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This book is rather unique. It's hardly an introduction to Delphi as we understand this wonderful Windows development tool. There's minimal discussion of the IDE, virtually nothing on the Visual Component Library, and hardly any discussion of the many built-in functions (except in one or two selected areas). What the book does present is the underlying language of Delphi, Object Pascal. While a number of other books allocate a chapter or two to Object Pascal, the entire contents of Learn Object Pascal with Delphi are devoted to this single topic.
Warren Rachele's Learn Object Pascal with Delphi takes an interesting and unique approach to separating the visual development aspect of Delphi (with which it does not deal) from its underlying language: All of the code examples are built as console applications. Rachele does a nice job of building a template to use for this purpose. For that reason, much of the code can also be run under Borland Pascal 7.
The author carefully explains the syntax of Object Pascal. The simple and straightforward code examples, the logical flow of the explanations, and the author's natural style make these topics extremely accessible. The questions at the end of each chapter provide an opportunity for the new developer to test his or her knowledge before moving to the next topic.
The opening chapters provide a wonderful introduction to the core language features, including tokens and separators, variables and constants, and basic input and output. Chapters 5 and 6 focus on program flow, and include cogent discussions of the case statement, if statements, sets, and various types of loops. Chapter 7 introduces procedures and functions, but unfortunately does not discuss very many of the built-in procedures and functions. Most of these have been a part of Turbo Pascal from the early days. The discussion about working with strings would have been enhanced considerably by including copy, pos, and the anachronistic concat routine. I strongly recommend that if Rachele decides to write a new edition, he consider adding a chapter on built-in procedures and functions or incorporating a discussion of these in appropriate chapters. In my view this would round out an otherwise excellent introduction to Object Pascal.
Chapters 9 and 10 introduce the language's important data collections, arrays, and records. As in previous chapters, the author introduces these topics systematically, with easy-to-follow descriptions, and builds on that foundation by providing important warnings and helpful examples. The final two chapters broach the more advanced topics of object-oriented programming, pointers, and file handling. The presentation on pointers includes examples of building linked lists, and the use of dynamic variables. This extremely clear and accessible presentation of these more advanced Object Pascal topics is one of the highlights of this book.
Learn Object Pascal with Delphi is a solid and generally complete introduction to Object Pascal. It's best suited to new Delphi developers, whether they are completely new programmers or moving to Delphi from another visual language. What a great gift for that Visual Basic programmer friend who still believes that Pascal is a difficult language.