Welcome to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* (FAQ)

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Don Croyle

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Oct 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/26/98
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Archive-name: clpd-welcome.txt
News-answers-archive-name: pascal/delphi/welcome
Posting-Frequency: weekly, alternating between
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce,comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.misc,
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases,comp.answers,news.answers and
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce,comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy,
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage,
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing,comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc
Last-modified: June 25, 1998

Welcome to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* (FAQ)

Latest changes:
Update URL for Torry's Delphi Pages.

========
Contents
========
0. Overview
1. Newsgroups in the hierarchy
A. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy
B. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce
C. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.misc
D. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage
E. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing
F. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases
G. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc
2. Other Borland Delphi related newsgroups
A. comp.sources.delphi
B. alt.lang.delphi and alt.comp.lang.borland-delphi
C. borland.*
D. installshield.*
E. Groups in regional or language hierarchies
3. General MS Windows programming newsgroups
4. Newsgroups that don't want to hear about Borland Delphi
A. alt.online-service.delphi
B. clari.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia and
clari.web.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia
C. comp.lang.pascal.borland
5. Other resources on the Internet
A. Delphi Archives
B. FAQ sites
6. A few netiquette points
A. Minimize crossposting
B. Use a meaningful Subject
C. Don't expect an immediate answer
D. Read the newsgroup
E. Pros and Cons of address mangling
7. Disclaimers and Copyright

=====
0. Overview

This document deals primarily with the main Usenet hierarchy concerned
with Borland Delphi, comp.lang.pascal.delphi.*, and secondarily with
other newsgroups that Delphi programmers may be interested in. A few
pointers to useful WWW sources have been thrown in as an afterthought.

It doesn't provide any answers to programming questions. Instead it
will, hopefully, help the reader get such questions answered by using
the newsgroups in the comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* hierarchy effectively.

=====
1. Newsgroups in the hierarchy

A. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy

Description: Contentious issues related to Delphi.

Charter: This group is for the discussion of Borland Delphi as
it compares to other products with similar purposes. This
includes debate over decisions made by Borland in the
development and marketing of Delphi.

B. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce

Description: Delphi related announcements. (Moderated)

Article submission: cl...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us
Admin contact address: clpda-...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us

Posting guidelines:
http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/clpda-guidelines.txt
Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/

Charter: A moderated newsgroup for the posting of announcements
and information relating to Borland Delphi. This includes
one-shot announcements such as:

New/revised components, libraries and tools for Delphi
Publication of books and magazines on using Delphi
Web and FTP sites devoted to Delphi
Users-group formation and meetings

In addition periodic postings such as Delphi FAQs, FAQ pointers
and HOWTOs are encouraged.

Among the types of article not appropriate for posting are
employment related announcements or articles containing
binaries or significant amounts of source code. In all cases,
follow ups are to be directed elsewhere in the
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.* hierarchy.

The purpose of moderation is to keep the group within its
fairly narrow charter. Follow ups and other general posts are
to be rejected with a pointer to a more suitable group. It is
also the moderator's duty to verify the URLs of Web and FTP
sites to confirm that they are reachable and contain Delphi
related material.

C. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.misc

Description: General component issues.

Charter: This group is for general discussion of Delphi
components, both those supplied by Borland and those available
from third parties. In particular, attempts to locate
components for specific tasks and opinions about the relative
usefulness of available components are directed here.

D. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage

Description: Using pre-written components.

Charter: This group is for questions and discussions on how to
use existing components in the course of writing Delphi
programs. It covers both Borland supplied and third-party
components.

E. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing

Description: Writing Delphi components.

Charter: This group is devoted to writing components for use
with Borland Delphi. Writing components (whether original or
derived), creating property editors and creating Help files for
them are on topic, usage questions are not.

F. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.databases

Description: Database aspects of Borland Delphi.

Charter: This group would be for discussions related to using
the database aspects of Delphi. Discussions of Database
Desktop and Reportsmith would belong here, as would
discussions of the database aspects of VCL, client-server
issues, and most other things relating to databases.

G. comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc

Description: General issues with Borland Delphi.

Charter: This would be the catch-all discussion group not
dealing with the specific technical issues covered in the
other groups. The name "misc" was chosen to be in line with
current newsgroup name conventions.

Discussions of how to use the IDE and help system, how to
install components including VBXs, how to use VCL and Object
Pascal (except database specific issues)*, how to port code
from other languages to Delphi, how to create DLLs, bugs and
workarounds in VCL, announcements of new products**, general
help in getting started, where to find ftp and www sites
regarding Delphi, etc. would all be on topic here.

* later moved to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage
** later moved to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce

=====
2. Other Borland Delphi related newsgroups

A. comp.sources.delphi

Description: Delphi and ObjectPascal source code. (Moderated)

Article submission: c...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us
Admin contact address: csd-r...@gelemna.ft-wayne.in.us

FAQ: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/csd-faq.txt
Posting guidelines:
http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/csd-guidelines.txt
Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/csd/

Charter: A moderated newsgroup for the posting of Borland Delphi
and ObjectPascal sources, specifically source code and
associated binaries such as .RES or .DCR files. Submissions
must meet the following criteria:

- Source code and files necessary for compilation _only_.
Precompiled units and executables will be rejected.
- You are legally permitted to submit the files for posting.
- The moderator is legally permitted to post the files.
- The files contain no viruses or trojans.
- Binary files should be uuencoded.
- Small sample data files may be submitted with a project.

The moderator will take all care to ensure that copyrights are
enforced, but will not be held responsible in the event of a
mistake in this regard.

Articles which are not acceptable include anything which is not
required for compilation or an associated sample data file.

The purpose of moderation is to keep the group within its narrow
charter. Followups and other general posts are to be rejected
with a pointer to a more suitable group.

B. alt.lang.delphi and alt.comp.lang.borland-delphi

These two newsgroups were created soon after the first version
of Delphi was released in a futile attempt to get rid of the
traffic that was then flooding comp.lang.pascal. Despite the
fact that their creation went against all the guidelines for
creating alt groups, they've managed to get decent propagation
and get a reasonable amount of on-topic traffic.

C. borland.*

Inprise has established a private hierarchy that contains a
number of Delphi related newsgroups. The home of this hierarchy
is their NNTP server: forums.inprise.com. Some of these
newsgroups appear to be being propagated to outside servers.

See http://www.inprise.com/newsgroups/ for further information.

D. installshield.*

Installshield appears to have established some private
hierarchies to support its products, including a group for the
version that ships with Delphi. The home for these is at
news.installshield.com. Some of these newsgroups appear to be
propagating to outside servers.

E. Groups in regional or language hierarchies

This list is based on a quick run through the active file.
Additions and corrections would be greatly appreciated.

de.comp.lang.pascal.delphi (German)
es.comp.lenguajes.delphi (Spanish)
fido7.delphi
fido7.kharkov.delphi (Russian)
fido7.ru.delphi (Russian)
fido7.ru.delphi.db (Russian)
fido7.ru.delphi.info (Russian)
it.comp.delphi (Italian)
pl.comp.lang.delphi (Polish)
z-netz.sprachen.delphi (German)

=====
3. General MS Windows programming newsgroups

If you have a problem with something in the Windows API that isn't
encapsulated by the VCL, asking questions in a Delphi oriented
newsgroup may not be overly effective. The answers that you get in a
more general newsgroup will probably be in C++, rather than Pascal.
Windows is written in C++ and learning to at least read the language
is a necessity if you want to go beyond hooking black boxes together.

comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.controls
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.graphics
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.memory
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.misc
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.multimedia
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.networks
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.nt.kernal-node
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.ole
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.mfc
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.misc
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.owl
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.winsock
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.vxd
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.win32
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.winhelp

The microsoft hierarchy was created by Microsoft. It was originally a
private hierarchy, but is now widely carried. Potentially interesting
newsgroups include:

microsoft.public.win16.programmer.gdi
microsoft.public.win16.programmer.kernel
microsoft.public.win16.programmer.networks
microsoft.public.win16.programmer.pen
microsoft.public.win16.programmer.tools
microsoft.public.win16.programmer.ui
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.gdi
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.installwizard.beta
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.international
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.kernel
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.mapi
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.mmedia
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.networks
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.ole
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.pen
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.tapi
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.tools
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.ui
microsoft.public.win32.programmer.wince

4. Newsgroups that don't want to hear about Borland Delphi

A. alt.online-service.delphi

This newsgroup deals with the online service Delphi, which
operates in the US and UK. Their use of the name predates
Borland's by several years. The regulars on this newsgroup
sometimes get irate when people ask them programming questions.

B. clari.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia and
clari.web.sports.local.mid-atlantic.pennsylvania.philadelphia

While it should be obvious that these to newsgroups have nothing
to do with Delphi, they get hit when someone tries to post to
every newsgroup that has 'delphi' in its name. Both newsgroups
are moderated.

C. comp.lang.pascal.borland

This newsgroup deals with Turbo/Borland Pascal in all of the
versions that predate Delphi.

=====
5. Other resources on the Internet

Neither of these lists is exhaustive. There are a huge number of
Delphi related WWW sites. These are merely intended to provide a
starting point. Additions and corrections welcome.

A. Delphi Archives

Delphi Deli: http://www.delphideli.com
Delphi EXchange: http://www.delphiexchange.com/
Delphi Super Page: http://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/delphi/
Torry's Delphi Pages: http://www.torry.ru/

B. FAQ sites

Inprise's Delphi 3.0 FAQ:
http://www.inprise.com/devsupport/delphi/qanda/index.html
Delphi FAQ site: http://www.sbrain.syh.fi/delphi/delphi_faq.html

=====
6. A few netiquette points

This section is not intended to replace the articles to be found in
news.announce.newusers. If you're new to Usenet, reading what's
posted there is an excellent starting point. This section is
concerned with practices that might help get your questions answered.

A. Minimize crossposting

Very few articles are really on-topic in more than one or two
newsgroups. While crossposting to every newsgroup that seems
vaguely related might appear to be a way to reach more people,
there are several factors that can negate that.

To begin with, many news sites quietly drop articles crossposted
to more than a certain number of newsgroups. This means that
your article won't be seen by readers at those sites, or at any
site that gets net news from them. Individuals often do the
same thing on a smaller scale by killfiling articles crossposted
to more than a few newsgroups. Properly designed newsreaders
only show a given article to a reader once, in the first
newsgroup that the reader looks at, and many people won't reply
to an article that seems to be in the wrong place. Finally,
many people will respond to a crossposted article only in the
newsgroup where they read it, and you'll miss the reply if you
aren't actually reading that group.

Don't, however, take this to mean that you should post the same
article to several newsgroups individually. Crossposting is
evil, but multi-posting is worse.

B. Use a meaningful Subject

People are more likely to read your article if the Subject line
gives some indication of the contents. "Please help" or "TEdit
problem" isn't very helpful. On the other hand, you don't want to try
to fit the whole contents of the article into one huge line. Try to
indicate the general problem in 20-40 characters, then be as specific
as you can in the body.

C. Don't expect an immediate answer

Your article may not get of your home news server for hours, and
may not reach someone who can and will answer it for weeks (if
at all). Be patient. Remember that everyone reading the
newsgroup is a volunteer, and that your problems are not
necessarily a priority for them.

D. Read the newsgroup

Read before you post. It will give you an idea of what the
newsgroup is actually about, and you might stumble across
something useful.

Read after you post. Even if you ask for mail replies, many
people will only respond in the newsgroup.

E. Pros and cons of address mangling

Some people mangle their e-mail addresses in an effort to stay
off of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) lists. This can work
to some extent, especially if you've never used the address
publicly in news or on a web page.

On the other hand, in some quarters using a mangled address is
viewed as net abuse in its own right. It violates several
standards, and makes extra work for the DNS and mail servers.
It also makes it harder for the people that you do want to send
you mail to do so.

Mail filtering is a better option. If you have a shell account
that will let you use procmail, a few simple recipes can work
wonders. If you only have dial-up access, there are several
free mail clients that can sort your mail and bury the unwanted
stuff in a junk folder.

=====
7. Disclaimers and Copyright

All trademarks used in this document are the property of their
respective owners.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not those of any
other organization. The author is not responsible for the content of
newsgroups or WWW sites referred to. The information provided is
distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

This document is Copyright 1997-1998 by Donald A Croyle. It may be
used or reproduced freely, under the terms of the GNU General Public
License, see http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/gpl.html for details.
--
Approval for posting does not constitute an endorsement.
Articles posted to comp.lang.pascal.delphi.announce are archived at:
WWW Archive: http://www.infonex.com/~dacroyle/clpda/

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