Pascal - Overview
Pascal is a general-purpose, high-level language that was originally developed by Niklaus Wirth in the early 1970s. It was developed for teaching programming as a systematic discipline and to develop reliable and efficient programs.
Pascal is Algol-based language and includes many constructs of Algol. Algol 60 is a subset of Pascal. Pascal offers several data types and programming structures. It is easy to understand and maintain the Pascal programs.
Pascal has grown in popularity in the teaching and academics arena for various reasons:
- Easy to learn.
- Structured language.
- It produces transparent, efficient and reliable programs.
- It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms.
Features of the Pascal Language
Pascal has the following features −
- Pascal is a strongly typed language.
- It offers extensive error checking.
- It offers several data types like arrays, records, files and sets.
- It offers a variety of programming structures.
- It supports structured programming through functions and procedures.
- It supports object oriented programming.
Facts about Pascal
The Pascal language was named for Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and pioneer in computer development.
Niklaus Wirth completed development of the original Pascal programming language in 1970.
Pascal is based on the block structured style of the Algol programming language.
Pascal was developed as a language suitable for teaching programming as a systematic discipline, whose implementations could be both reliable and efficient.
The ISO 7185 Pascal Standard was originally published in 1983.
Pascal was the primary high-level language used for development in the Apple Lisa, and in the early years of the Mac.
In 1986, Apple Computer released the first Object Pascal implementation, and in 1993, the Pascal Standards Committee published an Object-Oriented Extension to Pascal.
Why to use Pascal?
Pascal allows the programmers to define complex structured data types and build dynamic and recursive data structures, such as lists, trees and graphs. Pascal offers features like records, enumerations, subranges, dynamically allocated variables with associated pointers and sets.
Pascal allows nested procedure definitions to any level of depth. This truly provides a great programming environment for learning programming as a systematic discipline based on the fundamental concepts.
Among the most amazing implementations of Pascal are −
- Total Commander
- Macromedia Captivate
- Apple Lisa
- Various PC Games
- Embedded Systems