(I can't believe I'm the first to create a Turbo Pascal node.)

This is the dialect that saved Pascal, at least temporarily, from obscurity. Back in the early eighties, Borland International (now Inprise) with Phillipe Kahn at the helm started selling a Pascal compiler for fifty bucks that included a Wordstar-like editor and which compiled code blazingly fast entirely in memory (unheard of at the time, in the PC world). This was a truly astonishing thing at the time, and in a world in which people typically had two five and a quarter inch floppy drives and no hard disk, it was a positively HUGE thing, you really can't imagine what a big deal it was. The compiler fit on one 360k floppy with plenty of room left over. (Later versions would fix that.)

At version 4.0 Borland introduced packages and a large memory model, (previously all code had to fit in 64k, though the heap could grow to larger amounts, but a single pointer could point to at most 64k.) Version 4.0 was the first to produce ".exe" files and get around the 64k code barrier. (Heh, remember when ".com" meant something different?)

Version 5.5, introduced "true" object oriented features (ok, what the hell do I mean by "true?" I mean, inheritance, polymorphism, dynamic binding and encapsulation, all the good OOP stuff.) BTW the manuals included a slim volume called "Object-Oriented Programming Guide" which contained one of the clearest and best explanations of object oriented programming I've ever seen anywhere.

After version 6, I dropped ot of the PC world and into the world of Unix so I don't know anything more about what became of good old Turbo Pascal. Perhaps someone else can fill in the rest of the story.

Turbo Pascal 3 is probably the most wonderful compiler of all time: A complete Pascal compiler that fit into 39k and cost $40. Extensions for modular compilation, enhanced file handling, and PC graphics. It was the first compiler to allow a large number of people to write software in a high-level structured programming language (that is, code that other people could decipher).


In the early 1990's, Borland put a RAD front-end on Turbo Pascal, threw in their database engine, and named the combination Delphi.

Delphi was so successful it saved the company, which had been rocked by Microsoft's purchase of Fox Software after Borland had purchased Ashton-Tate.

Turbo pascal (Borland Pascal) 7.0 added 16bit protected mode (how silly does that sound?) which allowed for at least 16 mb of memory to be used on 286 machines and better. (This is different from the i386 protected mode, in that you still access stuff in 64kb segments). I believe it also had a nice debugger, profiler and Turbo Assembler bundled. Oh, and it could compile Win16 executables as well.

This is the genealogy of the programming language Turbo Pascal:

Turbo Pascal is a child of Pascal.
Turbo Pascal was first known as Turbo Pascal in year 1983.
It became Turbo Pascal 4 in year 1987.
It became Turbo Pascal 5.5 in year 1989.
It became Turbo Pascal 7 in year 1992.
Then it begat Delphi in year 1995.

This genealogy is brought to you by the Programming Languages Genealogy Project. Please send comments to thbz.

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