[fpc-pascal] OT a bit - Planet Object Pascal

Frank Church vfclists at gmail.com
Sun Feb 17 20:31:08 CET 2013

On 17 February 2013 17:10, ik <idokan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM, Florian Klämpfl <florian at freepascal.org> wrote:
>> Am 17.02.2013 15:36, schrieb ik:
>> >
>> >
>> > On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 <tel:2013> at 1:58 PM, Florian Klämpfl
>> > Why is it that FPC/K now exists for 20 years as an open source project,
>> > and you
>> > can't earn money for developing it,
>> Actually, I'am not interested in earning money with it.
>> >  while Linus that have an OS that
>> > exists for 21
>> > years can ?
>> >
>> > This type of things are important more then you think.
>> For what? For the fun? FPC is probably by far the most successful non
>> company supported oss compiler so I'am sure I know what is important.
> Yes to solve everything but keep it for yourself :P
>> >
>> > But not only this, take a look at the freepascal.org
>> > <http://freepascal.org> web site: animated gif (from the 90's),
>> Ever looked at gcc.gnu.org, kernel.org, llvm.org etc.?
> Nice, Pascal is at the same level of usage and exposure as gcc, Linux
> kernel and llvm,
> nothing more to do, 0xPascal maybe, just to show that 201x can have
> something new ?
>> > the whole way of thinking there is not designer oriented - It does not
>> > invite new people
>> > to the project,
>> > does not provide a proper place to be etc...
>> Why should I care? They might use the tools they like, I use the tools I
>> like.
>> >
>> > It's not easy to find documentation for things, some are at the wiki,
>> A compiler is not a toy, and I know that serious programmers find the
>> needed docs.
> Sure that compile is a toy, it can't do much, just parse something and
> move it to be something else :P
> And documentation should be at one place, including new features,
> workarounds etc... for old versions.
> Look at:
> http://ruby-doc.org/
> http://www.python.org/doc/
> http://perldoc.perl.org/
> http://golang.org/doc/
> http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/
> http://docs.embarcadero.com/products/rad_studio/
> https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/JavaScript
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/
> https://developers.google.com/
> Should I continue, or do you get my point ?
>> > some at the /doc-html/ path
>> > and many does not exists.
>> >
>> > So you are working on all this cool features and is the fastest compiler
>> > in the world, and you can
>> > do everything you wanted with pascal and many things you don't (and it's
>> > not a c++ like
>> > technology garbage can). But no new blood see it, use it or can be
>> > attracted to it, so what's
>> > the point ?
>> FPC is still growing so what is your point?
> If a tree fall in the forest and no one hear about it, did it made a sound ?
> My point is that features are good, but when on one knows about it, then
> what's the point of it all ?
>> _______________________________________________
>> fpc-pascal maillist  -  fpc-pascal at lists.freepascal.org
>> http://lists.freepascal.org/mailman/listinfo/fpc-pascal
> _______________________________________________
> fpc-pascal maillist  -  fpc-pascal at lists.freepascal.org
> http://lists.freepascal.org/mailman/listinfo/fpc-pascal

To Id in particular and others like minds I think there is something
which isn't quite understood here. The compiler and the language ie
FPC is quite a separate thing from the development tools and
libraries, toolchains and the areas where it is applied. For instance
if you read fpc-devel you will see that it is targetted at a wide
range of CPUs and embedded devices, and that is not an area where the
latest language developments are of much interest. Rightly or wrongly
the compiler developers have become the focus where all matters FPC
related are centred and this shouldn't be the case.

I had my issues with this a long time ago and I even blogged about it
- https://devblog.brahmancreations.com/content/observations-on-freepascal-and-lazarus-development,
and it also resulted in
(which has resulted in almost 60.000 hits to date, LOL) but I have
come to understand why things are the way they are.

Some of your comparisons with other language projects are not quite
fair. You mentioned Ruby, Python, Java but this comparison is not
appropriate. Leaving aside the quality of documentation, something
must be noted here. The languages you mentioned are more or less owned
by a few individuals/corporations/committees who determine EXACTLY how
the language is defined, the primary libraries and how they are
implemented. There is only one Matz, one Guido, and one Oracle.
FreePascal aims to support and retain compatibility with many
different dialects which sprung up over the years and that isn't easy.
Graeme's complaints about what he considers an unwarranted desire to
maintain compatibility with Delphi are legion, yet (ex) Delphi
developers are the ones who can do the most to help FreePascal evolve
if they don't buy into promises by Embarcadero to have Delphi working
fine and dandy on Linux, which really means the Mac, as there is one
too many variants of Linux consumer-wise.

The main hindrance in the FPC world over the years, I believe, has
been the reluctance to allow a modicum of documentation comments in
the source code that would allow documentation to be built directly
from the IDE with some CodeTools, ie in Lazarus. I think that is where
it has been hurt most because it is not a corporate funded language
and hobbyists have enough problems going through an edit-compile-run
cycle to finish their projects, let alone document them in a separate
files using plain text editors. There is more flexibility now and I
think the upcoming Lazarus versions will make it easier.

One more thing lest I forget. The official FPC documentation is very
good, especially for documents created by volunteers and hobbyists.
That it is not accompanied by examples and demos is quite another
matter. The solution to that is would be some kind of Pascal
interpreter with a REPL that would enable FreePascal developers to
have their Web 2.0 cake and eat it, so they could develop their IDEs
and some web-based documentation CMSs speedily, but most of the
efforts in that area, like ElevateSoft Web Buillder, Raudus,
SmartMobileStudio etc are closed source.

What the Open Source Pascal world needs most now is a good interpreter
to start developing their IDE and documentation in, which is compiled
to machine code after, not because Lazarus is not good enough, but
turnaround times need to be fast for a hobbyist and volunteer driven

Frank Church


More information about the fpc-pascal mailing list