Delphi Multitasking (several codes running at same time)

I just wonder about a thing. I'm making a program which must be able to do several things at SAME time. Which means, one thing is the Application.ProcessMessages. For the application to not hang when doing some operations (like sending email). Lets say if I want to copy a 4 files on 200 megabyte in the app, and want the application to behave normally (like Outlook, Winzip, etc... when they do something which takes time) while copying. That means that I have to do these loops at SAME time:

//***For updating app:***
Repeat
  Application.ProcessMessages;
Until cancelupdate;


//***And this for the copying itself for example ***
For file := 0 to 4 do
begin
  filename :='C:\file'+inttostr(file)+'.zip';
  newfilename := 'C:\file'+inttostr(file)+'_new.zip';
  If FileExists(filename) Then
  begin
    CopyFile(filename,newfilename,false);
  end;
end;


Since the last one will take about 20 seconds, then the application can't seems like it has crashed in the meantime, and if I run ProcessMessages every loop, then it only will react every 5th second, so therefore the other loop that does the ProcessMessages be done at the same time as the loop. How can that be done? I've tried with timers (but they need ProcessMessages to respond), and I've tried with a seperate loop (but then it's stuck in the loop, and won't go to the filecopying). How would I get this work then?
chrml0606Asked:
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TussinCommented:
You can use thread to solve this problem. Try looking at the borland demo code Demos\Threads\thrddemo.dpr
sftwengCommented:
Run each as a separate thread. The following is taken from the Delphi help example for TThread in Help\Examples\PrgrsBar:

Objects

The example demonstrates using the TProgressBar and TThread objects.

Running

To run this example, load the project file from the Help\Examples\PrgrsBar directory.

Description

This example illustrates the use of a progress bar control, how to update the control, and how to manage threads during such a process.

unit Pg1;

interface

uses
  Windows, Messages, SysUtils, Classes, Graphics, Controls, Forms, Dialogs,
  StdCtrls, ComCtrls, ExtCtrls, Pg2;

const
  WM_ThreadDoneMsg = WM_User + 8;

type
  TForm1 = class(TForm)
    ProgressBar1: TProgressBar;
    ProgressBar2: TProgressBar;
    Button1: TButton;
    Button2: TButton;
    TrackBar1: TTrackBar;
    TrackBar2: TTrackBar;
    Bevel1: TBevel;
    Bevel2: TBevel;
    Label1: TLabel;

    Label2: TLabel;
    Button3: TButton;
    Button4: TButton;
    procedure Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
    procedure Button2Click(Sender: TObject);
    procedure Button3Click(Sender: TObject);
    procedure Button4Click(Sender: TObject);
    procedure FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
    procedure TrackBar1Change(Sender: TObject);
    procedure TrackBar2Change(Sender: TObject);
    procedure FormDestroy(Sender: TObject);

  private
    { Private declarations }
    MyThread1 : TMyThread; // thread number 1
    MyThread2 : TMyThread; // thread number 2
    Thread1Active : boolean; // used to test if thread 1 is active
    Thread2Active : boolean; // used to test if thread 2 is active
    procedure ThreadDone(var AMessage : TMessage); message WM_ThreadDoneMsg; // Message to be sent back from thread when its done
  public
    { Public declarations }

  end;

var
  Form1: TForm1;

implementation

{$R *.DFM}

procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject); // Create Thread 1
{ The thread will destroy iteself when it is done executing because FreeOnTerminate is set to true.
The first paramter is the priority, and the second is the progressbar to update.
}
begin
   if (MyThread1 = nil) or (Thread1Active = false) then // make sure its not already running

   begin
     MyThread1 := TMyThread.CreateIt(TrackBar1.Position, ProgressBar1);
     Thread1Active := true;
   end
   else
     ShowMessage('Thread still executing');
end;

procedure TForm1.Button2Click(Sender: TObject); // Create Thread 2
begin
   if (MyThread2 = nil) or (Thread2Active = false) then  // make sure its not already running
   begin
     MyThread2 := TMyThread.CreateIt(TrackBar2.Position, ProgressBar2);

     Thread2Active := true;
   end
   else
     ShowMessage('Thread still executing');
end;

procedure TForm1.Button3Click(Sender: TObject); // Terminate Thread 1
begin
  if (MyThread1 <> nil) and (Thread1Active = true) then  // check to see if it is running
    MyThread1.Terminate
  else
   ShowMessage('Thread not started');
end;

procedure TForm1.Button4Click(Sender: TObject); // Terminate Thread 2

begin
  if (MyThread2 <> nil) and (Thread2Active = true) then  // check to see if it is running
    MyThread2.Terminate
  else
    ShowMessage('Thread not started');
end;

procedure TForm1.ThreadDone(var AMessage: TMessage); // keep track of when and which thread is done executing
begin
  if ((MyThread1 <> nil) and (MyThread1.ThreadID = cardinal(AMessage.WParam))) then

  begin
      Thread1Active := false;
  end;
  if ((MyThread2 <> nil) and (MyThread2.ThreadID = cardinal(AMessage.WParam))) then
  begin
      Thread2Active := false;
  end;
end;


procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject); // initialize to zero
begin
  Thread1Active := false;
  Thread2Active := false;
end;


procedure TForm1.TrackBar1Change(Sender: TObject); // set Thread 1 Priority

begin
  if (MyThread1 <> nil) and (Thread1Active = true) then
     MyThread1.priority := TThreadPriority(TrackBar1.Position);
end;

procedure TForm1.TrackBar2Change(Sender: TObject); // set Thread 2 Priority
begin
  if (MyThread2 <> nil) and (Thread2Active = true) then
    MyThread2.priority := TThreadPriority(TrackBar2.Position);
end;


procedure TForm1.FormDestroy(Sender: TObject); // Terminate any threads still running

begin
   if (MyThread1 <> nil) and (Thread1Active = true) then
   begin
     MyThread1.Terminate;
     MyThread1.WaitFor;  // wait for it to terminate
   end;
   if (MyThread2 <> nil) and (Thread2Active = true) then
   begin
     MyThread2.Terminate;
     MyThread2.WaitFor;
   end;
end;

end.
chrml0606Author Commented:
Ah, ok, I see, but where is the procedure that the thread is doing? I mean, if I was going to do some filecopying here, then where would I have the filecopying code?
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sftwengCommented:
The ThrdDemo sample makes it a little more obvious:

procedure TThreadSortForm.BubbleSortBoxPaint(Sender: TObject);
begin
  PaintArray(BubbleSortBox, BubbleSortArray);
end;

procedure TThreadSortForm.SelectionSortBoxPaint(Sender: TObject);
begin
  PaintArray(SelectionSortBox, SelectionSortArray);
end;

procedure TThreadSortForm.QuickSortBoxPaint(Sender: TObject);
begin
  PaintArray(QuickSortBox, QuickSortArray);
end;

procedure TThreadSortForm.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
begin
  RandomizeArrays;
end;

procedure TThreadSortForm.StartBtnClick(Sender: TObject);
begin
  RandomizeArrays;
  ThreadsRunning := 3;
  with TBubbleSort.Create(BubbleSortBox, BubbleSortArray) do
    OnTerminate := ThreadDone;
  with TSelectionSort.Create(SelectionSortBox, SelectionSortArray) do
    OnTerminate := ThreadDone;
  with TQuickSort.Create(QuickSortBox, QuickSortArray) do
    OnTerminate := ThreadDone;
  StartBtn.Enabled := False;
end;
sftwengCommented:
To create and use a new thread object:

Choose File | New | Other | Thread Object to create a new unit that contains an object derived from the TThread class.
      Define the thread object’s Execute method by inserting the code that should execute when the thread is executed.

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chrml0606Author Commented:
Thanks for help :)! Accepted your answer, and gave the other dude 40 points for showing interest :)!
sahilkhan20Commented:
chrml0606 :

you will have to override the Execute Method and place your code in there.

Sahil
chrml0606Author Commented:
Yup, I know :D! I got it working thanks to sftweng.
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