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CPMcGraw 11-30-2009 07:58 PM

Craig's Hiatus
The last few months have been a long "battery recharge" session, and I'm still not actively doing anything with RockSim right now. My focus for some time has been more software-oriented... :eek:

I'm trying to get comfortable with Pascal, and I've been working with the Free Pascal IDE called Lazarus. If any of you are familiar with Delphi, then this package should be nearly second-nature to get comfortable with. I come from the C++ Builder side of life, and never quite got the hang of Object Pascal before, so I'm trying to familiarize myself with the quirks of the syntax more than with the environment.

Lazarus looks and feels just like Delphi, at about the Version 6 release. It has its own interpretation of VCL, called LCL (Lazarus Component Library), and is built around the Free Pascal Compiler. Since I like working with beta code :D I'm using the 2.3.1 compiler release. A new build of Lazarus is released each night, so it's always bleeding edge...

This is all OpenSource material, which is nice. Here's a link to the download if anyone wants to give it a try.

I'm not going to reveal the special project I'm building up as I learn Pascal, but it will involve CAD and graphics... :cool:

pantherjon 12-01-2009 07:41 AM

Hmmmmm, CAD and graphics..And quite possibly, maybe, could be used in rocketry? ;)

InFlight 12-01-2009 08:14 PM

Is the Lazarus language identical to Object Pascal?

I have Delphi 4, 5 and 6 enterprise versions. ;)

I loved working in Object Pascal but have now moved on to C++ and C#.
Lazarus looks interesting, wish I had time to check it out :(


CPMcGraw 12-01-2009 08:30 PM

Originally Posted by InFlight
Is the Lazarus language identical to Object Pascal?

I have Delphi 4, 5 and 6 enterprise versions. ;)

I loved working in Object Pascal but have now moved on to C++ and C#.
Lazarus looks interesting, wish I had time to check it out :(


It's Object-Oriented, and the base class of LCL is the TObject. TComponent is derived from TObject, and forms the backbone of all visible and non-visible components in the library. That's why I said if you're familiar with Delphi, you'll understand Lazarus.

The whole project was conceived to look like Delphi, and the Free Pascal programmers have done a good job so far. It's not a complete duplication, however. There is still much to be done, and some of the components work differently (the procedures and functions are built differently). I'd say they're about 65-70% functionally equal. Some IDE capabilities are still grayed-out, and it pukes when trying to write a DLL. :(

It's a learning experience for me. The other reason I chose to plow ahead is the source code can be compiled on Windows platforms, then recompiled for MACs and Linux machines.

One feature I'm considering in my (ahem) project is to have a built-in cluster manager so that more computing power can be added to the workstation in the form of diskless nodes. Clearly, Linux would be a pre-requisite to accomplish this.

CPMcGraw 12-21-2009 08:05 PM

Lazarus is looking better and better with each daily build, and I'm actually getting the hang of the Pascal syntax. Do I like it as well as C++? No, not really. But until someone produces a C++ version of Lazarus, then I'm stuck with Object Pascal.

And yes, I have tried other OpenSource GUI builders. Four of note have been Dev C++, wxDev C++, Code::Blocks, and Eclipse. My opinions of each?
  • Eclipse Gahhhck... Bloated, slow, clunky, bug-infested...
  • Dev C++ A C and C++ IDE actually written in Object Pascal, using Delphi 6. Has some merit, but why not build it in C++ Builder 6?
  • wxDev C++ A derivative of Dev C++, but with bindings for the wxWidgets GUI library. I am NOT a fan of 'Sizers'...
  • Code::Blocks Another IDE with a wxWidgets library binding. The underlying compiler is Gnu...

When I first began using the VCL with C++ Builder 1, I liked it immediately. When I upgraded to Builder 3, I continued to be impressed with the library. At first, I thought the limitation to single inheritance would be an issue, but it really wasn't; it may even have forced me to think more in terms of fluid, linear code and not to get bogged down in spaghetti-threaded classes.

My 'project' is coming along, albiet slowly. Right now, I'm trying to read XML files and get the needed information out of them without getting 'code bloat congestion'. My code has probably been written and re-written about 50 times since starting. Some of it I can loop through in my sleep, I've typed it so often.

At some point, when I think I've managed to get something that doesn't embarrass me, I'll post a copy of the binary for your perusal... :o

blindeye2 12-24-2009 10:17 AM

I am stil trying to figure out how to compile FORTRAN 77 code on the Hp boxes we got at work back in 05.

ghrocketman 12-24-2009 11:40 AM

FORTRAN 77 ????? :rolleyes: :eek:
C'mon now !
Good Lord, that was an obsolete language way back in the 80's when we were forced to learn it in pursuit of my undergrad engineering degree.
Useless waste of $$$ back then when THE University of Michigan forced undergrad students to take it with no possible future use.

blindeye2 12-24-2009 03:30 PM

Old but not forgotten!
Still the language of choice for heavy number crunching.

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