Inf1511 Assignment 1-2012k Everite

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Visual Programming 1 

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Visual programming 1


INF1511 is an introduction course to visual programming in Delphi, intended to familiarise first time programmers with the basic techniques and skills required in a programming environment. The term visual refers to the visual interface elements that are the output of your programs, e.g. dialogue boxes and input forms. You can create your user interface by choosing buttons and other elements,which will generate code behind the scenes that you can modify afterwards.

Here is an example of a very basic Delphi program that changes the screen to purple when you click on the button:

The Unisa syllabus

  1. Components, Numbers and Strings
  2. Decision making using the IF and CASE structures
  3. Iteration using the FOR and WHILE structures
  4. Events and event handling
  5. Data structures

The INF1511 textbook

Prescribed textbook

Recommended reading

The INF1511 exam

Past exam papers

The exam in Oct/Nov 2011

6 pages, with a few screenshots of the programs. Well printed and readable. 4 sections, 10 questions each, 70 points. The Jun/Jul 2011 paper was available for download and uses the exact same layout, in fact the layout is the same since 2009. 40% of the questions are basically the same, 20% are verbatim. Another 20% are other side of the coin of the same questions as the previous exam, thus basically impossible to fail if you worked through the previous exams in any capacity.

  • Section 1 – Multiple Choice – 10 questions.
General things about controls, variables, types mostly. Pick the correct definition of an array, what are correct variable names, which expression is correct. 2 of the 10 had short 3 line code segments where you pick what the output will be.
  • Section 2 – IF/CASE (20 points)
10 questions, 20 points, of which 8/10 are knowledge testing (what is an if, where you would you case, can you convert a case to an if, what are the limitations of case), all this is EXACTLY the same as the previous paper. The last 2 questions carry 5 points each and involve coding. Your GENERALLY given the header name, the rest you do. Standard case and if statements. If you just WRITE down a generic IF and CASE statement correctly (ignoring the question completely) you already have 3/5 basically for each question.
  • Section 3 – FOR/WHILE (20 points)
Same as above but for loops. Simple things like, what would you use a loop for, where is a loop applicable, what are the limitations and their features. Also 2 of the 10 questions you write code... again basic looping stuff. What is an infinitely loop, will this code make an infinite loop. How would you change the code to not be an infinite loop.
In Jun 2011, they asked, can a for loop be converted to a while loop. This exam they asked if a while loop can be converted into a for loop, and why. Other side of coin....
  • Section 4 – Arrays/Events/functions/procedures (20 points)
Every other exam they tend to switch this between a procedure and a function. They WILL give you a piece of code with a subroutine in it and ask to identify it as a function or procedure. They will ask the differences between the two. They will most likely ask you to write that function implementation. They will most likely ask you about reference params and what are params, and state the four types of them.
This exam, out of the 20 points for section 4, 8 points was to write the complete function. This was the most difficult part at around 20 lines of code, and wasn’t in previous exams, so they CAN mix it up, but wasn’t impossible. You had to write a function that returns a string, but calculates an average so it had IntToString, FloatToStr, arrays, and a few other basics.

In 2011 May/June the exam contained a single 3 point question about try except handling, which is easy points so worth to know the absolute basics of it. Just writing try except correctly gives you 2 of 3 points.

The exam in Oct/Nov 2003

A very long paper (14 pages) with many screenshots. For 2 marks we had to explain the difference between the FOR and WHILE loop, and say under what conditions to use one or the other. We also had to name the four different kinds of parameters in Delpi and when to use which. Unisa gave us an Appendix with string manipulation routines, so we didn't have to memorise those.

The exam in Oct/Nov 2002

A nice exam, with a little bit of multiple choice and some theoretical questions, such as "Why do we use variables?". We were also allowed to write in pencil.

How to pass INF1511

Study tips

Reviewing old papers is HIGHLY recommended. They will ONLY ask you IF CASE FOR WHILE and a single function or procedure at easily 60% of the points. The rest is basics of Delphi controls. Know the controls, and know their absolute basic properties. For instance, they will NOT ask you some obscure property of a TSpinEdit control. The code you will require that you know at least are Value, MaxValue and MinValue... that is it. The same for the other controls, no image controls, no sliders, no scrollbars,. TCheckBox.Checked, Label.Caption, TEdit.text, RadioGroup... that is basiscally it. They sometimes put in a bit of arrays, again.. absolutely basics.. var blabla : array [1..10] of string/integer;.. that is it.

Study through the manual, focus strongly on IF CASE WHILE FOR. focus as hard as you can on PROCEDURES and FUNCTIONS (hard chapters), but they don’t get very technical in the exam. but you need to be able to WRITE them by hand (in fact everything). Then spend some time on arrays. Then go through Delphi Tool palette and take the basic ones you learned about and physically write down their properties you used the most and a short description of what it is. Study that list you made well and you can ace section 1 and get the “bonus” coding points on section 2, 3 and 4. 3 days before exam, write three previous exam papers complete, and physically REWRITE the correct answers, do not just look at what you did wrong, WRITE out the correct answer (it helps with memory), one every day and go do the exam!

Useful links

The solutions manual for the textbook can be downloaded from the publishers website.

Study notes

Download notes

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Create notes online

Student opinions

Student survey

Pros of INF1511

Cons of INF1511

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