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Author Topic: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal  (Read 194972 times)

mvampire

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Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« on: July 07, 2011, 01:30:41 pm »
Dear forum members.

I like Lazarus and FPC very much. But now I see that both are not very popular among my friend/collegues/other people around me. As myself I use it for the research (I'm a PhD student) and very rare on the job (our department, about 30 people, uses Java+Eclipse for development) as a replacement for complicated bash scripts (I know bash scripting, but not very well).

So I see that it's not very popular and want to ask how you see the future of FPC+Lazarus? Which role should it play? Language for serious business projects? Language for researchers and students? Or just a language to support old Delphi projects? Anything else?

If I compare FPC+Lazarus with Java+Eclipse for corporate use, i see that Java+Eclipse have:
- Continuous integration systems (Jenkins, Hudson)
- SVN/CVS integration (Team SVN provider)
- dependency management (Maven)
- Javadoc and help system
- a lot of libraries, e.g. for Web (e.g., SOAP, for Lazarus I know about wsdl toolkit 0.5, but it never worked for me)
- Web application servers (e.g., Tomcat)
...

All this staff is very important for business projects, so of course Java+Eclipse is a very popular solution and it's very complicated for FPC+Lazarus to compete with them. Many corporations invest money in Java, Lazarus does not have such a financial sources. So it's OK. Sad but true:)

Then I try and remember that Pascal from the beginning was a language for learning/researching. So it should be nice for students. Indeed, in Russian universities it's still popular. For Europe I can't say so. And there is a global tendency in moving from Pascal to Java, C++, again, because they fit better business needs.

What else is important for students? Contests!

But if you see at Programming Enviroment at IBM ACM ICPC (the biggest team student contest in the world):
http://cm.baylor.edu/ICPCWiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Programming%20Environment
http://neerc.ifmo.ru/information/contest-rules.html

There is only Java and C++ available now:(
And I can remember that I participated in a quarter-final with Delphi in 2004 and 2005.
So Pascal was kicked out from a contest...

Thus, students also has no more motivation to learn Pascal - business needs Java/C, contests do not accept Pascal.

Maybe there is a way back to ACM and other contests?
What do you think about all these? How do You see the future of the project and target audience? Who will use Lazarus/ are using it now? For which developers it fits better than other languages?
Should Lazarus choose a target "audience" (business developers, students, researchers, web, databases, etc.) and plan roadmap to fit their needs? Or just continue as is?

Thank You in advance,
Kind Regards,
mvampire:)

Ask

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 01:54:50 pm »
Quote
But if you see at Programming Enviroment at IBM ACM ICPC (the biggest team student contest in the world):
There is only Java and C++ available now:(
And I can remember that I participated in a quarter-final with Delphi in 2004 and 2005.
So Pascal was kicked out from a contest...

Yes, that is sad, and there were rumors that it was done in an attempt to
reduce the domination of Russian teams, which used mostly Pascal at the time.
It probably helped a little, but, unfortunately for the organizers, the top places
"freed" in this way from Russians were taken by China instead of U.S.

Anyway, I was present at the meeting of organizers at this year finals,
and there was some talk of extending the list of languages, although
C# was the primary contender, not Pascal.
So not all hope is lost ;-)

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 03:10:40 pm »
I honestly don't believe Object Pascal (Delphi/Lazarus) can regain the mindshare of the corporate world except if it has backers with very deep pockets and considerable influence (e.g an Oracle-like backer).

That said, I love it more than any other language I've programmed with (believe me, I've tried many). It is still my language of choice when it comes to creating solutions with low cost, minimum installation problems & low administration requirements e.g desktop & LAN applications. I like the structure & program logic of pascal programs. That's why I keep coming back.

At the enterprise level, Java rules but Pascal has its compelling arguments in the middle market, not-for-profit market space.
Windows (Vista, 7) - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4 (also Delphi 2010 and 2006 once in a while)
Linux Mint - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4
Indy 10.6 series; Zeos 7.1.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB

Elmug

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 09:09:34 pm »
I think it's mostly international politics and money, and some crazy ideas that are falling down gradually, having to do with "what's free does not keep an economy alive". Or: the more revenue from taxes the better for the nation.

Also, if Delphi would have been priced for the masses (like Turbo Pascal was), and be that the only one pricing option, the situation would be different. But maybe that still can happen if Delphi were to realize that millions of sales at lower price can easily surpass a few sales at real high prices, or follow the new model in which software is free and there's quite a pile to make on support for it.

I also think it may matter to show the colleges the advantages that Lazarus has, compared to what they are using.

Software, and hardware, though, still have a long way to go, and maybe in the future the computer will be in a pencil, or the pencil will be the only interface needed; and you can write any where and put it in the shirt pocket, or on the back of the ear.

Even write a phone number in the air, talk through the lead, and listen from the erasor. ;D


CaptBill

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 09:42:20 pm »
HeeHeeHee :-X :-X

It's a David vs. Goliath showdown that has been ongoing since the Borland Paradox days my friends...

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE of the other players have been behind the curve of Paradox/Delphi. They are just hush hush about the subject is all. they dare not mention the word 'Pascal' for fear of a direct comparison.

...and now we have Lazarus riding into the mix off the ol' dusty trail....

....get your popcorn out.

....this is epic.

touchring

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 05:53:05 am »
I honestly don't believe Object Pascal (Delphi/Lazarus) can regain the mindshare of the corporate world except if it has backers with very deep pockets and considerable influence (e.g an Oracle-like backer).

That said, I love it more than any other language I've programmed with (believe me, I've tried many). It is still my language of choice when it comes to creating solutions with low cost, minimum installation problems & low administration requirements e.g desktop & LAN applications. I like the structure & program logic of pascal programs. That's why I keep coming back.

At the enterprise level, Java rules but Pascal has its compelling arguments in the middle market, not-for-profit market space.


I see no reason why FPC cannot be elevated if the terrible difficult to use PHP could.  In my opinion, deep pockets is not required.  All is needed is a small full time team of say 3 highly skilled home based developers with 10 years pascal and UNIX experience based in Ukraine to fix bugs, port open source components, and do documentation and create tutorials to convert Delphi programmers.

Excluding the project manager, the whole operation would cost less than $3000 a month to maintain.

The problem is coming out with a commercial product that can sell to fund the operation, more importantly, the wage of the PM.

Another way is to get sponsorship from a Microsoft rival that does not intend to make money from application tools or have their own exclusive compiler.  Microsoft maintains dominance by making applications rely on dot net.  FPC is a good way to dislodge part of that dominance.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 06:27:56 am by touchring »

CaptBill

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 07:38:53 am »
Quote
Microsoft maintains dominance by making applications rely on dot net.  FPC is a good way to dislodge part of that dominance.

It is rumored that .Net was made possible because Microsoft bailed out Embarcaderro who was in a financial bind. The deal was that Microsoft could produce .Net and not be sued by Embarcaderro.

Why?

Because .Net is simply MICROSOFT'S VERSION OF DELPHI....that is all .Net is.

I'm telling you. ObjectPascal is King of the Hill...and always has been.

touchring

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 08:02:23 am »
Quote
Microsoft maintains dominance by making applications rely on dot net.  FPC is a good way to dislodge part of that dominance.

It is rumored that .Net was made possible because Microsoft bailed out Embarcaderro who was in a financial bind. The deal was that Microsoft could produce .Net and not be sued by Embarcaderro.

Why?

Because .Net is simply MICROSOFT'S VERSION OF DELPHI....that is all .Net is.

I'm telling you. ObjectPascal is King of the Hill...and always has been.


So i guess not to port Delphi to Linux for 20 years is part of that bailout agreement?

CaptBill

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:33:09 am »



So i guess not to port Delphi to Linux for 20 years is part of that bailout agreement?


[/quote]

Was there some agreement like that? Wouldn't surprise me a bit. Are you saying twenty years from now or 20 years ago?

If you mean why didn't they make a Unix version from day one then that was probably due to the fact that everybody ASSUMED Windows would eventually take over completely and Unix was on its death bed.... We see now they were wrong.

In fact i would venture to bet that producing Kylix caused all kinds of behind the scenes drama that we are unaware of, by attempting to break the shackles of Microsoft. Microsoft CAN'T sit by and let Delphi become the prime mover.

Of course this is one mans assessment of the situation based upon very few details. Mostly deductive reasoning because we really can't be sure.

touchring

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 11:11:03 am »
Was there some agreement like that? Wouldn't surprise me a bit. Are you saying twenty years from now or 20 years ago?


I meant it to be a joke.   :D

Even if there were such a agreement, we'll never know because people won't use Delphi if people know it will be shackled to windows for 20 years.   ;D

Elmug

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 11:36:17 am »
I think the problem started when M$ took from Borland the fellow that wrote Turbo Pascal and Delphi (Anders Hejlsberg, a European engineer)..There, at M$, he was given a big job, resources, etc, and he wrote or guided, or was chief architect for Mono, and also CSharp.

So Pascal is indeed the daddy of much of the modern computing languages, and thereby Delphi too, seems to me.

Even Apple, I gather has much of its internal code in Pascal.

I think Pascal is something like the Wankel Engine vs the piston-crankshaft motors. The big car makers no way want to change the paradigm. Heck, if they can find a way to make the electric car have pistons, they'll go that way.

IPguy

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 02:01:12 pm »
Quote
...M$ took from Borland the fellow that wrote Turbo Pascal ...

Philippe Kahn, perhaps?

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 02:43:49 pm »
Quote
...M$ took from Borland the fellow that wrote Turbo Pascal ...

Philippe Kahn, perhaps?
No, it was Anders Hejlsberg. He later became one of the brains behind C# at Microsoft. C# owes a lot to Delphi because of the influence of Anders Hejlsberg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg
Windows (Vista, 7) - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4 (also Delphi 2010 and 2006 once in a while)
Linux Mint - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4
Indy 10.6 series; Zeos 7.1.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB

BigChimp

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 05:09:10 pm »
Why not get Embarcadero to sponsor Linux/FreeBSD/OSX FPC once it turns out their cross-platform compiler... isn't  :)
Want quicker answers to your questions? Read http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Faq#What_is_the_correct_way_to_ask_questions_in_the_forum.3F

Open source including papertiger OCR/PDF scanning:
https://bitbucket.org/reiniero

Lazarus trunk+FPC trunk x86, Windows x64 unless otherwise specified

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 05:48:21 pm »
I currently use 2 RSS Readers - RSSOwl (a rich client application written in Java using Eclipse) & FeedDemon (written in Delphi). You may ask why 2 RSS Readers. Because

a) until last month, RSSOwl did not offer synchronization with Google Reader while FeedDemon has had it for ages
b) RSSOwl is free while FeedDemon since version 4 is no longer free though I opt for the ad-supported free version
c) RSSOwl is cross platform as one would expect from a Java application but FeedDemon is Windows only

Now having used the two for a while now (over two years), I still can't get over the feeling that RSSOwl is an overkill for the desktop. It feels "heavy" to me & in addition, it uses more disk space & is slower than FeedDemon because of all the plugins it uses & needs load in order to run properly.

FeedDemon on the other hand is smaller & faster.

This is why I believe ObjectPascal still has a role to play when developing single-user to mid-market applications. In my opinion, a single executable is much easier to deploy & update than a group of mutually dependent files.

A quick look at Embarcadero's Delphi & C++ Builder application showcase also gives me hope:
http://www.embarcadero.com/rad-in-action/application-showcase

 :D
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 05:58:03 pm by JD »
Windows (Vista, 7) - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4 (also Delphi 2010 and 2006 once in a while)
Linux Mint - Lazarus 1.2.2/FPC 2.6.4
Indy 10.6 series; Zeos 7.1.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB

 

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