[fpc-pascal] Learning new things in an imperfect world

David Chandler david at davidchandler.com
Tue Nov 1 06:29:35 CET 2005

I am having trouble getting a standard top-of-the-page menu system to 
work properly in Lazarus (Version 0.9.10 beta downloaded a few weeks ago).

--I am able to construct the menu, put in events, etc. using the tools 
in Lazarus, however at run time it locks up.  I click on the menu item 
(such as File or Edit, etc.) and instead of dropping down the sub menus, 
the program locks up.
--I tried a simple test program with no frills: just a menu, a single 
menu item, and a sub menu.  I double clicked the submenu item to create 
stub code for a handler.  Same result.  If there are several menu items 
with no sub-menus, there is no problem, however.
--I also tried one of the example programs that comes with Lazarus.  
Same result.  The error message I get when I stop the program is 
"Project raised external exception class 'Externals: SIGSEGV'".  I tried 
stepping through the program with the debugger.  What I got were various 
messages saying Lazarus couldn't find different inc files.  It gave me 
an opportunity to supply my own path, so after searching around I 
provided a path (C:\lazarus\fpcsrc\rtl\inc\...), after which it kept 
working until it came to another missing inc file.
--The strange thing is that when I exit the Lazarus development 
environment and run the exe file, they all (the example program and my 
test programs) work flawlessly.  The problem seems to be in Lazarus 
being able to run its own code.

My frustration in trying to learn Delphi-like programming in an 
imperfect environment is I can never tell whether it is my own ignorance 
or a flaw in the system that is creating the problems.  I am using 
Mastering Delphi 6 as one guide and any online docs and tutorials I can 
find.  Beyond that I have to ask stupid questions and hope for your 
patience.  It seems that if anyone has created anything of value with 
Lazarus they must surely have been able to create menus, so I assume I 
am doing something stupid, but all the recent discussion of the 
immaturity of the Lazarus IDE makes me wonder. 

I would like to hear from anyone who has successfully navigated these 
waters.  I will probably have a few more problems like this in getting 
up and running.  (I am a successful self-taught DOS Borland Pascal 
programmer from the 1980's but never used Delphi.)  If anyone who knows 
FPC/Lazarus well would be willing to correspond with me directly to help 
me get over these initial hurdles I would be able to spare the rest of 
you from hearing my newbie woes.  My direct email is david at 
davidchandler dot com.

--David Chandler

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