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30th Anniversary of Pascal

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the get-yer-code-on dept.

Programming 587

GrokSoup writes "UC San Diego is holding a public symposium on Friday, October 22nd, honoring the 30th anniversary of the Pascal programming language. Oh the memories of undergraduate bubble-sorts ..."

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More serious apps... (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | about 10 years ago | (#10591865)


Pascal was more than just undergrad bubble sorts. The original Mac had all the hooks and development stuff in Pascal. If memory serves the Mac was the largest Pascal project going. Using C (Lightspeed C, circa 1986 or so) was a real bitch on the machine.

Re:More serious apps... (5, Informative)

JPriest (547211) | about 10 years ago | (#10592116)

Well there is Object Pascal which Delphi is based on. Delphi is losing popularity but is a very good (and underrated) language. The first GUI applications I made were in Borland Delphi.

Loved it!!!! (5, Interesting)

Jeffery (810339) | about 10 years ago | (#10591871)

Loved Turbo Pascal, learned it in high school, was even remaking the first zelda on it, but was pixelizing everything, so it looked way better... sorry but that's pretty uber geek in my mind.. that was a long time ago.. this is also my first post, so i wish to formally introduce myself to the /. community!

Re:Loved it!!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591919)

You must be new here.

Re:Loved it!!!! (1)

Staos (700036) | about 10 years ago | (#10591926)

You must be new here!

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Staos is teh sux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591962)

PWND U FAG!!!11@!!3^-i

Re:Staos is teh sux (0)

Jeffery (810339) | about 10 years ago | (#10592011)

riiiiiiiiight.........

New Record (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592064)

And for Jeffery's 2nd post, HHBT! HAND! Tnx4PlayinOKbye

Re:Loved it!!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591995)

i for one welcome our jeffery overlord.

Re:Loved it!!!! (1)

Jeffery (810339) | about 10 years ago | (#10592041)

well i'd consider myself an underling.. a fellow slashdotter named kredel introduced me to /. along time ago, i read all the articles, but this one i had to post on.

Hi, Jeffrey (3, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | about 10 years ago | (#10592021)

Welcome to Slashdot!

All your productivity are now belong to CmdrTaco [slashdot.org] . Hope you like it here!

Cheers,
Gaurav

New Slashdotter, eh? You should really read the (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592025)

That's just mean. (1)

Staos (700036) | about 10 years ago | (#10592043)

Luckily, I know what that is, but still, that's mean.

Stating the obvious (-1, Redundant)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | about 10 years ago | (#10592026)

You must be new here.

hahaha, i just kill myself.

Re:Jefferey's first post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592076)

Damn dude, you almost got a first post first post!

Re:Loved it!!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592093)

Hello an enjoy your stay. Remember, you are more than just a number to us, user 810339.

Re:Loved it!!!! (1)

serutan (259622) | about 10 years ago | (#10592153)

Pixelized Zelda does sound pretty cool actually, for back then. Wish I had a dollar for every fun project I never finished back then.

Re:Loved it!!!! (1)

Jeffery (810339) | about 10 years ago | (#10592187)

it was very good, i was making an exact replica of the original zelda, but with much better graphics.. for only a year into the language (only during school hours) i had the world mostly made, no music yet, was getting motions down, but still very bugged and no monsters made yet, i'd love to go back and finish it.

Started with QBasic (2)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | about 10 years ago | (#10591892)

I've never used Pascal, I started programming in QB, went on to VB(5, then 6), then did C++, then Java, now Objective-C.

I think when I start teaching programming classes at my old high school I'm going to start with Python so you get one language that can do both objects and procedural programming... anyone recommend otherwise? I'm just a bit curious.

Re:Started with QBasic (4, Informative)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | about 10 years ago | (#10591915)

You could give Ruby [ruby-lang.org] a shot.

Re:Started with QBasic (1)

mrmargolis (781449) | about 10 years ago | (#10591954)

I have had great success with teaching ruby as a first language.

Re:Started with QBasic (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | about 10 years ago | (#10591969)

Well one of the key requirements is "happiness" in windows. Not sure how well ruby works in windows haven't tried it. But I almost feel like starting with procedural programming is best and then working up to OOP the second year. I am not _very_ familiar with ruby but does it allow you to write procedural programming or is it strictly OOP? I think the idea of Objects would throw students unfamiliar with programming off pretty quickly.

Re:Started with QBasic (1)

m_cuffa (632043) | about 10 years ago | (#10592052)

*laugh* I thought OOP was supposed to be more intuitive...

Re:Started with QBasic (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 10 years ago | (#10592091)

Procedural is just object oriented monolithic in a single class.

Re:Started with QBasic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591970)

Ruby is hands-down the cleanest and most beautiful language I've ever used.


Yes, you can write procedural stuff, and the basic library is a very shallow OO hierachy, so it fits most programming styles.


My favorite being functional programming... where the block/closure support is absolutely phenomenal.

Off topic? A bit harsh eh? (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | about 10 years ago | (#10591998)

I think it's a valid question since "undergrad" was mentioned in the topic, i know a lot of people on here started with pascal, i'm simply asking what the best language to start out with NOW is. I'm sure there's been an Ask Slashdot on this but oh well, such is life. I just didn't think it was that offtopic :-/

Re:Off topic? A bit harsh eh? (1)

FlopEJoe (784551) | about 10 years ago | (#10592195)

Bah... we didn't have those fancy computer languages when I was learning. We had to program in pseudo-code... and like it! And we didn't even have '1's. We had to use two '0's and that was our '1'.

What do they teach in undergrad now? (4, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 10 years ago | (#10591894)

I too recall the heady days of Pascal in undergrad. Trying to explain to my lab partner how one could have an array of arrays... But that was a long time ago and I pose the question. What language is the "teaching language" now? Do they have Pascal?

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

Oxy the moron (770724) | about 10 years ago | (#10591934)

At my university, it is either C++ or Java. :)

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | about 10 years ago | (#10591941)

I just asked a similar question, but when I was a CS major I jumped right into C, procedural C++ basically (they used cout/cin and not printf or anything from C per say). I know a lot of people were lost in that class and you really find out who knows their stuff and who doesn't.. weed out the ones not up to snuff pretty quickly. If that didn't get ya then Assembly was pretty rough once you got halfway through UG :)

great for the beginner trying to program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592188)

cout (1 8) ""

listening to the instructor babble some shit about operator overloading the first day of class and I'm thinking holy fucking shit nobody here is going to learn how to program this way

pascal forever

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591945)

Probably Java -- at least that's what they use here.

Re: What do they teach in undergrad now? (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 years ago | (#10591968)


> But that was a long time ago and I pose the question. What language is the "teaching language" now? Do they have Pascal?

Pascal, C, C++, Java, ... it's about time to change again. The lifecycle of a teaching language is about the same as the period required to get a degree, virtually assuring that schools turn out a mass of BS's who are monolingual in whatever language industry just quit using.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

MustEatYemen (810379) | about 10 years ago | (#10591983)

the fools are using Java as the learning language now....

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592004)

Java mostly I think. Here (a small Canadian university) we start out with Java and continue with other languages.

There's plenty of exposure to Perl, Python (A student just finished providing a tutorial on Python for fellow students actually...) and Bash for those who want it. Bit of a lean towards things Linux these days thankfully.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

Djehuti (320431) | about 10 years ago | (#10592024)

The (UK) Uni's still think Java is fashionable so that's fairly common.

e.g. in the land of Mr Cox --
http://www.swan.ac.uk/compsci/undergrad/scheme s/Le vel1.html#pd

The righteous are trying to persuade them to use Python instead.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (5, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | about 10 years ago | (#10592034)

I find it unfortunate that Universities usually use "professional" languages like Java or (before that) C++ rather than a language specifically designed to be clear to new programmers. Unfortunately it means that students end up spending more time learning the oddities of the language than on programming in general.

It's like teaching people to drive with semi-tractor trailers.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (3, Interesting)

Poseidon88 (791279) | about 10 years ago | (#10592193)

It depends on what you want to learn. If you just want to learn how to program, then something like Pascal might be a good place to start. My problem with it is that I didn't really understand a lot of what I was doing in Pascal. I had only a weak grasp on the concept of a pointer until I took a class in computer architecture and did some assembly programming on a VAX. A language like C is much closer to the hardware level, and while that makes it much easier to do something wrong and stupid, it also means that you learn a lot more about what is going on under the hood.

No change in France ? (1)

bstadil (7110) | about 10 years ago | (#10592046)

What language is the "teaching language" now?

In France at the PrePa to get into one of the Grand Ecoles it's still Pascal. Incl the Namesake [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592055)

Oberon (derived from Pascal), probably switching to Java in the near future

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (3, Informative)

lifeblender (806214) | about 10 years ago | (#10592063)

Now they teach with Haskell, Scheme, Lisp, and C++. I'm not kidding about the Haskell or Lisp, at least at UT Austin. My first cs class, 307, (I skipped the basic C++ "Comp Sci II" class) was in Haskell, and man that was hard. Of course, once I learned Haskell I loved it, and __every other programming language in the world__ became easy once I took a second class in it. Other professors for the 307 class teach using Scheme. Later, I had lots of classes that used C++, one that suggested C++ or Lisp and let me use Haskell (Compilers), and a great class about ACL2 where I learned Lisp from Professor J Moore, an experience I'll never forget. So yeah, they hit us with Haskell (or Scheme) pretty early on, had a large focus on C++, and let the crazy professors teach in Haskell or Lisp if they wanted to.

Some wackos at places like UT Dallas try to teach freshman about Java classes, but they'll learn that's not the right approach. ;) Try starting from the basics of programming, THEN move to data structures, not the other way around.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

Poseidon88 (791279) | about 10 years ago | (#10592122)

When I started my degree in '93, we were still using Pascal as our introductory language. A couple years later, they switched to C++ and started teaching object-oriented concepts right off the bat. Somewhere in there, I picked up a couple O'Reilly books and taught myself C and C++.

Re:What do they teach in undergrad now? (1)

gehel (601073) | about 10 years ago | (#10592140)

I was in the Swiss Insitute of Technology. It was Ada still 2 years ago. They switched to Java now. And some scala too.
Ada was the best thing I could have as a first "academical" language. I wish it stayed that way ...

Shell sort (1)

mishan (146987) | about 10 years ago | (#10591901)

When it comes to primitive sorting algorithms, your time would have been better spent implementing a fibonacci sequence spaced shell sort.

Re:Shell sort (1)

Jouser (243992) | about 10 years ago | (#10591977)

I sure wish I was as smart as you and knew all the good mathematical/sorting buzzwords. Maybe this is why I can't get a job...

Niklaus Wirth (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 years ago | (#10591909)


"Europeans call me by name, Americans by value."

Let me be the first to say... (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | about 10 years ago | (#10591911)

program Anniversary;
begin
writeln ('Happy 30th Anniversary Pascal. You roxxorzz');
end.

Bah! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591913)

Any project without line numbers is not a *real* project!

These kids today...

Re:Bah! (4, Funny)

Big Mark (575945) | about 10 years ago | (#10591961)

Flippin' middle-agers and their line numbers, back in the days of fortran we had whitespace-sensitive code and we were grateful for what we had!

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592059)


And now you can have it again, if you want to subject yourself to Python.

Re:Bah! (1)

The I Shing (700142) | about 10 years ago | (#10592118)

Bah, back in my day we didn't have Pascal or Pasquale or whatever you call it. We ran the whole space program using a couple of monkeys, an abacus, and a coat we borrowed from James Dean. We didn't even have spacesuits. All we had was thermal underwear made out of lemon peels, and Vice President Sinatra personally pulled the string that launced us into space. Spacesuits and software, flibby floo!

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592166)

"back in the days of fortran we had whitespace-sensitive code and we were grateful for what we had!"

and thanks to python, we still have it !

Re:Bah! (1)

slars (410355) | about 10 years ago | (#10591994)

Yeah, and what about the "goto"s - ya gotta have a goto!

Pascal was good in... (3, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 10 years ago | (#10591914)

..helping to get the basics before starting to learn c. Quite nice language, although not the best, but ive seen even an operating system in freepascal ;)

Re: Pascal was good in... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 years ago | (#10592012)


> ..helping to get the basics before starting to learn c.

It was explicitly designed as an instructional language, to help (or force) beginners to get into some good habits before being turned loose in the jungle of real-world IT.

Re: Pascal was good in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592162)

Funny you mention "good habits" from Pascal. I am now Java programmer, with backgroun in C /C++. There a few of those "good habits" I use in these other langauges:

1) Braces....I hate begining braces on the same line like
if (foo) {
}

I was always used to
If(foo)
begin
end

thus in Java/C/C++
if(foo)
{
}

2) NEVER have more then one return from a method(function). I detest the people that have 1000 line methods with several exit points. When dealing with Pascal, "One entry point, One exit point"

30th anniversary... (4, Funny)

mwheeler01 (625017) | about 10 years ago | (#10591918)

Hmmm and D&D just turned 30 too... coincidence?

Those memories may be distorted (3, Interesting)

EriDay (679359) | about 10 years ago | (#10591921)

After spending a few years programming in C, I took a job programming in Pascal. I figured that it was just a matter of replacing {} with begin/end, and '=' with ':='. Boy was I wrong.

Sometimes you need a hack, and Pascal's purpose in life it to prevent those convient little hacks.

A teaching language (2, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | about 10 years ago | (#10592114)

It is a teaching language, so the main design goal is to force students to do it right, rather than hacking. Once they learn how to do that, they can the use a profressional language hacks. In other words, first you have to learn the rules, then you have to learn when to break the rules.

Re:Those memories may be distorted (1)

hsoft (742011) | about 10 years ago | (#10592142)

name your hack. you can do pretty much everything with pascal (well, I only know object pascal...)

ouch! (2, Insightful)

DeepFried (644194) | about 10 years ago | (#10591924)

Am I the only one who felt _really_ really_ old when I read that. What have I done with the last 30 years of my life?

Re:ouch! (1)

arivanov (12034) | about 10 years ago | (#10592057)

Not just you. Me too. But after that I remembered that the 30 years was of Virt's pascal which was pure, but unusable (no wonder people continued to use algol and fortran). Me and many others learned pascal in its borland meaning which even in its 1.0 incarnation had some relaxations from the original academic stiff neck standard. By 3.0 it was useable for large projects and by 5.0 it was one of the best commercial rapid development languages ever developed. Unfortunately Borland never really understood the importance of windows. Otherwise we would have all been programming in pascal now, not C++. 1.0 for Windows was shit, Delphi was double shit, Delphi 2.0 was quadruple shit and from there on it just went down the drain...

Re:ouch! (4, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | about 10 years ago | (#10592101)

I didn't feel old, I've just been young longer than most /. readers.

I liked Pascal (1)

samberdoo (812366) | about 10 years ago | (#10591928)

It was one of the best teaching languages before OO took hold. For me it was much better than scheme or lisp type languages which were also popular at the time. I still remember the Pascal-like stuff in the original windows api.

ah pascal (2, Interesting)

drivers (45076) | about 10 years ago | (#10591936)

I always did think that Pascal's notation for pointers and dereferencing was more intuitive than C and therefore less confusing for teaching algorthms and data structures. It also didn't let you write out of bounds of arrays. Good stuff.

Great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591951)

Now let it die, please.

Delphi (ObjectPascal) rules. (5, Interesting)

Franciscan (720329) | about 10 years ago | (#10591955)

I use Pascal all day, every day. I laugh myself sick thinking how much time my C++ developer friends waste on stuff that takes days in ATL/MFC/C++ that I can do in a few seconds in Delphi. DCOM servers, GUI programming, reusable components, these are all a pain in the butt with C++. Okay, C# and Dotnet are almost as powerful as Delphi, but they have a huge runtime (like java). For my money, nothing can touch Delphi/ObjectPascal/VCL for efficiency, productivity, quality, easy deployability with NO DLL HELL and no runtime installation issues.
WP.(Franciscan)
(P.S. I never ever shipped any app with the BDE in it. That, and the Database Desktop, are the crappiest things ever to come out of Borland. They are still in the latest native Win32 version of Delphi, Delphi 7, but at least you don't ever have to use them.)

Re:Delphi (ObjectPascal) rules. (1)

kisrael (134664) | about 10 years ago | (#10592029)

Okay, C# and Dotnet are almost as powerful as Delphi, but they have a huge runtime (like java)
I don't know a ton about Pascal, but I do know a lot of people who were taught C then picked up Java are surprised to realize portable P-code predates the idea of JVM in terms of transportable byte code...

Re:Delphi (ObjectPascal) rules. (3, Interesting)

hh1000 (303370) | about 10 years ago | (#10592149)

Delphi Rocks! But Borland's managment just doesn't seem to get it. Go over to the Borland news server and there is a sense of misery and frustration over the way Borland handles this product and it's sibling Kylix.

AP language? (1)

ssummer (533461) | about 10 years ago | (#10591960)

I remember learning Pascal in high school for my AP (advanced placement) computer science class. If I remember correctly, the final exam was based around that language. Are they still using Pascal for the test?

Re:AP language? (1)

dangineer (687802) | about 10 years ago | (#10592062)

I also took that class and did all the sorts (instertion, bubble, etc.)

Fond memories...I also wonder what they use now both in terms of software and hardware...I don't think it would hurt to start out using TRS-80s and CoCoIIs. Fundamental understanding and all that.

Re:AP language? (1)

shadow303 (446306) | about 10 years ago | (#10592131)

Last I heard, they were switching to C, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had moved on to Java by now.

Hey, it legitimized the PC (2, Insightful)

ibn_khaldun (814417) | about 10 years ago | (#10591965)

begin
Seems like a limited (and rather verbose) language now, but it was UCSD Pascal for the Apple II and shortly thereafter Turbo Pascal for DOS that made it possible to create sophisticated and transportable programs on personal computers without spending a fortune on development tools. Prior to that point it was either assembly-level hacking (which produced some amazing work, but didn't generalize well) or BASIC (no more need be said...)
end;

Re:Hey, it legitimized the PC (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 10 years ago | (#10592175)

P-Code Card for the TI-99/4A! Though I learned TI-Basic, Applesoft Basic, TMS9900 Assembly, Motorola 6502 Assembly, Sinclair Basic, Commodore Basic, Microsoft Basic and Atari Basic all before Pascal.

Pascal was l33t (1)

vasqzr (619165) | about 10 years ago | (#10591979)



The only programs I remember being written in Pascal were BBS Doors and demos.

Delphi lives on to this day...

So cool... (4, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | about 10 years ago | (#10591984)

UCSD Pascal (not the first Pascal, mind you) was such an utterly cool system. It was my first real language. (I knew Applesoft BASIC and assembly, but...) I learned it in 1984 as a sophmore at UCSD.

Way, way ahead of its time. It was an IDE and the code it generated was bytecode, not native code. I love hearing all the Java weenies talk like the Java VM is somehow a "new" concept when P-code was availble for a real language in the early eighties.

I wrote a "conquer the galaxy" game in UCSD Pascal when I was 19. Such fun, dealing with overlays to fit it in the 64k of my Apple ][+. I never sold it, alas, so dreams of become a rich game programmer never panned out.

It's funny...it also had the last IDE I actually liked.

Unfortunately for UCSD, they priced it too high, and Phillipe Kahn came in and stole the PC Pascal market. Of course, the grad students who actually designed and wrote the system never saw a penny.

I wrote my Go playing program in UCSD Pascal (2, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | about 10 years ago | (#10591986)

"Honinbo Warrior" was written on my Apple II (serial number 71) using UCSD - a very civilized programming environment indeed.

The Apple II also had a fairly good interpreted Lisp (Pegasis Lisp) that I used a lot way back then. The Lisa editor/macro asembler was also great (as long as I am getting nostalgic, what about Bill Budge's great 3D library for the Apple II).

Re:I wrote my Go playing program in UCSD Pascal (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | about 10 years ago | (#10592184)

It was really amazing what you could do in 64k, wasn't it?

Nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10591991)

Seems like a lot of fun. I hope I will be as nostalgic about the anniversaries of Java!

Why Pascal is not always my favourite language (2, Informative)

kompiluj (677438) | about 10 years ago | (#10591993)

Some of those issues [lysator.liu.se] have been solved with advent of the Turbo/Object Pascal by Borland which is currently the most used Pascal dialect (for example the FreePascal uses it) which has taken many things from C. However, a still worthy read.

Why didn't it succeed? (1)

Sean80 (567340) | about 10 years ago | (#10592006)

I remember Pascal from my high-school days, where my math teacher let us build all sorts of cool stuff in it. Never touched it in undergrad though, we were all C and ADA.

I'd be interested to hear why people think Pascal never caught on like C or Java did? My understanding is that nowadays one of the Borland tools implements what is essentially an OO-version of Pascal?

I'm sick of programming... (0, Offtopic)

slashdot_punk (813387) | about 10 years ago | (#10592007)

I'm planning on leaving IT.. just plain sick of it.

Pascal was more than a programming language (1)

RealAlaskan (576404) | about 10 years ago | (#10592015)

Pascal was more than a programming language, it was a multi-platform operating [threedee.com] system [wikipedia.org] .

Memories of Pascal (5, Insightful)

Eberlin (570874) | about 10 years ago | (#10592018)

It has been ages since I've done anything in pascal...but my programming language progression went from BASIC, QBASIC, then Pascal. I've moved to other languages from there but it was quite the eye-opener. Variables had to be declared, the "uses CRT" was quite the drastic change from what I had been used to (if I remember correctly), and the overall approach was enlightening.

Now there are other languages to learn with (and a few of those aren't just for educational purposes). Java, PHP, and C for example. Even Delphi has kept Pascal alive and relevant.

Back then, I had to find...um...creative ways to be able to program and compile Pascal code. With all the freely available IDEs, compilers, debuggers, etc. around now for all these various languages (especially through OSS), things have become more accessible.

Pascal was the language that brought me out of my BASIC habits...for that I'm definitely grateful.

Pascal was great... (2, Interesting)

disbaldman (804041) | about 10 years ago | (#10592060)

Pascal was great during the early 90s... It brings back memories of BBSes with 300-2400 bauders. Back then, this language was probably the most popular structured language. Many free and commercial BBS programs and doors were created using Pascal, using the free DDPLUS door kit for 7.0. So it wasn't just used for bubblesorts, it drove much of the BBS community!

Memories Indeed! (2, Interesting)

serutan (259622) | about 10 years ago | (#10592090)

Back in the 80s for me it was Turbo Pascal, originally a $39.95 wonder-package on a single 5-inch floppy. Compiled a whopping 7000 lines a minute on my 2Mhz 8080.

My never-ending project to simulate a D&D world led me to explore the mysteries of virtual method tables, linked lists, B-trees, and that other structure -- a mesh of nodes without a head -- what was it called?

My favorite TP achievement was a homegrown BBS that I ran for 2 years on my 1200-baud modem. I had no hard drive, just two 360K floppy drives. So the system and programs were on one and the msg files were on the other. There were 10 message boards. I gave some users sysop privs on individual boards. Three of them ran RPGs -- AD&D, Traveller and Robotech -- one woman ran hers as an adults-only hot tub/bar. Eventually I wrote an adventure game parser as a unit that would plug into the BBS. I only created one game for it, but many people played it through to the end and commented on it. Good memories of the pre-web era.

Trademark Violation (2, Funny)

TheGilmanator (745322) | about 10 years ago | (#10592092)

I'm sorry, but did you clear the use of the trademarked "UC" with the state of California before posting it?

Wouldn't want to get shut down [slashdot.org] , would you?

How Relevant Today? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 10 years ago | (#10592095)

How relevant today is Pascal? How much business work, or work of any sort that someone else pays for, is still done in it? What modern compilers/IDE's are available. To my mind, Pascal is as dated as line numbered BASIC, and I haven't seen an job ad looking for a Pascal programmer since before the Dot Com boom started. And I lived near UCSD when UCSD Pascal was the way to learn programming.

UCSD Pascal and Java (1)

kompiluj (677438) | about 10 years ago | (#10592098)

Oh! I almost forgot. The most important point in UCSD Pascal System [wikipedia.org] was not Pascal itself but the p-code. Well the p-code allowed programs to be compiled to some intermediary form resembling assembler called (guess what!) p-code, which could then be run with a help of a simple interpreter on any machine, thus giving us a machine independent code. Seems familiar [sun.com] ?

I remember it fondly... (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 10 years ago | (#10592106)

Pascal, a lovely little language. Before that, I was enmeshed in BASIC and FORTRAN. Pascal, even though it was originally Niklaus Wirth's training exercize for compiler students, had a certain undeniable elegance to it. Its recursion and record features were particularly nice. Later the lure of C and languages containing C-like syntax finally got it's grip on me and Pascal has nearly been forgotten. It did have a nice run with the early Macs, though, with all of the OS being written in it.

BTM

I thought I knew C... (2, Interesting)

turgid (580780) | about 10 years ago | (#10592109)

...until I tried the Pascal family of languages (Modula-2 actually). The strictness imposed by Pascal and its decendents really forces you to think carefully about what it is you're trying to code. Most of my early C programs worked by luck rather than design and would produce pages of warnings on compilation. After learning a bit of Modula-2, I became a much better C programmer (and programmer in general). Many years later I had to program in Turbo Pascal 7.0 (a predecessor of Delphi) and found it very pleasant (despite DOS and Windows). Pascal has come on a long way in 30 years and spawned Delphi, Modula-* and Oberon-*. They're well worth investigating.

Re:I thought I knew C... (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 10 years ago | (#10592196)

I learned Modula-2 before I learned C, on my Atari ST. It was an excellent little language. I remember that I used to have to swap floppies in the middle of every compile so the last stages of the compiler could be loaded.

Let me know when. (0, Troll)

Damon C. Richardson (913) | about 10 years ago | (#10592117)

It's the 30 year Anniversary of the death of pascal.

Borland... (2, Informative)

Kr3m3Puff (413047) | about 10 years ago | (#10592119)

Some of us have never given up on Pascal. I still use Delphi [borland.com] and Kylix [borland.com] to this day. Meets my needs and Pascal makes a nice OO programming language, something that dates back to Turbo Pascal 7.

There is a ton of third party support [torry.net] for it and you can do just about everything a little easier then just about everything else. All my DSOs for Apache are done in Kylix...

fuc4? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592136)

escape them by minutes now while while the project at least.' Nobody The mobo blew serves to reinforce there are only Fuck The Baby I'll have offended may also want troubles of Walnut the next round of list of other least of which is the problems users. BSD/OS on slashdot.org to decline for 40,000 coming Itself backwards, unless you can work Come Here but now Slashdot 'BSD is errors. Future I Fueling internal infinitesimaaly BE FUN. IT USED and Michael Smith and promotes our SLING you can GO FIND SOMETHING thing for the Out how to make the [slashdot.org], and easy - only had become like Problems with development models spot when done For it. Its mission is 1. Therefore it's

R.I.Pascal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592157)

R.I.Pascal.

I would remember the undergraduate bubble sorts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10592168)

...but I was too busy sorting the bubbles in my bong.

Obligatory: (1)

zerojoker (812874) | about 10 years ago | (#10592178)

Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/real.programmers.html

A new generation of undergraduates (1)

mmmmmhotpants (800341) | about 10 years ago | (#10592182)

use Scheme. Almost every major university with a reputation for churning out great computer scientists uses Scheme in their first programming courses.
For purposes of instruction and introduction, Scheme is better than any language I can think of. You can write incredible programs in very short pieces of code while making the key concepts very clear.
I always failed to see the value of Pascal. It seemed like a useless intermediate between C and BASIC with no real advantage over either. I'm sure Pascal had its place and time, but it is long gone.

Raskin's Pascal poster (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | about 10 years ago | (#10592197)


Jef Raskin's Pascal Poster. Way cool if you've never seen it before. Still way cool but nostalgic too if you have seen it before.
-russ
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