[fpc-devel] Pascal Standard, and what we can do.

Ralf Quint freedos.la at gmail.com
Sun Jul 19 23:42:56 CEST 2015

On 7/19/2015 2:03 AM, Jonas Maebe wrote:
> Den wrote:
>> Just like ECMAScript,
>> C++, PHP, most languages now have a 'standards' document behind it.
>> That's their *roadmap*. Their *leadership*. Design it and the
>> *community* will show *support*.
> ISO Pascal and ISO Extended Pascal were like that in the early 90s:
> 1) there was an official ISO standard and standards committee for it
> 2) there were a number commercial compilers supporting it such as HP 
> Pascal and IBM's compiler for its System/370
> 3) later on (in 1996) a GCC-based implementation arrived for it (the 
> equivalent of the LLVM of the moment)
> And still almost no one uses ISO/Extended Pascal anymore. Why? 
> Possibly because the de facto Pascal standards had already become 
> Think Pascal on the Mac and Turbo Pascal on the PC by then, and none 
> of those programmers wanted to rewrite all of their code (although 
> Think Pascal was a bit closer to ISO Pascal). Or maybe because in 
> general, many people just preferred those language dialects for one 
> reason or another. In any case, introducing one new standard to rule 
> them all seldom (if ever) works (and you can bet someone will be 
> unable to resist to add a link to the related xkcd comic).
> Standards do not magically make a language more popular. They only 
> work if they follow from a desire of an entire community to design one 
> and to adhere to it. "Design it and the community will show support" 
> is exactly the opposite of what happens in practice.
ISO Pascal was a born a dead horse. Borland, itself taking pieces of 
USCD Pascal (Units, Strings) became the "de-facto"standard and that is 
what the initial goal was when Florian started the compiler way back 
when. Later, Free Pascal followed what was set by Delphi, making the 
most sense.
Now today, I do not necessarily agree with the direction Embarcadero 
heading these days with Delphi and most importantly (for me), I do not 
agree with all those attempts to add "features" of other languages to 
Free Pascal. I appreciate the efforts of the folks involved in Free 
Pascal for a long time, as this provides me with the opportunity to keep 
working in the programming language/environment that for me makes the 
most sense and that I am used to for 38 years. And I honestly loath to 
see that people argue that there should be new language constructs and 
such, just because it is what more popular programming languages 
provide. I am not in to participate in a popularity contest, I am trying 
to get work done...


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