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Reading a lot of posts in the feature-requests-forum with all those pretty good ideas I noticed that most of the users asked Marven or Martijn to implement their ideas.
Judging from the few answeres to these requests I guess that only a few programmers might be too busy to implement everything or at least it might take endlessly. And of course everyone would like to see his idea implemented even the next day. :)
As this is an open-source project and the features that I'd like to see can rather easily be implemented I wanted to program them by myself. But where to get a Delphi-version to compile freeShip ?
After a bit of browsing I first downloaded "Delphi 2005 Personal Edition" (Delphi2005_PE_GE.exe, about 400 MB) and registered at the Borland-site to obtain a working Key. But as this version is rather "slim" a lot of packages needed to compile FreeShip are missing. So this didn't work. :(
In the forum I read that Delphi 7 is recommended. OK... some more browsing.
In the end I also downloaded the "Borland Developer Studio 2006 Architect - 30 day trial"(BDS2006TrialDownloadDE.exe, >500 MB) and installed it in parallel to the other version. With this software it is possible to compile FreeShip !
(Just a hint: the packages of BDS2006 cannot be used with "Delphi 2005 Personal Edition" - I deinstalled "Delphi 2005 Personal Edition")
So if you don't mind to download more than 500 MB for a 30day trial this is way to start programming and maybe :)) improving FreeShip.
As I have never used Delphi before here is a little step-by-step instruction how I set up this trial-software to run on my machine. Mind that I use the german version of Delphi. So the mentioned menu-entries might have a slightly different name.
1.) Download "Borland Developer Studio 2006 - 30 day trial" and register at the Borland-site to get a valid key. Both can be done here: http://www.codegear.com/tabid/138/Default.aspx
2.) Install the software and place the key-file that was send to you by email in the correct folder as instructed. (As I didn't know what would be needed I installed everything. This seems to be a little bit overloaded. - Maybe only installing "Delphi for MS Win32" will be better.(..if possible..))
3.) Download and unzip the FreeShip source-code.
4.) You should now be able to run the Delphi-software. (Delphi for MS Win32)
5.) As alredy mentioned in other posts in the forum you first need to compile "FreePackage.dpk" which is included with the source-code.
6.) So in the menu: File->Open project. Now choose ../FreeShip/packages/FreePackage.dpk (whereever you might have extracted the source-code to)
7.) Compile this project using the menu: Project->compile FreePackage (or just press Ctrl-F9)
8.) The project should now get successfully compiled. As in the project no special path was selected the results should be found in a path similar to "../Eigene Dateien/BorlandStudio-Projekte/Bpl" (This is for the german version of Windows XP Professional)
9.) Locate this folder with the file FreePackage.bpl
10.) Now that this file has been generated and when know where it is located we should close everything over the menu. File->Close all (?)
11.) We are getting closer. Open FreeShip: File->open project->.../FreeShip/FreeShip.dpr
12.) Before we can compile this we need to add the generated "FreePackage.bpl" to the list of the used packages for this project: Project->options->packages->add. After selecting "FreePackage.bpl" from its path this file should have been aded to the list above. You may now lose this menu.
13.) Actually we should now be able to successfully compile FreeShip. But first you should save the project now to make sure you don't have to repeat step 12 every time you load the project.
14.) Compile the project: Project->compile FreeShip. (No errors should be generated...)
15.) Start FreeShip: Start->start (or press F9)
If everything worked well you should now (at least for 30 days :) ) be able to mess with the source-code of FreeShip. Mind that I use the german version of Delphi. So the abovew mentioned menu-entries might have a slightly different name. If you have a problem don't ask me... - I don't know enough to help you. I'm glad it works for me now.
Make sure to program any changes in the same way as it is now and make useful comments when you think it might be needed for others to understand. (Not every line...)
When you programmed a new feature and would like to make it public you should contact the admins and send them the new code with all information and a Changelist to release it in the next version. If everybody starts to release his own version for download the whole project might soon split up and end in an uncoordinated chaos.
But I guess you already knew all this. :)
I hope this was helpful.
If you should get an error like
[Pascal Error] FreeShipUnit.pas(11850): E2035 Not enough actual parameters
[Pascal Fatal Error] FreeControlPointFrm.pas(83): F2063 Could not compile used unit 'FreeShipUnit'
then read this post:
--> if Assigned(OnChangeLayerData) then OnChangeLayerData(self);
Should work like that...