Finding answers to your Delphi questions

Searching the public newsgroups

I’ve been reading $g(usenet) newsgroups for a lot of years and when $g(deja news) came on the seen it opened up a whole new avenue to finding answers on the newsgroups. Of course, deja news was eventually acquired by Google and things have improved even further. If you’re ever stuck looking for answers to your Delphi questions one great resource is to use the Advanced Search page of Google Groups.

The next step is to use this great asset called TeamB. All TeamB members must clearly identify themselves when posting to the newsgroups and you can use that to your advantage when searching the newsgroups.  For example, head over to Google Groups and type the following into the search field:

group:borland.public.delphi.vcl.* author:TeamB

This will return a page of results where a TeamB member has replied and it’s likely an answer to the question being asked. If you have a GMail account you can even create a Group Alert (here is the FAQ on Alerts) and receive gmail whenever your query updates. I can’t seem to find any sort of feed (RSS or Atom) for these contents which surprises me but regardless, if you’re writing VCL applications the above query is bound to help you at some point probably sooner rather than later. BTW, the above query targets the VCL newsgroups specifically so if you’re interested in a different group you’ll want to change the query accordingly.

When searching fails

If you end up exhausting your search options and still haven’t found the answer to your question your next “best bet” is to post your question to the $g(Borland public newsgroups). First, look for the most appropriate group for the subject matter and be sure to follow Eric Raymond’s “$g(How To Ask Questions The Smart Way).
[Updated: April 4, 2007] Added section on posting to the public newsgroups.

[UPDATE: May 6th] I’ve created a Delphi specific search engine which you can also use to find answers to your Delphi questions.