Linked by Joost van der Sluis on Mon 10th Sep 2007 16:03 UTC
General Development Recently, Free Pascal (FPC) version 2.2.0 was released. This open source Pascal compiler has - since its initial release in 1993 - grown to be one of the most sophisticated open source compilers available today. Daily, more programmers discover FPC and develop their applications in Object Pascal. Specifically, the development of Lazarus has contributed to this phenomenon: Lazarus is a graphical open source IDE for FPC, with an extensive tool kit to design graphical (GUI) applications.
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How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by FooBarWidget on Mon 10th Sep 2007 16:37 UTC
FooBarWidget
Member since:
2005-11-11

How good is Lazarus today? I was very interested in its development back in 2000-2002, partially because Kylix utterly failed. But then I learned C and GTK and kinda never looked back. I visited the Lazarus website from time to time, but their screenshots are severely outdated: they're still showing GTK 1 screenshots in 2007! This made me think that their development has halted or is very very slow.

Does the LCL still imitate the VCL or did they also add new things? The VCL is nice for mostly-fixed layout GUIs, but horrible for resizable dialogs because of the lack of sizers ala GTK and wxWidgets. Delphi 7 still suffers from this problem.

It's a shame to read that generics/template support is still in development. I think that any serious modern statically typed OO programming language should support generics/templates. Don't make me think back of the days when I had to write 3 different list classes just because I want to store different data types in it without requiring clients to cast return values.

Edited 2007-09-10 16:39

Reply Score: 5

RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by Hiev on Mon 10th Sep 2007 17:16 in reply to "How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

You can compile Lazarus to use GTK2.

oh, and Lazarus tries to copy the VCL and it really bugsme, they should have worked on a independent multiplatform style GUI like wxWidgets instead of trying to clone the VCL, don't get me wrong, VCL is the best productivity toolkit around for Win32 programing, but is not really designed to be multiplatform (no, Kylix doesn't count), it is more dessigned to work with the Windows API.

There is a project that is trying to make it possible:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fpgui/

Edited 2007-09-10 17:24

Reply Parent Score: 1

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

There is a project that is trying to make it possible:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fpgui/


That's correct. fpGUI doesn't try and be VCL compatible and talks directly to the underlying Windowing System. Which means any fpGUI based application has no dependencies on large 3rdParty libraries like GTK1 or GTK2 does. Which makes application deployment a breeze!

fpGUI now also has a Visual Form Designer to speed up your development.

Reply Parent Score: 1

marcovtje Member since:
2007-09-10

Lazarus has years of experience of porting the VCL to GTK. It is suitable enough. The nice part is the ease that people can use the native widgetset (GDI,GTK,Carbon) to improve the (OS specific) behaviour of the app, and mix OS independant with dependant components.

This avoids a bit the "lowest common denomitor" problem that a portable widget set has.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by dr_evil on Mon 10th Sep 2007 18:41 in reply to "How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
dr_evil Member since:
2006-09-01

I miss templates as well... TObject just doesn't cut it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

marcovtje Member since:
2007-09-10

(psht! Don't tell anyone!, there are generics beta in this release)

See the FPC wiki (when it is unslashdoted) for more info

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by fbarns on Mon 10th Sep 2007 22:10 in reply to "How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
fbarns Member since:
2007-09-10

Delphi uses anchors for sizeable dialogs. This feature has been introduced even before Delphi 7. BTW, .Net uses the same concept just with a different name ("dock"). This concept is really easy and powerful.

Reply Parent Score: 1

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Oh wow, I didn't know that. Thanks a lot. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by memson on Tue 11th Sep 2007 09:44 in reply to "RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

> Delphi uses anchors for sizeable dialogs

Correct. It also has the "align" property, and has so since version 1. It is a bit unweildy (just as it can be with any resizable container that is aligned to a specific "area" of another container), but it's workable.

> .Net uses the same concept just with a different name ("dock").

Wrong. This is called "anchor" in dotNet. It works exactly as the Delphi version does too.

Reply Parent Score: 1

v RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by WiggetyWhack on Mon 10th Sep 2007 22:19 in reply to "How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Are you saying "I don't care because I can write sizing code myself"? What an elitist attitude. Just because I can doesn't mean I should. Give me one good reason why I should waste my time on micromanaging coordinates instead of focusing on solving the problem.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: How good is Lazarus/FPC?
by ggeldenhuys on Tue 11th Sep 2007 07:46 in reply to "How good is Lazarus/FPC?"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

The VCL is nice for mostly-fixed layout GUIs, but horrible for resizable dialogs because of the lack of sizers ala GTK and wxWidgets. Delphi 7 still suffers from this problem.


The LCL and VCL gets around this with a feature called Anchors. The LCL's anchors are a lot more flexible (better) than Delphi's ones.

BTW: The fpGUI project also features Anchors and should have Layout Managers (like Java or Qt) real soon.

Reply Parent Score: 3