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One of the programming languages about which relatively little is heard nowadays is Pascal and some of its variants like Object Pascal. Not so in the 1980s and 1990s. This was one of the syntaxes most used by developers, much more than others like C and C ++. It was mainly used in the MS-DOS operating system (Microsoft Disk Operating System) and Apple computers. Now the situation is very different.
Although its use has fallen greatly in the last 25 years, Pascal remains in the rankings of the languages most used by the developer community. In one of the most frequently consulted rankings, that of TIOBE, Pascal stood 17th at close of November 2015, very close to such well known syntaxes as MATLAB, Swift and Objective-C. Its decline as a language is due to Microsoft's decision to program the Windows kernel in C, prompting developers to discard Pascal in favor of this syntax, when both are similar and equally powerful.
In fact some features of Pascal make it a very interesting alternative to C for certain projects:
– Pascal is a specially clean syntax when coding.
– A version of Pascal like Free Pascal compiles faster.
– It is a programming language that is easy to learn.
– It has code requiring less maintenance.
– Advanced management of libraries and dependencies.
In any case, developers still using Pascal and Object Pascal for project development have a number of useful tools available to them. This is intended to be a list of the most important ones for the community:
– Integrated Development Environment: Lazarus
Lazarus is a rapid application development (RAD) tool. It is based on Object Pascal and is compatible with the three main operating systems on the market: Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X. This IDE was launched in February 1999 by Cliff Baeseman, Shane Miller and Michael A. Hess. The there were members of the Megido Project, a failed attempt to develop an IDE for rapid application development (RAD) using the Free Pascal compiler, a tool that we will discuss below. All the keys to how it started and its history are in this Wiki entry.
Its most interesting features:
– An open code tool.
– It is licensed under LGPL, allowing developers to design their own application and license it as they wish, whether commercially or not.
– Ease of use.
– It is a multiplatform integrated development environment.
– Creation and distribution of binary files without dependencies.
– Refactoring tools.
– Automatic synchronization of graphical user interface (GUI) and code.
– Execution and debugging of code from the IDE itself.
– Capacity to extend functionality of the integrated development environment by installing third-party plugins.
– Several database frameworks.
– It is an IDE for Free Pascal and is Delphi compatible. In fact, it is a tool very similar to this integrated development environment.
– It has its own component library: Lazarus Component Library.
– It also has its own independent API.
– Integrated Development Environment: Embarcadero Delphi
Embarcadero Delphi is a general purpose programming IDE. Prior to becoming Embarcadero Delphi, it existed as CodeGear Delphi, Inprise Delphi and Borland Delphi. It is a developer tool in Object Pascal, an evolution of Pascal. The environment was originally developed by Borland, then became part of CodeGear and is has now developed by Embarcadero Technologies. Thus the series of changes to its name.
Logically Object Pascal has some improvements on Pascal, which involve a change in the star integrated development environment for this syntax. Some of the paradigm differences between the two are:
– Support for object oriented programming.
– Event-driven programming.
– Structured exception handling.
– Reuse of code for development or improvement of components.
Some of the key features of this IDE:
– It is a powerful visual IDE: ext editor with syntax highlighting, component palette and tool configuration menu.
– It allows files to be run in different platforms: desktops in Windows and MacOS X, mobile devices in iOS or Android, open source operating systems like GNU/Linux and the .NET platform.
– Delphi, like the Lazarus IDE, also has its own component library (Visual Component Library – VCL). In addition to using the standard library, developers can create their own components, download others that may help them with their project from the internet, or make their own improvements to already existing components.
– Has a built-in debugger.
– Has a version control tool.
Free Pascal is a compiler for Pascal and for Object Pascal. It is a free alternative to compilers + integrated development environment such as Turbo Pascal and Delphi, the IDE mentioned previously. It is compatible with all platforms, whether Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. It is written in the Pascal programming language and is licensed under GPL v.2.
It has its own Free Components Library (FCL): manages provision of components and classes to developers for programming tasks. Logically it is compatible with other component libraries, such as that of Delphi. This library's visual components are provided by the Lazarus IDE library (LCL).
– Turbo Pascal
Turbo Pascal is an application development system that includes both an integrated development environment (IDE) and a compiler. It is a tool for developers in the Pascal language. Turbo Pascal was originally developed by the Borland company and was launched in 1993.
Some of its key features are:
– Object oriented programming.
– Object programming inheritance.
– Class constructor.
– Has a code debugger.
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