| Pascal Questions
In response to a constant flood of questions from those just getting
started in programming, we offer the following list of Questions
and Answers. Hopefully, this will answer enough of the beginners
questions to get him started programming. This list will be augmented
as needed by the incoming questions.
What is a compiler?
This is not a silly question. We were all beginners at one time
and asked the same question. The following answer is provided for
those that have no programming experience.
A computer cannot understand the spoken or written language that
we humans use in our day to day conversations, and likewise, we
cannot understand the binary language that the computer uses to
do it's tasks. It is therefore necessary for us to write instructions
in some specially defined language, in this case Pascal, which we
can understand, then have that very precise language converted into
the very terse language that the computer can understand. This is
the job of the compiler.
A Pascal compiler is itself a computer program who's only job is
to convert the Pascal program from our form to a form the computer
can read and execute. The computer prefers a string of 1's and 0's
that mean very little to us, but can be very quickly and accurately
understood by the computer. The original Pascal program is called
the "source code", and the resulting compiled code produced
by the compiler is usually called an "object file".
One or more object files are combined with predefined libraries
by a linker, sometimes called a binder, to produce the final complete
file that can be executed by the computer. A library is a collection
of pre-compiled "object code" that provides operations
that are done repeatedly by many computer programs.
Any good compiler that you purchase will provide not only a compiler,
but an editor, a debugger, a library, and a linker. Online documentation
and help files are usually included, and many compilers have a tutorial
to walk you through the steps of compiling, linking and executing
your first program.
Where can I get a
There are several available at varying prices. The recommended place
to look is at Bloodshed
Software for a complete list of all available Pascal compilers.
Good supply sources are large, well stocked computer stores and
some bookstores, but since Pascal compilers are not readily available,
you will probably need to contact the manufacturer of the compiler.
Any of the internet search engines will find several Pascal compilers
that execute on your system.
Where can I get a
free Pascal compiler?
You can get an excellent free Pascal compiler at http://www.freepascal.org/
for a fairly wide variety of platforms.
Where should I start?
Start with the Coronado Enterprises Pascal tutorial. Read the text
associated with each example program, compile and execute each example
program, and modify the program in some way to be sure you understand
the concepts taught with that particular program. After completing
a few chapters begin to write some small programs of your own design
just to gain the experience of programming. You will probably
surprise yourself at how fast you progress.
Frequently asked questions
Q&A will be added to Frequently asked questions
about Pascal as needed. This list is expected to grow over time.