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5.1 What is Irie Pascal?

Irie Pascal is a Pascal compiler and interpreter. The compiler translates Pascal programs into Irie Virtual Machine (IVM) executables, which are then executed by the interpreter. The IVM is an abstract computer platform that is implemented in software (by the interpreter), and runs executables on many different computer platforms. The IVM has been implemented on the follwing computer platforms (Win95/98/NT/2000/XP, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris/x86, and Solaris/Sparc) so far. IVM executables developed on any platform, run on all the other platforms.

Irie Pascal's ability to generate executables which run on multiple platforms make it ideally suited for creating internet applications. The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a simple but powerful protocol for creating server side internet applications. Irie Pascal assists the creation of CGI scripts with built-in support for decoding and parsing URL encoded strings, as well as support for databases, and sending email. Irie Pascal also supports the UNIX #! trick that allows the location of the interpreter to be embedded inside the script making it easier to execute the script from a URL, since the URL need only refer to the script and not the interpreter.

Irie Pascal is highly compatible with Standard Pascal (i.e. ISO/IEC 7185). This high level of compatibility means that Irie Pascal shares Standard Pascal's strengths as a first language for beginners. These strengths include readable syntax, and extensive compile-time and run-time checking. NOTE: ISO/IEC 7185 is the standard for the Pascal porgramming language published by the Internation Organization for Standardization.

Irie Pascal supports many extensions to Standard Pascal, particularly in the areas of string, file/folder processing, and database programming, which make it useful for creating scripts and utilities. Irie Pascal's support for automatic run-time checking make it useful for creating quick and dirty programs (i.e. programs that are expected to be run only a few times or by only a few people and may not be worth spending a lot of time on).

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