Now that you've been introduced to the Delphi environment and have seen an overview of the Delphi language and the base elements of component library, we are ready to delve into the use of components and the development of the user interface of applications. This is really what Delphi is about. Visual programming using components is a key feature of this development environment.
Delphi comes with a large number of ready-to-use components. I won't describe every component in detail, examining each of its properties and methods; if you need this information, you can find it in the Help system. The aim of this chapter and the following ones of this book is to show you how to use some of the advanced features offered by the Delphi predefined components to build applications and to discuss specific programming techniques.
I'll start with a comparison of the VCL and VisualCLX libraries and coverage of the core classes (particularly TControl). Then I'll examine the various visual components, because choosing the right basic controls will often help you get a project underway more quickly.