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by Razmal Djamal (homepage)
About the author:
I am a big Open Source fan. I like the way they are working together without seeing each others. And it's wonderfull to make our knowledge available as a free resource to all people around the world. We become one world, one universe without restrictions in terms of race, nation or religion. I'm doing my job on various system, but i preferre Linux. I'm a Linux nomade, moving around and I am interested in many things ... but i like most to write code ... especially in Pascal and Python. I am a moslem, thus I am adoring my great prophet Muhammad SAW ...and the best regards to him, and may Allah SWT. All love, salvation and all promises to him.
Translated to English by:
Razmal Djamal (homepage)
Get To Know A Free Pascal Compiler : Free Pascal
Many of you might remember the legendary Turbo Pascal. After
that the RAD (Rapid Application Development) tools named Delphi
And Kylix (for Linux) came and then programming languanges
similar to Pascal syntax. Basic ASCII text based Pascal
languages are almost gone today. Now Free Pascal is on the
rise with a combination of text mode programming and OOP as
powerfull as RAD Delphi.
Free Pascal is able to run on a 386 prosessor. But I preferre to use some processor like 486 and upwards. AMD CPUs are of course also working as they are all compatible with the 386. Free pascal can also run on the Motorola processor. At least you must have a 680x0 or 68020 to make it work. On every platform, I recommended at least 8 Megabytes of RAM, it will even work with only 4 Megabytes of RAM. With regards to disk space you need minimum 25 Megabytes for the installation. This compiler is available for various operating systems. The latest news is that it is now available for sparc, AMD 64, and arm/linux. If you are interested to know how many platforms Free Pascal is ported to, you may go to download page on . There are packages for Linux, Win32, Amiga, Dos, QNX,Solaris, BeOS, NetBSD,FreeBSD, and OS2.
On Linux, most people just like to use C, since the kernel is write in C. So why you have to learn Pascal? I am already fluent in C, but there are so many perfect ways of writing code in Pascal. It is very clear. It is very fast, doesn't need any make file, it is very structured, you'll know preciselly whether is a code block, a procedure, or a function. The compilers are really really fast, even when you are compiling a big file. One thing that I admire is its great integration with assembler. Years ago Pascal was known to produce well readable assembly code.For Linux compatibilty, FPC (Free Pascal Compiler) has great features, once you have done one program using Linux FPC compiler, then it will be able to run on any kind of linux machine. It's really cool!! It is distribution independent. Furthermore, FPC is very compatible with any kind of Pascal. Like TP7, GnuPascal, even with Delphi and Kylix. You can use your code you've writen with any of them. The last improvement is that it supports now OOP, just like Delphi and Kylix, great. For somebody who knows Object Pascal it is very easy. There is no different between them, whether it is code syntax, or the powerful features.
FPC has a great advantage too ..it is like an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that is very similar to TP7. I can't talk about the advantages long enough ...this compiler is able to do a database programming. You can connect to great SQL servers like MySQL and PostgreSQL, even Interbase. With regards to the GUI FPC can be integrate with widgets like GTK, Tcl/Tk, and ncurses. So..Why Free Pascal...Why not ?!!
Since i wrote this article for a free Linux Magazine, then
i'll take the installation for Linux the environment. You'll
need one installation packet for linux x86. Simply grab the rpm
package from the download page. The latest version is the beta
release 1.9.4 aka 2.0.0-Beta3. The installation packages come
with a unique name, for example
fpc-1.0.10.i386.tar; You have to un-tar this file.
Simply type this command:
[root@yourlinuxbox /]tar xvf fpc-1.0.10.i386.tarThis command will extract the following files :
[root@yourlinuxbox /]#sh install.shor
[root@yourlinuxbox /]#./install.shThis command will install your fresh fpc to the default directory, but in this process you will get many question about path and location of several files. It ended succesfully when you see this:
Writing sample configuration file to /etc/fpc.cfg End of installation. Refer to the documentation for more information.
The installation, will create some new directories that are very usefull for beginenrs:
Next, we will try to write the famous example code called
"Hello World". To make this, it doesn,t take much time or code,
you just need to create a file with extension pp or pas. So
open your favorite editor and enter this:
begin Writeln('Hello World From Pascal..!!'); End.Save this file to "hello.pas". Then we go to the compile process. To Compile this file simply type a command:
fpc test.pasTo run the output (incredibly, the output from compile process is a binary file!!). A picture is better than thousand words so here is the compile process and the ourput of the binary file:
Since the output is a binary file, it mean this file is executable. This file are distribution independent, you dont have to compile it on any linux machine you may want to distribute this file. The above example will give you the same result, even you compiled it on Windows 98, without changing any code. This is ofcourse only possible because we do not use operating system specific functionallity.
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2005-01-14, generated by lfparser version 2.52