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IOS Open Source Programming

Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 Is Out; Adds Support For 16-Bit MS-DOS, 64-Bit iOS (freepascal.org) 134

Halo1 writes: Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi-compatible Free Pascal Compiler, for OS/2 no less. Two decades and change later, the new Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 release still supports OS/2, along with a host of older and newer platforms ranging from MS-DOS on an 8086 to the latest Linux and iOS running on AArch64. On the language front, the new features include support for type helpers, codepage-aware strings and a utility to automatically generate JNI bridges for Pascal code. In the mean time, development on the next versions continues, with support for generic functions, an optional LLVM code generator backend and full support for ISO and Extended Pascal progressing well.
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Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 Is Out; Adds Support For 16-Bit MS-DOS, 64-Bit iOS

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  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) <[jonas.maebe] [at] [elis.ugent.be]> on Thursday November 26, 2015 @05:59PM (#51009869) Homepage

    I thought I added the link to my original summary, but it seems to have gotten lost when I submitted it. In any case, Sourceforge's Project of the Month April 2014 [sourceforge.net] interview with the founder of the Free Pascal Compiler, Florian Klaempfl, contains a good overview of the project's history, goals and development methodology.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      23 years ago? That makes it 1992? I was using Turbo Pascal in 1989!

      • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) <[jonas.maebe] [at] [elis.ugent.be]> on Thursday November 26, 2015 @06:22PM (#51009949) Homepage

        23 years ago? That makes it 1992? I was using Turbo Pascal in 1989!

        Yes, Florian started the project when it became clear Borland was not going to create a 32 bit version of TP/BP.

      • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @06:52PM (#51010041)

        23 years ago? That makes it 1992? I was using Turbo Pascal in 1989!

        Re-read the summary.

        It says 23 years ago development on the Turbo Pascal compatible project "Free Pascal" was started.

        It does NOT say 23 years ago development on Turbo Pascal itself was started.

        • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @11:01PM (#51010877) Journal
          The summary says: "Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi-compatible Free Pascal Compiler" Perhaps you should re-read the summary, your paraphrase edits out the bit that makes all the difference???
          • Which is still saying the same thing. The part GP omitted is simply saying that the Free Pascal Compiler was Turbo Pascal-compatible then also later Delphi-compatible.

          • Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi-compatible Free Pascal Compiler

            No, Turbo Pascal is not 23 years old ... the grammar suggests that, but reality doesn't.

            I know this, becaise 23 years ago I had a second hand 286 PC with Turbo Pascal on it. And it wasn't exactly new even then.

            Turbo Pascal [wikipedia.org] has been around since 1984 .. that would be 31 years ago.

            So, you can argue the sentence should have read as "Twenty-three years ago, development start

          • by Anonymous Coward

            > The summary says: "Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the (Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi)-compatible Free Pascal Compiler" Perhaps you should re-read the summary, your paraphrase edits out the bit that makes all the difference???

            Added parentheses 'cause of defect in user's parser operator precedence.

          • conjunction junction, what's your function?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah but too bad with all the time it took, Pascal has become somewhat obsolete, supplanted within its core support community by Modula.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just because pascal isn't trendy anymore doesn't make it less awesome. Free Pascal / Lazarus is an excellent environment for getting stuff done.

      • Yeah but too bad with all the time it took, Pascal has become somewhat obsolete, supplanted within its core support community by Modula.

        Sorry, but Modula has gone nowhere. There isn't just one Modula compiler project out there (which are few and far between anway) that comes even close to FreePascal. And with the Lazarus IDE, you get a very easy to use RAD development environment for all the major GUI based OS, allowing for easy cross-platform development. And just because of all the buzz of the "new kids on the block", Pascal hasn't become "obsolete" by a long shot. Pretty much all the people that I have met that made that claim have neve

    • I was a long time contributor and user of FPC and Lazarus but I moved on to other work a few years ago and haven't been near the Pascal scene since. What's the status of Lazarus ? Still under active development ?

    • Good, old Pascal. What a horrible language, but I liked it :-)

  • I remember (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2015 @06:09PM (#51009893)

    I remember having to save my allowance to buy Borland Turbo Pascal for around $60. It came in a yellow box. A couple of other things I remember:

    1) I am getting old
    2) Those days sucked

    Thanks to GNU and gcc we will never have to put up with that crap again.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I remember when I first moved from Turbo C to djcpp; from "tiny", "small", "irritating", "large", "flatulent" and "huge" memory model to ... flat. It was as wonderful as not being repeatedly kicked in the balls.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        All those goofy memory models were of course courtesy of Intel, who foolishly stuck with the segmented memory model and 16-bit offsets for years. The 286 was a stupid design in that it expected you to break up any data structure larger than 64K bytes, and you had to fucking reset the CPU (after setting a flag in CMOS for BIOS to know what to do) to get out of its protected mode, back into the mode that all existing software ran in. IMHO it set the industry back by almost a decade having to futz with that sh

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You missed out on the horror days when borland finally completely lost the plot and the cheapest you could get anything from them was the beginner version of delphi for well north of a $1K. And they wondered why dot net left them in the dust. Which is a shame. Delphi was actually a pretty great system, in its day.

    • I remember having to save my allowance to buy Borland Turbo Pascal for around $60. It came in a yellow box. A couple of other things I remember:

      1) I am getting old 2) Those days sucked

      Thanks to GNU and gcc we will never have to put up with that crap again.

      My sincere condolences that you still have to put up with gcc, I know, it scars you for the rest of your life... >:)

  • by shihonage ( 731699 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @06:10PM (#51009899)
    I wrote a DOS game in 1996 in Turbo Pascal which used $B800:0000 textmode space to display the action. Thanks to Free Pascal I successfully ported it to Windows... of course minus the literal memory addressing and such.
    Free Pascal is amazing at how it "just works" with legacy Turbo Pascal syntax where Delphi would present more trouble. Lazarus, the Free Pascal IDE, is also very resemblant of Turbo Pascal IDE, with some modern touches.
    Pascal is an underrated language. It may have been designed for education, but it has many advanced features, the executables are nearly as fast as C++ ones, it compiles fast, and the runtime diagnostics are detailed and specific. It "just works".
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @07:05PM (#51010101) Journal

      I loved the Pascal family of languages. I did a lot of work in TurboPascal and Basic-09. The latter was basically Pascal with a bit more BASIC-like syntax. I still prefer Pascal style variable declarations.

      • I also loved Pascal. Getting the UCSD Pascal system for my first Apple II was a life changing event!
      • I did a lot of work in TurboPascal and Basic-09.

        In the mid 1980's, I was writing a lot of BASIC-09 on OS/9 Level 2. At the time, I was the librarian for the local CoCo club, and had access to the club's Pascal compiler and C compiler. I decided to try Pascal, since a high school classmate raved about it, and installed the Pascal compiler. Or rather, I tried to install the Pascal compiler without success. It installed, but it wouldn't run.

        So I then tried installing the C compiler, and succeeded. I then decided that I would learn C rather then Pascal.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      I got my start in programming with Turbo Pascal and still have some old Pascal code from back in the day hanging around.

      It might compile with Free Pascal and run on modern Windows PCs although that would depend on whether Free Pascal supports the Borland BGI graphics library on modern Windows machines somehow and whether it supports the mouse code I used back in the day.

  • Great work! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirJorgelOfBorgel ( 897488 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @06:10PM (#51009903)

    I've used Turbo Pascal and Delphi for years, later followed by FPC and Lazarus. It was an enjoyable time. While I was no stranger to C++ even in those times, I simply preferred Object Pascal (so sue me). We even used it on Windows Mobile up to 6.x.

    Unfortunately, when the time came (years ago now) to focus on Android, FPC's RTL had fairly serious issues, that I personally did not have to expertise to fix, and it wasn't a priority for anybody else who did.

    While I have no plans to return to FPC, I'm still a fan, and I love to see it progress.

  • I could show this article to my wife and truthfully say "we would not have met and had offspring if it weren't for this computer programming language you've never heard of". My first real job that eventually led to a career and a move to this city was because I had done work in school on a parser for Pascal, ended up programming on an HP1000 mini (RTE-XL), meeting her, getting married etc etc. Then I think, 'heh, never mind'. Very nostalic; glad to see it's out there. Thanks, Pascal.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      MIne, too.

      I remember despising C for its absurd syntax ("==", "!=" etc.).

      I still do.

      If I have a chance, I plan on doing some programming again with FreePascal/Lazarus.

      • I remember despising C for its absurd syntax ("==", "!=" etc.).
        I still do.

        And I was the opposite, I despised the vebosity of pascal (begin/end/etc.) and it's tendency to try to hide some low level details on the grounds of making it easier to learn.
        To each his own preferences.

        That's a definitive proof that the Perl vs Python debate didn't actually need theese language and the whole concept dates back much further in computing history.

        • at some point I completely gave up on Pascal because there wasn't any 'return' statement available in functions thus forcing ridiculous amounts of indentation.

          or maybe I was just ignorant?

          is there one now?
  • Will it work on a Tandy 1500 laptop?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But then I saw the systemd requirement, and decided to pass.

  • Speaking of ye olde compilers, OpenWatcom [openwatcom.org] seems to have ground to a halt in 2010. Can't tell if I think that's a shame, or if its time has come, or both.

    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

      There may not be much left to change or update. But the project itself is still alive, far as I can tell.

      • There may not be much left to change or update.

        How's that? It would be great if it could be brought up to speed with compatibility with modern C++, and modern optimisations. No small task, of course.

  • I remember in the 1980s it seemed like kind of a big deal, an "advanced" programming language that required a compiler and a more real computer than an Apple ][ (although, yes, there was a Pascal system for the ][, IIRC it was worthless without two disk drives and really not an ideal platform). I knew people writing commercial software in Pascal. They taught it when I was in college. I think "Inside Macintosh" Vols. 1-3 that documented the Macintosh used Pascal.

    It was kind of everywhere, and then it wasn

    • The Pascal community fragmented. The 8-bit systems carried on using ISO Pascal or UCSD Pascal, but Wirth and other key Pascal experts went off and created Modula-2, which was much more practical for real world programming. (I used Modula-2 on the Atari ST, it was a much nicer experience than trying to program GEM in C.)

      But instead of Pascal or Modula-2, Borland went off and did their own thing, producing a proprietary "Pascal" that wasn't compatible with anyone else.

      Then the Modula-2 community split into th

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And Free Pascal still isn't even compatible with 1982's standard ISO Pascal.

        Why is that a problem in particular? Things have moved on a lot in the last 33 years. Even the first C standard [wikipedia.org] isn't that old.

        • As I said, fragmentation is what killed the Pascal community. Or at least, that was my view as a participant. The fact that we still don't have a common Pascal standard today means it's not going to come back from the dead.

      • And Free Pascal still isn't even compatible with 1982's standard ISO Pascal.

        Correction: FPC has ISO compatibility mode that gets mature, at this time of writing, as Jonas said in the mailing list, only 1 little bug that didn't get into 3.0.0 and already fixed in trunk. I personally have compiled P5/P6 compiler provided by standardpascal.org and it compiles flawlessly with FPC. I'd like to run it against Pascal Test Suite that should declare whether a compiler is standard compliant or not, but I just told standardpascal.org people and hope that they will do it. They should have the

    • Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord by Sir-Tech, was written in Apple UCSD PASCAL.

  • Does the new Pascal let you increment a pointer through an array yet (char *x; x++)?

    Every slash dot reader *knows* that that is an essential feature of any programming language in order for it to be efficient.

  • Let me just paste a code comment i wrote two months ago;


      * Written for use in Delphi 2010.
      * Seems to work (with minor tweaks) in Lazarus v1.4.4 with FPC 2.6.4, Windows.
      * Could work with fewer tweaks with FPC3.

    Now i'm wondering if i can get this pet project to compile and run on Linux ..just for sports.

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