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

Tor Arntsen kspt.tor at
Thu Feb 19 18:20:06 CST 2015

On 19 February 2015 at 17:40, geneb <geneb at> wrote:
> I suspect it was Borland's extensions to Pascal that removed any limitation
> in I/O.

That's right.   But there's more than I/O. The academic-tool variant
of Pascal, as Wirth designed it, was simply useless in practice, or
extremely cumbersome to use because you couldn't design a function
which could take arrays of variable sizes as input, you had to declare
one function for each size. Hopeless. You couldn't do any real data
processing that way. Turbo Pascal, and every other useful variant,
e.g. the Pascal I used on a minicomputer, fixed that part, and often
added I/O extensions in various ways. In short, they made the language
flexible, and thus usable.

Then TP of course had that fast edit-compile-execute cycle, a low
price, and the super-easy IDE. The learning curve from getting your
hands on TP to actually use it was very low. Actually the Turbo Pascal
IDE is still the only IDE I like. I don't use any of the modern ones,
they are just in the way. But I recently tried the CP/M TP version
again, haven't used it since the eighties.. and I still like the IDE.
Re-learned it in seconds.

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