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Yes, this is a word play on "Tales from the Crypt" and will be a fun meeting where we share horror stories in coding. Bring your experiences of programming gone awry, the unbelievable code you've been handed, the strangest bugs, or the most unbelievable deadlines imposed on you and the terrible consequences that resulted. We will commiserate together and laugh at what the sales people in the organizations we work for have tried to do to us or ponder about what the previous programmer must've been smoking when s/he wrote the code we're trying to debug.
Many people do not know, and fewer still actually use, a nifty feature which appeared in the Delphi IDE a few years ago: built-in XML Documentation for your source code.
At this month's meeting, we'll show how to turn it on, how to use it, and how it can enhance developer productivity, especially if you are sharing libraries or have several units to which you are constantly referring to for reviewing a type or method. There are very few articles on this subject, so come take advantage of the presenter's research and be more productive right away!
There is no formal presentation this month. We'll meet and eat at the usual location and talk tech--or any other subject that may come up. A laptop with Delphi 2010 will be hooked up to the big screen TV if we want to explore some topic or pull out a demo from a prior meeting.
Attributes, a language feature brought over from .NET and Java (known as "annotation"), are a language feature of Delphi introduced in version 2010 that allow annotating types and type members with special objects that carry additional information. This information can be queried at run time using RTTI, or Run Time Type Information. Along with existing OOP mechanisms (inheritance and ownership) you can now use annotations for a class and class members to further define what your classes are capable of.
The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. We'll see how an old technology in Delphi, WebBroker, has been able to do this for quite some time, but now there's a cool name and a formalized protocol for it. A sample Delphi application will make obvious how simple it is to open your data to mobile devices!
Crystal Reports is a reporting application that can access data from a wide array of sources. It has come bundled with both Delphi and Visual Studio and is now also available as a web-based application. Many people have used Crystal Reports with Delphi through the years.
Everyone has their favorite Delphi IDE plug-in, their favorite Notepad replacement, their favorite tricks for saving time. We'll share these tips with each other tonight.
Some of the things we'll likely cover include GExperts, editor macros, templates, debugging and logging, build events, mapped or redirected drives and paths, WinInternals tools, dealing with UAC and 64-bit issues, and automated builds.
There is no formal topic for this month's meeting. Our regular meeting time and place will be kept and there will be a laptop with Delphi 2010 hooked to the big screen TV, but no PowerPoint slides and no agenda.