Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pascal at Apple

Fogus (via Hacker News):

Lately I’ve been reading old computing papers, articles, journals, magazines, and memos and tweeting about them as I work my way through. The most recent exploration was of an Apple internal memo about the history of Apple’s involvement with Pascal. The memo is cursory, but it does provide an interesting snapshot of the history of Pascal within the company.

David Craig:

Apple II and III Pascal were based on UCSD Pascal, but Lisa Pascal and Macintosh MPW Pascal were based on the Wirth ETH Pascal and not UCSD Pascal. Lisa Pascal was licensed to Apple by Silicon Valley Software (SVS) which Apple maintained (Al Hoffman was Apple’s main Lisa Pascal developer).


Per my Pascal history, Jef Raskin was to my knowledge not involved in the actual Apple II Pascal development effort, but was involved in convincing Apple to use the UCSD Pascal System as its internal development system instead of BASIC or 6502 assembly language.


From my experience, the pros for Pascal were it provided a high-level development language which supported step-wise refinement and information hiding (i.e. units). Structured programing and separately compiled and loaded modules (i.e. UNITs) were very important here. Cons … Pascal not built into the Apple II and had to be purchased for several hundred dollars. Pascal also required 64K of memory which means you had to also purchase the Apple II 16KB Language Card. You also had to have a minimum of 2 140KB disk drives on your Apple II (each cost around $500 I recall). I had 4 disk drives for my Apple II Pascal efforts (3 drives were in my opinion the minimum but 4 made Pascal programming much easier and ended up saving time — typical tradeoff of $s versus time).

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