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Author Topic: Start using Blaise Pascal's teachings to persuade others to use FPC/Lazarus  (Read 2599 times)

kveroneau

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As many of you should know, the name for the Pascal language came from the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, and writer.  However, did you also know that he knew a fair share of psychology?  One of his most known works in this field being used by modern day psychologists, is the ability to persuade people to change their minds.  I highly recommend this read, if you are either interested in Blaise Pascal, or psychology.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/a-philosopher-s-350-year-old-trick-to-get-people-to-change-their-minds-is-now-backed-up-by

According to his teachings, in order to persuade the world that Pascal is the most superior programming language in the known universe, we first need to tell them languages like Java, COBOL, and Fortran which they are currently using are good languages, and work with the positives of each language the people whom we wish to convert over are using.  For example, Java is create as a business language overall, has some great OOP, and is generally pretty rounded out.  However, Java tends to lack when it comes to compile and start-up times, and takes a bit of effort and knowledge of JNI to get external C libraries to play well with your Java code.  Pascal on the other hand, is well suited for business applications, has really good OOP, compiles super fast, and the start-up times are non-existent.  On top of that, with Pascal, working with external C libraries is relatively painless, and mostly automated, thanks to h2pas.

Rather than telling others right out why their programming language of choice is lacking, first start with the positives of their preferred language, then  make a relation to the target programming language which you wish to move them towards.  Plant the seed of Pascal into their minds, let them think on it, let them explore it for themselves.  Most people in ComSci do not really know how far Pascal as a language has come in the past decade.  It has many modern programming ideas which did not exist in the 90s when some CompSci people may have attempted to use Pascal last.

I also propose that June 19th, Blaise Pascal's birthday, be a world Pascal day, to celebrate everything Pascal, from the mathematician, to the programming language inspired by his works.

marcov

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My regular critic of such pieces:  try to start flamewars about language never solves anything. People will respond with languages they admire (but don't use) and languages they use (but not in the usecases that are argued).

So keep it about whole development platforms with regular usecases.


trev

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It might work in a private setting, but not on the public Internet where, as marcov notes,  the outcome would invariably be a (pointless) flame war.
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avra

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Now I finally know why people at first started talking that Pascal is good for teaching programming, then they kicked it out of schools replacing it with Java and C - although they claimed Pascal was good for teaching programming, and when they saw that Java and C are not good as first programming languages why they didn't return to Pascal and finally settled on Python instead.

Pascal is guilty for all that.  :D
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devEric69

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And for the 25th anniversary of Java, we could organize a planetary party for developers in Borneo :D ?
use: Linux 64 bits (Ubuntu 20.04 LTS).
Lazarus version: 2.0.4 (svn revision: 62502M) compiled with fpc 3.0.4 - fpDebug \ Dwarf3.

marcov

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Another critic is that people that know languages (e.g. the teachers) might not actually be the decision makers about the curriculum.

At least here a lot of Pascal was replaced by Java using "use market oriented languages" arguments, which was just a pretext to save a few weeks initial training costs for the semi-sweatshops that offer up the bulk of the first jobs to graduates. Suitability for the didactic side of things was hardly regarded.

And Java lost its position as marketing darling and now they are pushed to the next darling.

One of the problems of such "marketed oriented thinking" is that there is a latency of typical minimally 4 years, and even more for some other (e.g. to bring the more theoretical side of the curriculum into practice as a senior programmer, or the real life after the initial job). Market languages will have changed anyway, and all your "market language skills" do is make your diploma seem old anyway.

A few years ago Ruby was all the rage, where is it now?

Teaching languages should be decided on didactic grounds only.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 10:42:06 am by marcov »

kapibara

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@kveroneau

Interesting and well written. Pascal deserves to be promoted.
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devEric69

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AMHO. My feeling? Marketing and communication are everything. Briefly, every quarter, it would be nice to send a mailing list of emails with the following constraints (which are truisms; anyone would give the same):
- creation of a list of all universities and colleges;
- sending the faculties of Free Pascal to their leaders, by asking them to pass on to the professors of computer science; or even apologize and ask them for decision-maker e-mail addresses if they are not the right people identified;
- conclusion: it's a technical language (which covers the whole spectrum of possible applications of a language) that can do everything that others can do.
- cost for students? It's free: download, GPL, ...
- The potential for Free Pascal students to evolve towards the most popular commercial languages of the moment, knowing that they alternate every 5 years: optimal, because whoever has learned one of the most technical language (with the C), has an optimal potential to adapt to less complicated grammars and techniques. So, the knowledge of this language minimizes its problems of reconversion to other economic opportunities.

Easy to say. Afterwards, the difficulty consists in setting up a participatory structure, delegating to those who are willing to take care with few of there time to do this to update the participatory data of this informative communication.
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kveroneau

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A few years ago Ruby was all the rage, where is it now?
Being used at the company I am working at.  Our CIO is very insistent that Ruby, and Rails aren't dead despite everything else online pointing to that fact.  If you check out the Octoverse, https://octoverse.github.com/ or use Google Trends, you can clearly see it in decline and barely used in modern days.

Unfortunately, on either Octoverse or Google Trends, Pascal/Delphi isn't on the top either, but in terms of a language, I have more faith in Pascal.  ObjectPascal definitely does not have the same type of community as Ruby either.  A majority of the Ruby community are web developers, as Ruby does not seem to be used for anything else much than web development.  ObjectPascal seems more useful for creating desktop applications, embedded programs, and system tool development.

syntonica

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Maybe you could work his Wager into it. You're better off using Pascal. Just in case.  :D


Regarding Ruby,  Mac Homebrew is heavily dependant upon it. It's quite annoying...

 

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