Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Delphi Delays

Last week, when I reviewed nntp//rss, I hinted that I may make my own RSS feed reader based on the FeedReader source code, which is now open source and released under the GPL. The program was relatively light and had a reasonably good interface, but lacked content:encoded support and could do with a few changes to its GUI.

Although I would never describe myself as a Delphi programmer, I have toyed with it and completed a couple of tutorial programs from a book called ‘Discovering Delphi’ (which I don’t have to hand and couldn’t find on Amazon), and feel reasonably confident with altering GUIs and things. At the very least, I could change the icons, add a menu bar and perhaps change the appearance slightly.
I downloaded the source code, and then went about getting the add-on packages – it uses various additional components that aren’t included in the original Delphi. As I was installing these, something became increasingly apparent – my copy of Delphi 3 (released in 1997, I think) would be too old to be able to compile it – some of the components it uses weren’t introduced until later versions. I’d stuck to version 3 because I’d gathered that the newer releases bloated your programs and the additions weren’t that great anyway.
Fortunately, I had a copy of Delphi 6 Personal Edition, which came on the cover of a copy of PC Plus from February last year, so I installed that. The personal edition license allows you to compile and distribute programs so long as they are free or freeware – since Feedreader is GPL’d, anything I derive from it will be too, so that’s not a problem, and my intention was to make it open source anyway.
I’ve yet to attempt a compilation in Delphi 6 because it’s Friday night and my brain is going into hibernation, so I’ll leave that until tomorrow or something. My aim is to get the original source code to compile before making any changes, so that I’ve got something to roll back to if I make a balls-up of the whole thing, and I’ll know who to blame (ie me).
Oh yeah, and I have to get Linux working too. And fill out about 4 different forms, all of which indirectly involve money. Hmmm, busy weekend for me, then.

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