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Tip of the Day
Language: Delphi Language
Expertise: Beginner
May 9, 1997

DOS protected to Delphi 32-bit

Question:
At present we have a large application that runs under DOS protected mode. It is written in Borland Pascal 7.0. We have a longer term project to convert it to compile in Delphi 2.0. This application creates its own visual interface using the DOS 80x50 screen. It populates it by first writing to a memory buffer, then copying to the video memory.

It is of great importance that we be able to compile this program in Delphi 2.0; however, we do not wish to convert all to proper Windows API due to time contraints. We wish to be able to use the text screen as usual but from inside Delphi 2. How can we achieve this?

Another related problem. can we run the program as usual in a dos box dos 95 or NT but which are 16 bit and use 32bit routines from some other libraries?

Thanx for your assistance.

Answer:
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're defeating the purpose of Delphi — and Windows, for that matter — by running your program in a DOS box. I realize you've spent a lot of time building the custom interface. But what's more important — what your program does, or what it looks like?

You'll spend more time converting your screen drawing routines to Windows-compatible routines (yes, even in a DOS box, you'll have to use WinAPI calls) than if you bit the bullet and created your forms from scratch. It's an unbelievably quick process to build an entire UI in Delphi, so I don't think you'll lose much time.

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