Adam’s May 2023 Meeting Summary

  • An introduction to Anotnio Zapater – Pre-sales Consultant at Embarcadero Technologies
  • Code Huddle – led by Neil Parrish
  • Open Mic for Mote /Fleck/Gobbit/Tools / Tricks / Ticks

Adam’s Summary


A mixed “live / Remote” meeting. A first for the group after a bit of discussion, 7 members met at Rob Lambden’s offices in Canary Wharf, with others attending on-line. The format was different, with quite a lot of chat “in the room”, but seems to have worked again, and may well be repeated.

The international Pascal Congress in Salamanca, Spain between 3rd and 7th July was discussed. Embarcadero will be attending and are sponsoring. No members are going.

Paul McGee from the Australian Delphi Group joined the meeting.

An introduction to Anotnio Zapater – Pre-sales Consultant at Embarcadero Technologies

Antonio seems to have taken the reins controlling many aspects of RAD Server development and promotion at Embarcadero.

He gave an excellent 90 minute session. Firstly emphasizing the new license for RAD Server, which includes a “Lite” free-tier (which have extensive capability) but also talking in depth about RAD Server, starting from a “What is it for?” perspective, and working on to how to create Server and Client projects using RAD Server.

The technology is amazing, and painfully under-documented (as with so many Delphi-related code-libraries). Antonio is planning extensive updates to the documentation including new “how-to” PDFs and a full update to the currently outdated documentation.

RAD Server allows high speed encapsulation of data into formats which can then be transmitted from client to server, allowing back-end layers to communicate with user UI. The back end can generate and transmit pretty much any type of data-packet the user wants, with a lot automatic feature-ful-ness (if you know how it works).

Code Huddle – led by Neil Parrish

Neil Parrish then ran a code-huddle based on an Exercise Timer App he wrote during lock-down.

This was a nice variation on the hackathon / code-extension theme for a meeting. Martin, Paul and Ian had all worked on Neil’s original code.

The App used a simple text file to fire off a series of commands allowing a user to run through an exercise class. The basic syntax was “start class” “do exercises A for xx seconds” “rest for YY seconds” “do exercise B for zz seconds” … etc. The App was simply developed for home use and had been written in a few hours.

Martin Hamilton had extended the App adding additions to parse the text file used for the exercises. This

included adding the ability to pause and restart the exercises, jump through the exercises, add comments to the file, and add a link to play music during a session.

Paul had extended the App with text-to-speech capability. Using Microsoft’s built in TSpVoice (which he demonstrated importing as a new Component Library into Delphi) he enabled the App to speak the name of the exercise.

Ian (who wasn’t present!) had done his work in Lazarus, itself an interesting feat, showing how cross-compatible Neil’s pascal code was. He had also extended the App with a more object-oriented approach towards the list of exercises with a List-Box that iterated through the list as the items were completed.

The code huddle worked well, and could be repeated in future. It was notable that viewing how different members styles of coding varied was itself educational.

In the remaining time Conrad Vermeulen showed his Debug Configuration Manager, and Richard Hatherall ranted about YAML, responding to Rob Lambden’s complaints about JSON.