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Welcome to the Free Pascal IDE! ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Please take the time to read this file to avoid most common installation problems, and to get the most out of this software! General information Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß First of all: note that the IDE is currently still in beta state! That means that some functions may not work, or may not work as expected. We do our best to fix all bugs and make the IDE reliable and stable, however, you may still encounter some problems using it. Therefore you should be careful using untested functions, and make regularly backup copies of your source files! If you encounter any problems using the IDE, then please report it to the authors by sending an e-mail to "email@example.com" or by entering it in the bugs database at "http://www.freepascal.org". (Note, that we can't fix bugs we don't have any knowledge of, or can't reproduce, so, it's in your own interest to report bugs as fast and precisely as possible.) You should be also careful with hotkeys and shortcuts! The IDE is designed to be compatible with the BP IDE as much as possible, however, the platform differences and some improvements may break that compatibility at some points, which may result in slightly or totally different behaviour than expected. Therefore, you should first experiment with the IDE some time before using for serious purposes, and read all available docs before reporting a "bug"! Version conflicts Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß IDE snapshots are created on a regular basis. That means, that the IDE and it's embedded compiler are always the most up-to-date versions. Unless you've installed the IDE from a full distribution, you'll have to install the latest compiler and RTL binaries to avoid version conflicts and get the IDE working. You can do this by downloading the latest binary snapshots from "http://www.freepascal.org" and copying it's contents directly over your existing installation. (You can also install these files in separate directories and set up the IDE to search for them at that place. However, this may result in different behaviour and incompatibilities between of the command-line based and the embedded compiler.) When installing a new snapshot you should make sure you back up your existing installation! This is not a neccessary step for the IDE to function, however, it may proove very helpful, when the newly installed snapshot contains a new bug or is incompatible in some aspects with your previous one. Configuration Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Once you have installed the IDE, it requires two configuration changes before it can compile. This is due to the fact that the IDE includes its own compiler; it does not use ppc386.exe and thus it also does not use the configuration in the file fpc.cfg. Select Target from the Compile menu and then check the correct default target (this is Go32V2 for DOS). Next, choose Directories in the Otions menu and in the line "Unit directories" enter the path to your copy of the RTL directory, usually c:\pp\rtl\go32v2. If you have done everything correct and it still doesn't work, you may have grabbed a snapshot that has a bug; in this case try again one or two days later or ask for help on one of the mailing lists (see later!). Documentation Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Although the IDE itself has no kind of "native" documentation or help, it is capable of reading HTML, Turbo Pascal (TPH), and Norton Guide (NG) format files. That means, that you can use both the FPC documentation (included in your distribution, or downloadable from the Free Pascal HP) and/or the help files of your Turbo or Borland Pascal (from version 5.5 thru 7.0) installation. You can install help files of all types in the on-line help system by going to Help menu, selecting Files and adding them to the list. Linux and FreeBSD Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Free Vision, the windowing library on which the IDE is based, is more advanced than a VT100 terminal can handle. Unfortunately, Unix terminal emulators provide mostly VT100 functionality, and do not allow access to all VGA characters. On a VT100 compatible terminal, Free Vision replaces VGA characters as good as possible using the characters that the VT100 does have. This works very well, but it means that window borders arrows and other characters do not look optimal. Free Vision uses a slightly enhanced version of this VT100 mode on FreeBSD. When running on the Linux console (no X) Free Vision switches into Linux console mode and makes use of the /dev/vcsa* devices to display the full character set. To make use of this mode, you must use a VGA console font in codepage 437, 850, 852 etc. encoding. If your distribution uses /etc/sysconfig/console, these are good values to put into that file: CONSOLE_FONT="cp850-8x16" CONSOLE_SCREENMAP="8859-1_to_uni.trans" CONSOLE_UNICODEMAP="" To allow non-root users to use the Linux console mode you must make sure they have permission to use /dev/vcsa*. The best way to do this is to make sure the utility "grab_vcsa" is in a directory pointed to by the environment variable "PATH" and configured setuid root. It will change the ownership of the /dev/vcsa device the user is using to him until he logs out. The Linux console mode can be combined with fbdev. At high resolutions, i.e. 1024x768, the IDE becomes very pleasant to work with. More information Ü ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß If you need more informations you can: þ read the FAQ and the documentation þ join one or more of the 4 mailing lists For the FAQ, for the on-line version of the docs, and for information on joining the mailing lists go to the Free Pascal homepage at http://www.freepascal.org. Well, I think, this should be enough info for the start. Thanks for taking time reading this file, and please don't forget to report any bugs or problems you encounter using the IDE as soon as possible. Also feel free to write us, if you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, etc. regarding the compiler and/or the IDE! Have as much fun using the IDE, as we had creating it! ;) The Free Pascal IDE Development Team