family of languages and Borland Delphi
have much in common, to the extent that Delphi and Borland C++
emit compatible object file
Things that C programmers
will find different in Delphi
end instead of
} to delimit blocks of code.
- The language is not case-sensitive at all, but some string comparison functions are. Default string comparison (e.g.
if strA = strB then ... ) is case sensitive.
- When to use a semicolon in Pascal. The semantics of semicolons are slightly different. In Pascal, a semicolon is a statement seperator, not a statement terminator as it is in c. That is, in a block, the semicolon after the last statement is optional in Pascal. The C syntax is actually more intuitive.
- Assignment is spelled
=, pronounced "colon-equals", "assign" or "gets the value". Equality test is spelled
- In function parameters, it is better style to use var parameters instead of pointers to things. These are identical under the hood, but var params read better.
- If a function doesn't return a value, it is declared with the keyword
procedure. If it does, it is declared with the keyword
function. This is a harmless if eccentric quirk of Pascal.
#define is not used for everyday simple tasks like defining numeric or string constants. Use
const instead. There is a preprocessor, but thankfully it is not your first recourse.
- There are no
++, -- += *= etc. operators
- Assignments do not return values, You can't do
a = b = c;
- Integers are not Booleans. Booleans are not integers. True is not = 1, though
- You can make sets of enums. Use these instead of bit-flags.
- There is a built-in string type. A delphi string is not an object, but it works simply and easily.
- You must declare all of your variables at the start of a procedure.
- The interface section of your unit corresponds to a .h file, the implementation section corresponds to the associated .c file
- You will find working with untyped pointers, type coercion and bitwise operations doable, but more verbose and less gracefull than in C. The point is that you shouln't be doing a lot of this.
- Delphi is a proprietary language, with only one closed-source implementation, and the future direction is determined by a single vendor.
Things that C++ programmers will find different in Delphi, in addition to the above:
- For the most part, you will use single inheritance
- The property keyword explicitly links your related gettor and settor methods, which can then be private. This may be part of Borland C++ builder, but C++ is a standard and that standard unfortunately does not include properties.
- There is run-time-type information, but only for published properties.
- There are no templates. You may miss these.
- There are no operator overloads. I for one don't miss them.
- There are no implicitly-called user-defined cast operators. I for one don't miss them.
- All objects are on the heap, you must free them manually.
- The only namespaces are units.
- A class cannot span multiple source files.
- There are no make files. But then you won't need them.
- Compilation, even a complete build is is really, really fast.
Things that Java
programmers will find different in Delphi, in addition to some of the above
- There is no garbage collection. Except for strings. And interfaces. And components with owners.
- There is a richer non-Object-Oriented type system that allows you to define your own types including enumerations.
- You can have global variables and functions - i.e. not attached to any object. Use them sparingly and well.