[fpc-pascal] FreePascal/Lazarus plug-in's for Delphi.

Gerard N/A gerardusmercator at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 13:23:55 CET 2008


On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 6:47 PM, Skybuck Flying <skybuck2000 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I tried compiling the free pascal compiler in Delphi and noticed how free
> pascal had some language features which were not supported by Delphi, which
> scares me a bit... I would like to have the ability to go back and forth
> between compilers because that's in my own best interest ;) and actually all
> pascal users.

AFAIK, it's impossible to compile FPC in Delphi since FPC's 1.0x versions.
If FPC compiles itself (wich it does), I don't see the point in
twisting FPC source in to compiling in Delphi, especially spending
efforts to overcome Delphi's limits.
As long as FPC compiles my Delphi code, I'm happy.

> So I hope all pascal compiler writers, free pascal, delphi, maybe even
> delphi prism/oxygen whatever work together to make sure the pascal community
> is not fragmented across different pascal language extensions because
> ultimately that would hurt all of us pascal programmers.
> Therefore compiler writers that want to compete with each other should not
> compete with each other at the language extensions front... they should work
> together to make the language better that is in the interest of all.

You forget that FPC source is available, thus you are preaching to the
choir, here.
Borland/Inprise/Codegear/Embarcadero are the ones that have a closed
source compiler and go their way without caring about the others (a
legitimate policy, by the way)

> Thus the pascal compiler writes should make sure there is one pascal
> language and not a zillion different ones.

As I explained above, the only way they have to do this is running
after the other compilers to catch up with the changes.
This is what is being done, but asking for a specific change or a
different pace will only get you one answer: The source is here, do it
It may sound rude, but that's the basic contract between FPC's
developers and you.

> Competition between pascal compiler writers could focus on:
> 1. Higher quality of compiler in the sense of:
> 1.1 Less crashes of compiler.
> 1.2 Less bugs of compiler.
> 1.3 Better code generation of compiler for higher performing code.
> 1.4 Faster compiler.
> 1.5 Cross compiling to different platforms.
I think this has been taken care of, at least on th FPC side. ;-)

> Now a word about the plugin concept and the reasons behind it.
> At least for Lazarus I wonder how much time it would make to create a plugin
> for Delphi.

There was one attempt from the CrossKylix author, that seems to be
abandonned. Again you would be chasing a moving target, with no
cooperation from Codegear.

> When it comes to debugging Lazarus this seems difficult. How does one debug
> Lazarus with Lazarus ? Very strange really...

With patience. Welcome the world of IDE development.

> If lazarus crashes... then how could I possible debug it ? Since it already
> crashed ? Pretty strange...
A) with an external debugger.
B) With another instance of LAzarus.

> Maybe an idea would be to use two Lazarus instances... one which will be
> debugged with the other Lazarus instance... but then it's hoping that not
> both will crash... ;)

Could happen.

> These kind of debugging technique's should be documented somewhere... maybe
> even on the "frontpage" for maximum exposure ;)
> However now the question becomes the opposite:
> Why would we Delphi programmers invest time in trying to make Lazarus better
> ?

To have a spare solution, and in some cases a better solution.
After seeing the erratic behaviour and policies of
Borland/Inprise/Codegear/Embarcadero, do you feel safe with Delphi?

> Why would we Delphi programmers invest time in trying to make Free Pascal
> better ?
See above.

> So far these two tools do little for us Delphi programmers:

I don't think it's everybody's case.

> Lazarus is still buggy, and kinda annoying ;) :)

True, but the solution is partially in your hands.

> I would like to bring to your attention this project:
> http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=365095
> DWPL... it was quite impressive... it had a text gui which was compatible
> with Delphi... not sure if it's still compatible with Delphi 2007...
> probably not... maybe it has the same issue's as Lazarus now has... maybe
> Lazarus was even based on it... (?)

Yes, this is really what we need. Ditch DOS filenames and switch to a
DOS based text GUI.

> Now finally the question is... why or why not keep compatibility with
> Delphi.
> Delphi has this VCL... it's code is maybe protected by copyrights by
> CodeGear.
> You guys want to distribute your own products... but you cannot include the
> VCL from CodeGear because of copyright reasons.
> These are legal questions.
> There is such a thing as "a derivative work" which then maybe becomes a work
> in itself if it's modified enough... not that many modifications are needed
> to become "a derivative work".
> I am not a legal expert... but it's worth looking into this to see if
> somehow the VCL code can still be used.
> If this is not possible, maybe a wikipedia like donation initiative might
> work... for example CodeGear or whatever there name now is... could put a
> price tag on their VCL like:
> "We want 5 million dollars" and then we will open source it...
> Maybe if all pascal programmers put in a few bucks it will be open sourced
> :) maybe even some companies interested in supporting it ;)

> I like to spent my time as efficiently as possible... and I sure hope that
> other people do to...

The stop dreaming. ;-)

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