[fpc-pascal] Object pascal language compatiblity - was: Does FPC 2.8.0 can actually still be called Pascal ?

Simon Kissel scamp at untergrund.net
Thu Feb 28 01:16:39 CET 2013

> I still believe FPC should leave the "delphi compatible" idea, or
> clearly state that it means "compatible with Delphi 7 for legacy
> purposes" and nothing newer. Then innovate the rest of the language on
> its own in a Pascal-like manner.

This is a terrible idea. The business advantage of Object Pascal
has always been the component market, as it reduces development
costs and time to market. Language compatibility between FPC and
Delphi results in more components being available on both sides.

The Object Pascal language is too fragmented already, and depending
on your choice of the Delphi/FPC/Oxygene/whatever flavour, you are
locked out of a hell lot of available source code, documentation,
knowledge and components. Right now pretty much every commercial
component we have to patch inhouse to be compatibile to FPC.

(On a side note: It's one of the goals of CrossFPC to make it
easier for Delphi users and component vendors to also use/support
the FPC compiler.)

Sticking to D7 compatibility has been OK for now as this is what
the masses and component vendors mostly are doing, too, as they
still have to support D7 users.

We ourselves have to stick with D7 language level because we still
need CrossKylix for our Linux builds because the FPC compiled code
is prohibitively slower than Kylix' one.

FPCs goal to move towards D2009+ language compatibility is a right
goal - but of course that does not mean that everything needs to be
copied, but when things on the Delphi side are designed in an OK
manner, are actively used in the field, and FPC wished to do the same, 
aiming for compatibility is a good thing. Should FPCs share of the 
object Pascal ecosystem one day should be *significantly* larger than 
Delphi's, sooner or later Delphi then will try to pick up FPC's 
innovations instead.

In the long run, new object pascal language features optimally
should be discussed by those active in the field BEFORE they get
implemented. Sadly right now Embarcadero still are far too arrogant
and close-minded to understand that FPC actually benefits the
ecosystem they sell products in.

All this being said: I know that FPC is not after business goals.
But not damaging the ecosystem FPC works in helps everyone using
Object Pascal, no matter if they are after commercial goals or not.



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