50 Years of Pascal

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NormanDunbar
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50 Years of Pascal

Postby NormanDunbar » Wed May 12, 2021 7:57 pm

If anyone is interested, Niklaus Wirth, the father of Pascal, has written about 50 years of Pascal at https://m-cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/3 ... l/fulltext. Interesting.

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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby swensont » Thu May 13, 2021 8:29 pm

That was an interesting read. I'm glad my college did Pascal instead of Fortran, as Fortran was not very structured. I did pick up some good programming habits from Pascal that I could use with SuperBasic.

Tim


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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby NormanDunbar » Thu May 13, 2021 10:16 pm

I can't remember doing Pascal at college, but I do remember hating Fortram with a vengeance! I much preferred Cobol. And 6502 assembly.

I think I had Pascal for my Spectrum, I know I had C for it, but I definitely had Metacomco Pascal on my QL. Then Delphi 1.00 thru 7.00 on my 386DX PC (with a QXL card obviously!) onwards. I was never very good at Pascal though.

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Norm.


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Andrew
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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby Andrew » Fri May 14, 2021 9:31 am

I learned Pascal in University, in 1986 , for only one semester. We only had 6 CP/M computers, so we had to book a computer 2 weeks in advance , to test the programs we wrote with pen and paper :)
I had a QL with C1 Pascal, so I was fortunate :) All programs I wrote in University were in C1 Pascal - and then translated for CP/M Turbo Pascal.
In 1988 I got my very own CP/M computer at University, reserved full-time only for me, to develop my graduation thesis. That was something totally out of the ordinary for that era, when only professors had computers.
In 1990 I started coding in Tubo Pascal for DOS and then in 1995 I moved to Delphi, which I used till 2007.
Now I plan to start again wih Pascal on QL - but this time probably with Prospero Pascal


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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby janbredenbeek » Sat May 15, 2021 12:41 am

I learned writing in Pascal in 1983/84 in college. We mostly had to learn it 'dry' until we discovered Hisoft Pascal on the Spectrum, much to the teacher's surprise... At school we only had a couple of clone Apple II's with UCSD Pascal.

I've never written something noticable in Pascal on the QL. SuperBASIC was structured enough, and for speed I used assembly. Pity that the QL had no decent C compiler until C68 came along.


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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sat May 15, 2021 8:53 am

HI,

I did an 2nd level Open University computer course featuring UCSD Pascal, with only the knowledge of QL Superbasic to help.

The Pascal routines all seemed to be similar to Superbasic, so I passed easily.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby swensont » Sun May 16, 2021 3:53 am

When transferred to a 4-year college in 1985, I had to learn Pascal because all other CS courses were done in Pascal (Data Structure, Computer Languages, Computer Graphics, etc). Halfway through my Junior year I got my QL ( April 86) and later I got Metacomco Pascal. The program I was writing for one class required that I get extra memory for the QL to finish. I even called Metacomco in Scotts Valley, CA, to report a bug with Pascal compiler (it was their US branch). So the structured programing that I learned with Pascal helped me program well in SuperBasic (as as Dijkstra suggested) and avoid the GOTO.

Unlike Andrew, my college had a Pascal compiler for the PDP-11 that we used for a number of classes. I did use Turbo Pascal running on a kludged CP/M system for the graphics class. It has a tablet for input and hard sectored floppy disks. I did use the QL for typing my Pascal programs, then upload to the Cyber and then download to the CP/M system (with a 300 baud acoustic modem). I just needed the CP/M system for final compilation work.

Tim


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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby pjw » Sun May 16, 2021 10:32 pm

I needed to re-write my accounts package as I was running out of
numerical range in SuperBASIC (2^31 is, after all, only just over £2
mill. with ha'penny precision.) So I bought Prospero Pascal. Never got
round to more than a few sallies into that constrained (compared to
SuperBASIC) world, before the whole accounts thing became moot as I
left the job. Previously Id translated many of the program snippets
from Robert Sedgewick's book "Algorithms" into SuperBASIC, so I though
it would be a doddle. Seems reading Pascal is a lot easier then
writing it..


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Re: 50 Years of Pascal

Postby polka » Wed May 19, 2021 4:55 am

In the beginning, for programming computers, we had only machine code (machine dependant).
Then, for expressing computation algorithms, we invented FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator).
To foster program structuring, we invented ALGOL, and Niklaus Wirth (then a young engineer) took part to its better standardisation named ALGOL60. But he was not very satisfied, so he created his own ALGOLW.
Then appeared BASICs (kind of simpler FORTRANs).
As an answer to this, Niklaus Wirth invented PASCAL (in the steps of his ALGOLW).
After that, came C, a langage also suited to system programming (to avoid using mostly machine code).
The answer of Niklaus to C was MODULA, that could be used for system programming of a work station named LILITH developped at ETHZ.
After that, the answer of Niklaus Wirth to C++ was OBERON and a new workstation named CERES also developped at ETHZ.
And finally, the answer of teams of followers around Wirth to JAVA was Component Pascal and a framework named Black Box, that could colonize Windows but also a java or .net environment.
To be noted that a team of ETHZ engineers created a Java machine called JBED with real time capabilities better suited to object orientation with many objects and greatly dynamic behaviour : resting upon "earliest deadline first" principle rather than "priorities".

Apart FORTH, I like very much OBERON2 and Component Pascal... and I found a way to install an emulation of a Ceres work station on the "bare metal" in a Raspberry Pi.
TO DO, as time permits !

Bye, POLKa


May the FORTH be with you !
POLKa

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