Today, I tossed it on the rubbish heap.
I think I gave it a fighting chance. I dug up a book on the basics of Pascal, and have even gotten to the point where I can make text mode games with it. Which is amusing (and a perk from the standpoint that I can make stuff guaranteed to run on any platform, thanks to the CRT library), but not exactly the kind of stuff that gets you sales.
The reason is because of what is being required for me to learn Pascal. Open Lazarus is a really great toolkit, and I know I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do.
So how do I dig deeper?
I'm finding really bad documentation to describe the platform independent procedures and functions. Go to Pascal forums, and there's people talking about Delphi. Delphi is great from what I've seen, but it is Windows specific. I want something platform independent. Lazarus is being presented as an open source alternative to Delphi instead of as its own language. As such, people looking to just pick it up have no frame of reference or tutorials (the book that lists the freePascal commands emphasizes it is NOT a tutorial). The idea of learning Delphi just so I can then learn Lazarus seems like a colossal waste of time and energy to me. For all the effort to learn a language I'm going to disregard just to learn another where the things I want are poorly documented? I might as well pour that energy into my C++ studies, where I've already advanced past the basics and can work on stuff.
So, in my quest to find a less industrial language to make my games on a relatively short schedule, here's where I stand:
1) eCere. Forget it. I couldn't even compile their own "Hello World!" example from their own instruction book!
2) freePascal/Open Lazarus. Forget it. It's made for people who have already been taught how to make Pascal programs. It's a sidestep, a very good sidestep, but unless you are already at that step, you're hosed.
1) FreeBASIC. I turned up an instruction manual and am going to read it over, since I know how to handle the various licenses and stay legal. Might as well.
2) Python. 'Nuff said.
3) Transcript (Runtime Revolution). The one I want with all the bells and whistles is $500. That's a lot of cash, but I have infinite rights, can make stuff for the three major platforms, libraries to handle just about any eventuality except 3D graphics are included and incorporated right out of the box, their tech support is quick and direct (they answered my questions within a day), AND IT COMES WITH A MANUAL! When people on the chat channels tell me to RTFM, I'll have it right there! I don't mind paying as long as I get value for the money, and RunRev looks like it really delivers those goods.
Pascal is supposed to be one of the easiest languages to learn. It's a shame they had to muck it up and wall it off from the very people it was intended for.