What's the best public domain version of Pascal for creating Windows Applications?

Dear Experts,
I have the following BIG problem.  I have spent a lot of time developing a set of tools for simulating tax policy and the tools are supposed to be accessible to anybody without are requirement to buy any 3rd party software.  When I started the process Delphi 7 appeared to be in the public domain (there were numerous download options and articles on the Web declaring this to be true).  Over the last 2-3 years the company that has obtained the rights to Delphi have (as far as I can see) stopped the free downloading of Delphi 7 Installers.

I don't want to violate anybody's copyright so  I would like to migrate my software away from Delphi Pascal to something that is truly free.  My software uses a spreadsheet like component called "NextSheet" from Bergsoft.net.  Can anyone suggest a free Pascal compiler with a debugger and IDE?  Are there instructions available on how to integrate 3rd party componenents into one's own software using the free Pascal IDE?
Best Wishes,
Phil
LVL 1
PTRUSCOTTAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
see lazarus in action yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqph8VGCi40&feature=relmfu

it has the look and feel of delphi
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Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
delphi 7 has never been free, i don't know where you got that idea
you could get access to it by buying a newer delphi version
some of these versions have been made illegally downloadable

try lazarus
http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php

you can't integrate a set of components into another version unless you have the source code
or use alternatives for the components
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Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
the only free version is the personal edition
the others like pro, architect, etc are licensed
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PTRUSCOTTAuthor Commented:
Dear Geert_Gruwez,
If the free personal edition is legitimate can you tell me an official download site from which it can be downloaded with a clear conscience?  I'm only seeing 3rd party torrent type sites that do not look legitimate.  

The standard edition is fine for my purposes.
Phil
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Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
it was on borland.com
but ... that's no longer up for delphi products

you can try the newer versions
http://www.embarcadero.com/downloads

companies don't want you to download "old stuff"
they want you to "buy the new stuff"
so naturally they will make it difficult for you to find and download the old stuff

what would you say if someone called with the question:
"I have obtained a (illegal) version of your software from aug 2002 and i have found some bugs,
could you please fix them ?"

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PTRUSCOTTAuthor Commented:
So what you are saying is that Delphi 7 really is dead as a public domain option and that I need to migrate away from Delphi?  There's no source in my developing an Open Source tool if they need to spend money to use commercial software.  

Have you actually used Lazarus?  Does it have a debugger?  
Phil
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Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
yes, i have used lazarus briefly (on ubuntu)

why do you need a debugger so desperately ?
it does have a debugger, you can step in and over procedures etc

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aikimarkCommented:
Let me get this straight...
* You've spent a lot of time developing an application with Delphi 7
* You want to give your compiled application away

Did I get that right?

=================
Why not use the Starter version of Embarcadero Delphi XE2?  It only costs $200. ($149 if you have a competitor's IDE or prior legal Delphi version).

http://www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi/starter
http://www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi/starter-faq
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PTRUSCOTTAuthor Commented:
Dear Aikmark,

The goal is to create a software suite that is open source, so requiring anybody to pay money for a commercial product to use it is a non-starter.
Best Wishes,

Phil
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PTRUSCOTTAuthor Commented:
Dear Geert_Gruwez,

That video totally did the trick.  I feel very confident about Lazarus as a solution now.
Best Wishes,
Phil
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aikimarkCommented:
@PTRUSCOTT

>>...open source, so requiring anybody to pay money ... is a non-starter.

I'm confused.  You are releasing this as an open source product, but using a licensed third-party control.  What is 'free' about that?!?
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PTRUSCOTTAuthor Commented:
Dear Aikmark,
Yes I see you point.  I will probably need to get rid of the berg controls as well.
Best Wishes,
Phil
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