[Home]Pascal programming language

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The Pascal programming language was developed by Niklaus Wirth as a tool for structured programming which would at the same time be simple to process for a compiler. Wirth named the language in honor of Blaise Pascal.

Early approaches (most notably the UCSD system) translated Pascal code into a machine-independent P-code representation. This intermediate code was then interpreted by a program specific to each architecture. As a consequence, only the small interpreter part had to be ported over to many architectures.

In the late 1980s the Pascal community concentrated mainly on the IBM PC platform, driven in large parts by the inexpensive Turbo Pascal compiler by Borland. Many PC hobbyists in search for a structured replacement for BASIC used this product. Turbo Pascal, being available only on one architecture, translated directly to Intel 8088 machine code, making it much faster than interpreted schemes.

During the 1990s compilers that can be re-targeted to different hardware architectures became more prevalent. This allowed for Pascal translation to native machine code that is at the same time easily ported to new hardware.

With Turbo Pacal version 5 Borland added Object Orientation to Pascal forming the Object Pascal dialect. Their main language from 1996 on, Delphi, is in turn based on this.

Wirth also developed Modula-2?, a language similar to Pascal which also supports object oriented programming.

Several Pascal compilers are available for the use of general public:

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Last edited November 25, 2001 7:15 pm by Robbe (diff)