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Delphi: Any idea why Delphi (At least since Seattle) does this to Dproj files:  nodes change places – Tommi Prami – Google+

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/03/25

From a while back, but still so very relevant: [WayBackAny idea why Delphi (At least since Seattle) does this to Dproj files:  <DeployClass …> nodes change places – Tommi Prami – Google+.

Luckily most of the thread is archived by now, as G+ is dead.

This thread brought DProjNormalizer to my attention, but by now you should be better using Project Magician.

DProjNormalizer normalizes the XML structure of Delphi .dproj files, both during IDE save actions, and manually using the command-line tool DprojNormalizerCmd.exe too.

Note that the manual tool does an in-place modification of your .dproj files, so better use version control, have good backups, or use InplaceExeWrapper .

In the mean time, Project Magician has been released that too has a command-line tool ProjectMagicianCmd.exe:

The general usage is:
ProjectMagicianCmd [-v:<version> | -n | -r | -x | -f] [<filepath>]<filename> [-l:<logfile>] [-s]

The parameters have the following meaning:

  • -v = Sets VersionInfo in dproj files to a given value. Clears all version info entries in child build configurations.
    <version> up to 4 numbers separated by dots
  • -n = Normalize
  • -r = Removes unused platforms
  • -x = Removes “Excluded Packages”
  • -f = Refreshes and adds missing form type entries
  • <filename> may contain wildcards. If no extension is given .dproj is assumed

Project Magician adds more functionality, including the ability to specify settings on project, project group and global levels. An explanation of settings is at [WayBack] Keep Your Project Files Clean With Project Magician – The Art of Delphi Programming.

These are my global default settings from the Tools -> Options menu option, then following these bits of the tree:

You can get to all levels via the Project -> Project Magician menu option, then following the various tabs:

Note that if you have combinations of installed previous versions before, that you should ensure you install the most recent versions of these, as there have been incompatibility issues between them:

  • ProjectMagician (or DProjNormalizer)
  • SelectiveDebugging

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  • Jeroen Wiert Pluimers's profile photo

    +Walter Prins interesting tool! Do you know of a tool that can downgrade .dproj files so you can use them with older Delphi versions? (the opposite of what the IDE does)?

    Or someone that has written more than my XSD on .dproj files? My one is so small that’s hardly a real attempt.

  • Walter Prins's profile photo
    +Jeroen Wiert Pluimers No, but interesting idea. I suppose you’re probably aware that the JEDI JCL/JVCL takes a somewhat similar (ish) related approach, in that it generates project and package files that are compatible with every desired version of Delphi from minimalist (XML) template files. Every so often I think it might be worth looking whether one can re-use the code from there easily but haven’t gotten around to it. Always something else to do first. :/
  • Jeroen Wiert Pluimers's profile photo
    +Walter Prins no I didn’t. Where should I start reading on that minimalist template approach?
  • Walter Prins's profile photo

    +Jeroen Wiert Pluimers  Sorry I see I missed out the word installer in my comment: It’s the Jedi JCL/JVCL installers that uses xml templates etc.

    But the point stands: I guess it should be (perhaps) possible to reuse its infrastructure for ones own projects, though as I say I keep meaning to look into this but haven’t really done so.

    (BTW I’m assuming you are familiar with the JCL/JVCL and in in particular their installers that bootstrap from source code? If not then perhaps my comments may not be that useful?)

    Anyway, not sure if or where there’s particular documentation about this (kind of doubt it), but if you have the JCL/JVCL installed somewhere, then first of all have a look at the “xml” folders e.g. “<jclroot>\jcl\packages\xmls” and “<jvclroot>\jvcl\packages\xml“.

    These files appear to define projects and packages in a seemingly abstract/somewhat minimal way using XML. This seemingly is then used to automatically produce .dproj and .dpk files which are placed in e.g. “<jclroot>\jcl\packages\dXX” and “<jvclroot>\jvcl\packages\dXX” where dXX corresponds to a folder for each of the supported Delphi versions and compiled/used during installation.

    Having just looked into this briefly a bit further as a result of this conversation: Key units here (in the case of JVCL) seems to be “jvclroot>\devtools\PackagesGenerator\PackageGenerator.pas“, “<jvclroot>\install\JVCLInstall\PackageUtils.pas” and “jvclroot>\devtools\common\PackageInformation.pas” (used predictably by <jvclroot>\JVCLInstall.dproj)

    (Additionally, having looked at this a bit more closely, it also appears that the JCL does not actually replace all or even most of its .dproj and .dpk files after all, but ships version specific .dproj and .dpk files in most cases, though the JVCL does appear to mostly do so. )

    Edit: The JCL also has this interesting sounding unit “<jclroot>\source\windows\JclMsBuild.pas” which appears to be an MSBuild project file parser…

  • Jeroen Wiert Pluimers's profile photo
    +Walter Prins​ I was aware of the bootstrap and it’s been on my “eventually I’ll take a look” list like forever. One day…
  • Walter Prins's profile photo
    Same as me then basically, ha. ^^


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