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

geneb geneb at
Fri Feb 20 08:18:57 CST 2015

On Fri, 20 Feb 2015, Tor Arntsen wrote:

> 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.
Fortunately, I've never been exposed to "as-designed" Pascal.  I suspect 
the people that spend time denigrating Pascal have never been exposed to 
Turbo Pascal.  (...or they're simply idiots. :) )

> 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.
You might want to check out Lazarus.  It's a pretty slick project.  It's 
basically the RAD equivalent to Delphi and uses FPC as the back-end 

The text-mode IDE for FPC is very simliar (if not identical) to the Turbo 
Pascal 7.0 IDE.  It's very nice.


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