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In the course of our Delphi and AI development, we have bought and read a number of books.  This page is a collection of the most helpful books we have read and can recommend.  This is a preliminary list and will grow.  Note that this list is a little top-heavy for intermediate to advanced books as these are the books we need and read.

Delphi Books

Mastering Delphi 7/Mastering Delphi 2005

By Marco Cantu
ISBN 078214201X

         In the beginning (way back in the Delphi 1 stone age :-) ), there were books like Delphi Unleashed, Delphi Developers Guide, and Mastering Delphi.  Great books at the time for those new to Delphi.  However, while every new version of Delphi spawned a new version of these books, these books did not grow with you.  They stayed stuck talking to beginners only - once you bought one, you never needed another.  Happily, Marco Cantu broke from the mold with his latest Mastering Book.  Experts and Intermediate Delphi Users will both find nuggets of gold in this book.  It was a treat to find a widely ranging Delphi book that did not just cover the basics but also covered advanced topics in a informative and interesting way.  Recommended highly.

Secrets of Delphi 2

By Ray Lischner
Waite Group Press
ISBN 1-57169-026-3
( of print
          This book is out of print and seemingly out of date (after all, the title even says Delphi 2).  However, this book is easily the most used book in our library.  Where some books tackle the easy problems and leave the rest "to the reader", this book works on the hard problems.  Especially for the component writer but even for every Delphi programmer, this book is a must have.

Delphi in a Nutshell

By Ray Lischner
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc
ISBN 1-56592-659-5
         Another invaluable book from Ray Lischner.  This book should probably come with every copy of Delphi.  It is an excellent reference to the object Pascal language.  The only complaint I have about this book is the cover, it curls badly and is already coming unbound.

Ready-To-Run Delphi 3.0 Algorithms

By Rod Stephens, Kenneth R. Stephens
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0471254002
         A weakness of the delivered Delphi product is the lack of data structures: TList and TStringList are pretty much all you get.  Many times, to efficiently code a component or program, you need other data structures such as heaps, hash tables, or trees.  It is up to you to code these up; worse, the VCL only uses these classes and their derivatives so any inefficiencies are built into the VCL.  This book provides many different data structures for Delphi (I only wish I had this book when I was coding up all my structures).  This book fills a gap in making Delphi programs faster, not just easier to program.

Developing Custom Delphi 3 Components (Visual Developer Magazine)

By Ray Konopka
ASIN: 1576101126
          This is an excellent book to developing Delphi components.  The writing style is clear and the examples (and provided components) are first rate.  The author is obviously knowledgeable and professional.  His support of the book is also excellent.  Combine this book with "Secrets of Delphi 2" and almost no component is too hard to make.

Fundamentals of Data Structures in Pascal

By Ellis Horowitz, Sartaj Sahni
W H Freeman & Co.
ISBN: 0716782634
         Before Ready-to-run came out, this was our reference for data structures (using the second edition).  Now in its fourth edition, this book is a valuable addition to any Delphi programmers library.


Artificial Intelligence Books

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

By Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig
Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0131038052
          An excellent introductory text to artificial intelligence.  It is very general and the examples are not in an object oriented language (sometimes making them hard to adapt), but a good book overall.  We are eagerly awaiting the second edition to this book (due late 2000), which should also be using Java for the examples.

Expert Systems : Principles and Programming

By Joseph Giarratano, Gary Riley
Pws Pub Co
ISBN: 0534950531
          A good book about expert systems with plenty of examples. The second half of the book is devoted to CLIPS (which the Inference Engine Component Suite is based on) and gives great examples on the design and development of expert systems.

The Fuzzy Systems Handbook

By Earl Cox
AP Professional
ISBN: 0121942708
          A great text for fuzzy logic and fuzzy systems.  The author does a good job of explaining the advantages for fuzzy logic, and also what it can't do.  The code is in C++ but the Fuzzy Logic of the Inference Engine provides the capabilities described in the book.

AI Application Programming

By M. Tim Jones
Charles River Media
ISBN: 1584504218
          If Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach is for the scientists (theorists), this book would be for the engineers.  This book's strength is that it gets its hands dirty and shows how to program and use different AI techniques.



Game Programming Books


Game Programming Gems

By Mark Deloura (Editor)
Charles River Media
ISBN: 1584500492
          Finally!  A book I can really recommend about game programming!  The only caveat I have is that the examples are all in C++ but otherwise this is an excellent game programming resource.  Like the title says, as you delve deep into this book you are rewarded with nuggets of information that solve real game programming problems.


Real-Time Strategy Game Programming Using MS DirectX 6.0

By Mickey Kawick
Wordware Publishing
ISBN: 1556226446
          A good book for introductory game programming in the Real-Time Strategy genre.  Unlike most game development books, the author deals with strategy game issues, which makes this book valuable despite some issues.  The AI section is weak (there is a better pathfinder on our Downloads page) and he concentrates solely on 2D strategy games.  Also, all examples are in C++.  Apparently, there is supposed to be an updated version for later versions of DirectX.


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Last modified: September 20, 2010