[Lazarus] Who is using Object Pascal in production?

Marcos Douglas B. Santos md at delfire.net
Sat Oct 28 16:45:44 CEST 2017

On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Giuliano Colla via Lazarus
<lazarus at lists.lazarus-ide.org> wrote:
> We're working in the field of automatic machines. From textile machines to
> printer post-processing equipments (mainly in the security printers field),
> from coffee roasting machines to chain wear monitoring equipment. We do not
> usually deploy software, but rather we sell control equipments which are
> then integrated by the final manufacturer in the machine.
> Our equipments usually include custom embedded controllers and a supervisor
> which may range from an industrial grade PC to a Raspberry PI. It provides
> both the human interface and the real-time high-level process control.
> We're also frequently asked to integrate our supervisor into the factory
> data network both to provide production data (for statistical purposes,
> quality assurance, and security) and to fetch process information when
> appropriate. This leads to supplying also small servers which do handle
> network protocols, Data Base handling, creating Reports etc.
> We found today's Object Pascal and Lazarus to be the most cost effective
> solution, for a number of reasons. Mainly:
> - Object pascal syntax makes it easier to detect programmer errors at compile
> time, thus strongly reducing the debug time.
> - Being most projects quite similar and with very short development time
> allowed, we need readable and self documenting sources, making it easy for
> anyone to modify project A into project B.
> - For the same reason, re-usability of code for us is a must. Again Object
> Pascal is a winner by this POV.
> - Always for the same reason we need a RAD tool, and Lazarus IDE is again a
> winner.
> - We need to interface with our real-time framework with predictable timing,
> and this rules out most of the "modern" languages.
> - Given the relative stability of the Object Pascal language, we may take
> advantage of a huge amount of code we have developed in the past. I've just
> ported to Lazarus a program which was originally developed in the 90's with
> Delphi 3!

As we can see, we can do everything with Object Pascal.
Unfortunately, the market don't have the same vision.

> Many of those reasons apply also to Delphi, but we dropped Delphi long ago
> because:
> 1. Primarily, we need Linux support, because of the real-time requirements,
> which aren't achievable in Windows environment. OS-X isn't an option because
> we need industrial grade PC's.
> 2. Secondarily, Lazarus IDE is light years better than Delphi IDE.

I totally agree with you about the second item.

> For sake of completeness, I must add that our real-time framework and the
> real-time tasks are written in C. This was a must when it had to be part of
> a patched Linux kernel, running in kernel space. Now that RT_PREEMP has
> reached maturity and has made its way into the mainline kernel we've been
> able to move the stuff to user space. Therefore we're rewriting most of it
> in Object Pascal, to take advantage of a much lower development and
> maintenance cost.

That is other excellent case study...
Maybe we all could build a website to write those cases and provide
more information about Object Pascal nowadays.

Do you have problems to find new Pascal programmers?

Marcos Douglas

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