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Buying DelphiTM

USA residents - if you're a student,  teacher, or school employee, you can usually purchase the current academic version for $100 or so from most college bookstores from several online retailers of academic software (but you can't sell the  software you develop).   

If you're not a student,  or you have dreams of marketing  your software, check the "where to buy"  page or check at www.provantage.com , a reliable authorized reseller with good prices.

Foreign residents -   check here for "where to buy"  links by country.  Students -  look for Education links on the individual country home pages.  I have heard that Borland has distributed Delphi CDs with various technical magazines from time to time, but haven't had any first hand experience with this.
 

First Steps

If you're new to Delphi, it takes some extra effort to get started.  For the first few hours, your learning curve will be high.  If  you can find a class or mentor to help you get started, that's great.  If not, don't give up.  We're here to make sure you get the help you need.

The  links listed below will help you get started.  

Tutorials

I haven't tried all of these tutorial programs -  use the feedback to let me know how good they are.  Note: all links to another site will open in a new window - just close that window when you're through and you should be back here.

Hello World

A Calculator

Links to a couple of  Delphi introductory books available online.

Learn Delphi in 21 Days

Essential Pascal

And finally a couple of  sites with some  introductory tutorials.  

Delphi-Dolphin

 About Delphi Beginners page

 

Learning Delphi

DelphiTM is based on the Pascal programming language developed in the early 1970's by Niklaus Wirth and named after mathematician  Blaise Pascal. 

Learning a programming language is like learning a foreign language.  There is a  set of words  and rules about how to combine them.  Whether programming or human language,  the objective is to communicate information.    With a programming language, we're communicating with another program, a compiler or interpreter, instead of another person.  This places an extra burden on  you, the programmer, because compilers aren't  as smart as people.  

So, learning the vocabulary (words) and syntax (rules) are big hurdles to overcome when starting out.    One of the advantages of learning by playing with sample code, especially Pascal or Basic, is that the syntax and vocabulary are close enough to English language to make it readable without a lot of preliminary study.  When you see the following code:

N := 0 ;

For  i := 1 to 10 Do  N := N  + i; 

you could probably figure out that it's adding up the integers from 1 to 10 even if you've never seen a line of Pascal code.   Notice, by the way, that Delphi uses := for an assignment, it uses just plain  = for testing equality.   Another instance of the compiler not being smart enough to distinguish.  Also the most common error you'll make when you start programming in Delphi!

Delphi has a visual development environment - this means that you design the user interface by clicking and dragging components (buttons, labels, lists, menus, memos, etc.).  

Being able to understand the code in a program is not the same as being able to write it.  But by starting with  a program that will compile successfully, and maybe even produce correct results,  you can make small changes and almost always learn something.   And that's what this site is about. 

Note:  Delphi is a registered trademark of Borland Inprise Corporation
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