FreePascal (the particular Pascal compiler used in the linked article) was my go-to systems language until incredibly recently, at which point I think it’s gotten vaguely replaced by Rust and maybe eventually Swift. But given how much good software is written in straight-up C, I think that FPC is still incredibly relevant today, and definitely worth a look. (And unlike languages like Swift or Rust, FPC is genuinely and truly a systems language in every sense of the word; it’s trivial to write device drivers and kernels in it. If C is appropriate, FreePascal is appropriate, full-stop.)
Nice to see something about Pascal, the first language I ever did any serious programming in (weren’t the Borland DOS development tools so far ahead of the curve for their time?). It’s sad how it’s very much the “forgotten child” of programming languages, not getting the attention it deserves.
That said, for some reason I don’t feel the need to rekindle my interest in Pascal - perhaps I’ve just moved on?
I was basically agreeing with you, actually; even if I could somehow prove that Pascal is objectively a better C than C, I don’t know that I’d encourage people to pick it up at this point. You’ve got Nim and Go in the Pascal-esque GC tradition, and Rust in the modern systems tradition, all of which provide greater programmer safety and productivity than a modern Pascal variant. Conversely, C has a massive ecosystem of tooling at this point that just doesn’t exist on the Pascal side—and while C may theoretically not allow for the same quality of tools as Pascal (due to ambiguous syntax, header files, preprocessor macros, etc.), we in practice have tooling that can deal surprisingly well with this. We’ve even got tools like Frama-C that can make C more secure than Pascal.
But I’m still really happy to see Pascal staying relevant to its existing user base, if nothing else.