delphi assign to const?

this site :

showed a very puzzling code at the bottom

 unit ShareMem;
 { (c) 1997 by Bob Swart (aka Dr.Bob - }


   Handle: THandle = 0;
 function GetCommandLine: PChar; stdcall;
   external 'kernel32.dll' name 'GetCommandLineA';
     Handle := LoadLibrary('BCBMM.DLL');

how could this be ?


A typed const, by default (Edit: as noted by Rob in comments, this was changed to no longer be the default years ago), is more like a static variable. You can turn this behavior off with a compiler directive.

This was commonly used as a substitute for class/static properties in old versions of Delphi. Now that Delphi actually has that feature, there is no good reason to do this IMHO.

Delphi has something called assignable consts which allows a const value to be assigned. This can be turned on/off through compiler directives and switches. For a longer answer see here.

It sometimes comes in handy in times before class properties were possible. Even if the const is declared inside a function, it keeps its value between calls.

procedure Test;
  AssignableConst: Integer = 0;
  AssignableConst := AssignableConst + 1; 
  WriteLn('Test is called ' + IntToStr(AssignableConst) + ' times'); 

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