Allen Bauer has posted this little newsgroup nugget on b.p.d.n-t:
The IDE supports a very little know feature where you can continue to control these options while in the IDE, yet allow the command-line be able to also control the options. In a package file, all the options listed there are propagated to all the contained units. This is different than a normal .dpr program/library file. In order to do this, all you need to do is replace the '$' with a ' ' (that's a <space>). Then when you open the dpk in the IDE, you can toggle those options as much as you like, but when you compile on the command-line, you can still control them.
This is how we build all our packages for the product itself. All of the Borland built packages have DEBUGINFO, STACKFRAMES, ASSERTIONS, OPTIMIZATION, LOCALSYMBOLS setup this way because like you, we wan't to be able to control those options from the command-line. The developers will typically do a complete "debug" build, whereas the integration team will not.
$DEFINES will sort of work the same way, in that if you replace the '$' with a ' ', the IDE will still recognize the defines and apply them, but any other modifications to the dpk source will re-insert the '$' character.
Great to know. Thanks, Allen!