Behind the Scenes at Bradsoft

Nick Bradbury posted a behind-the-scenes look at how he develops FeedDemon and TopStyle, including design-time screenshots of what his products look like in Delphi. Cool stuff.

Like Nick, I also do most of my work in Delphi (NetCaptor and other stuff that I can’t talk about right now). I remember talking with Nick about Delphi when version 5 was coming out, and how he was staying with version 4 for HomeSite. Looks like TopStyle is still in Delphi 4 while FeedDemon is in Delphi 7.

I’ve kept NetCaptor in Delphi 6 (there are several newer versions of Delphi)  because I don’t want to go through the hassle of porting it to work in a later version. Borland has a tendency to break things, especially in shell-related and common controls code, so its much easier to stay in D6. If its not broken, don’t fix it.

I won’t post design-time screenshots because they would be pretty boring – almost everything is created at runtime in NetCaptor. Like Nick, I use some components from TMSSoftware, and also from PlasmaTech. I always buy source code licenses so I can modify code when necessary.

One of the most important part of my development process is the use of SourceSafe for version control. I don’t need to share code between different developers, but SS is still invaluable to me. I can’t tell you how many times I break something from one build of NetCaptor to another and SourceSafe bails me out with its file version comparison stuff. The tools show me exactly which lines of code changed and generally makes it easy to pinpoint problems.

I use the Nullsoft Scriptable Installation System for my installers and have batch files which complete the build files. I like NSIS primarily because it creates great-looking installers which are VERY small. Why add 300 KB for an installer when your app is only 600KB?

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4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes at Bradsoft

  1. Adam –

    Thanks for “opening up” as well. I’m a D6 developer too, and understand what you mean re: updates breaking the IDE, etc. I’m hoping to post something I’m experimenting with on that front fairly soon, FWIW.

    At any rate, enough about me… I just wanted to post a quick comment to say “thanks” for this post, and also for all you’ve done to stir and encourage the shareware developer community in general. Keep up the great work. (And I can’t wait to see what your new “secret project(s)” are!).

  2. All you guys are nothing but magicians to me; when you do pull back the curtain, all I see is the white rabbit. It’s always fun to see how the mousetrap was built.

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