Pascal a waste of time? 
Author Message
 Pascal a waste of time?

I have just started learning Pascal as a step towards the more
complicated languages. I find it very simple, and quite similar to BASIC
in some ways. But, last night I went to the bookstore to find books on
learning Pascal, and found none. Some programming books recommended
learning QBASIC and going straight to C. I know that my high school
suggested learning Pascal as the next step after BASIC, and it seems
logical. But upon realizing that neither bookstore I visited had any
Pascal books, I'm wondering if it is worth my time to learn it. It
appears to be a "dead" language.
What are the benefits for learning Pascal? Will this be something I can
use in the future? Or should I just go straight to C?

Thanks for any ideas!
Mjoann



Wed, 30 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

Quote:

> I have just started learning Pascal as a step towards the more
> complicated languages. I find it very simple, and quite similar to BASIC
> in some ways. But, last night I went to the bookstore to find books on
> learning Pascal, and found none. Some programming books recommended
> learning QBASIC and going straight to C. I know that my high school
> suggested learning Pascal as the next step after BASIC, and it seems
> logical. But upon realizing that neither bookstore I visited had any
> Pascal books, I'm wondering if it is worth my time to learn it. It
> appears to be a "dead" language.
> What are the benefits for learning Pascal? Will this be something I can
> use in the future? Or should I just go straight to C?

Please avoid BASIC. It is generally harder to un-learn bad habits than itis
to learn good ones.
The reason Pascal is taught is because it makes you learn the basics of
programming in an organized, structured way.
Later, when you have to learn C, or Java, or whatever , you'll be able to
write
code that is understandable and less bug infested.
BTW, Pascal is not as dead as you may think, just look inside Delphi.

Irv



Wed, 30 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

Quote:

> I have just started learning Pascal as a step towards the more
> complicated languages. I find it very simple, and quite similar to BASIC
> in some ways.

it does appear fairly simple at first sight... however, this doesn't
mean that it's limited in functionality.

Quote:
> Some programming books recommended
> learning QBASIC and going straight to C.

Their authors should be shot. Neither of them force the programmer to
write particularly elegant code.

Quote:
> I know that my high school
> suggested learning Pascal as the next step after BASIC, and it seems
> logical.

It's very sensible. Pascal might instill a modicum of good style before
launching into the minefield of C, or the large scale war-zone of C++.

Quote:
> But upon realizing that neither bookstore I visited had any
> Pascal books, I'm wondering if it is worth my time to learn it. It
> appears to be a "dead" language.

It certainly isn't. There are plenty of freeware pascal compilers to
learn on, and Borland (oops Inprise) still sell an excellent range of
Pascal and OO pascal compilers for Win32. Gnu Pascal is also available
for UNIX.

Quote:
> What are the benefits for learning Pascal? Will this be something I can
> use in the future?

Yes... you should be able to use pascal for many years to come. In
addition, it'll teach you good style.

Quote:
> Or should I just go straight to C?

The functionality of Pascal and C is fairly similar. If anything, Pascal
lets the programmer do rather more than C does... and it doesn't have
any of the pitfalls or conducements to poor style that C contains.

MH.

--
Martin Harvey.
Totally rewritten web pages at:
http://www.harvey27.demon.co.uk/mch24/

"ALGOL 60 was a language so far ahead of its time that it
was not only an improvement on its predecessors but also
on nearly all its successors". C.A.R. Hoare

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Thu, 31 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

Quote:

> I have just started learning Pascal as a step towards the more
> complicated languages. I find it very simple, and quite similar to
> BASIC in some ways.

Actually, it's the other way around, modern "STRUCTURED" dialects of
Basic (QBasic, Visual Basic, Power Basic, even VAX BASIC) owe much of
their expressive power to what they've appropriated from Pascal and its
descendants; namely control structures, true parameterized subprograms,
stronger data typing.

Quote:
> But, last night I went to the bookstore to find books on
> learning Pascal, and found none.
>   Some programming books recommended
> learning QBASIC and going straight to C.

These wouldn't happen to be books from Microsoft Press, would they?

Quote:
>  I know that my high school
> suggested learning Pascal as the next step after BASIC, and it seems
> logical. But upon realizing that neither bookstore I visited had any
> Pascal books, I'm wondering if it is worth my time to learn it. It
> appears to be a "dead" language.

Most bookstores feel they must cater to the commerical book buying
public; so they carry what is perceived as "popular"; and in programming
for the PC/Intel architecture Windows; that is roughly equivalent to
Visual Basic and Visual C++.  That is not to say that there are not
other options; just don't expect to find much in a standard bookstore.

Try going to Amazon.Com and doing a search on "Pascal" or "Delphi" and
see what you come up with.

Quote:
> What are the benefits for learning Pascal? Will this be something
> I can use in the future? Or should I just go straight to C?

Pascal teaches good programming habits: e.g. breaking your algorithms
into manageable chunks, working with only the needed data at hand,
keeping your control structures well organized.  These methods are
translatable into any modern procedural programming language (some more
easily than others, of course).  There is pretty much a one-to-one
correspondence between the basic syntax of Pascal with that of C/C++ and
structured Basics; so any Pascal skills are generally transferrable.

As an indicator of the expressiveness of Pascal for describing computer
processes: it is very common for books on Computer Science to give
examples in "pseudo-code", a fake programming language that is meant to
describe the algorithm in clear terms.  In my experience, such
pseudo-code generally highly resembles (if not is identical to) Pascal
syntax.  Pascal can be considered to be its own pseudo-code.

Quote:
> Thanks for any ideas!
> Mjoann

HTH

Stephen Posey



Sat, 02 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

hello mjoann,

I am a PASCAL-enthusiast and my company still uses different
Pascal-Compilers since 10 years and will continue. We use Pascal for
server-based Database Applications and we have no need to use another
language.

The main Pascal-Problem is the missing of a stable, industrial-strength,
well documantated 32-Bit-Compiler for Windows. BP7 is also still buggy.

Urs



Mon, 04 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

Quote:

>The main Pascal-Problem is the missing of a stable, industrial-
>strength, well documantated 32-Bit-Compiler for Windows. BP7 is
>also still buggy.

Virtual Pascal will compile Win32 and OS/2 apps, all in one package.

http://www.*-*-*.com/
information.

--


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==== Remove 'thir{*filter*}' to reply

... You never have to explain things you never said.
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Mon, 04 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Pascal a waste of time?

Quote:

> hello mjoann,

> I am a PASCAL-enthusiast and my company still uses different
> Pascal-Compilers since 10 years and will continue. We use Pascal for
> server-based Database Applications and we have no need to use another
> language.

> The main Pascal-Problem is the missing of a stable,
> industrial-strength,
> well documantated 32-Bit-Compiler for Windows. BP7 is also still
> buggy.Urs

     Prospero Software's Extended Pascal is a well-documented
industrial-strength32-bit compiler for Windows.  It adheres to the ISO
Pascal (and, I believe, to the
Extended Pascal) Standard, hence is NOT compatible with the Borland
language.

     I'm extremely pleased with it.

Bob Schor
Pascal Enthusiast



Mon, 04 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 7 post ] 

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