[TUHS] Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language - Unearthed!

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Sep 2 01:14:17 AEST 2017

On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 10:43 AM, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au>

> I'm not sure if the Apple compiler used circa 1983 was *Object* Pascal
​It wasn't.

> but it was certainly extended with many intrinsics, casts, and pointer
> operations, bringing it essentially into parity with C for systems and
> application programming.
​Which was my point...​ the problem was the every Pascal compiler of the
day was different.  strings where the worst.   If you came from the folks
that believed strings should carry a length, then you defined them that
way, if you believed in a token at the end, you did that.   Moving code was
really, really hard...  So know "Pascal" was not good enough -- you had to
know N different flavors and since there was no preprocessor, writing code
that could be portable between the different flavors was basically not
going to happen.

Go back and read BWK document...   for real programming Pascal sucked in
practice (theory and practice and all that).  I'm saying that and I loved
it (and still do) Pascal as a language.   It's straight forward, safe,
clear, easy to read, *etc*. - but like Brian said, it is not my *favorite*
language.   It is not practical for a great deal of what I do.

To go back to Brian analog, one of my coworkers is a former Air-Force
fighter pilot.   She still to fly small plane like Piper Cubs for fun and
for small short flights.   She loves them.   She also used to love going at
Mach X and dog-fighting and I gather was extremely good at it.  (She was
also the first woman to graduate from the Air Force Academy).   Two
different tools.

The point is that there is nothing wrong with us having multiple tools to
functionally do the same job (programming or flying), nor is there anything
wrong with liking one tools better than another (teaching or professionally)
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