Other Files Used to Build Applications

In addition to source-code modules, Borland products use several non-Pascal files to build applications. These files are maintained automatically by the IDE, and include

  • VCL form files (which have a .dfm extension on Win32, and .nfm on .NET)
  • Resource files (which end with .res)
  • Project options files (which end with .dof )

A VCL form file contains the description of the properties of the form and the components it owns. Each form file represents a single form, which usually corresponds to a window or dialog box in an application. The IDE allows you to view and edit form files as text, and to save form files as either text (a format very suitable for version control) or binary. Although the default behavior is to save form files as text, they are usually not edited manually; it is more common to use Borland's visual design tools for this purpose. Each project has at least one form, and each form has an associated unit (.pas) file that, by default, has the same name as the form file.

In addition to VCL form files, each project uses a resource (.res) file to hold the application's icon and other resources such as strings. By default, this file has the same name as the project (.dpr) file.

A project options (.dof) file contains compiler and linker settings, search path information, version information, and so forth. Each project has an associated project options file with the same name as the project (.dpr) file. Usually, the options in this file are set from Project Options dialog.

Various tools in the IDE store data in files of other types. Desktop settings (.dsk) files contain information about the arrangement of windows and other configuration options; desktop settings can be project-specific or environment-wide. These files have no direct effect on compilation.

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