The Professional Developer's
Guide and Reference

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April 30, 2002
Brian Burton in the June issue of Delphi Informant Magazine:

In the preface to Kylix: The Professional Developer's Guide and Reference , Jon Shemitz expresses his goal to make the book an enduring classic. Only time will tell if he achieves this goal, but one thing is certain: This book is thorough, readable, and provides a high level of detail.

This book targets software developers experienced in languages other than Delphi or Kylix who are beginning the transition to Kylix. Shemitz assumes the reader is comfortable writing applications and knows at least one other language; inexperienced developers new to object-oriented design and programming may be disappointed.

The detailed treatment of the language and tools, as well as the insight into the workings of the optimizer and APIs, will help an experienced C++ or Java programmer make the transition smoothly. Delphi developers should find the Linux- and Kylix-specific information helpful as well. This book is filled with interesting low-level details, hints, and techniques to improve code quality and avoid potential problem areas. The Linux sections point out the differences between the Windows and Linux APIs that should ease the Linux learning curve considerably.

Topics covered include Object Pascal syntax and techniques; the Kylix IDE; CLX components; CLX component development; and Linux system issues such as the file and process models, regular expressions, shell scripting, and Qt. Shemitz presents two projects, using code and text to explain the rationale behind the designs. There is more text than code throughout the book, and the prose is insightful and easy to read.

Database and network development aren't covered, and the book covers Kylix 1 rather than Kylix 2, so some of the "Kylix is not Delphi" sidebars may be out of date. Hopefully a second edition will cover these topics with equal thoroughness.

Developers in the market for a thorough treatment of Kylix and an excellent overview of Linux issues for Kylix development should read this book.

- Brian Burton