As of October, 2016, Embarcadero is offering a free release
of Delphi (Delphi
10.1 Berlin Starter Edition ). There
are a few restrictions, but it is a welcome step toward making
more programmers aware of the joys of Delphi. They do say
"Offer may be withdrawn at any time", so don't delay if you want
to check it out. Please use the
link to let me know if the link stops working.
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For over 15 years
Mensa Page-A-Day calendars have provided several puzzles a year
for my programming pleasure. Coding "solvers" is most fun,
but many programs also allow user solving, convenient for "fill
in the blanks" type. Below are Amazon links to the
two most recent years.
365 Puzzlers Calendar 2017
365 Puzzlers Calendar 2018
(Hint: If you can
wait, current year calendars are usually on sale in January.)
e-mail with your comments about this program (or anything else).
Here's a program to find dates meeting constraints
on month of year, day of month, or day of week within a given range of
Background & Techniques
Today being Friday the 13th, I was looking for an excuse to
introduce the grandkids to the word meaning "fear of Friday the 13th",
friggatriskaidekaphobia. I was going to send an email
telling them that it would be a good excuse to stay home from school today.
I didn't think of it in time, but it did arouse my curiosity about
That led me to spend couple of hours coding the program posted here.
The problem was generalized to display a schedule of dates meeting the
conditions described above.
Notes for programmers
From the programming point of view, it was
fun discover Delphi date formatting routines which simplify operations such
as testing a day, month, and year set for validity or for incrementing a
date by a month.
The program has about 100 lines of code of which 30
were generated by Delphi. Most of the other 70 written by me were
comments lines or gathering information from the input controls before we
start the date testing loop. The loop logic looks has about 20 lines
of code and works like this: (User inputs are in red)
- Initialize a day, month, and year based on
- Convert the day, month year fields to a date
- If the day of week of the date matches the
user input day of week request,
or the user said any day of week
was OK, display the date as a match.
- If any day of the
month is OK, then
otherwise a specific day of the month
was requested and we check this
|If any month
is OK then increment date by one day
(making a new day, month, and year), |
|Otherwise a specific month
was requested, so
set the day back to 1 and ncrement the year by 1 (making a new day, month , and year).|
If the year of the new date is less than or
equal to stop year, and the requested number of results has
been met, then loop back to Step 2.
|If any month
is OK then increment the date by a month (making a new day, month
specific month was requested, so
increment the date by a year (making a new day, month , and year).|
The above loop logic , equired about 20 lines of
code and was the most fun to write and debug.
February 15, 2015: Having survived Friday
the 13th, I resurrected this program to check for other occurrences this
year and discovered that we have two more (in March and November). That's
the maximum that can occur in a year and we won't see three in a year again
until 2026, then 2037. It's an interesting mental exercise to
understand why there are 11 year gaps going forward but only 6 years since the
last occurrence when I first posted this program in in 2009.
Running/Exploring the Program
Suggestions for Further Explorations
Add other variable Holiday date options
(Thanksgiving, Easter, those moved to a particular Monday of the month to
make more long weekends, etc.)
Original Date: February 13, 2009
July 29, 2017