Subject: Re: Availability of pi/px/pix/pxref/pxp ?
To: Lou Glassy <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 12/05/1999 05:32:21
There's also p2c in our package system.

I don't know how it compares to the gpc that someone mentioned---but p2c
(in our packages system already) supports several Pascal dialects and
spits out C code.  From the first paragraph of the man page:

       machine and compiler.  Most reasonable Pascal programs are
       converted  into  fully functional C which will compile and
       run with no further modifications, although p2c  sometimes
       chooses  to generate readable code at the expense of abso-
       lute generality.  P2c endeavors to insert notes and  warn-
       ing messages into the output code to point out areas which
       may require human intervention.  Output code  is  arranged
       to  be readable and efficient, and to make use of C idioms
       wherever possible.  The main goal of the translation is to
       produce C files which are pleasant and "natural" enough to
       be acceptable as the new source files for a program.  In a
       pinch, p2c will also serve as an ad hoc Pascal compiler.

If gpc has as its goal to produce runnable programs (rather than readable
C source), it is probably in many cases a better choice.  But p2c lets you
get crufty old Pascal code into a readable/usable format (i.e., C).  (I
assume that gpc is also somewhere in our package system.)

Re <>'s comment about academia, I don't think
that Pascal is much embraced by academia anymore.  Certainly not at KU.
Also, I gather that there is a push towards making our system installation
more modular by using packages (or a package-like system) to handle
optional installation of components.

If you want to move things out of packages and into the base system,
perhaps the number one thing to move would be a graphical web browser.
Academia is shifting towards using the Web, along with everyone else, for
providing information.  Course catelogues, class projects, homework, and
grades are some of the things.  I even know of one comp. sci. programming
class where all work was submitted via HTML FORMS (it was an intro.
course, so the programs tended to be short).

We may be reluctant to endorse a single web browser (we have at least 3
graphical ones in our packages), but perhaps a minimal one could be
provided as part of the X install?  (I remember seeing an X package for an
HTML browser ``widget''; if I understand correctly, installing this widget
would make a simple browser relatively trivial to write, correct?  So
would could provide a simple browser based upon the widget.  Then we'd
have _something_ out of the box, assuming that this widget doesn't carry
an unacceptable license.)

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."