[fpc-pascal]Contributing to FPC.

ddt at headrush.co.za ddt at headrush.co.za
Tue Sep 10 02:28:28 CEST 2002

According to the freepascal website, you are the maintainer of the Linux 
port, hence this mail. 
I have been programming in Pascal for around 13 years now (I started with 
BP5 as a nine year old kid :-) )  
I started using Linux around 4 years ago (back when slackware was 
reccommend for it's easy instalation) and had the shock of my life. NO 
proper pascal compiler, the only thing there was available was then alpha 
version of p2c which couldn't do anything more than Wirt level pascal (and 
not even all of that mind you - I still had to manually fix file-pointers 
in the C code after having used Assign/Rewrite )  
I started using FreePascal sometime around version 0.8, I still remember my 
first post to the mailinglist being about a crash caused by the then 
experimental ansi-strings support and being told to get myself a copy of 
the snapshots :-) 
Anyway, the point is I am still using FPC today and in my opinion it is the 
best pascal compiler around, and the only better one for delphi is borlands 
own (for the record I detest delphi - all the best things about pascal is 
hard to do - the only reason I call it better is because to my knowledge 
Delphi/Kylix are unique in fully supporting the Delphi GFX stuff) 
I have done some truly amazing things with it, you may have noticed my 
contributed PTK unit - orriginally designed just for the sake of creating 
TK based GUI's now able to embed almost ANY scripted language into FPC code 
(With some limitations) and the code for that is less than 600 lines. 
Unfortunately it uses Linux specific functions (and it really does depend 
on them) so it's non-portable. 
I believe very strongly in open-source and whenever possible I open-source 
my code, and now I would like to help develop FPC. 
My programming experience is very varied, I have developed hundreds of 
different things (including once a very simple programming language back in 
dos days for my little brother to play with) and almost always in Pascal. 
I think I am really good at it, I kn
e C/C++ and did a JAVA course at 
university but there is no other language out there that ever appealed to 
my like Pascal. I always end up looking up syntax and commands, I cannot 
remember the last time I needed to look something up in Pascal. 
I would love to contribute to FreePascal's developement. I am writing you 
directly because I couldn't find anything on the topic after an exhaustive 
search on freepascal.org . 
My first idea for improvement is this: 
A recreation of the Graph unit using SDL. The current Linux version 
requires SVGAlib which is no-longer included with most distributions and 
requires root privelages. I have worked quite a bit with Daniel Moisette's 
SDL headers and I am convinced it is do-able though it will certainly not 
be a hundred percent compatible. Once that is finished I would create 
CRT'ish mouse and keyboard access using SDL's event manager behind it -the 
result will be a graph unit that is portable to more platforms and OS's 
than FPC and depends only on a highly available, stable and open-source 
Please let me know your feelings on this one. 
As for more relevant and immediate actions I would like to help with the 
Enhancing h2pas - the current version has severe problems with just about 
every header file on my system - I am sure it can be improved. 
Documentation - There is a great deal of room for improvement with the 
documentation - for one thing the packages have been part of the FPC 
distribution for a long time now, but they are not documented, I think I am 
allready capable of writing chapters similiar to those in Units.pdf for 
several of them (including mysql and ncrt). 
Please let me know if the FPC developers would be willing to let me work on 
any of the above as an official member of the team. In the fullness of time 
I will also be willing to work on improving the compiler itself, but I need 
to understand it better first (I am currently studying the sources for fun) 
I hopefully await your answer. 
A.J. Venter 

mail2web - Check your email from the web at
http://mail2web.com/ .

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