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Does anyone use Pascal anymore?


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#1 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 10:48 AM

I am no programmer, but I have dabbled a little bit.

 

Back when I was in University, Pascal was the language of choice. Turbo Pascal was the dominant platform on PCs. 

 

Has Pascal now been completely supplanted by C/C++ (or Java, depending on the context/application)?



#2 danwinslow OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 10:51 AM

If you mean in the modern development industry, then no, nobody really uses it for new development. There are nooks and crannies doing legacy maintenance that might have some pascal, but it would less than 1% of the market, probably much less.


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#3 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 10:54 AM

Did anyone ever use Pascal? Lol, when I learned it in school, it was always presented as a 'teaching language' and not really used in the real world.

Ironically my first job out of college involved maintaining the code for a system written in Pascal :)

#4 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 11:20 AM

Pascal, or to be more precise, Turbo Pascal was used in commercial product dev. especially communication software for some reason. But mostly it was used in education because it's a strongly typed and structured language. It was the one of the languages that I learned in college, that and Cobol (yeah, I'm old...). When I got to university it was replaced by Ada.



#5 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 12:08 PM

Pascal, or to be more precise, Turbo Pascal was used in commercial product dev. especially communication software for some reason. But mostly it was used in education because it's a strongly typed and structured language. It was the one of the languages that I learned in college, that and Cobol (yeah, I'm old...). When I got to university it was replaced by Ada.


I had to learn Cobol as well, at the time it was already considered an archaic language, but the justification was "hey, it's still widely used in business systems". Never once worked on Cobol in the real world. But they also told me I'd never encounter Pascal and I did so...

#6 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 12:15 PM

I had to learn Cobol as well, at the time it was already considered an archaic language, but the justification was "hey, it's still widely used in business systems". Never once worked on Cobol in the real world. But they also told me I'd never encounter Pascal and I did so...

 

Same here... I've been traumatized for life the first time I saw I had 35890 errors in my listing because I forgot a "." at the end of a line  :D

But my first job was in Delphi (Object Pascal). I then moved to .Net (vb & c#) and plain old C.


Edited by AMenard, Wed Nov 1, 2017 12:15 PM.


#7 awhite2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 11:08 AM

I was never a fan of Pascal.  I had a buddy in the late '80s that loved Pascal.  He convinced me to get a Modula-2 compiler for the Amiga as it was similar to Pascal and affordable.  I could never get my head around the language enough to write anything beyond a very simple program.

 

I do know that the original Great Plains Accounting product was written in Pascal.  Both the popular DOS version and the almost unknown Windows version.  This is not the same as the current Dynamics GP product - which is written in C++.

 

As for older languages.  I learned COBOL, Fortran and RPG in school.  In about 1988 I wrote a couple of very minor COBOL programs that became part of a large system used by an investment bank.  



#8 danwinslow OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 11:51 AM

Pascal, or to be more precise, Turbo Pascal was used in commercial product dev. especially communication software for some reason. But mostly it was used in education because it's a strongly typed and structured language. It was the one of the languages that I learned in college, that and Cobol (yeah, I'm old...). When I got to university it was replaced by Ada.

I really liked Ada, I was in the DoD world when it got started. In fact, I participated in the Ironman tests on the Honeywell/Bull team. Most people wound up not liking it, mostly because the compilers just could not handle it very well, it was WAY ahead of it's time.

 

Turbo pascal eventually turned into Delphi I think, but that's not used much anymore.



#9 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 1:04 PM

I used to use Turbo Pascal quite extensively for private project. And sometimes I am using it still today (Free Pascal that is).



#10 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 5:02 PM

I would think that back in the early days with UCSD Pascal and the P-systems, those were used commercially to some degree, or perhaps there were other compilers emitting P-code besides Pascal? Of course from the early 1990's and onwards, the situation may have changed though Delphi appears to have had enough users to be released in new versions over the years. A programming language without the commercial demand probably would just disappear from the market or turn into open source for the remaining hobbyists.

 

Edit: Bah, I always mix up the order of the letters: UCSD or USCD and most of the time I get them in the wrong order.


Edited by carlsson, Thu Nov 2, 2017 5:03 PM.


#11 MortoffGames OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 3, 2017 3:10 PM

Yes people still use it for instance Cardano used it to make their new currency ADA

https://www.cardanohub.org/en/home/



#12 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 4, 2017 1:24 PM

When I first learned Pascal, I loved it (coming from BASIC and Fortran).
Once I learned C, I stopped loving Pascal.
Pascal has a lot of the things I don't like compared to C, but modern versions fix a lot of that.  It also has a lot of things I like that I didn't appreciate when I was younger.

 

There are several modern versions of Pascal still in use.  The most common that still very Pascal like is Delphi and searching for jobs on Dice or Monster always seems to turn up a few jobs.
ADA is used for many govt projects and you'll see jobs posted for that, though technically it's not really Pascal. 
 

 

I would think that back in the early days with UCSD Pascal and the P-systems, those were used commercially to some degree, or perhaps there were other compilers emitting P-code besides Pascal? Of course from the early 1990's and onwards, the situation may have changed though Delphi appears to have had enough users to be released in new versions over the years. A programming language without the commercial demand probably would just disappear from the market or turn into open source for the remaining hobbyists.

 

Edit: Bah, I always mix up the order of the letters: UCSD or USCD and most of the time I get them in the wrong order.

There was a Pascal User newsletter back in the early days. 
Based on the articles and code from that, UCSD was obviously used by a lot of CS departments and researchers, but I'm not sure how many applications were written for it outside of that group.  It had some outrageous license fee like $10,000 in the early years, and there was no runtime only license until the 80s.
BYTE has advertisements for UCSD Pascal in 1982 targeting business type devs, so there has to be some programs written for it outside of that group. A company named SoftTech owned it at that time, there is no mention of license fees though.

The P-Machine was supposedly used by several other languages.  Fortran, BASIC, Modula 2 (around 1986), and C, though I've never found all of those on the internet.

*edit* LOL It's really easy to type US.    Just remember UCSD stands for University of California San Diego, not United States something.  


Edited by JamesD, Sat Nov 4, 2017 1:26 PM.

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#13 teh_supar_hackr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 AM

I installed it and never got the time to learn the language scence I was busy with Q-Basic at the time.



#14 nitrofurano OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:28 AM

there are projects still made in pascal nowadays, like this checksum fixer for sega master system - https://gitlab.com/nitrofurano/smshead



#15 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:20 AM

I am no programmer, but I have dabbled a little bit.

 

Back when I was in University, Pascal was the language of choice. Turbo Pascal was the dominant platform on PCs. 

 

Has Pascal now been completely supplanted by C/C++ (or Java, depending on the context/application)?

 

UCSD Pascal eventually was replaced by Turbo Pascal as the industry standard (and yes, it was used commercially by many shops).  Then TurboPascal gave way to Object Pascal (a feature within Turbo Pascal), which eventually was turned into Delphi, which is the component-based programming environment of Borland's Object Pascal for Windows.  Delphi was never as popular as Visual Basic during its hey-day, but it was much more powerful.  For a long time, it was the second most popular "business software" programming language, a distant second behind Visual Basic.  By "business software" I mean the home-grown crap built in-house by most small-to-medium businesses like banks, doctors' and lawyers' offices, and services companies.  These were custom-built applications for accounting, payroll, HR management, etc.  The boring side of the software industry.

 

In early-to-mid 1990s, getting a "programmer analyst" job out of college (there were no "software engineering" jobs! :lol:) in many cities meant finding either a VB shop or a Delphi shop, and getting stuck there.  The former were much more common, but the latter paid better.  The main difference was the experience -- any two-bit hack could "program" in VB -- and that reflected on the business' software -- while Delphi typically required a bit more training and understanding of data structures and proper algorithms.

 

Of course, C and C++ were The Real Deal™, but hiring a C programmer meant paying the big bucks.  It was only for hard-core stuff like the software that actually ran your company and performed transactions (displacing the older COBOL and Fortran stuff).  But even those places had some VB kiddie hacking away at the less exciting stuff, like the mail-merge program to compile customer lists, or the tech-support call log, etc.

 

Yet, VB was the language of choice -- it was cheap, it was easy, it was Microsoft's (which was a big thing back then, believe it or not, the "Google" of its time), and there were plenty of "VB programmers" out in the field whom you could hire for low wages.

 

Eventually a series of bad management decisions destroyed Borland, then Inprise (wtf?), then Borland again, then ... I forgot, who they sold it to now?  All of this affected Delphi's quality and appeal in the industry, while Microsoft kept getting bigger and bigger.

 

In the end, Java took over as the main programming language taught in college in the late 90s and early 2000s, so businesses started hiring Java programmers for business applications, displacing some of the VB work (it was still the cheapest thing around, and it was still Microsoft's), and most of Delphi's.  As far as I remember, by 2007 it was hard to find Delphi programming shops, and when you did, they were transitioning out of it and into .NET (which meant VB.NET and C#).  The Delphi software was mere "legacy" stuff, which was hilarious because 10 years earlier we were using it to replace the COBOL crap. :lol:

 

The same industry dynamics from the VB vs. Delphi days applied then to the VB.NET vs. C# age:  the former was cheaper and lower-quality work, while the latter paid better and required more discipline.  The main difference this time around was that both were owned by Microsoft.  The other difference was that Java was taking a bigger piece of the pie, displacing Microsoft in most places.

 

Delphi now lives in C# -- designed by the same guy, and you can tell.  It's just like if you took the best things from Java and C++ and replaced the crappy parts with the cool ones from Delphi.  If you squint your eyes so, and you peek under the hood of C#, you can see traces of some of the principles first implemented in Turbo Pascal.

 

     -dZ.


Edited by DZ-Jay, Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:35 AM.





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