I started this blog back in September of 2013. With the 5th Anniversary this month, I figured it is time to tell some of the story..
My first programming language was APL, which I partly learned in high school as a small part of Mathematics classes. This lead to me becoming part of what was called “Computer Club”, where a teacher gave up part of his lunchtime to help students learn about computer programming. The teacher also introduced us to BASIC, and when devising our programs we would fill out computer “cards” that would be sent to a computer centre in our capital city (Adelaide), where the cards would be read by a card reader, the computer would execute the programs, and we would receive a print of the results; a complete turnaround time of about a week!
Not long after I learned of Pascal, and instantly fell in love with it. One of my first experiences with it was writing programs on my father’s computer using a BASIC program that would be able to take Pascal source, and execute that (from memory, it would turn it into assembler code).
The first computer of my own was a Microbee (which runs the CP/M OS). One of the reasons I chose it was because at the time I predicted that the IBM (and various clones) would not take off (how wrong was that call?). On that computer I used Turbo Pascal 2.2 for CP/M, and back then there was no concept of units. In order to have larger programs, you would need to use what were called “overlays”. Version 4 was a total game-changer, however by the time I upgraded (to 5.5) I had moved on to owning a PC, which I initially considered heresy!
Turbo Pascal for Windows: the “father” of Delphi
When Windows first came out, I also figured that wouldn’t last, because it looked too clunky. I mean: what’s with not being able to have windows overlap each other? This time Windows 3.1 was a game changer because it was far less crash-prone, introduced True Type fonts, included drag-and-drop, and more! I knew then that I should delve into the magical world of Windows programming.
Soon after the release of Windows 3.1 came Turbo Pascal for Windows 1.5. When I started using it, all I could think was “Wow, I can write programs for Windows in my favourite language!”. One of the first things I wrote with TPW was a basic card game, based on “Switch” (a bit like Uno), which I enjoyed playing with my brothers. Unfortunately however, writing apps for Windows with TPW meant having to write way more code than I was used to.
Enter Visual Basic: a development tool that not only allowed you to write for Windows, it was way easier because you could design everything visually, and it didn’t require as much code to write. Around mid-late 1993, I reluctantly started to write programs with VB, in the hope that sometime soon the magicians at Borland would come up with something even better.
Entering the world of Delphi
Around January of 1995, I heard (or read?) rumours that Borland were on the cusp of releasing something akin to VB, and it was being dubbed the “VB killer”. I was a bit cynical at the time, however of course on February 14th, 1995, Delphi was released upon the world, and it certainly lived up to my expectations: it had a visual designer, ready-made components, and it also supported importing VB controls! I figured I would never, ever have to use VB again, though briefly in 1998 I had to endure working on a project that used it.
That’s the story of how I came into developing software with Delphi. At first it was a hobby, though I did use it to some extent “under the radar” at my work between 1995-1997, until I turned professional in 1997 and since then I have used it every single year (though not every single release, but most of them).
Enter Delphi Worlds blog
Fast-forward to 2013, and after posting blog articles elsewhere, and only very occasionally, I decided to start my own blog, hosted on my own site. When I came up with the name, I thought about the fact that Delphi was now cross-platform, and that opened up a number of new “worlds” for developers.
One of my first criteria for the blog was (and still is): no ads. I was disillusioned with having to read articles other sites that had ads plastered all over because they just add too much noise. My main aim is to share what are “challenges” to developers that they might otherwise spend ages having to work out how to implement. Having said that, they are usually also of special interest to me, i.e. they’re something that I’ve had to solve for myself.
Nearly all of the time spent on the articles I present here is my own, i.e. I’m not compensated in any way for it (especially with no advertising here). As much as I do this out of my passion for Delphi and to help others, there is now another way to help motivate me, and that is through the “Donate” link at the top right of this page, and at the bottom of this article. Your donation can be as little or as much as you wish, and whatever the amount is, it will be much appreciated, and help continue my work here.
I thank you for your support and your time.