The Action List and Action Manager Components

Action objects exists in memory but are not VCL components. In fact, they are managed by container components, called ActionList and ActionMan-ager. The former is an older and simpler actions container, the latter introduced user interface integration and generation, which are being extended. The ActionList component has a special component editor you can use to create several actions including many predefined actions and manage them. Actions are grouped in textual categories The ActionManager...

Build Configurations and Configuration Settings

As I mentioned earlier and you can see from the images on the previous pages, the Project Manager has a new Build Configurations node for every project that is, in cases where you are working with a project group with multiple projects active . This node replaces the rather cumbersome separ ate window used to manage the build configuration in Delphi 2007. Using the node and its sub-nodes you can change the current build configuration with a double click, and execute an actual build directly on...

The New Category PanelGroup Control

A family of components for which we have probably seen the largest number of VCL controls available over the years has been the so-called Outlook Sidebar family, mimicking the well established interface that was originally introduced by the Microsoft email program. In modern applications, styles have changed a lot from the original collection of large icons used for the various sections of the program, but the usage of a sidebar with options and commands continues. For the first time, Delphi...

Managing Resources in the IDE

In the most recent versions of Delphi, you could add resource scripts (.RC files) or compiled resource files (.RES files) to the Project Manager to let it compile them along with the project linking them to the executable. In Delphi 2009 managing resources has been simplified by the inclusion of a few more tools. First, you can now drag individual resource files to the Project Manager to get them included as resources in a project. You can drag icons, bitmaps, and more. Delphi will generate a...

The RIDL Format COM Servers

Delphi Ridl

To see what this new RIDL format is all about, let s convert an existing COM project by opening it in Delphi 2009. As an example, I ve taken the SimpleServer COM example of Mastering Delphi 2005 and converted it to Delphi 2009. Beside the standard project file format conversion, Delphi warned me of the type library migration Converting ... O8 SimpleServer SimpleServer.tlb to .ridl format Reading SimpleServer.tlb Writing SimpleServer.ridl Adding SimpleServer.ridl Removing SimpleServer.tlb If we...

Project Manager Views

Another brand new feature is the Project Manager views configuration. On the right side of the toolbar, you can see a new Views button, that let's you change how the Project Manager shows files that have been placed in different folders. There are three options. I tested them by creating a sample program (called ProjManagerTest) with two forms in the main folder and two units in a secondary folder called Shared and placed at the same level in the file system hierarchy Directory (Nested) is the...

The New Buttoned Edit Control

Menu Drop Down Delphi

A brand new control that extends the behavior of the Edit control is the ButtonedEdit component, which is a custom VCL control defined in the ExtCtrls unit. This is basically an edit box that can have small buttons on the left or right side, used to interact with the edit box itself. For example, you can add a Cancel button that empties the edit box, and a search or lookup button that validates the input or looks for some related information. The Delphi IDE uses this component for the Search...

Grouping in a List View

One common control worth exploring in some more detail is the ListView, that in Delphi 2009 receives direct support for grouping. This feature requires Windows XP or Vista, with the latter providing extended features. There are three new properties in the ListView control. The Boolean GroupView enables this new kind of display, the GroupHeaderImages refers to an ImageList containing the images for the group headers, and the Groups property is a collection of group definitions. Each group can...