whiteshepherd
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Well I have to admit it I love programing in Pascal more than I do C. I use free pascal to program web based applications for end users and education. Before I knew about the Pi project I installed Ubuntu ARM onto a ARM based phone and installed a working copy of Free Pascal which opened up all kinds of custom programming possibilities.

I plan to buy a model B when it is ready. I will then post a quick and easy step-by-step "How-To" on installing Free Pascal onto the Pi here.

We also (through Two Trees Inc. and University of Dayton) deliver PCs to poor native American families to give internet access and a window to the world. Originally these systems shipped with Windows. We noticed that they averaged 4-6 months of use before breaking (virus, spyware, etc). Four years ago we switched to using Ubuntu and the original systems (some of which we are replacing) are still working and the feedback has been very positive.

I see the Pi having a possible for use as a internet/word processing platform for poor families. However with only 256MB ram I do not see flash working which is required for most webpages. There is a beta "lite" version of flash for ARM from adobe that will run on 512MB. But a later version may require more hardware? If ARM ever supports it a "memory slot" for more ram would be a big asset.

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liz
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:44 pm

I'd query the necessity for Flash for "most webpages" (a gajillion i-device users can't be wrong, and none of them have Flash enabled). We don't handle Flash video. YouTube is the big one that people mention, and the Raspberry Pi can handle YouTube video absolutely fine using h.264 instead. For the vector side of Flash (2d animations - which you'll mostly see in advertisements now that Apple is doing such a sterling job of killing Flash off), the Raspberry Pi is up to the job, and you'll be able to see those animations using the device.

Supporting Flash video is really very low down on our list of priorities. It's not well written, it's a memory hog (as your post notes), it causes crashes, and in many cases it really aids bad web design - look at all those restaurant websites that have the swanky video and music, but where you can't copy and paste the address into a contacts list or some map software *because it's all in Flash*. We don't believe it enhances people's browsing experience. Increasingly, now that Apple aren't supporting it with their tablets, sites are moving to non-Flash options anyway, and I really believe that you'll find it's nothing like as much of an issue for access as you think it is.

(My money's where my mouth is on this one. I have Flash disabled by choice on my desktop and my laptop.)
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raffy
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:39 pm

It's great to see Free Pascal in the RaspberryPi. However, as to Flash, here is a bit of history.

In 2007, a priest who has worked on elearning content for primary education in Manila, Fr Ben Beltran, was heartbroken to see content made with Flash freeze or not run at all in Pentium II-grade "modern" PCs in his target schools (Content developers who find Flash development tools easy to use sometimes have no idea of the high computing resource demanded by the resulting content). The R-Pi story should avoid a repeat of this history.

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liz
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:50 pm

The online ecosystem in 2011 is very different from the way it was in 2007 - we really are seeing a reduction in the amount of Flash used. (I also know several Flash developers who have had to move on to other jobs because there's just no employment for them, at least in the UK, any more, which seems to be a direct result of Apple's decision not to support it.)

As I say, vector graphics will run fine in Flash on the Raspberry Pi, as will YouTube video, so I hope our potential to break the hearts of brilliant techno-priests like Father Ben is limited!
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raffy
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:19 pm

Of course, Flash as used in browsers was the problem. There is no problem running Flash video using the media players of 2007 and later.

CartBlanche
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:48 pm

I'm also a fan of Object Pascal. Keep up the great work, I look forward to seeing FPC on the R.Pi.

whiteshepherd
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:10 am

Yep I have it installed on my phone. Just waiting to be able to buy a Pi and I'll post the instructions.

As far as flash I have always felt it was bloatware. However there are still a lot of websites that require it. Apple doesn't support it but many businesses and schools still require it. If your programming (like me) it's doubtful you'll need more than a telenet/ssh and standard IO interfaces. But my original point was if you are going to use them as a tool for the poor as window to the world the more creative we can become to make the Pi as compatible as possible the better it will be overall for the "non-technical" user who will try to use them on a day to day basis (my opinion of course).

LOL reminds me of my job. I'd rather work/code on the Linux PCs but business practices/vendors forces me to work well with Windows and Linux.

spacetime
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:05 am

Here is another fan of Pascal programming language! Years ago I was playing with Free Pascal and LPC2368 board. In fact, I would like to have Turbo Pascal (or Free Pascal) compatible compilers for all embedded platforms. Pascal is easy to read and easy to write.


I plan to buy a model B when it is ready. I will then post a quick and easy step-by-step "How-To" on installing Free Pascal onto the Pi here.

Wow, that's great!
Pascal is easy to write and easy to read
turbopascal.org

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jwdietrich
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:00 pm

I would even go further and not only embrace Free Pascal but also the complete Lazarus IDE. It should not be a greater problem to implement it on the Raspberry PI as it is available for several Linux flavours.

indianajones
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:39 am

FreePascal is my favorite programming language and Lazarus is my best programming tool, imo object pascal is robust, fast, easy to understand and best choice for the rapid application development. I look forward to seeing FreePascal on the Raspberry Pi + I am planning to buy model B when it is ready.

avra
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:39 pm

+1 for Lazarus/FPC

sje
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:45 pm

My portable, open source chess program CookieCat is written in Pascal and compiles using Free Pascal on a variety of platforms.  It can be easily tuned to run using a small memory footprint such as is present with a Raspberry Pi model A or B.

Of course, I need to first get a Raspberry Pi to test this assertion for myself, so I eagerly await the announcement of a US distributor for the machines.  In the meantime, I'm willing to email a copy of the late alpha version of the CookieCat source (ca. 450 KB) to anyone who has a Raspberry Pi running Free Pascal if they are interested in helping with testing.

TonyHoyle
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Lazarus on the pi would be great.  FreePascal is actually pretty good (for anyone that remembers pascal from college - it's come on a bit since then and is no longer an instrument of torture).

For my sins I write pascal (well, delphi) commercially so can help with demo apps etc.

sje
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:55 pm

The Lazarus IDE is not necessary for developing Free Pascal projects.  Lazarus has a steep learning curve that's not needed for Pascal beginners who are building relatively small and simple applications, and I suspect that these users will be the majority of those coding Pascal on the Raspberry Pi.

TonyHoyle
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:19 pm

On the contrary.. putting together a simple app with a dialog is a matter of a few clicks in an IDE.  You could show a complete beginner how to build a dialog with a button that says 'hello world' in under 5 minutes.

Once you get beyond simple, hand editing becomes all but impossible.. you're not going to be able to design even a simple app using glscene from the command line.

Unless you're expecting they'll only ever write console apps, which isn't likely.

sje
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:27 pm

The Lazarus IDE running on Ubuntu under X Windows is so heavily festooned with little action icons that I wonder if its implementers had a secret desire to duplicate Microsoft's Visual Studio.  Scaring off first time coders who are writing only simple console applications is the very last thing an educator wants to do unless the objective is to allow only the most obsessive/compulsive coders into the software priesthood.

Benedict White
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:30 pm

Free Pascal, Lazarus and a Pascal to C or C++ converter is available on Arch, as well as other Linux distros.

It will be available on the Pi I suspect, as an available package from what ever package manager the distro you have supports.

plugwash
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:43 pm

With freepascal it depends if you are running an "armel" distro (basic EABI calling convention) or an an "armhf" distro (eabi vfp calling convention). Currently freepascal doesn't support eabi vfp so if you use an armhf distro you won't be able to link pascal programs against c libraries correctly.

howsono
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:31 pm

I'm an A-level Computing teacher (well, currently AS will be A2 if this lot pass!) and heard about the Rasberry Pi project from the guys at the Retro Computing Museum today (visit - great place!).

Current requirement for the AQA A-level in Computing is to do CLI programs in Y12 and GUI programs in Y13. There is a limited number of languages available (Pascal, Python, Java, VB6 and VB.Net). Obviously the latter 2 are out with a Linux based system, and for teaching kids who've never programmed before (particularly lower ability ones), plus with my own skill set, I opted for Pascal. We invested in Delphi for a classroom of PCs at work, which works fine, but the students don't have the £££ to go out an buy it. I've been directing them towards Lazarus, but some (particularly those on Macs) have found it somewhat onerous to set up.

Image how cool it would be if I could charge them £25 for a box with an SD card already stuck in it with Lazarus, Free Pascal, and a few doobries stuck on it ready to roll! Particularly if I can then refund them part of the cost when they return it at the end of the year.

So, if it truly is for educational purposes, then yes Lazarus is needed. And the sooner I can buy a few of these the better!

Thanks

Oli

Viscacha
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:51 pm

Lazarus just looks like they blindly copied Delphi 3 so while functional its also somewhat dated and clunky, not that that detracts from its education usefulness for getting to grips with the language itself. It seems such a shame that they killed off the free Turbo range, it seems to me that could have continued to be a valuable hook for selling full copies. Mono does seem to offer some VB.Net support though I suspect it would run like a dog on the Pi itself.

I myself am not a programmer but when I had a little project to do requiring some coding and had to use Delphi I found it a complete joy compared to my experiences learning C.

Borg 1.0
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:35 am

Oh, I think I may have just dribbled a little bit...mmmmmm, pascal!

I would really appreciate any documentary help if I get stuck with FP on the RPi, as it"s some time since I linuxed in anger, so like others, I"m very thankful of your offer! Meanwhile, I"m brushing up on my Linux with Debian running in VirtualBox on my server! First thing tomorrow, I"m downloading and installing FP!

I *am* a little concerned insofar as any code will link with the appropriate resources on the RPi systems. The last thing we want to see is frustrated young"uns unable to compare or use their pascal projects in the same way that scripted languages or C/CPP users will. So I"m happy to provide as many resources as are useable to help ensure FP (with or without Lazarus) is as useable and accessible as the other languages. This includes any help with documentation, testing, building stuff, and so on. I doubt I"m anywhere near the level of others here, but I"m more than willing to assist in any way.

I cut my teeth on Turbo Pascal 1.x on CP/M (well, TP and assembler). I liked it so much that I still have a working CP/M system with TP 3.01 on it. And yes, I"m so glad the language grew up in the intervening years. I actually have TP 3.01 on DOS as well, and TP 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, TP7 (object pascal), and working installs of Delphi 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, Turbo Pascal Explorer (the last free product before Embarcadero hid it behind ridiculous fee structures), and managed to afford Delphi 2010 (RAD Studio) when we sold the house. These working versions (on laptops, Omnibooks, and a bunch of VMs) are all needed to keep my last few customers working (some since 1985!!). (And for fun...)

I "m looking forward to the start of a vibrant pascal RPi community. (RPascal???)

spacetime
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:05 pm

Wow, it seems that the Pascal community does exist

I still believe in Pascal - easy to write and easy to read.

@Cephas Borg

I was under impression that I am the only one who likes Turbo Pascal so much!
Pascal is easy to write and easy to read
turbopascal.org

BioHazard
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:08 pm

Free Pascal and Lazarus IDE are already fully functional I use them for my students for learning purposes.

They run it on windows and on linux. For me it shows best practices on Fedora.

We also develop fully functional and very complex projects using Lazarus IDE and Free Pascal.

As myself my first language was Pascal when I was 10 and Pascal skills helped me much to introduce myself on other programming languages in any direction from c++ to php.

So the only thing I wanted to say is I cant wait to see when Raspberry Pi runs my first free pascal compiled code. When I imagine it 1000 of project ideas float in my head.

plugwash
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:22 am

Cephas Borg said:


I would really appreciate any documentary help if I get stuck with FP on the RPi,


Assuming you are running a debian armel image installing freepascal should be a simple matter of doing apt-get install fpc

I dunno what things are like on fedora.

nelsoni9
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Re: Free Pascal compiler for the Pi (freepascal.org)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:17 pm

+1 for Lazarus

I'm really waiting to grab one Raspberry. Developing in Pascal would be the "berry at the top of the cake"!

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