[fpc-devel] Re: [fpc-l] type discussion

Jamie McCracken jamie-junk at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Jun 2 15:04:11 CEST 2005

Marc Weustink wrote:

> What is easier to read is a matter of taste.
> Being a pascal devel for years now, it takes time to "decode" a  "a := b
> := c := d := 0"  line. There might be a ; inbeween which results in a
> complete different assignment. With such lines I've to read them over and
> over to see what is going on.
> Where a line like "a := 0; b := 0; c := 0; d := 0;" is clear to me.
> This also counts for the proposed c-isms.
> For me I prefere clarity above less typing (besides if you want to write
> realy short code, you sould use APL)

I totally agree with you in this case - we dont want or need cryptic c 
stlye syntax in any version of Pascal.

However, in general Pascal has poor developer productivity when compared 
to modern languages like python and C#. Ironically python is perhaps the 
most popular language on Linux and most of its syntax is derived from 
object pascal whereas pascal on linux is virtually non-existant. Of 
course Python is piss poor in both performance and memory usage but it 
does point the way to a revitalised pascal. Adopting less verbose but 
still clean and clear syntax ala python is IMHO the way to make Pascal 
great again.

Consider the developer unfirendly nature of pascal/Delphi atm:

1) Forward declarations - they sux! Why should the developers have the 
burden of making the code totally sequential declaration wise. All other 
modern compilers dont need this. Sure your code might take a bit longer 
to compile but thats peanuts compare to the time saved in extra typing 
and reordering your code

2) I have touched on manual memory managaement of tobjects before so I 
wont rehash it here (in summary ref count tobjects and they should have 
good performance with c++ style exception handling).

3) loads of small and pointless additional syntax like EG for creating 
an object you should just be able to say:


and not

myobject := Tobject.create;

also Begin..End blocks should IMO be replaced with python's indenting.

Yeah I know this sounds like a hybrid pascal/python but I believe thats 
the way to go - marry Delphi's speed and component framework with less 
verbose python style syntax and you will have the best RAD language ever 


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