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pascal and delphi

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I have trying to been trying to figure this out for a few days and I was hoping if someone could help me. I need to know if Delphi is a programming language or not. I have heard that it was a prgramming language, but then I looked it up more and it seemed like it was a Borland Pascal compiler. Then I read it was a cross between Visual Basic and C++?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I would appreciate anyone who could help me on this subject. (why'd I say Pascal and Delphi?)

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Pascal is a programming language, like C++, BASIC or Perl. It most closely resembles C, however the main difference is that it is a strongly typed language and enforces several other "good programming" practices (for instance requiring declaration before usage). A side effect is that modern Pascal compilers are very fast (compiles are measures in milliseconds and seconds).

A specific implimentation for MS DOS was created by Anders Hejlsberg which was later sold to Borland and marketed as Turbo Pascal (as part of the deal Anders Hejlsberg became Borland's Chief Architect).

As Turbo Pascal evolved Hejlsberg extended the language to create "Object Pascal", a version of Pascal that could use objects (in much the same way that Pascal is almost like a strong typed C, Turbo Pascal is very close to a strong typed C++). The last version of Turbo Pascal was Turbo Pascal 7 which still ran on DOS.

For Windows 3.1, Hejlsberg designed a new language, Delphi (Delphi 2 was for Windows 95 and 32bit). At it's core, Delphi is a new version of Object Pascal - it still has the underlying Pascal, but the Object syntax that Hejlsberg had added was reworked to make it easier to use (a lot of pointer syntax needed to use objects was removed) as well as add features like properties. In this way Delphi is mostly compatible with Pascal, but has some major changes to the DOS Object Pascal.

Delphi also adds the VCL (Visual Component Library). The VCL is a precursor to the .NET framework, a component based, well thought out library for both general classes and visual components. If you've used the drag and drop interface in Visual Basic or C#, you can use the interface in Delphi (though behind the scenes Delphi is in line with C#, everything you can do in the designer you can do in code, even dynamically at runtime, without any difficulty).

So Delphi is a programming language/IDE. It's based on Pascal/Turbo Pascal, and is comparible to Visual C++. It's often described as a cross between VB and C++ because of the fact that it combines the ease of use and good visual designer of VB with the power and flexibity of C++, using the syntax of Pascal as it's base.

However Delphi is not doing as well as it once was as the secret weapon of Windows programmers (myself and many people think that either version 7 or version 8 where the last "good" version). The biggest reason for this is that Anders Hejlsberg was poached by Microsoft in 1996, where he designed Visual J++ and more recently, he was the chief architect of a new language called C#, which effectively merged almost everything that was good about Delphi, with almost everything that was good about Visual C++, creating a new uber language.

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