What are the advantages of the Pascal programming language?

If you want a comparison you have to compare it with something else.And for that, you need to know what Pascal was originally developed.

Pascal was almost right with the programming language C and SHORT time after the BASIC programming language.And all these languages were influenced by Algol 60 that came out in 1960.And all these languages were further developed and were given many more purposes.

For instance, the C++, Java, C# and Objective-C languages originated from C and C has influenced several other languages.BASIC became the flagship of Microsoft who later arrived with QuickBasic, Visual BASIC and later the .NET version of VB together with VBA. BASIC was also popular with other software developers as a simple scripting language. And Pascal was eventually hugely popular by Borland because the Turbo Pascal code could compile in seconds while other compilers were sometimes minutes. Later They came with Object Pascal and then Delphi and they conquered the Windows market for a long time as one of the largest development tools. Well, until .NET came and Borland failed to make a good .NET compiler. However, there was Oxygene that did succeed and that was somewhat compatible with Delphi and in addition, Free Pascal also came available.

Today Borland Delphi is still the best- selling development environment in the world.Visual Studio is at the top. (Free development tools do not count in this.) Because especially Delphi is so popular, there is also only 1 dialect of this language, which was previously the problem with Pascal.

Because where at C there was only 1 standard, Pascal compilers were often a bit opinionated and you couldn’t easily use another compiler to run your code on another system.With BASIC, the problem was even worse because BASIC was mainly present on home computers, with each system having their own variant.

Brian Kernighan wrote this about Pascal in 1981: Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language.

He explains how popular Pascal is, but mainly intended to teach in programming and not for serious work.He has some good points but many of them have already been dewritten by the current Pascal compilers. Especially Delphi, where one has looked at how other programming languages (especially C++ and Java) work. For instance, the lack of a string type in Pascal was a great defect according to him, but nowadays that is just standard in Pascal.

But like C, Pascal is just a low-level programming language, and like C++, Object Pascal (Delphi, Free Pascal, Oxygene) is slightly higher on the ladder but still low enough to create low-level functions.These languages have always had a tough competition with each other but in the end C/C++ became the winner because of UNIX, which was written in C. An operating system based on Pascal was also developed by Apple (Apple Lisa) but one quickly switched to C. (and made their own Objective-C variant!)

So what benefits does Pascal have?Well, the compiler is tremendously fast, even to current standards. The language has gotten a lot of improvements and is still a competitor for the various C/C++ compilers. Several ideas from Delphi are also taken over by Microsoft in their C# compiler.

The Pascal language is also easier to learn and is less cryptic than C. Instead of the curly brackets, Pascal has a start-end structure for blocks of code.Pascal also ensures that variables must be named separately in a var section within each procedure so that you have a good overview of these variables. (These can now be initialized beforehand!) Pascal knows a little more strict validations during compilation and during the export of the code so you will have a little less quick bugs. But furthermore, it is not much different than C and C++, although the C++ standard has more functionality within the standard, while the Pascal standard requires much less functionality and there is no real standard for Object Pascal.

I myself started programming with BASIC and soon after in Pascal.A little later in C++ when C++ became available, so I also gained experience with C. Tried several other languages but in the end mostly chosen for Pascal and later C#. Nowadays, C# is my primary development language with C as secondary language for embedded programming and Delphi for simple desktop applications. Every language is optimal for a specific purpose and the benefits depend heavily on what you want to use it for…

Pascal was my third programming language.I started with Fortran, years later with the advent of the microcomputer I learned Basic but that was a slow limited language although you could do nice dinge with it anyway. Then I switched to (Turbo) Pascal.

The advantages of Pascal are:

That you can work very structured so it is very clear

That it is easy to learn

That all types are defined in advance

That a block starts with start and ends with end

That you have so many fewer brackets

That the approaching program is compiled

That it is running quickly

That there is also OOP possible.

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