Sabtu, 24 November 2007

Brief description

Wirth's intention was to create an efficient language (regarding both compilation speed and generated code) based on so-called structured programming, a concept which had recently become popular. Pascal has its roots in the Algol 60 language, but also introduced concepts and mechanisms which (on top of Algol's scalars and arrays) enabled the programmer to define his or her own complex (structured) datatypes, and also made it easier to build dynamic and recursive data structures such as lists, trees and graphs. Important features included for this were records, enumerations, subranges, dynamically allocated variables with associated pointers, and sets. To make this possible and meaningful, Pascal has a strong typing on all objects, which means that one type of data cannot be converted or interpreted as another without explicit conversions. Similar mechanisms are standard in many programming languages today. Other languages that influenced Pascal's development were COBOL, ALGOL 68, Simula 67, and Wirth's own Algol-W .

Pascal, like many scripting languages of today (but unlike most languages in the C-family), allows nested procedure definitions to any level of depth, and also allows most kinds of definitions and declarations inside procedures and functions. This enables a very simple and coherent syntax where a complete program (or unit) is syntactically nearly identical to a single procedure or function (except for the keyword itself, of course).

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