John Hardy has been programming since Turbo Pascal 6. His equation visualization application (Equation Solver) was one of the showcase entries at the Delphi 26th Showcase Challenge and he talked to us about his Delphi adventures throughout the years as a programmer. Visit the Equation Solver website for more information.
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When did you start using RAD Studio/Delphi and how long have you been using it?
I started with Turbo Pascal 6 and only switch over to Delphi when version 2 was released
What was it like building software before you had RAD Studio/Delphi?
When I was a student in Mechanical Engineering, we were taught Basic as a language. Some time later I became a lecturer at a Polytech (Technikon). The electrical students were being taught Turbo Pascal. At this time the lecturer in the electrical department convinced me to switch to Turbo Pascal 6 which was a huge improvement on Basic especially in terms of de-bugging and the graphical interface. Once Turbo Pascal became redundant I switched to Delphi 2. This was again a jump in technology and took some time to get used to how it worked. However, once I got used to how things worked there was no going back. I particularly liked the code insight which made debugging very simple.
How did RAD Studio/Delphi help you create your showcase application?
Early on with Delphi I found a book by Ray Kanopka on creating components. Some equations in Mechanical Engineering cannot be directly solved. HP calculators at the time could solve most equations. As one does, I wanted to know how! Delphi’s part in this was the tool that helped me achieve the goal of creating a component that could solve equations for real roots.
What made RAD Studio/Delphi stand out from other options?
Over time I have tried C# and visual studio. I feel most comfortable with Delphi, probably because I have spent so much time with this software.
What made you happiest about working with RAD Studio/Delphi?
I think the best thing about Delphi was the ease at which fully functional programs could be created and deployed.
What have you been able to achieve through using RAD Studio/Delphi to create your equation visualization application?
The type of projects I have been working on are not main stream. For me, as an amateur, the user friendly interface and ability to do anything makes Delphi the perfect choice.
What are some future plans for Equation Solver, your showcase visualization application?
I want to extend the equation solver to be able to solve for complex roots. Also I am working on an equation writer which allows equations to be entered in a more natural way – not as long string.
Thank you, John! Check out the link below to view his application submission in the Delphi Challenge.
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