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Author Topic: Your opinions on Lazarus / Free Pascal  (Read 21928 times)

felipemdc

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Your opinions on Lazarus / Free Pascal
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2008, 04:39:17 am »
The Toolbox magazine (in german) has a lot of articles about FPC/Lazarus:

http://www.toolbox-mag.de/

normanp

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Documentation
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2008, 09:49:57 am »
I have used Delphi and C++Builder for years as a teacher and would like to try Lazarus with my students. At first sight it looks great but I have an immediate problem: for every LCL component I must have a list of properties and methods with at least brief descriptions and examples whever possible (see the excellent Delphi help - press f1 and you get the right help page). Is it not possible for every LCL component developer to create a help page every time? I teach my students that documentation is essential so that you or other developers can perform maintenance, upgrades etc...

Maybe the LCL is fully documented somewhere but I can't find it! Ok I can look at Delphi documentation but lots of the components in Lazarus are not in my Delphi - besides I would like to eliminate Delphi if Lazarus were up to it.

It looks fantastic and is a huge achievement - I'd love to use this for my students.

bee

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RE: Documentation
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2008, 10:09:57 am »
@normanp:
Maybe it's a good time to teach your student about how to involve in open source project and become the part of the community. Unlike if they're using a closed and commercial product which they would receive a professional document and support, it's not the case when they're using an open source project that build by the community, especially if the project sets the focus more on technical things (new features, bug fixing, stabilizing, etc) as Lazarus.

Since Lazarus and Delphi share many things in common, your students may start the contribution to this project by studying Delphi documentation first. As soon as they understand them, they can help to complete documentation of this project. This way, those students don't only learn how to use a product, but also how to participate in a project, especially in an open source project. A few years since now, this project would have more supports from students like them. It's good for them and this project as well. :)

What do you think? ;)
-Bee-

A long time pascal lover.

normanp

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Your opinions on Lazarus / Free Pascal
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2008, 11:01:34 am »
Hi Bee - thanks for the quick reply. My students are still school students 16-18 yrs old and are complete beginners in programming. Certainly some of them after a while could contribute but the majority probably wouldn't be capable at this level. It looks as if Lazarus would be great for console programming for these beginners, and in fact there wouldn't be a problem over standard components - buttons, list boxes etc where I am very familiar from Delphi. Of course students like to be entertained too - and this is where the more exotic components can be fun and keep them interested - and it is these components that need the documentation (for example TIpHtmlPanel which I cannot make function!). We also like to get students creating DB front ends. Here I would need very thorough documentation for TMySQL50Connection and query components. Obviously someone could contribute documentation - but wouldn't the developer be the best person? (I have just found this http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/MySQLDatabases  - looks like a good start) BTW I think school teachers can contribute in a little way by expanding the user base of Lazarus.

Phil

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Re: Documentation
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2008, 05:34:01 pm »
Quote from: "normanp"
for every LCL component I must have a list of properties and methods with at least brief descriptions and examples whever possible (see the excellent Delphi help - press f1 and you get the right help page). Is it not possible for every LCL component developer to create a help page every time?


There is on-line documentation, although not as easy to use as the Delphi (or most program) help:

http://lazarus-ccr.sourceforge.net/docs/lcl/

Say somebody has a question about a TLabel property. Now they would need to know that it's in the StdCtrls unit, but once there click Classes link at the top of the page and then TLabel in the list of StdCtrls classes. This brings up a list of all TLabel properties and a brief description. Clicking the property gives more detail.

Not sure if this is available in other languages, though, maybe just English.

Thanks.

-Phil

felipemdc

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RE: Re: Documentation
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2008, 07:47:46 pm »
If you select an element or even put your cursor in a class name or similar and press F1 it will open a browser in the adequate documentation page.

It is possible to download the docs and configure Lazarus to use the local docs instead of the online ones.

A lot of the documentation however is skeletons. But, as mentioned, we accept contributions.

The documentation is only available in english. If you would like it to be available in another language, please contribute.

http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/LCL_Documentation_Roadmap

Phil

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Re: RE: Re: Documentation
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2008, 11:19:52 pm »
Quote from: "sekel"
If you select an element or even put your cursor in a class name or similar and press F1 it will open a browser in the adequate documentation page.


Does that work with all widgetsets? I can't seem to figure out how to do that with the Carbon IDE on OS X. And looking through the key mappings I don't see any offhand for help.

Thanks.

-Phil

Tombo

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RE: Re: RE: Re: Documentation
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2008, 02:34:38 pm »
Yes. It is under Help menu commands / context sensitive help. It set to Help key under Carbon, because Cmd+? is not supported properly yet.

normanp

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Your opinions on Lazarus / Free Pascal
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2008, 06:18:19 pm »
Thanks Phil - I hadn't worked out how to click through like that. I have started one class using Lazarus today - it went well - and will do the same for another tomorrow. A colleague will use it with a couple of classes too. Lazarus is a breath of fresh air and I hope will be widely adopted. The MySQL support is great - I just need to get up to speed with the 'exotic' components. Once comfortable with it I will try to contribute to the Wiki - maybe a 'Quick start for teachers' of some sort which includes random access files and Db stuff - the things needed for many school student projects?