Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

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SOTE
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Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 05:30

Interestingly, many assume that Pascal is a dead or outdated language, when that is very much not the case. It's alive and well. An easier to understand language with many benefits.

https://www.lazarus-ide.org/ (Lazarus IDE)
https://www.freepascal.org/ (Free Pascal Compiler)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VPvQ_dXMhw&list=PLB24C56953A79987A (SchoolFreeware Program/Console Pascal Tutorial)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PuvsyLapgw&list=PL0BE41D3CA142028F&index=1 (SchoolFreeware App/GUI Pascal Tutorial)
http://www.schoolfreeware.com/Free_Pascal_Lazarus_App_GUI_Tutorials_With_Example_Code.html (SchoolFreeware/Demo Files Location)
https://www.devstructor.com/index.php?page=tutorials (Devstructor Tutorials and Demo Files)
https://castle-engine.io/modern_pascal_introduction.html (Modern Object Pascal Introduction for Programmers)
http://www.freebyte.com/programming/pascal/ (Free Pascal Tools)
http://docs.villavu.com/simba/referencescript.html (Simba; Automation)
https://github.com/MerlijnWajer/Simba/releases (Simba on GitHub)
https://github.com/jasc2v8/WinAutoKey (Pascal Automation; WinAutoKey)
Last edited by SOTE on 08 Sep 2019, 10:42, edited 7 times in total.
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jeeswg
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 18:32

What is your view on Delphi? Thanks.
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burque505
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 18:53

Hmm, I was just running a few Delphi scripts when I saw this, jeeswg. I'm using pdscript, a Pascal interpreter which is pretty impressive. It has many sample scripts with the download, it's free, and it'll do a large percentage of what Delphi or Lazarus can do. It has an IDE too, but it's not free.

Personally I like Delphi, not because of the syntax, although it's familiar, but because the executables it creates are small and fast.
Here's a small script cloned from one of the examples that runs AHK via pdscript. It takes 3 scripts, ShellExecDemoAHK2.dpas, ShellExec.dfm, and a one-liner AHK script that shows a MsgBox with a variable passed to it from pdscript.

I'd be interested to hear what others think of pdscript and Delphi/Lazarus too. And SOTE, thanks for those helpful links.

Regards,
burque505
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jeeswg
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 19:05

- Thanks for the info. I may need to learn Delphi at some point. So, any good tutorials/resources on Delphi or relevant areas of Pascal would be most welcome, thanks.

- I think the confusion between Pascal/Delphi etc is a big obstacle to their wider use. I've found it hard to get reliable or simple/useful info on this.
- Similarly, I looked for C v. C++ on YouTube, through about 20 videos, and every video was poor.
- The best response would be something like: 'I've used both for x months/years, and some general tidbits/differences between the two are: ...'
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SOTE
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 20:19

jeeswg wrote:
25 Oct 2018, 18:32
What is your view on Delphi? Thanks.
The issue with Delphi is the Pascal language is much bigger than just that name. However, Borland Delphi was at one time so famous, that Delphi became synonymous with or replaced Pascal in the public space and minds of many. So when Borland, as a company died, many thought Pascal died with it. But what happened in the background, was the development of Lazarus, the Free Pascal Compiler, and Object Pascal.

Delphi is really just an IDE, that used a dialect of Object Pascal for the commercial purposes of Borland. Now, Delphi is owned by Embarcadero. And until recently, Delphi was so expensive that it was only developers with deep pockets or companies that could afford it. Luckily, Embarcadero has become more sensible and you can get a free community version of Delphi. Of course there is a bit of a catch, once your total sales revenue for created applications reaches US $5,000, or your team expands to more than 5 developers, you are expected to get the Professional Edition of Delphi.

https://www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi/starter (Delphi Community Edition)

This makes Embarcadero Delphi Community Edition a direct competitor to Microsoft Visual Studio Community in many ways, though not exactly. As obviously, most know Microsoft, while likely to not heard of Embarcadero. Though Delphi (Pascal) does have some advantages, in terms of being able to make cross-platform applications for multiple OSes. Windows, Linux, Macs, Android, and iOS... While .NET is still a bit of a mess and is unlikely to become truly cross-platform anytime short of the next 5 years (or maybe longer). Lazarus (open source) and Delphi Community Edition are here now.

Delphi is definitely an option, particularly if someone has any aspirations to program professionally. There appears to still be a market for Delphi (and Object Pascal) developers. Likely many hobbyists would use Lazarus, though I don't see any harm in downloading both IDEs. The switch between using Lazarus and Delphi is relatively minor, as long as you know Pascal.
Last edited by SOTE on 08 Sep 2019, 10:48, edited 2 times in total.
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jeeswg
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

25 Oct 2018, 20:32

Great summary, thanks.
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SOTE
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Re: Pascal, The Powerful & Underestimated Programming Language

05 Sep 2019, 06:11

After playing with Embarcadero Delphi Community Edition and looking at how that company has handled Delphi (some say mishandled), I do think their strategy is highly flawed. With many companies, their greed has gotten in the way, where they "can't see the forest from the trees". Delphi is still a very good product, that allows for cross-platform application development. But it's way, way too expensive for a lot of the potential users. Particularly for the young, hobbyist, and independent software developers. This means Embarcadero has been "locking out" new developers and a bigger core base. This is why many think Delphi has died, and by incorrect association, think Pascal has died along with it. Key point is that Delphi and Pascal/Object Pascal aren't the same thing.

For example, depending on which software product, Delphi can cost from around $1,500 to $3,000 dollars (and up depending on options). While a decent sized company with multiple developers can handle such an expense, most young individuals can't or won't pay such a cost. Especially when they can freely download the Lazarus IDE (Free Pascal), which can also import Delphi projects. Though not as capable as Delphi, still quite good. With its only truly glaring weakness is lacking support for building apps on iOS/iPhones (though it can do macOS and Android).

If Embarcadero had done their math properly and not been so greedy. The Delphi Community Edition should remain free as long as total sales revenue for created applications doesn't reach at least $10,000 dollars, not $5,000 dollars. Taxes often eat around 30% of sales revenue. Which could leave $7,000 or so left. And depending on which Delphi product and the reseller they get it from, they could be laying out $2,000 dollars or so. You at least leave the independent software developer with some money in their pocket. With the limit being $5,000 dollars, after 30% cut by taxes, that's $3,500 left. Which will be eaten up significantly paying for Delphi.

And the amount of developers should arguably have been lowered to 3, instead of 5. It's probably too late to change that now, but some more thought should have been done. Because a company that can afford at least 3 software developers, is one that has some money. Programmers/Developers salaries are at least $85,000 US dollars (can be much higher depending on area and experience). Multiply that by 3 (or 5), and that company should be able to handle buying Delphi. Where that's not the case for young people that haven't graduated from high school or college, or non/wannabe programmers looking to get started that aren't making that kind of salary.

Embarcadero should be better at math, more practical, and less blinded by greediness. In addition the list of competitive programming languages and their abilities is rapidly increasing. There is Swift by Apple (slowly gaining a foothold in Windows), Dart by Google (used in Flutter and possibly their replacement OS for Android), Red, C# going cross-platform by Microsoft (and thanks to Xamarin), various new JavaScript solutions, etc... And the Lazarus IDE and Free Pascal keep slowly getting better. All these solutions are mostly free and/or open-source.

The Delphi Community Edition was definitely a step in the right direction (though it came out a bit late in the game), but if Delphi and Embarcadero want to stay relevant, they need to improve the terms of usage even more, to grow a bigger base of users.

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