5-Minute-Snack: Alternative Welcome Page for Delphi

A “Welcome Page” is rather common in modern IDEs so that developers can access projects that they use on a regular basis quickly. Furthermore, a lot of IDEs show dates for important events, news feeds or even video feeds.

I am very old fashioned when it comes to Delphi and want to focus on programming when using Delphi and do not want to be distracted by blog posts, video feeds or feeds of any kind. Especially, when the load process of the page delays my work. 

In its latest incarnation, the Delphi Welcome Page even has the “wonderful” habit of opening a new tab inside of the editor called “Documentation”. This tab is utterly useless for a long-time Delphi developer and has absolutely no benefit whatsoever. To make things worse, there is no switch to get rid of it.

Thus, I was looking for alternatives, which meant I had to disable the default welcome page and replace it with something that exactly does what I need.

Thankfully, one of my MVP colleagues, Daniel Wolf, held a session in 2015 how to build an alternative Delphi Welcome Page with OTAPI programming means. He created a different Welcome Page called “wuppdiWP” that does offer exactly what I need. 

  1. It has a button to create new projects.
  2. It has a button to open existing projects.
  3. It lists all recent files and projects.
  4. It offers the ability to organize favorite projects in a tree structure.
  5. It is fully configurable using Tools / Options.

All in all a great improvement over the default Welcome Page if  you do not care about RSS feeds.

Getting rid of the default Welcome Page

We have two ways of doing this:

  • Launch Delphi with the command-line parameter “np”
  • Rename “ startpageide250.bpl ” to “ __startpageide250.bpl “. You will find this file in your RAD Studio bin -directory

Installing the alternative Welcome Page

As Daniel Wolf has the explanations in German, let me get you started in case you speak English:

  • Go here. There you will find a zip file with the bpl  file for the new Welcome Page from Daniel Wolf.
  • Extract the file to your bin directory and add it to Delphi using Component / Install Packages…
  • Configure it using the Tools / Options … / Third Party / wuppdi Welcome Page dialog. 

The Welcome Page lists all your recent projects and files automatically. You can organize your favorites by creating categories and sub-categories. Via drag and drop you add projects and files to these categories. I use it to organize all the packages to compile the source code of TMS Web and the demos from the Spring Framework:

 

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