[fpc-pascal] Re: Delphi's anonymous functions in Free Pascal

Jürgen Hestermann juergen.hestermann at gmx.de
Thu Aug 30 19:51:08 CEST 2012

Am 2012-08-30 18:29, schrieb Ralf A. Quint:
 > Pascal has evolved since Wirth's original design back in the 70s

This is true. But there are two aspects of the Pascal extensions of the last years (decades) that contradict with what I would call the "spirit of Pascal":

1.) Many "extensions" add to the learning curve of newbies (where will Pascal be in 10 or 20 years and how long does it take a pupil to learn it?). Adding extensions over and over again without much thinking will ruin the language some day because nobody will try this bloated software anymore. I have programmed with Turbo Pascal quite a lot in the 80s and 90s but when I read about the "recently" added concepts I don't understand a word (and I also never missed them!). It seems that these extensions cannot even be easily explained because the concepts are very obscure and require sophisticated knowledge about the compiler to understand them. Extensions in the past were very easy to understand and to handle.

2.) Many "extensions" come from other languages and break fundamental (Pascal) laws (as I would call them). For example, to me an identifier *has* to mean the same in all contexts of a program (whether declaration, function parameter, part of an expression, ..). Dynamic arrays violate this by meaning the address of a pointer or the address of the first array element depending on whether they are dereferenced or not. Pointers should be shown as pointers and not obscured. This leads to a very lot of misunderstandings. Borland should have looked for a cleaner solution for such dynamic arrays IMO. But now the sin has been commited and cannot be withdrawn. Nevertheless, no new sins should be added anymore.

The result is that Pascal is no longer that clear and easy to learn (yet powerful) language that it was. Of course, you can still ignore all the extensions that have been added but you cannot understand foreign code anymore (which is often necessary to understand what happens in the compiler or libraries when using them).

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