[fpc-devel] Please include gmp.dll in Win32 distribution of FPC 2.6.2 and later

Hans-Peter Diettrich DrDiettrich1 at aol.com
Thu Dec 6 06:23:50 CET 2012

Nikolay Nikolov schrieb:
> As an ex-competitive programmer and multiple IOI and BOI medalist, let 
> me try to explain, although I realize it might be difficult for "normal" 
> programmers to understand, but let's just say that:
> - the people who setup the programming environment for these 
> competitions are not the same people who compete in them. and the people 
> who compete have no control over what programming tools are installed, 
> because they don't have any kind of internet connection, nor are they 
> allowed to install any packages, etc, during the competition.

So how do the competitors know how to use e.g. gmp, if it has been 
installed for them? Are the available packages announced before, so that 
everybody has time to study them?

> It even made it to the FPC front page. However, in that very same year 
> something else happened that I didn't mention and that wasn't very nice 
> news for the Pascal language at all. Pascal was *banned* from the 
> Bulgarian National Olympiad in Informatics, which means that people who 
> want to make it to the national team are required to write in C++ even 
> though Pascal is officially supported in the actual International 
> Olympiad. This is all because people here believe strongly that C++ and 
> its STL give you a tremendous advantage in these competitions and Pascal 
> (obviously) is a dead language and nobody should be taking it seriously 
> and should be discouraged of writing any code in it. Yes, it's all 
> driven by ignorance, but we must combat it.

This sounds more like they feared that FPC will win one more trophy, and 
that the C++ promotors agreed to lock out such an too powerful 
competitor :-]

> I'm writing all of this because I've seen the writing on the wall and 
> this has already happened in Bulgaria, so I'd be sad to see this happen 
> in Russia too (which is btw one of the countries in the world with a 
> significant number of Pascal programmers, including FPC contributors).

In such totalitary countries/competitions you cannot do anything to FPC, 
to make it accepted. Unless you cripple and throttle it so much, that 
even the best Pascal coder cannot win any more, and this certainly is 
*not* what we want to do.

We only could organize our own Free Language Olympiad, and *invite* 
people with other languages and development systems.

> Having a library for arbitrary-precision arithmetic like gmp is a huge 
> advantage in these competitions and making it easy to setup by people 
> who are clueless idiots and know only how to press "next", "next", 
> "next" so people who chose to compete and write their solutions in 
> Pascal can use it is a must if we want to keep Pascal as a serious 
> option for these competitions.

Well, knowing how to use such a library does not say anything about the 
overall skills of an participant or his development system. How will 
your "clueless idiot" use such a library?

> And we want to keep Pascal as a serious 
> option at least in the countries where it still is, because without 
> that, Pascal would be dropped even as a teaching language and FPC 
> contributors would eventually dry up and in the long run FPC cannot 
> survive without contributors. It's great that we have old people 
> contributing to FPC and keeping it alive (no offence about age to 
> anybody, including me ;-) ), but we must also think about the future 
> generations, otherwise we are doomed :)

Perhaps we should spread Pascal more aggressively, not only by reports 
about news *inside* the language and IDE, but also about its easy and 
efficient use, compared with other languages and development systems?

E.g. ask in prominent places, why Pascal has been banned from the 
Bulgarian Olympiad, after its success in a similar prior event?

[But I fear that in Bulgaria or Russia you'll be jailed for spreading 
such nonconforming wisdom :-]


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