[fpc-devel] An incomplete prototype of my ebook FREE PASCAL FROM SQUARE ONE

Jeff Duntemann jeff at duntemann.com
Wed Feb 20 04:24:40 CET 2008

Hi guys--

At the encouragement of Anthony Henry, I've been working on converting 
my 1993 book *Borland Pascal 7 From Square One* to focus on FreePascal. 
The book will eventually be released under Creative Commons as a free 
ebook, though it may take me a few more months to get there.

However, I've gotten the first three chapters into reasonably solid 
form, and the PDF file can be downloaded here without charge, so you can 
get a sense for what I'm doing:


The downloadable file is currently 2.2 MB in size. It will probably be 8 
MB or so when complete.

I'm still perfecting the page layout templates, so any feedback about 
the book would be most useful. I've laid it out in the A4 page size to 
match the existing FreePascal documentation, and with full knowledge 
that most of the audience for a book like this will be outside the US. 
The book is an unprotected (no DRM) PDF file, and can be printed to 
paper if you work that way. (The Adobe Reader can scale it slightly to 
print on US letter size paper.) I'll be making the PDF freely available 
when the book is complete, and will offer printed copies from my 
storefront on lulu.com.

Note that this first volume is an absolute beginner's tutorial. It will 
be about the fundamentals of Pascal and will not cover Lazarus. (I have 
existing material on Delphi that I may adapt to Lazarus later on.) It 
will be about 250-300 pages in length. I envision a second volume 
covering more advanced topics like pointers, linked lists, and 
especially object-oriented programming.

I'm especially interested in how readable the book is for people who 
have English as a second (or third, or fourth) language. I'm an 
eccentric American, and some of my idioms may be obscure outside the US. 
If something in the text seems weird or incomprehensible, it's probably 
an Americanism. Clarifying things like that is easy, but I'm not the 
best judge of what needs changing. Do let me know.

Once the book is complete, I'll be happy to make all the publishing 
source files available to others who may want to translate it into 
another language. I do not have the ability to do that myself.

By the way, if this list is not the place for discussions of 
documentation or book projects like this, please let me know.

It's been interesting "reading the mail" here the past couple of months. 
Good luck and thanks!


--Jeff Duntemann
  Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

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