Reading about your favorite tool Delphi

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Online content and Google had a massive impact on printed publications about software development. I still remember the days in the mid-eighties when I picked up Ziffs Davis PC Magazine at a local newsstand to run home and read columns from John Dvorak, Bill Machrone and in particular Neil Rubenking's column about programming where regularly Turbo Pascal based coding techniques were explained. Basically all knowlegde about software development was to be found in magazines and books. Later, when Turbo Pascal transformed into Delphi, magazines around Delphi appeared like Delphi Informant, The Delphi Magazine and Delphi Developer:
Now, with the ubiquitous internet access, all software development knowledge is available online, a few clicks away in a Google search. Best of all, most of this information is free. Why spend money on a magazine or book when everything we need is available nicely indexed by Google for free ? Without a doubt, it was part of the reason that Delphi Informant, The Delphi Magazine and Delphi Developer all ceased to exist. But, this new Google culture also caused a dramatic shift in how information flows. Instead of a magazine editor dictating what we can read every month in a magazine or a book publisher determining what is worth printing, we are now able to get the exact information when we want at a time we want it. Sure, this is fantastic progress but it comes with a couple of disadvantages. First of all, there is no quality control. Secondly, we are forced to sit behind a computer screen until we have some time in the future a real lightweight, flexible, robust digital paper to hold for reading from the couch or bed like we can with a book or magazine. Third, the information and solutions we look for via Google on the internet are limited by our own scope of search. Therefore, I think that a book or magazine is still a valuable source of information in this internet age. It presents us topics, solutions, content we perhaps would never have looked for but that can yet be very interesting. Today, there are still some interesting publications about our favorite tool Delphi. Marco Cantu is about to publish a book about Delphi 2010. The Blaise Pascal magazine is entirely devoted to Pascal programming, mainly with Delphi and is well worth reading. In Germany, ToolBox is a similar very technical and interesting magazine focused on Pascal and thus also Delphi. Finally, there are regularly fine articles about Delphi to be found in entwickler magazin.
I am regularly reading all these magazines and there are often a couple of ideas I can pick up when reading. It's good to see that even in this Google age, enough people are enthusiastic to put all the hard work in writing articles and books about Delphi. Most likely there are even more magazines or books in other countries around the world. If you know some book or magazine about Pascal and Delphi not mentioned here please share it here with other avid readers.

Bruno Fierens


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