Saturday, January 13, 2018

Playing With Fire(Monkey)

If you are like me and have been apprehensive about using FireMonkey let me offer you a renewed sense of hope. It's unfortunate that this hopefulness comes as the Delphi community morns the loss of Pawel Glowacki. However, Pawel will continue to influence at least this Delphi programmer, perhaps you, and undoubtedly many, many more.

I discovered the existence of Pawel's "Expert Delphi" book while reading one of the many R.I.P. blog posts. I sent myself a reminder to go purchase his book. And, this weekend I did purchase his book. I'm glad I did. I look forward to "Playing with Fire(Monkey)"!

In August I blogged "Why My Next Software Product Will Be Windows VCL Only". Well, this book is not about the VCL. Makes my VCL statement kind of ironic, don't you think. This book is about using Delphi FireMonkey to create cross-platform Mobile Apps from one code base. I did not know this about his book when I wrote that post. Taking on a new coding platform is a daunting task. I'm stepping up to the plate and taking on this task with the help of Pawel's book. I welcome you to join me in discovering how to "Play with Fire(Monkey)".

Expert Delphi - Preface

The world of a mobile app developer is getting more and more complicated. The technology is not standing still. Every day, new versions of mobile operating systems are released to the market. Mobile devices are getting new capabilities. User expectations are constantly growing, and it is becoming increasingly harder to meet them.

The only way to meet and exceed all challenges in the contemporary world of mobile development is to become a developer superhero! Super heroes have super tools. In this book, we are going to embark on the journey of mastering Delphi development. We will learn how to gain amazing productivity powers and rapidly build stunning cross-platform mobile apps from one codebase.

We will start with getting comfortable with using the Delphi IDE. Then, we will review the key constructs of the Object Pascal language and everyday programmer tasks, so you can easily understand and write solid and maintainable source code. Over the course of this book, the fun levels are only going to increase. We will start our adventure with mobile development with Delphi from building small projects that will make you feel like a real Delphi developer. Having mastered simple things, you will be ready for doing more serious stuff. We will go deep into understanding the concept of FireMonkey styles, which is the cornerstone of building stunning cross-platform user interfaces that will make the difference in the end user experience of your apps. The rest of the journey is all about gaining practical knowledge of using more complex Delphi frameworks. We will get down to the metal and harness the full power of mobile hardware and operating systems. We will be working with sensors, extending to the Internet of Things, building data-driven user interfaces, embedding mobile databases, integrating with REST web services, architecting scalable, multiuser backends, and more.

This book is packed with practical code examples and best practices for you to become an excellent mobile developer!

Expert- Delphi - Table of Contents


  • Delphi installation
  • Delphi compilers and toolchains
  • Hello World app
  • Deploying to mobile devices
  • Summary


  • Do you speak Object Pascal?
  • Object Pascal Phrase Book
  • Summary


  • Parallel Programming Library
  • Working with files
  • JSON
  • XML
  • Summary


  • Drawing in code
  • Get moving with timers
  • The power of parenting
  • Touch me
  • Game of Memory
  • Summary


  • Cross-platform 3D rendering
  • Using Context3D
  • Custom Wireframe component
  • Objects 3D
  • Moving Earth
  • Building an interactive 3D scene
  • Using 3D models
  • Starfield simulation
  • Mixing 3D and 2D
  • Summary


  • Working with built-in styles
  • Using custom styles
  • Embedding styles as resources
  • Customizing styles
  • Using frames
  • Working with inherited views
  • Previewing forms on devices
  • Summary


  • James Bond's toy
  • What I'm running on?
  • The life of an app
  • Sensing the world
  • Taking photos
  • Using share sheets
  • Camera, light, action!
  • Working with address book
  • Notify me!
  • Navigating the web
  • Working with maps
  • Creating and consuming Android services
  • Delphi language bridges
  • Summary


  • Communication protocols
  • Understanding BLE
  • Connecting to things with ThingConnect
  • Getting close with beacons
  • Proximity solutions with BeaconFence
  • App tethering
  • Summary


  • Architecting data-driven apps
  • Modeling data
  • Choosing a database
  • Accessing databases with FireDAC
  • Building data-driven user interface
  • Using visual live bindings
  • Fast user interface prototyping
  • Summary


  • Understanding web services
  • Native HTTP client
  • Consuming XML SOAP web services
  • Integrating with REST services
  • Backend as a service client
  • Integrating with the cloud
  • Summary


  • Delphi and multi-tier architectures
  • Getting low-level with WebBroker
  • Do it yourself with DataSnap
  • Easy REST API publishing with RAD Server
  • Summary


  • Deploying to App Stores
  • Enhancing your apps
  • Summary


  • What we have learned
  • Staying on top of everything
  • Your next Delphi mobile app
  • Summary

Expert Delphi - Prerequisites

You are expected to have a basic knowledge of Delphi and an interest in building crossplatform mobile apps for Android and iOS.

The Delphi IDE is a Windows program, so you will need a physical or virtual Windows installation. In order to develop for iOS, you will need a Mac computer. You will also need an Enterprise or Architect license for Delphi itself. In the beginning of the first chapter of this book, we cover the installation process of Delphi in a great detail.

Purchase Link:

Semper Fi,
Gunny Mike

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I've Been Telling the Wrong Product Stories

This post has nothing to do with Delphi other than it's the software development tool I use. In November of last year I finally purchased Microsoft Office 365. A couple days later I received a promotional email introducing me to Microsoft Virtual Academy (

I visited the MVA site, signed up for a free account, and by pure dumb luck stumbled across an amazing set of videos designed to teach you how to create stories. The video series is called "Crash Course: Analytics Storytelling for Impact". ( This video series was put together to teach people how to present data analytics in a very impactful way. Although it's focus is on how to present data analytics, it has a very unique set of videos all about stories and storytelling.

The storyteller is Mario Juarez and he is phenomenal. The third video "Definition of a Story" ( hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if everything all of the sudden fell into place. All the previous stuff I had read or heard about marketing such as; don't sell features sell benefits finally made sense.

In the past no matter how hard I had tried I always wound up telling what Jaurez refers to as "transactional stories". The description of the thing I did. The transaction or process. What I built, how it works, the sequencing of events. Sound familiar.

The stories I need to tell are what Juarez calls "transcendent stories". These are stories of how human life changed because of the interaction with your product. Transcendent stories go to the place of human experience and human values and human meaning.

Watch this video series. They will change they way you talk about your products.

The first story I'm working on is for my Credit Card Math product. I've created a fictitious customer persona called Kate. The story I'm creating is "How Credit Card Math Saved Kate's Marriage." The story model I'm using is defined by Kurt Vonnegut as "Man in hole". (

Here's a sneak peak at Kate:

My first video is taking me longer than I expected. Hopefully it will be completed soon. I'm very excited to see how this whole process goes.

Semper Fi,
Gunny Mike