Definition

Pascal

Also see pascal (unit of pressure or stress).

Pascal is a strongly-typed third-generation language (3GL) with a one-pass compiler. Designed for instructional purposes about 1967-68 by Nicholas Wirth, Pascal requires a programmer to define all routines and variables fully, including the nature of their use, before using them. Pascal is the language on which many programmers first learn how to write structured, compiled programs. While commercial versions of Pascal have been made available, it has had limited success in the business world. While Pascal has been extended by compiler makers to address special-purpose needs, many programmers feel that it is too restrictive in its rules and doesn't allow a programmer to create and state new rules (for example, new data types) to the compiler. While still used as an instructional language and by hobbyists, most serious programmers today are using C, C++, and Java.

Contributor(s): Reg Harbeck
This was last updated in August 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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