The DataCAD Developer Network (DDN) is an online resource for information and support for DCAL® (DataCAD Applications Language) developers as well as anyone interested in creating fonts, toolbars, hatch patterns, or linetypes for use in DataCAD.

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#71877 by Jsosnowski
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm

I did a lot of DCAL programmings back in the last decade but stopped using Datacad directly due to employment circumstances. Now that I am retired I have been digging back into a lot of the code I wrote back then and see a couple potentially useful Dcal macros worth pursuing. Over the past month or two I have been reviewing my code and have begun updating it to utilize DCAL for Delphi.

My last version of Datacad was 12 and I have been reviewing the feature updates for later versions. I noticed that Datacad website page for v19 lists several new DCAL methods but no documentation on their use. The only DCAL manual I find is the version for Word 6. Is there any current documentation and listings for advances since Datacad 12? Specifically I am looking for any methods that access and manipulate entities such as the new walls-doors-windows interface, xrefs, bitmaps etc...
#71879 by dhs
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:00 am
I would have to agree that the DCAL documentation is pretty poor .... you can download the latest version of DataCAD as a demo and it will include the DCAL manual as a PDF. Although the pdf version contains an alphabetic listing of routines and an index that I don't think were in the Word version, I don't think it contains documentation about any of the new procedures (and it continues mistakes that were in the original manual).
Having said that, I think the parameter names of the new built in procedures in DataDAD 19 are reasonably self explanatory. I have used most of them without too much fuss, but feel free to ask specific questions on this forum if you need to.

I don't think that DCAL has been updated much to support the new entities etc. I am just starting to look at DCAL for Delphi myself and assume that it is more up-to-date in terms of allowing access to the new features but I cannot say this with any authority as I am only just learning about it myself.
The documentation for DCAL for Delphi appears to be pretty non-existent. You will need to look at the samples provided as well as some posts from MFM on this forum relating to DCAL for Delphi. and ask questions on this forum if there is something you can't find (and there most likely will be things you can't find). You can use Seach/'Find in Files' command in the Delphi UI to try to locate things, but will most likely still need to ask questions on this forum (e.g. I spent a bit of effort searching for 'zbase', but could not find it until I asked on this forum and Dave G advised that it was called 'basez' in the UVariables module). I am starting to find my way around the Delphi modules now, but it is by no means obvious where things are when you start out. A lot of things have the same names as the old DCAL, but there are also plenty of differences.

Good luck with your development.
David Henderson
#71884 by Jsosnowski
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:15 pm
Thanks David.

I am in the middle of converting a number of DCAL modules into Delphi units. Simple but tedious. Some of them go back to the early 1990s. I laugh at how much my programming approach has evolved and how many more options Delphi permits. I agree that the UINterfaces declarations are pretty clear. I was hopeful that new entities such as paragraph text and automatic walls might be more accessible.

I expect to start test driving macros soon and will take you up on the offer to ask questions then. Likewise feel free to ask me. I have been spending a bit of time working with Delphi forms and components recently and have unraveled how a few of them work.


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