Pascal Standards
Scott Moore, Pascal Advocate



Updated: 7/25/08

NOTE: This page supplants the previous Pascal Central Standards page last updated in 2002. This new standards page was put together by Scott Moore, and now includes various versions of the Pascal Standards, including PDF and HTML. It also includes links to the Object-oriented Pascal Standards HTML page and ISO 7185 Word document, both originally created for Pascal Central.

Standards documents


This page contains the ISO 7185 and ISO 10206 standards documents in various formats. Not all documents are available in all formats. See "A word about format", below.


Wirths 1973 Revised Pascal

The 1973 report on standard Pascal


The Programming Language Pascal: 1973 revised edition - PDF (Adobe Acrobat).

The revised Pascal language was defined by Nicklaus Wirth in 1972, and was the standard for the language until 1982, when it was replaced by ISO 7185. Although not blessed as an international standard, Wirth several times referred to it as the standard for Pascal.


ISO 7185

Original Pascal, as an international standard


ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard - HTML

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard  - PDF (Adobe Acrobat)

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard  - Word document

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard - Postscript

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard - ASCII text format, 80 characters per line

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard - ASCII text format, 72 characters per line

ISO 7185: The original Pascal standard - roff format

The ISO 7185 standard is still the basic standard for Pascal. It was released in 1982, then revised in 1990.


ISO 10206

Extended Pascal


ISO 10206: The Pascal extended standard, according to ISO  - PDF (Adobe Acrobat)

ISO 10206: The Pascal extended standard, according to ISO - Postscript

The extended standard was released in 1990 (the same year as the last ISO 7185 revision). Although not as extensively implemented as ISO 7185, the extended standard has at least three compiler installations that implement it in all or part, the GPC (GNU Pascal Compiler), the Prospero compiler, and Hewlett-Packards Itanium compiler. At this writing, the Prospero compiler is the only installation that claims full compliance.


Object Pascal

A proposed standard for object oriented Pascal


The proposed standard for object oriented Pascal  - HTML

The proposed standard for object oriented Pascal
 - ASCII text format

The Object Pascal draft standard was created by a working group in 1993. It was never carried to a formal standard because of preceived lack of interest, and the author knew of no Pascal installation that has implemented it in part or whole.


A word about format


The ISO 7185 and ISO 10206 documents were done on a word processor, and were made available by Mr. John Reagan, of Digital Equipment Corporation (now a division of Hewlett-Packard).

The first format available was the .ps or Postscript format, which was an important printer language produced by Adobe Systems, that was available as built in to many printer engines. Typically, Postscript format files can be printed by copying, ftping or otherwise transferring the file to a postscript enabled printer. The files can also be viewed via the Ghostscript program, which can be arranged on most browsers to automatically handle such files, or other suitable viewer. Postscript files were formerly the best format. However, .PDF has surpassed it as a document interchange format.

The .PDF or Portable Document Format is also by Adobe Systems for their Acrobat program. The PDF format is actually a superset of the Postscript format. Where Postscript had the advantage that it was both printer and computer independent, it had the problem that each implementation could produce a different document appearance because of having different fonts. .PDF fixes this by carrying the fonts with the document, creating documents that are exactly the same, no matter where printed or processed. .PDF files can also carry direct pixel maps of pages, and are also a common format for page scans.

.PDF formats may have a "text layer", which consists of a selectable layer that can be selected for copy and paste uses. This allows a user to copy short sections and place them into ASCII text documents. This is good for the ISO standards, and can be used to clip short sections of the standards, such as individual sections. However, the format translation from word processing and free format to ASCII text is often questionable, especially when the original has complex formatting. In addition, the exact equivalent of a particular character can be open to interpretation. For this reason, .PDF is not always the best format for quoting.

The .HTML format has several advantages, including being able to view it with any web page viewer, automatically adjusting for any window size, and also because the characters usually have exact equivalences in ASCII text. The ISO 7185 document was translated to HTML. It has no page markings or orientation. Anyone who is going to print out the document in whole pages is far more likely to use the .PDF or postscript formats than the .HTML format.

The goal of the HTML version was to create a format that was as near as posssible to the original word processing format, as represented by the .PDF file. The most significant departure from this was with respect to tables, which are different in appearance from the original document. If there were mistakes in the original document, then they were copied to the .HTML document as well.

Many different formatting methods were used to arrive at the final HTML format. In many cases, it uses the "preformatted text" tag, which means that this text will not automatically scale with the viewers window. Also, because of the many format methods used, there is a good chance that one or more methods will not work correctly on your browser.

Although the .HTML format typically works much better for copy and paste quoting, it will still not be good for complex formats such as tables. The .HTML format is much better for character set issues, because I have hand-translated some of the odd word processing characters to their ASCII equivalents.

The text format is used primarily for quoting. It is the best copy to use when clipping short sections into email or news articles. For maximum flexibility, I have converted the HTML format to roff format, which is suitable for the Unix roff, troff, groff and compatible text formatters. The line used to convert the roff format to a text file is:

groff -T ascii iso7185.rof > iso7185.txt

This means to format the text and send it to a "text" device.

Using roff formatting allows you to rework the text in several ways. I have included two output files in text format, one for 80 collumns, and one for 72 collumns. The 72 collumn version is for use in emails and news, and obeys the standards for maximum line length there.



For more information contact:
Scott A. Moore samiam@moorecad.com