Where can I find the official Free Pascal and Lazarus FAQ's
Who maintains this website?
This website is maintained by CNOC, a company that offers commercial support for Lazarus and Free Pascal.
Where can I find how to install Lazarus and Free Pascal?
The 'Get Lazarus' button in the top-menu on this site leads you to detailed download and installation instructions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS/X. For other targets please use the search functionality in the public wiki, or contact support.
What is Lazarus?
Lazarus is an open-source, multi-platform and native development studio using the Free Pascal compiler. Lazarus also contains the Lazarus Components Library (LCL) to create GUI applications very easily.
What is Free Pascal?
Free Pascal is an open-source, multi-platform and native pascal compiler. It supports different pascal-dialects. One of these dialect offers compatibility with the commercial Delphi pascal compiler from Embarcadero. With the compiler comes the Run-Time-Library (RTL), Freepascal-Components-Library (FCL) and more useful packages.
Who are working on Free Pascal and Lazarus?
Lazarus and Free Pascal are open-source projects. Both projects are almost completely written by volunteers. The core development teams of both projects are professional developers, but they develop Free Pascal and Lazarus in their free time. That does not mean that the projects are not used commercially and commercial parties do not provide patches, but there is no company that steers the development. The project is really controlled by the volunteers.
There are no numbers available of the amount of users world-wide, but as an indication: Lazarus version 0.9.28 has been downloaded over 100.000 times so far.
Multi-platform, what does that mean?
The Lazarus team uses the slogan 'Write once, compile anywhere'. By that they mean that you can write the program on any platform you want. You can thereafter copy the code to any other platform, compile it to an executable, and run your program. It is also possible to cross-compile applications for other platforms, so you don't even need to have a machine with the platform you want to create applications for.
When you use the standard libraries, all code you write will work on all other supported platforms. If the standard multi-platform libraries are not good enough for you, you can also use a platform dependent library. But in that case you loose the ability to compile for other platforms.
Native applications, what does that mean?
The Free Pascal compiler generates executables which runs directly on your processor and operating system. There is no 'layer' in between the application and the system. This means that users do not have to install any frameworks on their computer to work with your application.
What kind of applications can I create using Lazarus and Free Pascal?
You can create any application you want. Lazarus contains libraries to create GUI applications. But there are also libraries for web-development, daemons/services and console-applications. You can even create a complete compiler or development studio using Lazarus and Free Pascal. After all, the Free Pascal and Lazarus projects themselves are completely written in Free Pascal.
Java-bytecode target added to the Free Pascal compiler.
August 20, 2011
A new target has been added to Free Pascal compiler. It is now possible to compile applications to Java bytecode. This means that these Free Pascal applications can run in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), so that it can run on any platform that has Java support.
Dutch Pascal conference 2011.
June 12, 2011
After the success from last year, the Dutch Pascal Users Group organizes the second Dutch Pascal Conference on June 18th. Last year it was mainly focused on Lazarus, this year there will also be some topics about Delphi.
-- Dave Haxton, USA