back to article The Sons of Khan and the Pascal Spring

[We last heard from the Sons of Khan in 2010. The scriptures continue - Ed.] The woes of Techdom And it came to pass that the seasons rose and fell, and financial crisis waned while new financial crisis waxed, and the Kimjongilia flower did wither and fade on the vine. But misfortune struck the code cutters of Java, who …


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  1. Kubla Cant

    "art" for art's sake?

    "Yet even the Æsthetes, that art the disciples which loveth the Jesus phone the most, were discontent."

    "art" is the old second person singular of the verb "to be", as in "thou art". "loveth" is third person singular. Neither agrees with a plural subject such as "Æsthetes" and "disciples".

    I revere Verity Stob this side idolatry, but a syntax error is a syntax error, as even the authors of the King James Bible knew.

    1. dogged

      can't argue with the description of Objective C though.

      1. ThomH


        It's pretty easy to argue with, given that most people's complaint with Objective-C is no more well-informed than "you know, it looks different", which tends to boil down to different brackets and named parameters being a bit verbose. While those might not be something you like, it's an easy description to argue with when placed in an article arguing in favour of a language that replaces most of the C/C++/C# brackets with verbose keywords.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      I'm pretty sure "cherubim" is plural, too - the singular being "cherub", of course.

      Note that Biblical cherubs aren't the kind that would deign to appear on greeting cards, however - they're mean mofos, by all accounts.

      1. DZ-Jay

        @Uncle Slacky

        You mean... Biblical cherubim? :)

    3. Ben Liddicott

      Also italics are for words which did not appear in the original

      When translating from e.g. greek, to produce an accurate translation, the most exact literal translation was used with the closest English word for every greek word. Where an additional English word was required to retain the meaning or improve readability, it was placed in italics, so the reader knew the word was not in the original.


  2. Candy

    The Great Prophet

    Well, she would say that, wouldn't she?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      You mean the Great Prophet Zarquon?

      Was his second coming due yet? I thought we still had time!

      Mine has the USB stick with the H2G2 radio plays in the pocket

    2. Andrew Commons
      Thumb Up

      Your slip is showing...

      Well your age anyway :-)

  3. jai

    praise be

    It was only last friday that i was wondering why it had been so long since we last had a nugget of Stob genius, and then here we are today with this gem. Fantastic stuff! the world needs more Stob!!!

  4. Return To Sender
    Thumb Up


    Love the pastiche. Not being a developer couldn't give a tinker's cuss (or indeed understand) about the FreeAndNil argument...

  5. Conor
    Big Brother

    And lo...

    ...didst the IPO see the works of the scribe of Stob and were mighty displeased. For was not parody seen as ultimate evil in the world of the bureaucrat and did they not send a mighty lawyer to smite her thereon.

    Or something.

  6. Matthew Smith

    Death to the Curly Bracket!

    I did a bit of Delphi work recently for the first time in years. Christ, it was hard work. Modern languages have made me soft. Ultra-strict typing, all variables declared at the start of a procedure before they are needed. And Begin and End instead of {}. And only a TList vector array as a data structure. And strings are just simple, well, strings; they don't have their own methods. Old school. It made me the bitter programmer I am today.

    1. Matthew Smith


      The Delphi _compiler_ throws a strop if you try to assign a float to an integer type. I've just spent hours tracking down a bug in javascript which turned out to be caused by an implicit rounding error. I worry that me complaining about the strictness of Delphi is that I'm just sloppier than I once was.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        That's why now Javascript wants type inference. Instead of asking the programmer to tell what damned kind of data he wants to store in a variable, it will try an educate guess. Of course wasting even more CPU cycles than needed, while taking the risk to guess the wrong way. But soon the only supported data type will be the string, so there will be no need to guess...

    2. Frogfather

      You mean...

      there are languages where you don't need to do that?!

  7. Frogfather


    Nice though I'm sure Embarcadero's stuff is, my understanding is that the IDE will only run on windoze even if the executables will run in all sorts of places. So I'm still faithfully sticking to 10 year old Borland Kylix. And if anyone's about to suggest Lazarus: don't, just... don't...

  8. Patrick 8

    And so the Python arose and

    ate the Delphi and peace and sanity reigned once more across the lands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, Delphi is where Apollo killed the Pyhton. It's funny that people telling the Pascal requires too typing have no problem with Python strict formatting which I really hate.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Embarcadero - As Stupid as the Name Suggests

    I once (few years ago) attempted to try out their C++ compiler. It turned out that it required J# (yes, such a contraption apparently exists), just for running the installer.

    That's equivalent to demanding the pope to hail Martin Luther in order to do achieve something for the catholic church. Theoretically possible, but practically never seen.

  10. VeganVegan

    This is particularly amusing

    since programming the original MacOS used either assembly or Pascal (see. e.g., the venerable 5 volume "Inside Macintosh" guide from 1985).

    A basic knowledge of Latin may be useful, but the world has moved on somewhat in the meantime.

    (Flame icon, 'cos how many of us can still start a fire by striking together a couple of chunks of rock?).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    These are the sons of Kahn, not Khan! You know, because of the founder of Borland being called Philippe Kahn, and all that?

    Verity 1 - Ed 0!

  12. Richie 1

    Looks up FreeAndNil

    Oh, so Delphi doesn't have garbage collection yet.

    A divine being: coz Delphi is a cult.

    1. Rune Moberg



      A Garbage Collector is all fine and dandy, but if you do any IO, or use any sort of resource somewhere... You have to start fiddling about with IDisposable, the using-keyword and suddenly you have one set of objects that you treat differently from everyone else.

      I find it much easier to use one way of dealing with all objects. Takes the guesswork out of discovering which bastards have unmanaged resources hiding behind them.

  13. Jay Jaffa
    Thumb Up

    Any chance of a translation ?

    I'm deep in the guts of a project right now (TCP/IP, VoIP and C/C++) and can't afford the time to translate this - but was a massive ~Delphi fan back in the day - used it since V1.0 and loved it as a RAD tool.

    any chance of the engleeeesh version ?

  14. Dick Pountain

    "And this Æbjective C is about as æsthetic as the secret mouldy side of the last orange in the bowl". Thou hast truly spoken there chuck. But the thrall of Delphi grows weak over those among us former acolytes who have become bewitched by the spell of the sacred Ruby.

  15. Christian Berger

    I didn't know Delphi still existed

    I kinda left it as I left a Delphi company at Delphi 5 or so. I'm now using Lazarus which seems a lot like Delphi done right. You can easily just recompile for Linux, MacOSX and even Windows, if you desire to, all in 32 and 64 bit of course.

    Ohh, BTW, I started on Delphi 1 on Win16 and even before that dabbled a bit around with Object Pascal. (And of course DOS Turbo Pascal)

  16. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Great job

    Each time I read a Stob article I 1) laugh out loud, as the kids say and 2) think to myself "Well I should probably give Delphi/Lazarus a try... and 3) have a quick look at it and think to myself "What the effing eff, why not Visual Basic while you are at it". Which is probably not making Delphi justice, I know.

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