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-- by Martin Heller
For a long time, I've toyed with the idea of using Borland Delphi for my programming projects, and each time I've sighed and gone back to C++. I don't need to sigh anymore. Borland's new C++Builder is a hybrid of Delphi and Borland C++ that largely combines the best of both worlds.
Delphi is attractive because of its elegant visual design environment, its good selection of prebuilt components, its form inheritance, its lightning-fast compiler and its two-way tools, which synchronize source code and visual design.
The general development paradigm in C++Builder is just like Delphi's: Drag components from the palette onto the Form Designer, set their properties with the Object Inspector, then double-click on components to add event handlers. Typically, the code you write in event handlers makes extensive use of component objects' methods and properties, which is a mixed blessing. You don't have much code to write, but it tends to have a lot of pointers. For instance, to add the contents of an edit box to a list box when a button is pressed, you can type the code ListBox1-Items-Add(Edit1-Text); into the Button1Click method of the Tform1 object.
C++Builder generates C++ code when you do visual design, but it compiles both C++ and Object Pascal, giving you the ability to leverage any existing Delphi applications.
This is the environment I want to use for my next Windows application programming project. It replaces Microsoft's Visual C++ 4.0 on our Recommended List.