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Converting Delphi program to Visual Basic?

Posted on 2004-10-04
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We had a person leave our department that wrote all of the programs in Delphi.  I am not completely sure on the Delphi programming language and would like to convert them to Visual Basic or something similiar.  Is this even possible?  As far as the database extension libraries how would that be affected.  Thanks for any help you can provide.+
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Question by:jsjj01
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Wim ten Brink earned 125 total points
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EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... :-)

Well, it depends. If he has done a lot of database stuff using the Borland Database engine then forget it. This would require a major rewrite of the code. If he used ADO then you have more luck since it's almost similar to what VB is using. Still, why fix something if it isn't broken.

Delphi is about as easy to learn as Visual Basic, though. The syntax is different but for a true, experienced programmer the syntax should not matter. And this is what separates the men from the boys. ;-)
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by:Hypoviax
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Lol. Besides why use VB when you can use Delphi? Delphi is by far the better language than VB and can be extended into more complex tasks much easier.

As soon as you move to VB problems will start to appear out of no where. Mysterious run time errors that don't occur in Delphi will occur and then POP! the program closes. No nice TRY EXCEPT blocks in VB, no proper error handling. VB is for the weak. Learn Delphi and become enlightened.

Regards,

Hypoviax
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by:jsjj01
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Alright, alright I should have known the answers I would be getting posting in the Delphi section.  I am by no means a seasoned programmer.  Is there any good Delphi books/websites for someone with a basic understanding of VB, C++, and Java that is just yearning to learn the wonders of Delphi.  Thanks.  
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by:Wim ten Brink
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Oh, don't worry... I'm not an anti-VB Delphi-nerd. I have a lot of respect for people who use VB, especially considering the changes MS keeps making to this language.

Now, some very good books and a link to Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/078214201X/qid=1097003879/sr=2-2/ref=pd_ka_2_2/102-9214079-4320140
Mastering Delphi 7 -- by Marco Cantù

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0672321157/qid=1097003879/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_6/102-9214079-4320140?v=glance&s=books
Delphi 6 Developer's Guide - by Xavier Pacheco, Steve Teixeira.

Both books are okay for beginning developers but especially valuable for experienced developers, no matter which language they prefer. Both books explains a bit about how Delphi works, the syntax, the structures, then continue to discuss the more complex matters. For good Delphi websites, well... We are always here to answer your questions.
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by:Hypoviax
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Delphi in a nutshell is also a good book, but i'm from Australia so i don't know if you can get it from whereever you are.

The address is  http://woodslane.com.au/   Just type in the search box "Delphi" and a list of good Delphi books will come up

Best Regards,

Hypoviax
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by:Hypoviax
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By the way,

Surely Workshop_Alex, you have to admit that Delphi is far superior than VB ;-)

Hypoviax
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@Hypoviax, no Delphi is NOT superior to VB...

And yes, I am an experienced Delphi Developer. (With capital D!) See my EE score as reference. I'm even in the top-15 here. :-)

Question is, of course, why Delphi isn't superior... Well, it's quite simple, actually. Many people prefer to develop in VB because the language is a lot easier to learn. Less confusing datatypes, a much simpler syntax that doesn't require a semi-colon at the end of every statement, a lot easier way to declare variables and a simple component palette that doesn't offer an overkill of components. The target for VB aren't the professional software developers like me, but simple office people who sometimes have to write a simple tool to get things done. (Which also explains why VBA is also very popular.)
Of course, professionals who develop software and then sell that software to other won't choose VB that easily. Simply because if you want complex things to be done in VB, then you really need to know what you're doing or you'll need some 3rd-party ActiveX control that does the work for you. For commercial software, Delphi is often a better choice although many companies just as easily choose C++ for their development. (Especially since C++ is more or less platform-independant.)

Between 1994 and 1995 I have worked one year as a Basic developer although I preferred Pascal back then. Microsoft Basic Professional Development System 7.0 it was called and yes, it ran under MS-DOS, not Windows. Back then Windows 3.1 was still the preferred Windows version but many people used just MS-DOS. When I started as Basic developer I was sure that Turbo Pascal would have been a much better option. Yet I learned that if you optimise VB a bit, use the right libraries and kept your code clean, you could create applications that would perform just as well as any Turbo Pascal program back then.
This is still the case with VB. I like Delphi more since I love the complexity that it has compared to the simplicity of VB, but I do understand that Delphi can be quite complex for some people and VB just seems a lot easier.

Is Delphi superior to VB? I guess it all depends on your point of view. If you're some office-clerk and you need some simple tool, VB would be a much easier tool in the first place. Maybe Delphi has more raw power but that isn't exactly what they need. They need a simple tool and they need it yesterday. And they don't have much development experience. For these kinds of people, VB just beats Delphi every time...
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by:Hypoviax
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You may be right Workshop_Alex but why is it that Pascal is always taught as one of the first programming languages?

The answer is that pascal is a well structured language that enables the concepts of programming to be taught. From pascal a beginner can easily learn BASIC and better move onwards to more difficult languages like C. A well structured language allows problems to be better identified as well as providing a better method for developing the logic of the user. BASIC is a very loosly structured language and although it may be easy to learn on (i learnt programming using VB) it makes it more difficult to program more complex problems and structuring logic is much more difficult. As Delphi is Pascal-based i would actually disagree with you and state that Delphi is easier to learn than Visual Basic. At my school (i'm in my final year of high school) Turbo Pascal is the first language taught since it provides a structured framework and explains well the concepts of programming such as sequence, selection and repetition. However, after learning the basics in Pascal, the classes move to Visual Basic. This year i convinced the teacher that by moving from VB to Delphi the learning development of programming would better be aided since the core concepts of programming are better layed out in Delphi as a result of the pascal based language. I have been programming since i was 13 and have found that although VB was easy to learn on it reaches a point where programming a certain task becomes extremely difficult. This same task done in Delphi is relatively easy. Thus, in conclusion, although Visual Basic may appear to be easy to learn on, the real concepts of programming are not taught completely or well enough unlike that of a pascal based programming language such as Delphi

Regards,

Hypoviax
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