[fpc-pascal]Interface-only units (was: shared libraries interface)

Full_Name memsom at post.interalpha.co.uk
Fri Aug 2 17:39:57 CEST 2002

Quoting Florian Klaempfl <Florian.Klaempfl at gmx.de>:

> Of course, but see my other mail which decribes the problems with the
> indizies and this problem comes from the binary DCU/TPU concept. 

Surely the pureint is just a workaround. A hacky one at that. Maybe a better 
solution could be found by looking at the way other compilers do things, I'm no 
expert so I can't say. I don't feel happy with this idea as a solution. It 
just 'papers over the cracks' imo. The concept of the compiled unit is at 
fault. You're basically using a concept introduced to Turbo Pascal circa V2 
(iirc) in the early part of the 1980's. Maybe Modula or some later language 
based on Pascal has a better idea? Having struggles with Delphis woefully 
inadiquate component streaming mechanism all afternoon, I would like to see 
something like the package concept in java, and the dynamic class loading.  
(just try getting Delphi to open a DFM without having to explicitly registed 
all of the components on the form - even if you don't know what they will be 

> While the pureint concept would allow to recompile the interface and
> everything would be fine.

Unless there is some way of verifying that the interface in untampered with (a 
third file? a checksum?) and the compiler either will not compile the source or 
at the very least issue a compiler warning, I'll not be using the feature 
personally. There are some many better ways of doing this I think (another 
idea, ADA uses 'specification/header' and 'body' to split the code.) Moving 
away from the concept of a 'Unit' would make the usage clearer/cleaner and less 
prone to problems with understanding.


"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, 
we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and 
listening to repetitive electronic music." 
Kristian Wilson, 
Nintendo, Inc, 1989

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