[fpc-pascal] java programmer

Tony Pelton tpelton at gmail.com
Sat May 21 17:10:38 CEST 2005

hi all,

new to the list.

please get out your tissues for the tear jerking story i am about to
tell about how i've fallen in love with Free Pascal, then, at the end,
there will be a plea for a little help.

first, i want to say thanks to whomever for Free Pascal.

i had never touched Pascal before about a week ago.

I am a Java programmer for my day job and haev messed with 'C' a
little on and off over the years to solve small problems, or to patch
small bugs, but never to try and use it to do full projects of any

For fun, on and off for probably 6-9 months, i had been trying to get
competent with 'C'/'C++' to do "plugins" for an SDK that had been
released for a flight simulator that consumes entirely too much of my
free time.

suffice it to say, using *open source* 'C'/'C++' tools to get anything
done as a noob is hardcore.

i was actually to the point where i had mostly given up on trying to
implement plugins, because it just seemed that no matter what i tried,
i would hit road blocks with compile problems, lack of being able to
compile 3rd party support for some piece of middleware (XML for
instance) etc, compiling to "libs" issues, export issues ... argh ...

i just couldn't get anywhere.

i saw a posting on slashdot a week ago for Free Pascal.

i was checking out the site, and out of pure whimsy, i downloaded the
Win32 package.

at first, i really wasn't thinking about my 'C'/'C++' problems at all.

i just decided to check out the software on a lark.

as i was poking around with the newly installed software, it occurred
to me, that the SDK for my flight sim had Pascal bindings.

i decided to see if i could get one of the pascal examples they
provide in the SDK to build/run.

i actually had a couple problems with the examples because it was
written for Delphi.

one if fixed by poking around for a minute in the IDE and finding the
"Delphi" switch.

the other was to change a Use from OpenGL12 to GL.

without knowing anything about Pascal, i was able to tweak a couple of
minor things, and build it.

I had it running in about 10 minutes.

I was blown away.

i've been programming and working professionally with computers for
12+ years, and within a week, i have fallen completely in love with

I found an awesome 3D "geometry" lib, that i downloaded, dropped into
a directory, added a Use line for in my source and was off an running.

if it had been a 'C' source project, i'd still be messing around with it.


so ... now that i've wiped the tears from my eyes.

the one thing that looks like it is going to be really painful for me
with Pascal is the seeming lack of out of the box data structures.

in Java, there are a _very_ rich set of "collections" to use.

i've done some poking around on the net, and within the "units" that
come with free pascal.

i'm not seeing anything right off that looks like a
nice,clean,portable little unit that would emulate what i might find
in java collections or C++ vector stuff.

anyone know of a quality implementation of this kind of stuff ?

minimally, an automatically resizing array implementation and a Hashtable ?


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