Report to the Delphi Community on Project JEDI

By: John Kaster

Abstract: Alan C. Moore, the Project JEDI director, provides an update on the many projects under development with the Project JEDI team

Project JEDI

Project JEDI has an ambitious goal -- to be the principal location for open source tools and code in the Delphi community. In its few short years the Joint Endeavor of Delphi Innovators has grown exponentially. From a group dedicated to making new technologies available to Delphi developers by translating APIs, it has expanded to become an umbrella accommodating a variety of projects, from educational resources to programming tools. Following in the tradition established by my predecessors, I will present here a status report on the Project. I will be emphasizing some of the newer projects and those in which important developments have taken place. For information on other projects please visit our Web site, http://delphi-jedi.org.

JEDI Version Control System

One of our newest open source projects is the JEDI Version Control System (JVCS). The leaders of this project are Ondrej Kelle and Thomas Huber; the homepage is: http://freevcs-client.sourceforge.net where you may find additional information and join the team. The purpose of this project is to create a replacement for the FreeVCS client. Be aware that this project is independent from the original FreeVCS. Speaking of SourceForge, you can get an overview of the many existing JEDI projects that are now located there by visiting this fine site at http://projectjedi.sourceforge.net/.

JEDI-Math

A very new project that is just starting its life is JEDI-Math, located at http://jedimath.sourceforge.net/. Its goal is to develop an OpenSource Math library for Delphi and potentially Kylix. Although young, this group (coordinated by Chris Eyre) has grown rapidly. The project has been strengthened by dedicated new members and code donations (among them is the recently donated source code from the "Scientific Programmer's Toolkit for Turbo Pascal"). JEDI-Math could very well soon become an important project within JEDI.

DARTH

Another fairly new project (led by Alan Moore) is DARTH, JEDI's C-to-Pascal Header Converter Project. DARTH is not new for Project JEDI; the previous C++ to Delphi Team introduced it. Created by Mike Lischke, the acronym stands for Delphi Artificial Translator Helper. We were most fortunate that a long time JEDI supporter and leader in the Delphi community, Bob Swart, donated his popular HeadConv utility (including the source code) to Project JEDI. Alan Moore refactored the code with Dr Bob's advice, releasing a preliminary version in May, 2002. Project JEDI's DARTH Team will oversee future maintenance and development of this tool. This is an example of a JEDI project that became dormant and is now coming back to life. For additional information visit the DARTH Team homepage at http://delphi-jedi.org/TEAM_DARTH_HOME.

From a Business Application Framework to Games

JEDI projects cover the waterfront, from the world of business to the world of games. The JEDI Business Application Framework (http://www.delphi-jedi.org/Jedi:TEAM_JBIZ_HOME), after a period of relatively low activity, is once again generating renewed interest within the JEDI Community. On the other extreme we have Dominique Louis' JEDI-SDL (http://www.savagesoftware.com.au/DelphiGamer/JEDI-SDL/) project and George Birbilis' JEDI-Quicktime project (http://www.delphi-jedi.org/TEAM_QTM_HOME). The former is designed to facilitate multi-platform game creation (Linux, MacOS, Win32 and more) using various native high-performance media interfaces (for video, audio, etc) using the low level SDL API. The latter supports the playing of Quicktime movies.

JEDI Code Library

One of the more active projects, the JEDI Code Library (JCL), produces and maintains a library of thoroughly tested and fully documented utility functions and non-visual classes that can be used easily in Delphi and C++ Builder projects. The JCL just released version 1.21. Routines in this library are generally designed for the Win32 (MS Windows) environment but there is also some support for Linux and Kylix. To learn more or get involved, visit the JCL Home page at http://sourceforge.net/projects/jcl/.

JEDI Visual Component Library

Even larger than the JCL is the massive and popular JEDI Visual Component Library (JVCL). This library contains over 300 components and is growing continuously. The JVCL team just released an Alpha version of the newly restructured JVCL 2.0 accomplished by Peter Thornqvist. Their Help team (coordinated by Marcel Bestebroer) is in process of writing help files for these components, but would benefit from extra volunteers. Most components, however, do have example programs that demonstrate their use. To learn more about JVCL, download the latest version, or get involved, visit their home page at http://jvcl.sourceforge.net/.

JEDI API Library

The oldest part of Project JEDI is the API Library. In some ways this is the most mature part of the product, with all of the API conversions graded to indicate their level of compliance with certain standards. You can learn more about these standards and download any of these conversions on the main API page, http://www.delphi-jedi.org/APILIBRARY.

Notable among the translations is Marcel van Brakel's complete translation of the Win32 API. Of course, most of the conversions are for the Windows environment but there are also several cross-platform APIs including Matthias Thoma's OpenGL implementation and Robert Marquardt's helper for dynamic link libraries and shared objects.

Tools we use

Increasingly, projects are using a similar set of tools. Many of these have been donated by sponsors of Project JEDI. For example, we now have an unified issue (bug) tracker that can be used by any JEDI project that wants to use it. The current set up supports the projects JCL, JVCL, API Library and Linux API Library. Through the generosity of its producers, Doc-O-Matic (http://www.doc-o-matic.com) has been made available for our help file writers. We also produce tools for programmers. Among these is a JEDI Editor, designed for programmers (http://sourceforge.net/projects/jediedit). It has recently added Encryption to its feature set.

You win some, you lose some

Unfortunately the news is not entirely good. Recently we had to abandon a project that had been started in 1999. That project was aimed at creating an open source JEDI Component Builder with a strong UML component. Because of insufficient interest and participation we had to cancel that project so that we could devote our limited resources (people) to other parts of the project.

Support for JEDI

There are other projects that are part of JEDI, and we have close relationships with other open-source endeavors such as the Indy Project. You can learn more about these and the Project itself by visiting our main site, http://delphi-jedi.org/. You can also join our newsgroups that have been provided through the generosity of Rene Tschaggelar (http://www.talkto.net/). Our main newsgroup is news://forums.talkto.net/jedi.general. There are also newsgroups for some of the major projects that anyone, team members or general users, may join. The Project JEDI team also worked on materials for Kylix 3 and the Delphi 7 Companion CDs. We have included updated versions of many of our most popular resources on those CD for the free use of the Delphi community.

Come join us

To conclude, and to borrow an American cliche, Project JEDI is of developers, by developers, and for developers. In other words, it's your Project as much as it's ours. Please help yourself to the fruits of our labor. But when you start to feel a little guilty about getting all of these goodies for free, think about where you might be able to help out. Not only will you gain a lot of satisfaction and new experiences, you'll make friends with some of the coolest people in the Delphi community.

May the Source be with you!

Alan C. Moore
Project JEDI Director

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