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Author Topic: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl  (Read 10359 times)

Martin_fr

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2020, 12:42:54 am »
However, I did not discover fpc and Lazarus until the mid 90s.
That is an achievement....
Lazarus was only created around 1999 / 2000.

marcov

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2020, 12:43:53 am »
However, I did not discover fpc and Lazarus until the mid 90s.
That is an achievement....
Lazarus was only created around 1999 / 2000.

And used GTK on windows till what, end of 2003?

dbannon

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2020, 02:50:46 am »
While I am no fan of badge engineering, I do think Webdrifter has a point.  If its about naming, and doing naming correctly can make a difference, a discussion is a good idea.  I suspect if we, the FPC, Object Pascal, Lazarus, LCL, (and Delphi?) users, agreed on a simple set of names it could make the products we love more recognizable.  Trouble is, these things are all subsets of each other.

The Free Pascal Compiler is a compiler, obviously. But "Free Pascal" does sound to me like a programing language (sorry PascalDragon). In fact a Pascal dialect, one of several dialects supported by the FPC.  Object Pascal is clearly a Language (or dialect), definitely not a substitute for "Free Pascal" because we have lots of code written for the FPC that is not OO code.  Similarly, many of us think we are writing Lazarus code, no, its Free Pascal, maybe Object Pascal, maybe Pascal code written using a Lazarus IDE and 'linked' to the Lazarus Component Library.  And I guess Delphi calls its underlying code "Delphi" ?  And would not consider changing it.

I suggest that one term be picked, even if its not perfect.  is that term "Free Pascal" ?  If so, it should appear in the "about" boxes we pop up and in marketing literature.  Mention Lazarus as well by all means but Free Pascal should be the eye catching tag.  Right now, my application says "...using Lazarus and FPC", maybe I will change that to say, hmm, -

"A Free Pascal application built using FPC and Lazarus"

That approach definitely conflicts with what Wikipedia says. We have several Wikipedia pages, the most prominent, "Free Pascal" starts off defining the "Free Pascal Compiler" and perhaps needs to be renamed ?  (them's fighting words!).  We also have an "Object Pascal" and "Pascal Programming Language".   If we are to fit into the existing Wikipedia model, my about box should say -

"A Pascal application built using Free Pascal and Lazarus"

And, for what its worth, github identifies my code as "Pascal".  Would we convince Tiobe that there is one Pascal to Rule the World ?  Things like Delphi and Free Pascal are just manifestations of the great Pascal Family ?

(Yes, I know Tiobe is a flawed measure but people like to refer to it.  We could invent our own measure, perhaps one that excludes languages that don't use "begin ... end" but nobody would care !)

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TRon

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2020, 03:38:44 am »
I stopped using Free Pascal for a long time now. These days I program in Generics Pascal  :-X

trev

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2020, 04:37:41 am »
There may be many more ways.

As previously mentioned, the Wiki needs love and the best part is that ANYONE can edit the Wiki to update out of date material and/or add new material. It is also well represented in G-o-o-g-l-e search results. I've spent a year on the Wiki fixing template loops, categorising uncategorised pages, linking orphaned pages, deleting dead pages (eg foreign language pages which are wholly in English) and translating eg the German AVR and ARM tutorial pages (among others) into English.

Apart from that, I've been concentrating on the Wiki's macOS Portal and creating new macOS-specific content pages with example code. I also, with help from Martin without whom it would never have happened, updated the Wiki's long static main page to help make the content more accessible, especially via the Platform and Thematic Portals that are now listed there.

Another avenue for ANYONE to contribute is logging bugs. Most of those that I've logged have been resolved and where they haven't been resolved for one reason or another, I've published workarounds or patches on the Wiki.

I, along with a number of others around here, contribute monthly to a developer's Patreon account (and have in the past donated Apple hardware). Again, something ANYONE can do.

Finally, the reality is that Pascal is no longer being taught formally in most universities and this of course affects the number of new Pascal programmers. Whether as a consequence or not, there are now very few jobs for Pascal programmers. This is not to say that Pascal is dying as some do, but rather that it is now a road much less travelled by programmers. It is a niche, if you like. Nothing wrong with that. The consequence though is that one needs to adjust one's expectations and not be deluded into believing that the reduction in the popularity of Pascal can be arrested or even reversed. That's about as likely as a snowball surviving an Australian summer bushfire.

Before Embarcadero managed to come up with the much promised and much delayed macOS compiler, there was an opportunity that lasted at least two years for Lazarus and Free Pascal to own that market space. It didn't. Consider why it didn't. I think the answer is obvious. There's the largely ineffective (imnsho) Free Pascal and Lazarus Foundation. There's the volunteer group of Pascal developers. There's the volunteer group of Lazarus developers. There's no strategy, direction or plan. Nothing wrong with that - this is a hobby for most people and such people work on what interests them and they do this in their spare time. This is perfectly understandable. Nothing is going to change that. That's what I'm doing after all.

So, to Webdrifter, do what interests you. Propose things if necessary and others may well join you. Just don't expect others to do it for you or nothing is likely to happen. I wish you luck.

o Lazarus v2.1.0 r63871, FPC v3.3.1 r47164, macOS 10.14.6, Xcode 11.3.1
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r64160, FPC v3.3.1 Nov 27 21:16:31, macOS 11.0.1 (aarch64), Xcode 12.2
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.3.1 r42318, FreeBSD 12.1 amd64 (VMware VM)
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.0.4, Ubuntu 20.04 (PD VM)

Blade

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2020, 08:03:00 am »
So to get a better ranking we can try to chance their policy and/or adept to it.....

For instance, they split the pascal community up into 2 languages:
-  Delphi/Object Pascal
-  Pascal

This splitting up results in the fact that they both end up with a lower ranking!!!

The Object Pascal and Pascal wikipedia does show many of the dialects (including Free Pascal/Lazarus), so I'm not sure (sarcasm) how the TIOBE staff was blind to this, and decided the dialects were all separate languages (which makes no sense whatsoever).
 
I have e-mailed TIOBE too.  What I got out of it was a lot of ignorance from them about what a programming language is and contradictions.  It appears that their index is aligned to their business interests and bias within their company.  I got the impression that they will definitely put their thumb on the scale, regardless of what any data says, because TIOBE is also selling products that support specific programming languages.  If you look through what they sell, it becomes more obvious.  Unfortunately, the average person doing Google searches about language popularity has no idea that the TIOBE index is highly questionable and takes it as the gospel, so it's shaping and corrupting public opinion (which aligns with their products).

However, I do agree that Free Pascal/Lazarus should make it clear that it falls under the umbrella of Object Pascal and link to that Wiki page as well. 
At university I did not learn Pascal, but was previous knowledge. At university is teached C and Java, JavaScript in the last course I take this year.
So Pascal is not even being teached, there are paid courses that are 'learn free pascal'? Not books, but modern interactive courses with online tools.

This is flawed thinking, that we have to be careful about.  That is, what affects us personally or is going on in our area/country is therefore the reality for everyone and everywhere.  We shouldn't do that.  Many countries do more actively teach Pascal/Object Pascal and use Delphi.  Say what we will about how Embarcadero has managed the Delphi product, but they do push the Academic Edition of RAD Studio very hard.  There is also no limit of installations on the same network.  This year, Turkey's minister of education bought 1 million Delphi licenses for their students.  By contrast, I'm not quite sure why the Free Pascal and Lazarus foundation is not making a push or some type of outreach towards being an alternative or being used in schools.  Especially in very poor communities and countries.

Various countries around the world are still teaching Pascal/Object Pascal.  Russia has PascalABC (free open-source), which has been taught in their school system for over 18 years.  Check YouTube, and you will see many Russian videos on it (sadly they are nearly all in the Russian language only).  If they every got their act together about producing English manuals and English videos, they might be more popular.  South African schools purposely removed Java and use Delphi.  Pascal/Object Pascal or Delphi has a long history in the school systems of many countries such as: Brazil, Bosnia, Romania, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Italy, Jamaica, Libya, Moldova, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine, Czech republic and Vietnam.

The issue is that in the USA, we have major global corporations backing their pet languages.  Oracle with Java, Microsoft with C#, Apple with Objective-C/Swift, etc...  So the market is crowded.  These huge companies will stoop to some very low tactics, like claiming every language that is not theirs is  "dead" or should not be learned.  This insane thinking seems to be pushed heavily into the minds of too many of their language users and advocates.

What might also be effective for Free Pascal/Lazarus is a new YouTube series from Lazarus experts about this flavor of Object Pascal.  Delphi based videos, by contrast, are everywhere on YouTube.  Even PascalABC has more videos out than Free Pascal/Lazarus, despite being lesser known.  The Free Pascal/Lazarus specific video series that I know of are SchoolFreeware and Devstructor, which are both good, but getting a bit old.

Links to a Free Pascal/Lazarus YouTube series can be pushed by the website and forum members on their personal websites and social media.  The SchoolFreeware and Devstructor series are nice, but from a branding perspective and website promotion, probably Free Pascal/Lazarus having their own video series (at least an introductory to intermediate one) would be more effective.  And of course the video series should make it clear that it's teaching Object Pascal and the IDE is Lazarus, to stop that bit of confusion.

Something else that I noticed is that existing free PDFs teaching Free Pascal/Lazarus appear to not be getting any push from this website or the Wikipedia.  Correct me if I'm wrong about that.  The Lazarus Handbook is excellent, very extensive, and thorough.  But, also pushing "getting your feet wet" type PDFs could help too with general public awareness. 

http://www.copperwood.com/pub/FreePascalFromSquareOne.pdf
(Free Pascal From Square One)

http://code.sd/startprog/StartProgUsingPascal.pdf
(Start Programming Using Object Pascal)

https://castle-engine.io/modern_pascal_introduction.pdf
(Modern Object Pascal Introduction for Programmers)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 10:58:18 am by Blade »

PascalDragon

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2020, 10:05:11 am »
Something else that I noticed is that existing free PDFs teaching Free Pascal/Lazarus appear to not be getting any push from this website or the Wiki.  Correct me if I'm wrong about that.  The Lazarus Handbook is excellent, very extensive, and thorough.  But, also pushing "getting your feet wet" type PDFs could help too with general public awareness.

You mean like here? Though that page might be promoted a bit better...

Blade

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2020, 10:24:04 am »
Something else that I noticed is that existing free PDFs teaching Free Pascal/Lazarus appear to not be getting any push from this website or the Wiki.  Correct me if I'm wrong about that.  The Lazarus Handbook is excellent, very extensive, and thorough.  But, also pushing "getting your feet wet" type PDFs could help too with general public awareness.

You mean like here? Though that page might be promoted a bit better...

Excuse me for the confusion, I meant on the Free Pascal Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Pascal), which I think casuals are much more likely to see.  The Wiki of Free Pascal would likely be visited by active users of Free Pascal/Lazarus.  But besides that, maybe show the introductory PDFs on the Lazarus Forum index page.  I don't have the answers on the best ways for promotion, but do think something should be done to help promote awareness.  The narrative is being pushed that Pascal died with Turbo Pascal or in the 80s/90s, even from programmers of all people, which is both a bit ridiculous and sad.

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2020, 10:25:42 am »
@Martin_fr

I agree with all you say. But in the end before all else it all comes down to bringing new blood to the community who have the motivation and time to spent in benefit off the community. The Python community flourishes because they where able to do that. This to my opinion is mostly because they tapped into the world of High-schools, Universities and innovators. The python support for Machine Learning gave this an extra boost. Since there lays their interest and a buck load of money in the market.

With the right strategy Pascal could act the same, not only towards machine learning but also towards other upcoming technologies. Off course for that we need more developers. 

See here the catch22...

I believe we can only break this vicious circle if we start creating more attention and desire, for pascal and its eco-system, on the internet.

With other words it's all a matter of marketing and salesmanship.

Like you I am not a salesman either. I'm like many programmers more of a slightly Asperger type of person. However through the years I have learned that promotion is part off every success and thus should not be ignored. It's unfortunately something we have to live with....

Since we also have short capacity off marketing capabilities, I was searching for methods to improve the situation with relatively easy methods with possibly the largest effect...

Improving the ranking seemed one off them.

Changing the Wikipedia pages could be a start.
I'm willing to put some effort in that, if the community give me the up-vote for that.

I had an elaborate e-mail dialog with Paul Jansen from Tiobe. Which is easy for me since I am dutch.
I believe he is an OK guy with good intentions.
He acknowledges the shortages of their method. and seems open for ideas.
Maybe we could help them improve their methods (and tools?).

However, for now we will just have to accept reality and go with how they work.
For now instance. We could maybe put meta tags and standard sentences containing ALL the right combination of words on EVERY webpage we create, starting with the freepascal and lazarus website and our forums and personal blogs.

The right words for us would be:

"DwScript programming"
"Object Pascal programming"
"Delphi programming"
"Delphi.NET programming"
"Pascal programming"

Don't no weather just something like "DwScript Object Delphi Delphi.NET Pascal programming" would also do the trick.

This could help boost the number of hits in search engines a little.

However do realize that nowadays "Python programming" gives 374.000.000 on google.com
Whereas "Pascal programming" gives 16.300.000 and "Delphi programming" gives 36.000.000, and "object pascal programming" gives 6.280.000. No idea how they take out the doubles.

But as you can see all is relative....

Thaddy

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2020, 10:26:24 am »
Never trust a wiki, not even ours.

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2020, 10:34:13 am »
I have a lot of sympathy for the seemingly revolutionary views expressed here. If a simple tweak to wikipedia could effect significant change to the situation, why not?

But will it? Or might it not be so simple? If it is all that important, why doesn't the TIOBE guy maintain a few exceptions, and why did he change his algorithm wrt Pascal several times in the last 2 years?

Most likely it will just progress to the next artificial hurdle, and even if it wouldn't, it won't bring in the hordes, as it is only a minor additional decision maker.

Nice to have? Sure. But IMHO vastly overrated.  The same for SEO by name change, which are only temporary effects at best to an already known brand.  Maybe not perfect, but it might take years to get the new brands up in the search engine rankings.

As far as I understand the changes where not the results off a change in their methods but of the way how for instance Delphi was defined in the English Wikipedia.

I agree that changes have short and long term effect.

But I believe every effort in this direction is worth the while, as long as it holds in the long run without to much harm for the short term and doesn't cost to much effort compared to the gains.

It all starts however with a positive attitude towards the matter  ;)
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 10:52:27 am by Webdrifter »

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2020, 10:47:36 am »
Maybe somebody knows a SEO specialist who is willing to look into the matter? And give us some tips...

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2020, 11:09:45 am »
Maybe we should give the marketing of Pascal a more important position within our community?

Starting by giving this topic it's own entrance prominently positioned on the main page of our forum......

And creating a team that actively pursues this mission. Just in the way we have a development team.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:12:49 am by Webdrifter »

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2020, 11:15:52 am »
Maybe we can split long pages on our forum and our wiki's into two or more pages?

Thus with little extra effort creating much more pages, and thus hits on search engines.

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2020, 11:17:17 am »
Anybody willing to brainstorm with me.... I dare you!

 

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