1. 32
  1.  

  2. 8

    Pascal was the second language I learned (and the first I was formally taught in). I have the fondest of memories. Because reasons, at a time I was locked out of the lab that hosted the Pascal compiler but still had access to another laboratory that allowed us to compile C programs. “Easy I thought, I will write a program that reads Pascal and translates to C. It should be easy”, said the first-year undergrad me :)

    1. 1

      I have semi-fond memories of Pascal too. I think it’s an excellent teaching language, even though it’s not “useful” for “real work” (or “systems hacking” as ESR(?) cattily observes here). As he notes in this article, Wirth was present at the creation of modern programming, and Pascal has had an enormous influence - both with action and reaction.

      1. 8

        That ESR quote is probably 40 years old. Pascal is a living language. Modern Pascal compilers have all the features you expect from a modern mainstream language, like modules, dynamic arrays, generics, concurrency, classes, overloading. Here are the features that were added to Free Pascal v3.3 in June 2020: https://wiki.freepascal.org/FPC_New_Features_3.2

        1. 2

          Thanks for expanding on the current state of Pascal! I last used it on a Macintosh computer in the early 90s, where it had great integration for graphics. It was a really fun environment to work in. When I changed university I was dumped into a text-only environment which was much less compelling.

          I was part of the last year at that uni where Pascal was part of the introductory programming curriculum. The next year (1993) it was replaced by Scheme, which itself was quickly replaced by Java.

        2. 4

          Also pretty ignorant of all the systems programming going on in Pascal with the 70s and 80s; the biggest examples being UCSD p-System and the classic Mac OS.

          1. 5

            Pascal was also a first-class citizen on VAX/VMS, where it was a lot more suitable for systems programming than FORTRAN or COBOL. C was not a supported option, at least in the first few years. (I don’t know about later because I moved from VAX to Mac as soon as you could get a Mac with a MB or two of RAM)

            1. 1

              Right, how could I forget VMS? Or the IBM mainframe systems-level software like IP stacks?

          1. 2

            Yeah I found out about it later. But by then I had got the parsing bug.

        3. 2

          The group consisted of about 40 members with almost the same number of opinions

          Seems like not much changed since then…