regain control of large unruly applications.

Tuesday 26 August 2003

Creating a Pluggable Architecture – Jon Roder

Jon Roder gave a very well prepared presentation on Plugin Frameworks. He presented the case for and against using plugins as well as the pro and cons of various plugin architectures. Jon then proceeded to build a simple plugin example from the ground up using Delphi packages. As a side benefit to the Plugin discussion, Jon also gave a good introduction to the basics of Delphi packages and the things to watch out for. Thanks to Jon for his presentation.

Major Prize Draw

This was the second meeting and the big door prize of Delphi 7 Enterprise was drawn. The winner was Lesley Roberts who is returning to the Delphi fold after several years of using other products. Having a personal copy of Delphi will be a big boost to Lesley as she reacquaints herself with Delphi , she is a worthy winner indeed. Borland kindly donated the copy of Delphi 7 Enterprise to ADUG to promote the new Adelaide chapter.

Monday 28 July 2003

Localization – George Kozaderov

George has several years experience in this area and has used both commercial and non-commercial solutions. George provided a good introduction into the issues involved in both the code you write and the translation process. George demonstrated using the Borland Translation Manager in Enterprise editions of Delphi and a free open source solution that can be used with other editions of Delphi. (A GNU project).

Creating the Local Chapter.

Anthony Richardson introduced the Australian Delphi User Group and discussed the formation of the Adelaide Chapter. After this door prizes were drawn (donated by the repective companies).

Prize: 1 x ESBPCS for VCL v3 (ESB Consultancy)
Winner: James Afford
Prize: 1 x Addict 3 Spell Check & Thesaurus + Plus Pack (Addictive Software)
Winner: Emlyn O’regan