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

Warner Losh imp at
Thu Feb 19 10:51:25 CST 2015

> On Feb 19, 2015, at 9:33 AM, Mike Loewen <mloewen at> wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2015, John Foust wrote:
>> At 05:05 PM 2/18/2015, Ethan Dicks wrote:
>>> I snark about Pascal all the time.  I encountered it in a professional
>>> capacity in 1987.  [...]
>>> Utterly trivial in languages that trust the programmer to handle
>>> unformatted I/O.
>> All true, but doesn't it make you wonder why Turbo Pascal
>> was such a popular development environment for the PC for so long?>
>> Was it the sheer will power and marketing of Borland, or was
>> it the volume of developers who didn't need intensive low-level I/O?
>   It was fast, easy to use, and inexpensive.

It didn’t completely suck in an era where most other alternatives did.

There were no C compilers worth a damn, and those that were available
were too slow or too limited.

It provided unformatted I/O extensions.

It provided access to the raw machine in lots of interesting ways.

It had common libraries for the common low-level accesses that you’d

It was mostly ‘C’ish enough that you could get s*t done quickly and efficiently.

There was some really bizarre stuff, but I wrote a lot of pascal utilities for
my DEC Rainbow back in the day that were impossible with the other tools
available at the time.

Then Turbo C and Turbo C++ came out and did all this plus compiled all
the unix code floating around and I dropped Turbo Pascal like a hot potato.


More information about the cctalk mailing list