[fpc-pascal] My favourite missing feature

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-pascal at telemetry.co.uk
Wed Dec 24 12:49:37 CET 2008

Frank de Groot (Rent-a-Geek) wrote:

> 1. The number of people proficient in RegExes is very small, and it 
> takes regular practice to keep the skill up.
> Very bad to be dependent on such a subset of Pascal programmers.

I am very sorry, but your logic is bad there. A high proportion of unix 
users have at least basic familiarity with regexes. The majority of C or 
C++ programmers, particularly working under unix, are familiar with 
them. The reason that comparatively few Pascal programmers are familiar 
with them is because they are not widely used in Pascal.

Your argument could have been applied against including generics, 
polymorphic functions or streams into Pascal: before they were 
implemented few people were familiar with them.

> 3. You become dependent on yet another external library (and possible 
> bugs).

But part of the strength of Pascal is that it is a comparatively small 
language with most non-core features implemented as libraries- one 
obvious example being objpas.

> 4. RegExes, especially complex ones, are usually orders of magnitude 
> slower than straight Pascal, because they're usually interpreted at 
> runtime by a parser.

They could possibly be preprocessed if assigned to a constant, although 
I've not tried doing this.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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