John Kaster

Behind the Screen

Exciting times for Borland’s developer tools

with 31 comments

We’ve been a little busy for the last 24 hours, as you can probably guess from David I’s article on Borland plans separate company for its developer products. David was also quoted in eWeek on this divestiture.

Some important things I’d like to point out in this article:

  • “Nielsen said Borland is seeking a buyer for the IDE business, one that will keep the unit intact, and invest in and grow the technologies”
  • David said “”My passion is developers and focusing on improving the lives of developers.”
  • I am personally very excited about this opportunity for Borland’s developer tools. These products are the reason I came to Borland in the first place. It is great to have the passion, excitement, and focus on developers back.

    Like David, I started using Turbo Pascal back in 1983. I immediately wanted to go work for Borland because Turbo Pascal changed my life (for the better, of course!). I submitted my resume to Borland after graduating from college in 1985. Unlike David, it took at bit longer for me to become an employee: I was contacted by Borland in 1997 to join the company, but working on these development tools was always near and dear to my heart. I am very optimistic about the future of Delphi, C++Builder, C#Builder, JBuilder, InterBase, JDataStore, NDataStore, Kylix, and all the Turbo products now that this will be the primary focus of a new company.

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    Written by John Kaster

    February 8, 2006 at 10:02 am

    31 Responses

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    1. As a relatively "new" customer I’m very excited about this as well. FWIW, my excitement comes from the names moving with the developer tools. Good luck… to us *all*!

      Dan Barclay

      February 8, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    2. Many dead product lines (commercial Java IDEs are a dying breed, time to let them go along with everything associated), Kylix was dead before it shipped (and if you don’t agree, it is certainly dead now).

      C#Builder is just MS’s compiler, MS’s designer in Borland stripped down IDE compared to VS. (and you can get the unstripped down VS compiler for next to nothing)

      IB is nice, but Firebird is at least as good and significantly cheaper.

      C++Builder is interesting, but is also clearly dead. Any possible resurrection was killed by this announcement. Its revival was more of a historical interest anwyays.

      What does that leave that is really worth selling and continuing? Delphi.

      Have MS buy Delphi, integrate it into VS line, take all the java stuff and either sell it back to sun (if they want it) or donate it to eclipse. Forget kylix, it’s dead – that market is too religious anyways.

      Trying to find someone that wants to carry forward all the product lines, many of which are clearly unprofitable, is just absurd. Eventually, it will be about selling Delphi and nothing else.

      Still, at least it finally means Delphi has a chance again and we can all rejoice about that.

      Xepol

      February 8, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    3. Anybody who thinks MS buying the company would be a good idea is seriously deluded. The only reason MS would buy Delphi would be to kill it (or let it die a slow death like FoxPro) so it’s no longer any competition. What is needed is real competition with VS.

      Mick

      February 8, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    4. I think that Borland probably already approached MS and some of the other big guns before they made this announcement. So IMO there’s no chance of that happening. This is good for Delphi, but it’s about 5 years to late!

      It’s the same old story. MS becomes another de-facto monopoly because of their competitors incompetence!

      The king is dead. Long live the king.

      Larry

      February 9, 2006 at 12:08 am

    5. We’re all in France with DELPHI !
      Go NewCo !

      Stephane Jouanneau

      February 9, 2006 at 6:27 am

    6. I wish Borland had held the announcement until they had a buyer lined up. I’m job-hunting, and this announcement has had two potential new jobs retract their position postings because of a need to re-evaluate their continued use of Delphi. I fear the same thing is happening all over. Announcing a sale without having a buyer lined up is just spreading FUD across an already-skittish and leaky market.

      I’m another one of the "Been here since TP1" folks; I’m all for sinking more effort and resources into a truly great toolset. But I would hope that there’s still a market for Delphi when the sale finally completes…

      Steve Sneed

      February 9, 2006 at 8:55 am

    7. >> JDataStore, NDataStore,

      if the new company will re-activate this database: Great!!!!
      Call Steve….

      😉 thomas

      Thomas Pfister

      February 9, 2006 at 10:40 am

    8. Thanks for your comments, all. I understand your concerns. Change is always disconcerting. The people working on the products are here, we’re continuing to work and improve them, and we’re excited about this opportunity to dedicate focus and investment back in the products we love.

      I would suggest, after a lunch meeting with John Frazier and Anders Ohlsson where Fraz mentioned it, that "oldco" is more appropriate than "newco" to call the company, since it’s really going back to Borland’s roots.

      John Kaster

      February 9, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    9. Xepol said, "Have MS buy Delphi." I’m not an expert, but I think that would help put MS in the sites of US anti-trust regulators (again). I’m not sure why MS would want Delphi anyway. Because the language is different, they wouldn’t be able to transition existing customers easily to Visual C#. Carrying on "yet another language" would not be a good strategy for MS. Customers are already a little confused about what is the "best" language to use going forward.

      Larry said, "It’s the same old story. MS becomes another de-facto monopoly because of their competitors incompetence!" I couldn’t agree more, but with the caveat that the incompetence is mainly at the upper management level. I think the engineering staff at Borland has been pretty good all along. There was a lot of good execution and good innovation through the years. Product planning, though – sheesh!

      Tom

      February 9, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    10. En realidad es muy riesgoso lo que se está haciendo. Pero hay que ser optimista, hay que seguir apostando por ellos. El tiempo se encargará de demostrar si fue una buena decisión o no. Me parece que Rem Objects sería un buen comprador.

      Jose Castillo

      February 10, 2006 at 6:26 am

    11. I’m seeing few Delphi jobs offered and I know 4 Delphi shops moving to either C# or Java. I’ve been using Delphi since 1995 and this has me concerned.

      I’m looking forward to your visit to Salt Lake City on the 21st however if you do a search of Monster/Dice there is only ONE Delphi job compared to dozens of jobs in the C++ and Java markets. Unless Borland does something to increase market share the decision to sell Delphi (or spin it off to a separate company) is rather meaningless. In 5 years, I see my Delphi skill set worth about as much as what I once knew about LISP.

      Wayne Hamberg

      February 10, 2006 at 10:11 am

    12. Tom -> RemObjects ensures competition, donating the JBuilder bits away helps also. You also have a skewed idea about MS and C#. C# is meant as a tool transition developers off of Java and provide a smooth stepping stone up from C++. It does NOT however represent the holy grail for MS.

      MS works on a WIDE variety of languages from C++, C#, J#, VB.NET, IronPython, and a wide range of "test" lanaguages. MS does not care WHICH language you work in. MS cares which platforms you CODE ON. Delphi would fit in just fine with this thought process. In fact, it would provide them with a second native language that they "lost" when they transitions VB to VB.NET (which FINALLY turned VB into a real compiled lanaguage). MS pushs its many lanaguages with equal vigour. In fact, you can go to MSDN right now, and there is a project to convert C# to VB.NET code.

      Since Delphi already has a dotNet equivalent, it so EASILLY fits into MS’s vision that the question you should ask is not "why would MS want delphi", but rather "why wouldn’t MS want Delphi?".

      MS liked the product enough to raid Borland for employees, the product itself would just be icing on the cake. Imagine how much better your Delphi experience would be with MS’s resources behind it.

      Honestly, abandon the fear and prejudice of the past and take a clear second look – you might just be surprised by what you see.

      C Johnson

      February 10, 2006 at 11:35 am

    13. Hmm. Just a few months ago one of Borland’s shareholders proposed doing exactly what’s been announced now, and offered $150 million for only some of the products that are now being spun off. The board and ex-CEO Arnold are going to look mighty bad in the eyes of shareholders if they can’t get a minimum of $200 million for the products.

      Juan Jimenez

      February 10, 2006 at 11:53 am

    14. the value of the entire company including Inprise (oops, ALM) is just over $240 million, so I don’t see how they would get over 200 for what’s in their eyes obviously the less interesting part businesswise.

      But then again, the IDE division saved Inprise from Demise once already and at the time too was considered by management to be a dead duck so management decisions at Inprise aren’t often the best (worse even than their marketing department).

      Jeroen T. Wenting

      February 11, 2006 at 1:07 am

    15. As a French Borland partner since TP 3 I’m, of course, very very impatient to see what the future will be…
      I agree with some persons here there’s just Delphi that can be bought, other products are dead (Jbuilder, C#Builder, Kylix).
      But I’m asking why Borland CEO has announced he wants to sell IDE _before_ having a buyer ! It is once again in Borland history a very very bad decision.
      All customers wanting to switch to .NET have already for 80% migrated to .. C# with VS.NET. Speaking about the sale of IDE now will certainly cause the resting 20% to move to VS.NET… And who will buy a product with no customers in the future ?
      Announcing the sale must have be done in the same time of the name of the buyer, not weeks, monthes (?) before it.
      Since feb 8th, I’m sad, a page is turned.
      I hope Borland employee are right, future will be exciting… But we don’t make daily business with "hope", that’s the main problem…

      Olivier Dahan

      February 11, 2006 at 8:05 am

    16. Exciting? You bet! As a former Borlander and long-time TP and Delphi evangelist (as long as David and John), I think this is an incredible opportunity for David I and a crew of his choosing to take the interim reins and get focus back on Borland’s IDE products. Refresh ties to developers and start marketing the heck out of the products again.

      I’ve heard (on the street) the Borland name isn’t supposed to come with the IDE sale. If so, this isn’t good. If I were the buyer, I’d insist on the name as part of the deal. To most developers, the IDE tools are a Borland product. Very few associate Borland with ALM. The ALM/SDO company is the one who needs to find a new name.

      In any case, the "oldco" has my full support.

      Jeff Bosworth

      February 12, 2006 at 9:19 am

    17. I think that the Delphi and other related products have received a blow by the news. My project, just started in BDS2006 will be converted and finished in C#. I won’t wait around until the future is clear and so will a lot of others.

      Sorry Borland, it over.

      Richard

      February 13, 2006 at 3:57 am

    18. We’ve had people predicting the demise of Borland and our products for years. We’ll continue to prove them wrong, and provide the compelling tools the industry requires.

      John Kaster

      February 17, 2006 at 12:00 am

    19. John,

      I hope you’ll survive. The people behind Delphi earned it.
      We feel left in the cold by Borland for 2 versions now. BDS2006 is also bad.
      I get all sorts of errors and now Borland admits that that’s due to lack of investment. On top of that they are selling the IDE branch
      So now we want to move on. We lost trust in Borland and now Borland has lost their trust in Borland.

      Richard

      February 17, 2006 at 12:58 am

    20. To me this is very sad because although I did not have a chance to use the integrated environment (Delphi + C++ + C#) I did love the old Delphi and C++ Builder environment. Those tools where incredibly productive and it is still a mystery to me why they did not catch on and grab a bigger part of the market. I can still remember the time when coworkers where struggling with MS tools to write Windows application and achieving nothing while I was happily writing Windows applications using Delphi (and later C++ Builder).
      I think that buying those tools is certainly worth it and investing into proper marketing should eventually bring in more market share.

      jsl

      February 20, 2006 at 5:16 pm

    21. I don’t understand why everyone says Kylix is dead? Had it gone onto Version 4 I would be developing Linux server if not desktop applications with it. Why wasn’t continued? Any chance of it coming back?

      S. Andrews

      February 24, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    22. Richard, I don’t know what issues you’re encountering with BDS 2006, but in general it has been very positively received.

      Sorry you’ve lost trust in Borland. Hopefully you will learn to trust "DevCo" and its shepherding of the products.

      John Kaster

      February 28, 2006 at 10:41 am

    23. John,

      I contacted Borland (The Netherlands) and they never returned my call. Borland just stole money from everybody who bought bsd2006. Why charge money for something that should have been an upgrade. Also bds2006 still has a lot of bugs as mentioned earlier.
      We lost valueable time by investing in this product.
      Perhaps that the ‘DevCo’ will prove me wrong someday, but for now that will take a long time.

      b.t.w. I develop asp.net applications. So it is the in that section that I had these problems.

      Richard

      March 1, 2006 at 5:59 am

    24. Richard,

      I apologize you never heard back from Borland Netherlands.

      BDS has lots of new features that go beyond it just being bug fixes. However, continuing the quality improvements for the "DevCo" products is very important to us. There is another update coming for BDS 2006 as well.

      John Kaster

      March 6, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    25. I agree that MS buying Delphi would be catastrophic, also like been said before I think tehy woule have antitrus problems with this. One of the best things that to me could happen is that a company like Oracle would buy Delphi (and eventually the other line of products as well). Since Oracle is looking to buy Suse (Novell) this could be an interesting thing.

      Geert Van Hecke

      April 23, 2006 at 1:57 am

    26. Google should buy the tools and make everything open source. This will piss off MS for sure.

      Ree

      June 7, 2006 at 7:20 am

    27. Microsoft may be dropping the ball on .NET 3.0 wrt their dev tools. If DevCo got on that band wagon and picked up a product like the Aurora XAML Designer and some other boutique companies poping up in the space, mixed in C# Builder, they could be right back in the ball game…….

      Fred

      July 27, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    28. I agree Oracle or Google should buy Delphi and focus on cross platform. If Borland had stuck it out with Kylix they would have the Linux market cornered by now an probably a Apple OSX version. Not everyone wants a Windows RAD IDE.

      Even if a company doesn’t plan on immediately distributing/ supporting alternative OS. It would be nice to know that you’d be able to port your application without having to completely rewrite it. If god for bid Linux, BSD, OSX or some yet undiscovered OS becomes main stream.

      Dave Koerner

      August 21, 2007 at 10:15 am

    29. In addition to my last post I just wanted to add.

      Borland lost me when the gave up on Kylix. I gave up on development because of it. I loved Delphi but hated Windows, Delphi was more than a development tool, it was almost like a movement of some type for me. (a piece of mind movement maybe?) I feel the same way about Linux, but I’ve never been able to find a RAD IDE for Linux that worked as good as D4, D5, D6 did in Windows.

      When I saw Borland’s focus shift from VCL to .net I almost cried. I hope someday they figure out that you can’t create a product and then let it whither on the vine like they did with Kylix. A lot of people invested a lot of money and time learning Kylix, only to have the product die a slow and painful death. And they wonder why nobody trusts them anymore.

      With that all said I may start using Delphi for PHP, but I’m a little nervous because of how bad I feel Borland burned a lot developers in the past, but I may give it a try. I’ll see how the trial version pans out.

      ".net" over kylix oh please! Maybe .net after you saw where MS was going with there tools. Kylix with CLX/VCL was the furture. Now, I don’t know.

      Dave Koerner

      August 21, 2007 at 10:34 am

    30. Kylix 3 (the great C++ IDE RAD tool for Linux) has been actively used for our production application development since Red Hat 7.2. With patch, it is being used to date on Fedora Core 1 (failed on newer cores). I loved it’s RAD on GUI application as well as it’s integrated debugger. Hope codegear may continue the development. Currently evaluating QT C++ library on Eclipse.

      Joon Hwa

      October 3, 2007 at 4:22 am

    31. Joon, thanks for your comments about C++. I encourage you to contact Alisdair Meredith, our C++ product manager, about our plans for C++ for the near- and long-term future.

      John Kaster

      October 3, 2007 at 7:48 am


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