[fpc-pascal]Free Pascal - general commet / suggestions

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Thu Jan 15 15:07:53 CET 2004

> I have been looking for a language to replace my reliance on C++ and FP
> seems like it could fit the bill but I have a few questions for you
> veterans. I develop in C++ not because I love it, am not even that good at
> it, but because I can find free easy to use libraries to accomplish a lot
> of what I need to do which is usually developing Oracle database apps.
> Unfortunately I can't find the libraries (units) I am looking for. Has
> someone tried to mimic the STL for example?

There is a Delphi package called Decal. However there is not much interest
in it.

> If I knew FP well I could write a unit that does this
> http://otl.sourceforge.net/otl3.htm#toc for example. or develop a generic
> database access layer like Perl DBI. Shouldn't effort be put in developing
> Internet aware libraries targeting the web instead of the traditional
> desktop? Any Internet site developed in FPC. 

We are still searching for a webmaster:-)

> That wouldn't be a bad advertisement. I have browsed the site
> http://www.freepascal.org but I get the impression that a lot is going on
> that is not well directed effort in my opinion. 

What is "well directed" in your opinion? Compared to what?

> Do you really need to support all these platforms?

As far as I'm concerned, we could dump Linux, OS/2 and Windows, since I
don't or hardly use them :-)

Nearly any subsystem is created a maintained by a member or user that is
interested in it. 

So in theory, what FPC provides exactly matches the needs of the
active developers and users.

There are some practical difference though, like holes left behind important
members that had no more time to work on FPC due to job changes etc.

> Including DOS for God's sake. 

(seriously again)

Dos can be quite important for a smaller compiler suite. The installed base,
(specially if you included embedded devices that run on it) is still quite
large, and the big guys don't support it any more.

OS/2 is the same story I think, but a magnitude smaller. But both OS/2 and
Dos are maintained by people.

> Looks like everyone and their brother is trying to develop yet another IDE.

There are three initiatives that are linked with FPC from their beginning:
- the standard textmode IDE (TP/BP style). 
- Lazarus, the RAD.
- Sebastian Guenthers efforts (fp<x> Kassandra)

Lazarus is making good progress.
The FPC IDE is without maintainer.

> Sorry if I sound negative but I really would love to see FP succeed
> because it is a beautiful language. 

The answer is very simple: work on it. Do work for an extended period of
time. The limitation is not in direction, or making decisions, but in

> You get ease of use without sacrificing power.

Well, that is indeed also my reason for choosing FPC.

> Produce more units to accomplish modern computing tasks. How can I help?

What we (IMHO) currently most need:

jobs that only work out when somebody does it for a longer period:

- maintainer/manager of the packages
- maintainer for the textmode IDE and related terminal independant
	subsystems. (video/keyboard units)
- coordinate extension addition of major systems in the classes library
	(like more TDataSets, fpimage etc etc)
- work on Lazarus.

jobs that all serious interested developers could pick up

- creator of new packages and lazarus components.
- making classes library extensions 
- take an arbitrary package and start maintaining/bugfixing/updating
- make demo programs. Most asked are a series of simple crossplatform
	socket examples.

Besides this, we can always use 5 hardcore compiler developers. However this
is not for the faint of heart, and it takes at least a manyear to get up to

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