Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Jon Elson elson at
Wed Feb 18 20:03:33 CST 2015

On 02/18/2015 07:20 PM, drlegendre . wrote:
> I was introduced to Pascal in a high-school AP computer science course ca.
> 1986. It was a real eye-opener, and seemed quite powerful after only using
> BASIC and the occasional chunks of borrowed 6502 ASM.
> Personally, I thought it was an excellent teaching language - at least for
> HS students in the late 1980s.
it was CREATED as a teaching language, and then had to be 
extended a bit
to make it usable for professional tasks.  I loved it, and 
created several
significant pieces of code on it.
>   I really enjoyed learning to use it - though
> as someone who'd had almost ten years' time with BASIC, I found the
> emphasis on recursive (sub-)routines to be a bit difficult to grasp.
> Something about it just seemed... kludge-y. But functions were a very
> welcome addition..
> Of course, I've forgotten it all!
I hadn't used Pascal for ages, but recently ported a Gerber 
to raster conversion
program that I had written in Borland's Turbo Pascal on 
Windown 95 and NT
to run under Linux.  Just in time, Free Pascal (FPC) came 
out.  It was specifically
designed to run old Turbo Pascal and DEC Pascal programs 
with minimal

I must say that what I knew of Pascal came back VERY 
quickly, and the only
problems I had were converting a few really oddball 
constructs I used
in the old Turbo Pascal program to more modern methods.  (I 
used some
weird tricks when allocating large chunks of memory for 
raster buffers and


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