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Free Pascal 2.6.2 is released (freepascal.org)
77 points by mariuz 1523 days ago | hide | past | web | 42 comments | favorite

Pascal (and then Delphi) was the first non-interpreted programming language I learned and I used it for a few years for pretty much everything - party because it provided a sane wrapper to the Win32 API, but mainly because it was a lot of fun to program with.

Compared to pretty much any GUI/code-behind editor the Delphi concept is an absolute joy to use. Sadly it's been a long time since the components have been updated (it's still pretty much a Win32 clone from what I can tell and today the Lazarus component palette feels extremely outdated). I just wish the Xcode folks would have taken a few more pages from Delphi's playbook.

It's nice to see this environment lives on in Free Pascal/Lazarus.

I sometimes think the Pascal idea could be rediscovered some day, maybe with a syntax addition or two.

> I just wish the Xcode folks would have taken a few more pages from Delphi's playbook.

Indeed. Delphi was clearly influenced by NeXT/Interface Builder, but even back in 1995 it was miles ahead of today's Xcode.

For those not familiar with it, Delphi's UI editor was always live. You could create a data source object, enter the database connection info, then create a table view and point it at the data source, and the table would be filled with real data -- all within the editor. Like Interface Builder, the editor was running the real visual components (the equivalent of Cocoa's NSView), but unlike Interface Builder, Delphi focused on providing a true WYSIWYG experience, making it very easy to build new visual components that would be rendered live in the editor. Apple has moved away from this, in fact, with the latest Xcode no longer supporting plugins, and so custom views can no longer be rendered inside Interface Builder.

It's incredibly weird and sad that 18 (!) years later, current GUI tools are worse than Delphi was in 1995.

My thoughts exactly. I remember Delphi as beeing de facto choice for rapid software development. I'm regretfull about the fall and demise of the overall platform. Even now many tools are not yet so good as deplhi was around 1997. I remember it outperforming MS Visual Basic.

I don't know what has happened that Borland stopped beeing the best place to work for great engineers, but that could be probably some great case studies for contemporal tech companies.

Really pity that we have to reinvent again where we've been 15 years ago...

Delphi was the first "real" platform I used (version 1.0 on Windows 3.11) and it wasn't until much later that I realized how good I'd had it. In addition to the rather obvious idea that the GUI should be designed graphically, it also had a fast compiler and a good integrated debugger. If I remember correctly the entire Delphi IDE was itself developed in Delphi.

At some point of time there was an open source delphi IDE, and it was developed in Delphi, but I think the official one wasn't (at least at the beginning).

I'm pretty sure at least most versions of the official IDE were written in Delphi (the IDE--not the compiler, of course). I remember trying to hack plugins into it and it was clearly Delphi code.

Random person on SO seems to agree http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7766753/what-ide-is-the-d...

indeed. The strangest thing is you can debug the delphi ide in the delphi ide. I do this from time to time to debug components that have start up problems

Improvements to the ARM code was mentioned in the release notes, and I would think that apart from "practical" mobile development, reintroducing Pascal as a teaching language for Raspberry Pi's is a motivation for that.

I just wish they had more dialects to choose from, a highly optimizing Oberon compiler would be nice to have (although the code size of the project would give Prof. Wirth chills). And, well, Modula-3…

There's also a new standard for Ada out, so fans of the Algol/Pascal family would have their weekend research/projects cut out for them this year.

Actually the .Net world has benefited from Delphi. Anders Hejlsberg, the chief architect of Delphi, moved to Microsoft and became the chief architect of C#.

And incidents like these have contributed to the sad, long decline of Delphi/FP. Ever since the large exodus of talented former Borland engineers, Borland, Inprise, CG and Embarcadero management had been exploiting Delphi as a cash cow and milking it FWIW.

It's worth looking at Delphi again if you haven't for a while http://www.codegear.com. They've made your syntax addition or two - even has closures now, generics, components...new version (out soon) compiles to iOS/OSX/Windows. I've seen a beta and it works :-)

Worth looking if you like a close minded secretive attitude and living in the past. Profit from a technically bad & boring forum, report bugs in a home grown issue tracker which sucks and get example code through subversion.

The syntax of closures (they had to invent their own name, anonymous methods) is very long-winded. And generics? Only useable after several versions. Which leads to the most important point: quality is s*it (I'd suppose because they cannot tame the complexity any more).

Hello 'it works' likely won't get you far :-)

It's a pity, but the sooner they bankrupt the better. Something more focussed and contemporary might emerge or people invest and switch to FreePascal. Would love to have a native Pascal based ecosystem which would be innovative and friendly, like let's say, Xamarin!

Anonymous methods and closures are not the same thing. You may have anonymous methods that don’t access outside scopes, so they’re not creating any lexical closures.

The syntax of anonymous methods is consistent with the overall language syntax. Yes, Pascal has strict types and `begin`… `end` instead of curly braces. It tends to be more verbose than, say, JavaScript.

Not to mention great documentation that came together with the Delphi IDE! I remember it helped a lot when i was making my first steps in programming.

I remember when later I had to use Java, and their javadoc documentation, the switch was a big pain in the ass.

Next to my first Basic attempts on the ZX81 and AMOS on the Amiga, Delphi was the most fun I've ever had programming. Oh to have something like that again!

> I sometimes think the Pascal idea could be rediscovered some day, maybe with a syntax addition or two.

Used to have exactly the same opinion (grew up with Pascal too), but haven't looked back ever since I discovered Go..

It's the same for me. Google Go seems to me like a Pascal in C's clothes with some refreshing things added.

Its great to see this. Pascal was the language they taught us in highschool. Everyone in the class was given a license to Borland Turbo Pascal v5. While I haven't really used it since, Pascal will always hold a special place in my heart. I wrote my first game in it, and spent many long nights trying to figure out how to accept mouse interrupts, how to use pointers to efficiently redraw graphics, and lots of other fundamental things I now take for granted.

Pascal (and specifically Borland's Turbo Pascal) is what started my transition from spaghetti code BASIC to something at least vaguely structured. All (mostly) self-taught -- my high school didn't have any kind of programming classes -- but Pascal encouraged a structure much more than BASIC did, and helped me to realize the importance.

These are my thoughts, exactly! I still have my Turbo Pascal book sitting on my bookshelf, since it brings back happy memories.

Turbo Pascal was such a cool technical achievement, and Pascal was definitely not a bad language at all. Great learning language, and great at other things too.

Embarcado still has a set of "antique" software downloads. Turbo Pascal 5.5 is one of them. They also have old C and C++ versions. All of them are for personal use only and are free of charge. Here's their museum: http://edn.embarcadero.com/museum/.

I write code in a number of languages, and I have to say Object-Pascal (which is the language the IDE known as Delphi uses) is a joy.

Check out Lazarus too, the Delphi like IDE for Free Pascal: http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/

<snarky comment> Too bad most programs weren't written in Delphi instead of C/C++, or we could've avoided all those pesky string based buffer overflow exploits since Object-Pascal doesn't allocate strings on the stack! </snarky comment>

But more seriously, that means no "smashing the stack for fun and profit" in Object-Pascal, and that's a good thing.

I picked up learning Delphi about 8 years ago when it was supposed to be "dead" then, and since then it has been my secret weapon. I still use C once in a while, but I am so much more productive in Delphi and the Free Pascal.

I wonder how compatible the Photoshop 1.0 code is with this and how much effort it would take to get it vaguely working. I recall there being a shedload of assembly which would obviously need ported/rewritten and presumably there'd be old MacOS API calls which would need to be handled so I'd suspect a fair amount of work there. However does anyone know if the rest of the code would be fine?

The FreePascal complier supports MacPas dialect , here is howto start compiling with it



One language I regret the demise of.

Turbo pascal 6 circa 1992 was my first introduction to object orientation. I'd only coded basic and assembly before that. I walked around with my mind blown for a week.

Long live pascal.

Delphi 7 was the last good release of the product. The IDE was written in Delphi. The compiler for the language was BCC, the borland C/C++ compiler. Then Borland started to chase .NET and MS led them on into thinking they could catch up to C#.

Any good modern Pascal product should fork from where D7 left off.



Delphi has offloaded .NET support to a partner (RemObjects' Delphi Prism/Oxygene). Since Delphi 2007, they have doubled down on native development. Even releasing native console and GUI compilation support for OSX, and iOS in late beta.

Since Delphi 7 (released in 2002), Delphi (and FPC) have added:

* Generics * Anonymous methods * Enhanced RTTI * Attributes * Records with methods * for in loop * final methods * Inlining * Operator overloading * sealed methods * strict private * strict protected * Nested classes * Class helpers * Class constructors and destructors * Static class methods

Any example of real and recent use of it?

I wondered not that long ago if FreePascal could be a cross platform solution to develop GUI apps with Lazarus. Anyone having experience with that?

PeaZip is written in FreePascal + Lazarus: http://peazip.sourceforge.net/

Or, just check their screenshot gallery: http://wiki.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Application_Gallery

My university uses C or Pascal to teach Maths students basic programming (hello world, sorting, trees, stacks, graphs, etc).

Friends who landed at the Pascal version of this course appear to ask much less questions about parsing the syntax.

Here's a challenge: try to find a piece of pascal code that looks "impressive".

Even the most complex object pascal code using pointers and closures and generics all together looks boring and easy to parse for anyone who has done some code.

This might sound awesome (and it is), but this is also a huge turn off for new comers, lots of people think delphi/object pascal is like visual basic ...

isn't "easy to parse for anyone who has done some code" an advantage?

One would think, but many times I've tried to love Ada and Eiffel and I always find myself falling asleep at the terminal. "Boring" can also mean "too much repetition" or "spread too thin."

I agree is one of the advantages of the Pascal language : readability


Free Pascal : Readable like Python , fast like C++/C

How is the COM support (if any) in Free Pascal? That is one area Delphi really shined.

It's very good. In fact, the open-source WMI Delphi Code Creator can generate the native WMI calls (and programs) for you in FreePascal, Delphi, C#, and Microsoft C++:


It's still alive..

TIOBE's methodology is pretty controversial[0], I wouldn't read anything into changes as small as this.

[0] http://blog.timbunce.org/2009/05/17/tiobe-index-is-being-gam...

I agree that is controversial the method of tiobe measuring

Another option is to consult the download page for free pascal compiler (this is one of the mirrors)


Also lazarus ide download stats https://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/files/stats/timelin...

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