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Pascal Programming Language

Introduction to Pascal Programming

In earlier days when computer was newly invented, many people wanted to come up with a user friendly language. At that time, there was lot of confusion as to how to make a computer work as per the user commands. Slowly, high level languages were developed which has simple instructions written in English. These instructions were transformed into machine language by a compiler. Pascal is one of the languages which was used in this pattern in the early stages of computers.

History of Pascal Programming Language

Niklaus Wirth was one of the first persons to start working on Pascal. He was responsible for Pascal to be a fully loaded programming language. In the year 1970, Niklaus completed the development of Pascal programming language. The language was named after the famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal. It is an imperative and procedural programming language. He later on added a feature where the programming is to be done with the support of data structuring and structural programming. This version of Pascal was an object oriented programming language. This version was known as Object Pascal.

Pascal was the main source of application development in the initial years of Macintosh. It was used to even develop operating systems of Apple Lisa. Even today Object Pascal is used to develop some of the Windows applications like Skype.

Pascal Basics

Pascal is a high-level programming language. Pascal, as it was developed long time back, is the primary source of syntax to most of the hybrid languages. Therefore the language is very simple to understand and learn. Declaring the values of variables is very simple when compared to the modern languages. Some of the striking features of the language are it is strongly typed, block structured programming language. Recursion is a computing tool which helps in simplifying prolonged programs. It is a tool which allows a function to recall itself within a program. Pascal is the first language to support this computing tool in programming.

Pascal is considered to be very user friendly and neat. The reason it is called neat is, it has no clumsy statements in it programs. There is an order which is maintained the algorithm and statements like “goto” are substituted by REPEAT/UNTIL, WHILE/DO and FOR loops. This gives the program a professional and better look. Also, with the usage of simple English, the program is easily understood. Some more basics features of Pascal are given below-

  • One of the most important feature of Pascal is it has inbuilt data base. Variable types like Integers, Real, Characters and Boolean are already available.
  • User can also define the data types. This increases the range of scalars which are to be used in the development of the program.
  • Arrays, Records, Files and Sets are the predefined Data Structures which are available in Pascal.
  • Procedures and Functions are one of the main elements of Pascal which help in supporting structured programming. They both are known as subprograms.
  • Simplicity is another major aspect of Pascal. Teaching of this programming language or understanding it is very easy as the language has expressive nature.

Application of Pascal

Pascal programming language was only developed to explain how a programming language works. Most of the students who wanted to pursue Masters in Computer Programming, chose Pascal as it was were easy to learn. From the late 1970s to 1990s, Pascal was opted by many universities to teach programming language. It was very helpful for many lecturers in teaching the various programming techniques by using Object Pascal.

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