Does Free Pascal introduce any significant language features over Turbo Pascal & then Delphi, or does it just introduce the Turbo Pascal & Delphi flavors of Pascal to more platforms?

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    There are some who would call that a significant language feature in and of itself. ;) Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 19:00
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    Free Pascal pre-dates Delphi, I believe. So it'd be a neat trick to be a clone of a product that didnt exist yet. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 19:31

3 Answers 3


It's been some 7 or 8 years since I last written anything in Turbo Pascal, but I don't recall function or operator overloading. These the most significant features I've noticed from quick glance at Free Pascal's site.

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    Delphi has function and operator overloading these days. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 8:59

Free Pascal is a multi dialect compiler. Besides a Delphi style object pascal and a TP style object pascal and the own ($Mode FPC, $mode objfpc) variants of that, there are also

  • objective Pascal (OS X/Cocoa interfacing), implementing many objective C principles for a more thorough bridge than Delphi's.
  • ISO 7185 standard Pascal

Several features added by FPC (e.g. procedural overloading, $pointermath) have been implemented by later Delphi's.

The FPC and objfpc dialects still have a host of own features including an own generics syntax, case string of, nested procedure variables etc.

Many other known parts of the compiler are more versatile, the assembler supports AVX2, there are more options for data aligning and sets layout etc.


Overloading was standard at least from Turbo Pascal 4. Free Pascal has evolved in a more mature way than the bloated later Borland/Embarcadero versions although it certainly took on the enhanced features that Turbo Pascal had (The free Pascal "Delphi style" IDE and visual Library is called Lazarus). Delphi 4 was, if I remember correctly, the last commercial version that came with a proprietary, blisteringly fast help system that was based on a database of pascal/Delphi examples illustrating every aspect of the Delphi 4 language. Even today this would be an ideal development environment to use for teaching and can be used to create very fast light compiled apps. Free Pascal has many modern features and has evolved to support many new technologies.

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    Walls of text are hard to read. Please edit your answer and provide some formatting to make it easier to read.
    – user53019
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 18:29
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    From what I remember overloading was only added in Delphi 4 and not supported by Turbo Pascal at all. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 8:57
  • Afaik Delphi only added it for methods, and only later also for procedures. FPC had procedural overloading before 2000. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 9:08

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