If you’re looking for rapid application tool that runs on multiple platforms, then look no further than Lazarus. Lazarus is rapid application program that emulates Delphi like interface. It was written to create rapid application designer using free Pascal. The version reviewed here is 0.9.22 beta.
Lazarus is open source, cross platform and of course free of cost program. It is currently available in beta version. It’ll soon become more powerful like Delphi. Currently it supports OSX, Linux, OS/2, Windows, Unix.In order to use it you need to learn to code a bit in free Pascal. All the code you write in Lazarus is nothing but free Pascal code. So in order to program in Lazarus you need to know bit about free Pascal syntax. If you already have some experience in delphi then you can easily move up with free Pascal in Lazarus.
What is freepascal?
Freepascal is OOP based Pascal which tries to be compatible with Delphi 7.Pascal is much easier to learn & has clear syntax than basic. So freepascal is more suitable for writing complex programs than in basic. There is lot of documentation spread around the web for freepascal. For starting point you can point yourself to the official site http://freepascal.org .Read the FAQ about the freepascal and documentation from freepascal to get started.
Working with Lazarus
Lazarus allows you to write GUI applications. With just few mouse clicks & some lines of code you can easily create application. When you first open Lazarus you will be presented with blank form, code editor and property editor. On the blank form you can add more controls & information. At the top of the application you can see there is a toolbar which has some labels as Standard, Additional, synedit etc. With these controls dropped onto the form you can write the code based on their actions.
To get started with Lazarus, open up the Lazarus from Start> All programs > Lazarus. Then from the application menu Project > New project. This will open up the new form, project inspector & unit source file. Unit source file lets you write the source code for the components dropped on form. With this you can easily control the behavior of the application (Lazarus source editor).The thing you should remember is to save your project before you write any code with it. Make a habit of saving the project frequently or when it compiles successfully.
When programming in Lazarus, pay special attention to the details of case, spelling, syntax and punctuation. Even if you’re from Delphi platform there are chances of mistakes in syntax. So check the brackets, semicolon, colon, parentheses and comma or dot operators.
By default Lazarus is not shipped with help files. So you’ve to download the help files and configure it. If you’re lost in the maze of Lazarus then you should try the Lazarus wiki. It has loaded with information about free Pascal & howto’s of Lazarus. These are resources to know more about Lazarus & freepascal.
Lazarus Homepage http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/
Lazarus Wiki http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/
If you already tried the Lazarus then let me know your experiences. If you’ve any questions regarding Lazarus then you should try the mailing list so you can get the help faster. You can also get help from the Google groups.
If you’ve any opinions or suggestions about the post then do let me know about it.