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JPPack

VCL components for Delphi

Last modified: 02.05.2018

JPPack

A small collection of VCL components for Delphi XE2 - 10.2 Tokyo

GitHub repository: https://github.com/jackdp/JPPack



Overview

JPPack is a small collection of VCL components for Delphi.

Supported Delphi versions: XE2, XE3, XE4, XE5, XE6, XE7, XE8, 10.0 Seattle, 10.1 Berlin, 10.2 Tokyo.

These components were created within a few years, they were repeatedly modified, improved, and expanded with the functions needed in the implementation of specific projects. Generally, there is a small chaos, but I think everything works OK (I hope!).

I am no expert on writing VCL components and helped myself by analyzing the source codes (and using fragments) of various free Delphi components, especially Cindy Components and PngComponents.

Cindy Components

Some of the functions and procedures related to graphics processing were taken from the Cindy Components. The gradient related routines were almost entirely taken from this package (VCL.cyGraphics.pas file).

The author of the Cindy Components is Júlio Maurício Antunes Piao. The sources are available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/tcycomponents/
In the source files in which I use functions written by Júlio, I have added relevant information with a link to his page.

PngComponents

After long and fierce battles with various buttons from different packages of components for Delphi (commercial and free), I finally found ones that displays the PNG files correctly - TPngBitBtn and TPngSpeedButton from the PngComponents package. I have never had problems with them, unlike many, many others. For this reason, in the implementation of my buttons I decided to rely on the code from this package.

In my buttons, I use 3 files from the PngComponent package: PngFunctions.pas, PngButtonFunctions.pas and PngImageList.pas.

In order to not force potential users to install the full PngComponents package (although I recommend doing it), I decided to include these three files in the JPPack. To prevent any name conflicts, I added the prefix PNGC. to the name of each file (and unit).

The original author of the PngComponents package is Martijn Saly (www.thany.org). The project is currently maintained by Uwe Raabe. Sources are available at https://bitbucket.org/uweraabe/pngcomponents

In the folder PngComponents_Docs_License you can find PngComponents package license, changelog and documentation.


Components

TJppPanel

A highly customizable panel. TCustomPanel descendant.
It was written on the basis of one of the panels included in the Cindy Components package (but I do not remember exactly which one).

Upper and lower part

The panel is divided into two parts - upper and lower. For each of them you can define colors separately. The size of the upper part (relative to the lower) can also be modified (property Appearance.UpperGradientPercent). For example, you can set the upper gradient size to 30%, then the bottom will automatically take up the rest of the panel surface (70%). You can also completely eliminate the bottom gradient by setting the UpperGradientPercent property to 100.

If you need to fill the upper part with a gradient and the bottom one with a solid color, set the desired gradient colors of the upper part, then set the same starting and ending color of the gradient in the lower part.

If you do not want to use a gradient at all, you can easily turn it off by setting the Appearance.DrawGradient property to False, then the Appearance.BackgroundColor color will be used to fill the panel background with a solid color.

Borders

You can set the thickness, color, style and visibility of the panel borders. Each border is configured separately. For example, you can set the upper border with a pen width = 10 in red, the lower border in green and a pen width = 2, and hide the left and right borders completely. If you do not want to display borders at all, set Appearance.DrawBorder to False and BevelOuter to bvNone. You have a full control.

Lines, captions, bars

Unlimited collections of horizontal lines, vertical lines, captions and horizontal bars.
Properties: HorizontalLines, VerticalLines, Captions, HorizontalBars.

Each line (vertical and horizontal) is configured separately and can be set here all standard parameters for the lines - the color, weight, style. The lines can be positioned relative to the edges of the panel or centered.

The standard panel has only one caption, which is always centered and can not be changed. TJppPanel can contain any number of captions. They can be centered or positioned relative to the corners of the panel. Moreover, each caption has its own font (TFont) and you can freely set font styles, size and color for each caption separately.

The horizontal bars are simply rectangles, the size and position of which you can freely set. In addition, you can set the color, thickness and style of the rectangle's borders. Finally, each rectangle can be filled with a solid color or gradient.


TJppPngButton

TJppPngButton is an extended TPngBitBtn button from the PngComponents package.

The button can be in one of five states: normal, hot, down (pressed), focused and disabled. For each state you can set a whole range of display parameters: upper and bottom gradient/solid color (similarly to TJppPanel), border color, style and width, font parameters (color, name, size, style). You can also turn off drawing border and/or background (Appearance.<STATE>.TransparentFrame / Appearance.<STATE>.TransparentBackground).

The visibility of the button caption can be quickly changed using the Appearance.ShowCaption property.
If you do not want to display the focus rectangle on the active button, set property Appearance.FocusRect to frtNone.
If you want the button to be displayed in system colors, set property Appearance.DefaultDrawing to True (all custom colors defined in the Appearance.<STATES> will then be ignored).

TJppPngButton - Color maps (Color schemes)

The number of all colors for all button states is really big, so I decided to make it easier to manage the displayed colors using ready-to-use color schemes (color maps).

I have created 36 different color schemes for TJppPngButton. To change the active color scheme, select one of the schemes available in the ColorMapType property in the Object Inspector. Of course, you can also change the color scheme in the code at runtime.

Over half of the color schemes I have prepared are schemes that mimic the VCL styles available from the XE2 version of the Delphi environment. All such schemes begin with the prefix cmtVcl. These VCL color schemes work even if you do not enable VCL styles support in your program at all. You can also, for example, turn on the Charcoal Dark Slate VCL style for the application, and cmtVclCarbon for the TJppPngButtons. There is absolutely no problem.

TJppPngButton Color Maps Designer

All color schemes I have prepared in the TJppPngButton Color Maps Designer program, which is located in the repository in the demos directory.

This program allows you to quickly create new and modify existing color schemes for TJppPngButton. All color changes are visible immediately (on the left side). You can also freely change the background color of the panel with the test buttons in the Background color combo box.

You can save the color scheme to an INI file and then load it in your program using LoadColorMapFromIniFile method, eg:

// You must add JPP.PngButton.ColorMaps unit to uses section.
JppPngButton.LoadColorMapFromIniFile(
'MyColorScheme.ini', 'JppPngButton_ColorMap',
TJppPngButtonIniColorFormat.icfDefault
);

In the folder with the TJppPngButton Color Maps Designer program you will find all my color schemes stored in INI files, as well as files with the *.colors extension. These are color palettes that you can view and edit in my (not yet finished but fully functioning) Colors program.

TJppPngButton Color Maps Designer can also be treated as a demonstration program of one of my other components: TJppColorComboBox.


TJppBasicSpeedButton

This button is very similar to TJppPngButton, but it is based on TGraphicControl, so it does not take the focus (it has no focused state). Color schemes support is not implemented yet.


TJppColorComboBox

A ComboBox displaying a list of user-defined colors.







The current color can be read and set using property Selected: TColor.

The width of the colored rectangles displayed in the list can be changed using the Param_ColorRectWidth property.

If you do not want to display the RGB value of the colors, set Param_ShowRGB property to False.

Internal controls

The TJppColorComboBox has a built-in label (BoundLabel) so there is no need to add a separate label describing the component's function, which is common practice.

In addition, the component has three built-in auxiliary buttons:

  1. ButtonChangeColor - After clicking it, the system color selection window (TColorDialog) is displayed. If the user selects a color and presses OK, it will be stored in the Selected property.
  2. ButtonCopyColor - After the user clicks, the currently selected color is copied to the system clipboard.
  3. ButtonPasteColor - After clicking, the current color is set to the one from the clipboard (if it is correct).

All of these buttons are inherited from the TJppBasicSpeedButton class, so you can freely set PNG icons and background colors, borders, fonts, for all available button states: normal, hot, down and disabled.
Moreover, these buttons have built-in support for the actions. In the Action property of each button you can set any action registered in the TActionList which is to be executed after clicking the button. But with one caveat, you must do this at runtime, eg:

JppColorComboBox.ButtonChangeColor.Action := actMyAction; // actMyAction: Vcl.ActnList.TAction

The ButtonSpacing property specifies the space between these internal buttons.

History

Each color selected by the user, but not yet in the color list, is automatically added to the end of the list. Thanks to this the user of your application has access to the history of previously selected colors.

Adding colors

You can add colors to the list in two ways: using the Items property or AddColor procedure.

In the first method, you must add the appropriate entries to Items. Each entry should have the form:

color_name=R,G,B

where R, G and B denote the intensity of red, green and blue colors.
The color name is optional. You can add color without a name using: =R,G,B.

Example:

Aquamarine=51,204,204
Purple=128,0,128
Pink=255,0,255
Plum=153,51,102
=50,100,150
=100,150,200

The last two colors have no names.

In the second way, you must call the AddColors method and pass the color name and color value, eg:

JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Red', clRed);
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Bright Yellow', RGB(252, 249, 225));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('', RGB(75, 150, 225)); // <-- color wihout name

Additional information

If you want to remove all default colors from the list and use only your own colors, you need to know about one thing: after selecting the first element of the list by the user, a dialog box for choosing a color is displayed. Therefore, the first element of the list should be Select color..., Choose color... or something similar.

The items with text - (one dash) are treated as separators. This allows you to create several separated color groups.

Example:

JppColorComboBox.Items.BeginUpdate;
try
JppColorComboBox.Clear;
JppColorComboBox.Items.Add('Select color...'); // The first item
JppColorComboBox.Items.Add('-'); // Separator
// Blue colors
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Light Blue', RGB(173,216,230));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Sky Blue', RGB(135,206,235));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Deep Sky Blue', RGB(000,191,255));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Dodger Sky Blue', RGB(030,144,255));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Steel Blue', RGB(070,130,180));
JppColorComboBox.Items.Add('-'); // Separator
// Red colors
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Light Salmon', RGB(255,160,122));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Salmon', RGB(250,128,114));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Crimson', RGB(205,092,092));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Red', RGB(255,000,000));
JppColorComboBox.Items.Add('-'); // Separator
// Gray colors
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Gainsboro', RGB(220,220,220));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Silver', RGB(192,192,192));
JppColorComboBox.AddColor('Gray', RGB(128,128,128));
finally
JppColorComboBox.Items.EndUpdate;
end;
JppColorComboBox.ItemIndex := 2;

Result:


TJppLinkLabel

Label with additional fonts (TFont) for 5 states: normal, visited-normal, hot, visited-hot and disabled. It is inherited from TCustomLabel.

In the URL property you can enter the website address that will be displayed (in the default browser) when the user clicks the label. The ClickActionType property should be set to catGoToURL.
In fact, after clicking the label, the text from the URL property is passed to the ShellExecute function as the third parameter (FileName), and the first parameter (Operation) is set to open. So, in the URL property you can also specify the path to a file or program to execute.

In addition, I added support for the actions: property Action. You can set here any action registered in the TActionList or TActionManager. The assigned action will be executed after the user clicks the label, but only if the ClickActionType is set to catExecuteAction.

Moreover, I added two cursors:

Helper routines

In the JPP.LinkLabel unit, there are three auxiliary procedures: SetJppLinkLabelFonts and two overloaded procedures SetJppLinkLabelColors.

The declaration of the first procedure is as follows:

procedure SetJppLinkLabelFonts(lbl: TJppLinkLabel; FontName: string = 'Segoe UI'; FontSize: integer = 8);

This procedure sets the font name and font size for all fonts available in this component: FontNormal, FontVisitedNormal, FontHot, FontVisitedHot and FontDisabled.

The second procedure:

procedure SetJppLinkLabelColors(lbl: TJppLinkLabel; clNormal, clHot, clDisabled, clVisitedNormal, clVisitedHot: TColor); overload;
procedure SetJppLinkLabelColors(lbl: TJppLinkLabel; Color: TColor); overload;

These procedures allow you to quickly change the color of all fonts. In the first version, you must pass color values for all label states. In the second version of this procedure, you pass only one color, which will be set for all fonts.


TJppStorageCtrl

TJppStorageCtrl is a non-visual component that allows you to store information of different types in the collection. Each item of the collection stores the following data:

Items are accesible from the Object Inspector using StorageCollection property. The values of each item of the collection, except pointers, can also be set in the Object Inspector. Pointer values can only be set in the code and they are initialized by default to nil.

To acces the collection items in the code you can use the Items property, eg:

JppStorageCtrl.Items[0].IntValue1 := 1;
JppStorageCtrl.Items[0].PointerValue1 := SomePointer;

But, since Items is set as the default property, you can write it simply:

JppStorageCtrl[0].IntValue1 := 1;
JppStorageCtrl[0].PointerValue1 := SomePointer;

This component can be useful if you want to have access to some global data, and you do not want to create global variables.

I sometimes use this component in the early stages of writing applications. In later stages, a definitely better way to store and manage data is to design specialized records, classes, generic/pointer containers, etc.


Installation

In the packages folder you can find installation packages for all Delphi versions from XE2 to 10.2 Tokyo. Go to the subfolder with the name of your Delphi version (eg Delphi_XE7 for XE7 version) and open the file JPPack2.dproj or JPPack2.dpk. In the Project Manager, right-click the JPPack2.bpl file, then select Install in the popup menu. After a short time, a message should appear displaying information about the correct installation of the package and with the list of newly installed components. All components you can find ont the JPPack page in the Tool Palette.

After installing the package, it is best to add the source folder to the library path:

  1. Select menu Tools --> Options.
  2. In the tree view on the left, go to Environment Options --> Delphi Options --> Library.
  3. In the Library path combo box (on the right), add ; (semicolon) and the path to the source directory.