Quick Algorithm: Get Ideal Size (Square like) For a Board Game Having an Arbitrary (but Even) Number of Fields

Say you are developing a game like Chess, Go, Checkers, Tic-Tac-Toe or Memory. In each of those games the game board is a rectangle looking playfield of different size (rows x columns). Tic-Tac-Toe is 3×3, Checkers is 8×8, while Go can be 19×19 or 13×13 and similar. In a game with an arbitrary number of […] … Read More

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TMS FNC UI Pack v2.3 is here and brings 5 new UI controls

We continue on our mission to make TMS FNC UI controls not only the UI control set that you can put to work everywhere as Delphi/Pascal developer but also the most comprehensive UI control set for your toolkit.
For those not yet familiar with ‘FNC’ controls, these are what we call Framework Neutral Components. This means that these UI controls can be simultaneously used with different frameworks, are fully cross platform, can be used from Delphi, C++Builder and Lazarus and most spectacularly can be used to create web applications with TMS WEB Core. Read more about FNC for the web here.

TMS FNC Controls can be simultaneously used on these frameworks:

  • VCL
  • WEB
  • FMX
  • LCL

TMS FNC Controls can be simultaneously used on these operating systems/browsers:

TMS FNC Controls can be simultaneously used on these IDE’s:

What’s new in TMS FNC UI Pack v2.3:

TMS FNC Object Inspector

This is a versatile Object Inspector control. The control fully utilizes RTTI to provide a properties view of all properties of an associated component. Property filtering is possible to show only a select number of properties of a control. Moreover, when connected to a dataset, it will allow immediate viewing and editing of all fields in the associated dataset.

  • Automatic retrieval of published properties of an object
  • Various inplace editors such as a combobox for enum values, or checkgroup dropdown picker for set properties.
  • Events for customization, filtering of properties and property values
  • Can handle class properties, collection properties, set properties …
  • Datasource support for direct data editing


Supercharge your message boxes with the TTMSFNCTaskDialog that is modeled after the task dialog that was introduced in newer Windows operating system versions. The task dialog message can contain HTML formatted text, optional text, radio group based options and much more…

  • HTML formatted texts for content, expandable text and footer
  • Optional radio buttons, progress bar, verify checkbox, input field, and custom input
  • Custom buttons with the option to turn them into command links
  • Auto close after timeout


  • Various panel styles including HTML formatted text, images, progress bar and more
  • Optional auto size, button and hint per panel
  • Multiple progress bar levelst


Allow the end user to draw a signature on touch screens and the component can capture this signature either as image file or as scaleable vector data.

  • Save signature to a file, memory stream or an image
  • Load signature from a file or memory stream
  • Customizable pen, clear icon and text


End user selection of the full RGB color range is possible with the new TTMSFNCColorWheel.

  • Separate R, G, B and HEX values
  • Used in TTMSFNCColorPicker/TTMSFNCColorSelector as a mode

All users with an active registration for TMS FNC UI Pack can now obtain the new update free and get started to build fantastic applications for Windows, Web, mobile, Linux or macOS.
A fully functional trial version of TMS FNC UI Pack is available and even in combination with a TMS WEB Core trial, it can be used to explore the fascinating new & never seen before capabilities to use these UI controls also in web applications.
Or you can even explore the components directly via your browser by checking the TMS WEB Core demos that have several FNC control demos.

We hope you’re as passionate about FNC UI controls as our team is and we’re eager to learn what more UI controls you would like to see coming in future updates or what features or improvements you would like to see added to the existing controls! Be in touch, talk with our engineers and let’s keep the interesting technical conversations going!

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Larry’s To Do List: a tuturial on using TMS WEB Core

Larry’s To Do List (guest article)


This is a tutorial describing my journey learning TMS Web Core from TMS Software.
I’m a Delphi / Pascal developer who started writing Pascal back in the early Turbo Pascal days and
then moved on to Delphi when it was first released. For the last 20 plus years
I’ve been writing Windows accounting apps for my clients, using many of TMS Software’s great components.

A few years back, with the advent of mobile devices, my clients started requesting
that pieces of the software be accessible from their smart phones and tablets.
I had tried many approaches but was struggling with the way things are handled on the web vs Windows.
Of late I’ve been playing with Bootstrap, jQuery using Ajax to communicate with PHP backends.
But JavaScript wasn’t my “native” language. So, when TMS Web Core came out I was a pretty happy guy.
At last I would be able to put some of my apps onto the web.

As a way of learning TMS Web Core I decided to write a small app to keep track of my To Do’s.
I’m a list maker who at the start of each day reviews what needs doing.
This hand-written list has the Date Due, a Description and the Priority and usually which client it’s for.
And when the task is complete, I check it off as being done.
With this in mind, I decided to create a simple MySQL database named “todos” with initially a single table “todolist”.
And use TMS Web Core with Bootstrap 4 and PHP to maintain this list.

As I was working on this project the thought came to mind that maybe other Delphi developers
could use this project as a way for them to learn TMS Web Core. It’s a project in progress, as I’m still learning the in’s and out’s of TMS Web Core.

Sample screens.

Above is the main screen. The app uses TMS Web Core with various elements
linked to the Bootstrap 4 CSS using primarily “ElementId” and “ElementClass” properties in the components of
TMS Web Core. When you click “Edit”, you’ll get the screen below.

Here the TMS Web Core components are merged with a Bootstrap 4 form to produce the results shown.

Briefly the “Date Due” uses the component “TWebDateTimePicker” linked to a “form-group” item on the Bootstrap 4 form.
“Priority” uses the “TWebComboBox” linked to a “select” form item on the Bootstrap 4 form.

The “Post” and “Cancel” buttons are “TWebButton” components linked to Bootstrap 4 styled buttons with “OnClick” events to handle the Posting or Cancelling of the information.

The initial templates I used are at the website “Start Bootstrap”. They are an “MIT” license. Here’s the link:

Start Bootstrap

I downloaded these templates and placed on my external drive and then copied the necessary html, JavaScript and CSS into my run time folders. All these files are on the run time zip I’ll be providing.

Please refer to a description of the folder usage later in this tutorial for more information.

The database.

MySQL is used to store the table “todolist”.

Here is the definition of the “todolist” table:

		USE todos;
		CREATE TABLE todos.todolist (
		  Description VARCHAR(255) DEFAULT NULL,
		  Complete INT(1) DEFAULT NULL,
		  Priority INT(11) DEFAULT NULL,
		COLLATE utf8_general_ci

Nearly all tables I use in my apps have a field named “Id”, which is the primary key and is “auto increment”. Using this method it’s very easy to link tables on queries.

The field “Complete” is treated as a Boolean with zero indicating it’s still open and one indicating complete.

If there was going to be a large amount of data, I would also be defining alternate keys. But for the tutorial, I’m keeping it as simple as possible.

Delphi source files.

I created a folder named “Tutorials” and within it a folder named “ToDo1”. In the “TutorialsToDo1” folder are the following source files:

The next sections will briefly describe the files. For further information please refer to the comments in the source.


This file contains skeleton html. This file was modified for the Bootstrap 4, jQuery components. Here are the key parts:

Main.pas / Main.dfm / Main.html

This the main screen which contains the menu sidebar, plus a panel that acts as a parent to sub-forms. The “ElementId” properties on “Main.frm” are linked to html “id’s” in the “Main.html”.

Here’s the form:

Here’s the form after being merged with the html:

Pretty neat. Here’s what is in Main.html for “Refresh To Do’s”:

Note the span above with the id “main.menu.todo.list”. Here is the Delphi side:

When the Main form is opened, TMS Web Code merges these items to render the page.

View.ToDo.List.pas / View.ToDo.List.dfm / View.ToDo.List.html

This form is where the To Do items are listed in a Bootstrap 4 table. The form is embedded as a sub-form on the panel container in “Main.frm”.
Please to the screen shots above which shows the embedded form in the Main container panel.

Here is Main.html and where the embedded form is placed:

Here is View.ToDo.List.html:

The above html is merged with “main.container” to show the list of To Do’s.

Within this form is a “TWebTableControl” named DataGrid. When this form is created, it calls the PHP script todolist.php.

Here is the call that is made to the php script:

When the “LoadFromJSON” is made the URL looks like this:

todolist.php builds a JSON response using the criteria passed as shown above. Then encodes the JSON response in PHP as:

Here is a sample of the JSON returned:

“Id” shown above becomes Column zero in DataGrid, “DateDue” becomes Column 1 in DataGrid, etc. Here’s what it looks like once loaded:

You’ll notice that “Id” is not really showing. Instead is a Bootstrap Button.
This is accomplished with the “OnGetCellChildren” event that is part of “TWebTableControl”.

Here’s the code:

If the column passed is Column zero, “AValue” contains the “Id” of the To Do item being loaded.

A “TWebButton” is created. The contents in Column zero are replaced with a Bootstrap Button and
“Id” is placed in “TWebButton.Tag”.

At this point when you click on one of the Edit buttons, you’ll be able to retrieve the
To Do item’s Id and in turn create the form “EditToDoItem” and pass the Id to the form.
The editing process is described in the next section. Here’s the code that does this:

The “Sender: TObject” above is the Edit button. The “Tag” contains the “Id” of the To Do item.
When “EditForm” is created it uses “@AfterCreate” that is called once the form is created.
And in “AfterCreate” a call is made to load the To Do item’s information.
At this point the Edit form is shown via “EditForm.ShowModal”.

Edit.ToDo.Item.pas / Edit.ToDo.Item.dfm / Edit.ToDo.Item.html

This is a popup modal form where you can add new items and edit existing items.
This form is created when you click the “Edit” button to edit existing
To Do’s or when you click “New To Do” on the main form.

Here’s the form:

Here’s the form after being merged with the html:

When the form is created to edit a To Do, “gettodoitem.php” is called passing the Id of the To Do item this way:

The “ToDoRequest” above is a “TWebHttpRequest” component. Here is a sample URL passed to “gettodoitem.php”:

Here is the JSON response:

Part of a “TWebHttpRequest” component is the event “OnResponse”.
One of the variables passed to this event is the Response which is the JSON response shown above.
Here I use TMS’ JSON to decode and place the values into the form:

Once the information is entered, you will press “Post”.
This button is labeled “PostBtn” and has an event associated with it, which takes the information
off the form and builds arguments which are then passed to “posttodoitem.php”
which updates the To Do list data. The call is made here:

What I used.

Delphi and TMS Web Core.

I’m using Delphi Tokyo (10.2.2) with TMS Web Core. I assume you have both Delphi and TMS Web Core already installed.


I separately downloaded and installed the MySQL community edition.
Please note, Apache as described below, now comes with “MariaDB” instead of MySQL,
thus the separate download. Here is the link to the MySQL community edition:

MySQL download

Apache and PHP.

I’m using MySQL and Apache (with PHP) to handle the web server and database.
As noted I installed MySQL separately. Here is a link to “XAMPP” along with instructions for installation:

Apache download

dbForge Studio Express for MySQL from Devart.

Apache “XAMPP” comes with “PhpMyAdmin”. This is just my opinion, but I think it’s clunky.
I’ve been using DevArt’s “UniDac” components in my Delphi apps for quite some time
and like the way I can easily switch between MySQL and SQL Server.
As an alternative to “PhpMyAdmin” I use their Studio Express to maintain the MySQL databases. Here is the link:

dbForge Studio download

Note, select the download for the Express version.

Folders used.

Source folders.

The Delphi source for this project is on my “C:” drive and is located here:

Source download

Note “todolist-create.sql” is also on this download. Use it to create your “todo” database.

Run time folders.

The Apache run times are installed on my “C:” drive at the standard XMAPP location:

Runtime download


I hope this has been useful. If there are suggestions, bugs found, etc, you can reach me at larry@lwadsworth.com
Based on reception, I might create a version two of the tutorial, which would
have Categories for the To Do’s. This way you would be able have you items categorized, such as “Personal”, “Client” To Do’s.

Thanks again,

Larry Wadsworth

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chrisrolliston/CCR.PrefsIniFile: TCustomIniFile decendants for Delphi wrapping the Android, iOS and OS X Preferences APIs

If you need cross platform settings storage: [WayBack] chrisrolliston/CCR.PrefsIniFile: TCustomIniFile decendants for Delphi wrapping the Android, iOS and OS X Preferences APIs Via: [WayBack] In my application I use System.Win.Registry unit file to read or write to Windows Registry. Now that I have added MAC paltform I need an equivalent method to edit the plist file… – Dimitra Ger – Google+ –jeroen
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Conferences in Europe

Exciting times – conference season is upon us again and I’m excited to be heading off to a couple of them to talk to Delphi developers around Europe about subjects I’m passionate about.First off, and it’s nearly here, is the Barnsten Delphi Conference 2018 in Utrecht in the Netherlands on Tuesday, September 18th. This is a one day event with a busy agenda. After the opening keynote from Delphi Product Manager Marco Cantú, I’ll be doing a plenary session on creating debugging techniques before the sessions split into 2 parallel tracks. In among these parallel sessions I’ll talk about Android API access and you can also choose from sessions by (among others) Bruno Fierens, Bob Swart, Danny Wind and Marco Cantú (again). These sessions are mostly in English, though a couple are not. This looks to be a great value day of Delphi expertise.Later in the Autumn (or maybe it’s Winter by then…?) EKON 22 takes place from November 5th to 7th (Monday to Wednesday, with Wednesday being Workshop day). Again Marco Cantú will be doing the keynote and then we have lots of sessions in 3 parallel tracks, many in German, many in English. I’m presenting my Creative Debugging Techniques session first thing on the Tuesday. Other speakers include Stefan Glienke, Bruno Fierens, Marco Cantú (again), Andrea Magni, Ray Konopka and Cary Jensen (among others). You can peruse the full agenda here.If you are thinking of going to EKON 22 you can get Early Bird discounted pricing until September 27th (see the registration page). Unfortunately I didn’t get to post about this before the Very Early Bird pricing ended, but Early Bird discount pricing is a good deal!I hope to see some of you in Utrecht or Dusseldorf!
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Some search links on Delphi and C# WSDL imports I need to investigate further

Sometimes, the Delphi WSDL importer imports fine, but the generated code does not accept test cases sent by other tools. Below are some links for messages and comment fragments that I want to investigate further. // Cannot unwrap: // – Input element wrapper name does not match operation’s name // – The output part is […] … Read More

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General Manager Update for September 2018

As we start September, I want to provide some important updates around products and product packaging.

Earlier in the year, we simplified our SKUs by including the FireMonkey (FMX) Framework for developing Cross-Platform Apps into all Professional editions. These are also now available to all customers with a Professional license who are on Update Subscription. There are many upcoming changes with iOS, Android, MacOS, etc. that will be included in the upcoming 10.3 release and updates throughout the next 12 months. We also included a single site RAD Server deployment license with all Enterprise licenses. An update to RAD Server will come with 10.3 and is already available for beta testing. Both changes were popular with our customers. We also have two other areas, where we think we can improve.

Architect SKU Update

We will update Architect Edition alongside our 10.3 release. This edition has traditionally allowed our customers to gain value from other products within our family of tools. Idera Inc.’s portfolio has grown and we have some exciting new products that are better aligned with our customer needs than the current data modeling tooling. The data modeling tools are still included with Architect Edition, but will be replaced with the following in our 10.3 release:

Ext JS Professional – the most extensive professionally supported JS components and tooling from our Sencha brand. Our surveys indicate that over 50% of our customer base is using or planning to use JavaScript for Web Development together with Delphi. Ext JS has some similarities with Delphi in its object development approach and high level of productivity, so this should be a great way to start your team’s JS journey.

RAD Server Multi-site Deployment License – allows RAD Server to be deployed on multiple Servers and Locations, extending what is possible with the Enterprise License of RAD Studio. This supports our vision for modern multi-tier REST based architectures that can be highly cost effective.

Aqua Data Studio (ADS) – award winning tools for database management and development with great support for SQL and many more databases. ADS can be used with InterBase with increased support coming soon.  Aquafold is part of Idera, Inc. Database Tools businesses.

Ranorex Test Automation – the best Testing Automation tool, especially popular for Windows development, recently increased Delphi support and can be a great addition for large and small teams. Ranorex is part of Idera, Inc. Testing Tools businesses.

We believe that these represent substantial increase in value for our Architect edition. We are currently evaluating if an update in price is required. As with all changes, we want to provide customers with plenty of advance notice. Further, if you purchase the current version, you will  be current on Update Subscription and once 10.3 is released, you will  have access to the additional tooling described above.

Community and EDN Portal Update

Another important change to come in the next several months is the update to our Community and EDN portals. I am sure that most customers will agree that this is way overdue. Our objective is to improve performance and usability by adopting better, more standard technologies. In the spirit of continued adoption of our own tooling, the new EDN is built with Ext JS, which makes it very easy to expand and maintain. You will receive specific notifications if there are changes to your authentication or access, so please be in the lookout for these. Having your most updated information updated in EDN and with your Account Representative or Reseller Partner always help to ensure effective communications.


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How and when are variables referenced in Delphi’s anonymous methods captured? – Stack Overflow

Just found some notes from 2013 for my research list that are still relevant: [WayBack] How and when are variables referenced in Delphi’s anonymous methods captured? – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] delphi – How to compare TFunc/TProc containing function/procedure of object? – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] Delphi interfaces on binary level | The Programming Works. [WayBack] Anonymous methods in Delphi: the internals | The Programming Works. [WayBack] On the reference counting bugs in Delphi | The Programming Works: Delphi allows to access an object instance via object reference and interface reference at the same time. Consider this code: Nasty thing is that a reference-counted object is created with zero ref… [WayBack] memory management – delphi 2009, interface already released – Stack Overflow [WayBack] Smart Pointers | Australian Delphi User Group Members. [WayBack] TURBU Tech » Blog Archive » Under the hood of an anonymous method. TIndex: [WayBack] Anonymous methods. [WayBack] delphi rtti “reference to procedure” – Google Search. [No WayBack] Embarcadero Discussion Forums: RTTI for anonymous methods? …. [WayBack] delphi – RTTI information for method pointer – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] How To Get the Name of the Current Procedure/Function in Delphi (As a String) – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] reflection – How to use SuperObject to invoke methods that uses an Object as parameter in Delphi? – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] Delphi: Call a function whose name is stored in a string – Stack Overflow. [WayBack] Fixing Delphi’s Interface Limitations – CodeProject: Delphi has some big gotchas with interfaces. Learn how to bypass them. [WayBack] Reference Counting and Object Harvesting in Delphi | Dr Dobb’s – page 1 [WayBack] Reference Counting and Object Harvesting in Delphi | Dr Dobb’s – page 2 Note that if you are using Smart Pointers, use the ones that Spring4D implemented in 2015 named Shared/IShared<T>/TShared<T>, see [WayBack] Spring4D – Pascal Today and [WayBack2] Smart Pointers will be in Spring4D 1.2. –jeroen
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Sign Up for the Delphi Community Edition Boot Camp Today

If you are new to Delphi, the cross-platform, native compiling rapid application development (RAD) tool from Embarcadero Technologies, or know someone who is, there’s an upcoming event that you need to know about. It is the Delphi Community Edition (CE) Boot Camp.The Delphi CE Boot Camp is a series of lectures designed to introduce you to developing world-class applications using Delphi. Beginning on September 3rd, and continuing for a total of 8 weeks, each week introduces you to a different aspect of Delphi development, from building the user interface to compiling applications for iOS and Android devices. Week 1 begins with an introduction to the Delphi language (object-oriented Pascal), presented by Delphi guru and Delphi Product Manager Marco Cantú.The Delphi CE Boot Camp is free for everyone. To attend, use the following link to get started: https://www.embarcaderoacademy.com/p/the-delphi-ce-bootcamp-2018.The lessons for each week will become available on the date listed for each topic area. You can watch the lessons any time you want once they are published, but if you watch the lessons live, you will be able to participate in the question and answer session that follows the initial presentation.Don’t have a current copy of Delphi. No problem. So long as you meet the requirements, you can download and use the free Delphi Community Edition which became available this past July. The Delphi Community Edition is a full featured Professional Edition designed to get you up and running. To learn more about the Delphi Community Edition, along with its terms of use, visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi/starter/free-download.If you are a database developer, you will want to attend my course on database development with Delphi. My lessons will become available on September 24th.If you have colleagues who are new to Delphi, please be sure to share this information with them. There’s never been a better time to get started with the best native compiler for building applications for Windows, OSX, iOS, Android, and Linux.
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Building Android/iOS Native App from TMS Web Core/TMS XData application using PhoneGap

Since TMS Web Core generates pure stand-alone HTML/JS/CSS applications, and because that applications can be fully responsive, I have decided to do a quick experiment on how to convert the TMS Web Core application to a native mobile application using PhoneGap tool, more specifically PhoneGap Build.

My intention was to turn the XData Music demo (https://app.devgems.com/xdata/music/app) into a mobile application.

I have never used PhoneGap before. It’s a software development framework from Adobe used to develop mobile applications using web-development technologies like HTML, CSS and JS. PhoneGap Build is a cloud service that goes further and do all the job of creating such application for you, instead of requiring you to install PhoneGap in your computer and configure it.

So what I did was signing up to PhoneGap Build – I could just login with my Google account, and clicked “New App”. I then got the following screen:

What I did then was just zip the folder with html/js/css files from XData Music demo and upload it to PhoneGap using the “upload a .zip file” button. And that’s it. Well, not exactly that. Since I tried it on iOS besides Android, I still had to deal with provisioning and certificate stuff, sending it to PhoneGap so it could generate the iOS app according to Apple guidelines. But after that, it provided me with links to download my mobile application for iOS, Android and – mind you – Windows Phone.

The whole process took literally 30 minutes. Most of it was just dealing with the Apple provisioning and certificate stuff. Here is a video of the mobile application running on my iPhone.

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Enum values in their own namespaces/scopes: Scoped Enums (Delphi)

A while ago, I needed several enum types in the same unit with overlapping enumeration values. Putting each in an encompassing type wasn’t possible and I didn’t want to put each in their own unit. Luckily, Delphi 2009 introduced the “scoped enum” feature effectively promoting the enumeration type into a scope or namespace. It is […] … Read More

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Is there a reason why third party component vendors still ship dfm in binary files …

I knew it was backward compatibility, but TeeChart author David Berneda knew exactly what version: One old issue with the XE5 osx compiler, some forms in text format raised a “Bad file format” exception, fix was leave them binary –jeroen Source: [WayBack] Is there a reason why third party component vendors still ship dfm in binary files? – Google+, Stefan Glienke
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