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Borland Being Purchased By Micro Focus

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the reaching-the-bottom-of-the-hill dept.

Businesses 351

An anonymous reader tips news that Micro Focus is in the process of buying Borland Software for $75 million. They also picked up Compuware's application testing and automated software quality business. Quoting ZDNet: "The boards of both companies agreed to the deal, which is expected to complete around mid-2009. ... In 2008, Texas-based Borland made a pre-tax loss of $204m, almost four times the size of the previous year's loss. It had revenues of $172m, part of a consistent downward trend since at least 2004. ... Borland was one of the oldest software companies in the PC software business, having been founded in 1981. Its most successful era was in the late 1980s via massive sales of Sidekick, a DOS-based terminate-and-stay-resident personal productivity application, and development tool Turbo Pascal, which challenged Microsoft's dominance in the application-development market."

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351 comments

How many more (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27847981)

How many more companies are going to bust becuase of Microsoft before the US DOJ splits the company up?

Re:How many more (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848197)

Being a Delphi programmer I noticed this news and thought wtf, but it must be noted that Delphi along other programming stuff was moved under CodeGear a few years ago and wasnt included in the purchase.

Still, I have high respect for Borland and the fact they provided early Delphi's for free on my teenage years when noone else did. I still enjoy Delphi as the most rapid programming tool, because it nicely integrates easy of GUI design but still powerful and fast code.

Re:How many more (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848517)

BTW Delphi 2009 supports C# style generics, anonymous methods, inferred typing and deferred execution all in native code w/o .NET

Delphi is still very much a viable platform for new software!

Who is Micro Focus? (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#27847989)

"Micro Focus Net Express® is the market-leading COBOL development environment"

So, a company that should've died off in the nineties is being bought by a company that noone has ever heard of that should've died off in the eighties. Weird.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (4, Informative)

robkill (259732) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848107)

Actually, Micro Focus made a great deal of cash in the nineties by providing COBOL development on the PC. COBOL programmers who were maintaining applications on a mainframe were no longer tied to an 8-color terminal connected at 9600 baud, or by using a terminal-emulation program that was just as bad. Compuware also put out a number of mainframe tools that were heavily used. I wonder if Micro Focus got those as well?

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848275)

Their Cobol IDE and compiler was still pretty awful, though. I suffered through a class in '01 using their program.

It was nowhere near as nice as Visual Studio 6 or even Vim.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848495)

COBOL programmers who were maintaining applications on a mainframe were no longer tied to an 8-color terminal connected at 9600 baud, or by using a terminal-emulation program that was just as bad.

Indeed. In much the same vein, I hope that gcc will some day include support for AppleBASIC.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (5, Interesting)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848181)

First thing to cross my mind when I read the headline was "holy crap, Borland's still around?"

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (0, Redundant)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848251)

First thing to cross my mind when I read the headline was "holy crap, Borland's still around?"

This

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848713)

First thing to cross my mind when I read the headline was "holy crap, Borland's still around?"

Second thing that crossed my mind was "What, they haven't changed their name yet again in the last couple of years?"

I guess you can call this the "not with a bang, but a whimper ..." stage.

You are Micro Focus (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848349)

COBOL may not have much mindshare among slashdotters, but there's a lot of COBOL code out there. Most of those boring apps that do nothing but apply simple business logic, like the one that cuts your paycheck, are written in COBOL. Remember the Y2K crisis? That was mostly about COBOL apps.

Which isn't a defense for the continued existence of COBOL. I only disagree with your statement that it should've died off in the 80s because I think it never should have been invented, with its stupid pseudo-English syntax. But like Fortran and RPG, it's too well established to be disposed of.

Assuming that Borland still does IDEs and compilers (weren't they trying to spin off that business?) this is a really good fit. Borland's tools are really kewl, but they've never gained serious mindshare, and survive only because of a lot of diehard users. Not, strictly speaking, legacy tools, but really the same kind of marketplace.

Incidentally, I used to work for Convergent Technologies, which back in the early 80s sold a MicroFocus COBOL compiler for its 68010 UNIX boxes. This compiler was, weirdly enough, written in COBOL. Somebody once explained to me why this made sense, but I've forgotten the explanation.

Re:You are Micro Focus (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848485)

COBOL may not have much mindshare among slashdotters, but there's a lot of COBOL code out there. Most of those boring apps that do nothing but apply simple business logic, like the one that cuts your paycheck, are written in COBOL.

Do you have Tourette's syndrome, or is there some other reason why your post is liberally sprinkled with shouted obscenities?

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848429)

Yes, it's rather like a newsflash that the Hanseatic league has declared war on the Duchy of Burgundy. What? Where? And who cares?

To get back to the subject, in my first "proper" (post college) job the first month was training on Microfukers Cowbull. I will never forgive anyone involved, including myself.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848441)

Excuse me?

Despite your 4 digit UID, I think you're only a pre-pubescent kid, because if you'd be old enough, you'd remember Micro-Focus COBOL for CP/M. The original CP/M that ran on 8080-class machines (actually, Z-80 machines, as no one ran CP/M on an Intel CPU), with 48 to just-a-bit-less-than 64K or RAM.

Not 64M, 64K.

Dear God, I just had a flashback of typing COBOL on my Hazeltine 1500 terminal hooked up to a North Star Horizon (nice wooden enclosure, BTW). Whoa, what did they put in my falafel sandwich?

TMP31416 (can't log on from work)

They flew under the radar. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848515)

So, a company that should've died off in the nineties is being bought by a company that noone has ever heard of that should've died off in the eighties. Weird.

Micro Focus is still around, because Microsoft saw no reason to acquire or crush them back in the eighties or nineties.

Weird.

No, not weird, but it shows that you can run a business in a niche, but profitable market by flying under the acquisition or crush radars of other giants. If they are not worried about you, they are not going to acquire or crush you.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (2, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848651)

Just because you haven't heard of Micro Focus does not mean "noone" has. Micro Focus is very well know in every IT shop that has a mainframe. Yes, COBOL is still the mainstay language for applications in large enterprises. They've been predicting it's imminent death for most of the 30 years I've been in IT, but it's still around. Believe it or not, the also push OO COBOL. Yes, it's as bad and idea as it sounds.

The sad thing is that Borland practically invented the IDE. Microsoft hired away the developers during the 90's and was finally able to make Visual Studio a decent platform.

How far they have fallen.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848997)

Again, typing as AC because I can't log in from work.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd say that the UCSD p-System "invented" the IDE. I remember compiling UCSD Pascal, getting an error and being automatically brought to the editor, on the line that caused the compile error. And that was quite a novelty at the time, especially if you came from a punched card environment.

This was happening in the late seventies (or was it in 1980?), way before Philippe Khan (sp?) started peddling Turbo Pascal. His only invention was to sell a complete dev. environment for cheap -- 99$, IIRC. That was un-heard of, at the time (esp. compared to M$ dev. products).

TMP31416

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848655)

Yeah, you didn't learn development during the 90s. All COBOL, all Micro Focus.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848717)

Before someone jumps in, I should clarify my above statement. Unless you were working on the mainframe that week, you used MicroFocus on the PC.

Re:Who is Micro Focus? (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848921)

Yeah, you didn't learn development during the 90s. All COBOL, all Micro Focus.

You're right, I learned it in the 80s with AppleBASIC, FORTRAN and Turbo Pascal. COBOL smelled funny even then.

Borland Turbo Assembler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848021)

those were the days!

Re:Borland Turbo Assembler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848037)

I cut my teeth on Borland C++. Good times.

Re:Borland Turbo Assembler (5, Informative)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848323)

Turbo C++ came years after Borland's original product: Turbo Pascal.

I started with Turbo Pascal with version 1.0. At the time, it was a revelation because it cost $49.00 in the days when PC development tools typically cost many hundreds of dollars, and because of its speed. It could compile a several thousand line Pascal program in just a few seconds. Other compilers of the time, such as Microsoft Pascal, took many minutes to compile the same code. It was limited, however, to 64K of code because the compiler created .COM files.

The compiler was so fast that Turbo Pascal was the rapid development tool of the 1980s on the PC. Nothing else could approach its speed.

While Phillipe Khan always maintained that he was the developer of the Turbo Pascal code, it was actually Anders Hejlsberg, the architect of C#, that actually wrote the code.

Re:Borland Turbo Assembler (1)

Jesterace (914041) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848487)

My Highschool in 1995 was teaching university prep computer science on Apple IIe's programming with Turbo Pascal. Very fond memories indeed.

Re:Borland Turbo Assembler (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848529)

I have a lot of fond memories of Turbo Pascal from the 80s and early 90s. It was inexpensive and fast- a combination that was hard to get in those days.

I have to admit though- I thought Borland died years ago.

Re:Borland Turbo Assembler (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848621)

Yes, as did I, good times indeed. Borland split that off long ago...about um 2006. They spun it off as codegear with the intention of selling off their ide stuff, and then codegear got bought up by embarcadero in 2008. I guess borland didn't want my money anymore as for the enterprise version I drop $1500 for an upgrade copy every couple of years. I find that was a pretty stupid idea...well not as stupid as changing their name in 1999 to inprise...well at least they undid that in 2001 and went back to borland...but still pretty dumb. I still use it every day...well kinda, it lives on here: http://www.codegear.com/products/cppbuilder [codegear.com] You can get a free version(s) here: http://downloads.embarcadero.com/free/c_builder [embarcadero.com] I also used turbo pascal way back when, but when delphi came out I ignored it since their PR department touted it as a totally new thing instead of visual pascal, so I never got into delphi since I had no idea it was pascal at the time. and turbo pascal (ok turbo delpi) here: http://downloads.embarcadero.com/free/delphi [embarcadero.com]

So Long... (5, Insightful)

djbckr (673156) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848051)

It's too bad the company went under like that, but I would have to blame the executives for making such massively bone-headed business decisions.

Anybody remember Inprise? After about a year of incredible downturn, they decided, "You know what? Maybe Borland wasn't a bad name after all"

Idiots

Delphi *was* my favorite language

Re:So Long... Star Team (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848375)

I'm forced to use Star Team, and although it has some nice features there are a LOT of things wrong with it. It is a good example of an anti-productivity tool. Can't believe they bought it. I have a suspicion they don't use it for their own source control, or they would have fixed a lot fo these things a long time ago. Nice as Turbo C/Pascal were in the day, and although I never used it Delphi seemed reasonable, I agree 100% bonehead.

Re:So Long... (1)

monstza (1549007) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848611)

Actually, Delphi was never "good". It was better than VB and cheaper than Java. Did I use it? yes. Is it better than Java or C#? no. I don't think Borland was ever an amazing company... they filled a void once, just not any more.

TSR (4, Informative)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848055)

Sidekick, a DOS-based terminate-and-stay-resident personal productivity application

Aaah good old terminate-and-stay-resident programs, from the heydays of non-multitasking OSs. Anyone else remember Int 27h [nvg.org] and the magic of hooking a subroutine to make it appear like your OS was actually multitasking? Hmph...kids these days..

Re:TSR (0, Offtopic)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848629)

In my day, TSR meant "Tactical Studies Rules" - uphill... both ways... and not on my lawn!

You whippersnappers stole that and made into a computer thingy!!!

ah borland (3, Funny)

Zashi (992673) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848075)

I remember, back in the day, when all malware was written in borland C/C++.

Er.. not that i wrote malware. >_>

Re:ah borland (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848329)

I remember, back in the day, using SoftICE to reverse engineer malware. Back then SoftICE was made by NuMega, who was bought by Compuware, who discontinued SoftICE in 2006. There still isn't a suitable replacement for SoftICE to be found :(

What? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848089)

Borland is still around? I assumed they'd died back in the mid-90s...

Great acquisition, Micro Focus. Are you going after Norton next?

Re:What? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848451)

Great acquisition, Micro Focus. Are you going after Norton next?

I read somewhere that they're going after Beagle Brothers.

C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far. (4, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848091)

It's a shame that they are going under, because C++ Builder is he best C++ IDE for Rapid Application Development, by far.

You can design forms and controls in the same way as Visual Basic, but it is C++.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848145)

You can design forms and controls in the same way as Visual Basic, but it is C++.

I thought that was called Visual C++.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (1)

nwoolls (520606) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848291)

You thought wrong. VC++, 6 at least, did not have a comparable form designer to that in VB or Delphi. Only with .NET has Microsoft finally caught up with RAD form design.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (3, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848341)

Only with .NET has Microsoft finally caught up with RAD form design. .NET is over 7 years old now... You might as well be railing against Windows 98.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848505)

And funny it didn't start to happen until Anders Hejlsberg was bought from Borland to recreate Delphi for the drooling masses and make it look like Microsoft created RAD programming.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848907)

Apparently you didnt use MFC.

If you stuck to its weird ass ways it was awesome at rapid dev. You could then control each control like nobodys business. Move over to VB and it was backwards and you had to jump thru a few hoops to do it.

I usually found the people spouting what you are saying never BOTHERED to figure out how the system worked. Had one dev defend that it took 50 lines of code in C to make 1 dialog. Was a tad miffed when I did it in about 5 (including brackets and includes). Accused me of cheating. I looked at him and said
'I did not cheat I learned how the system worked not the tool'.
'But you would need a bunch of code to handle that button'.
'And you wouldnt need that code in VB?'

All of them have their place. Just as .net has its place now. But none of them are the end all be all of development. I can count on one hand the number of times I shipped an application that used something from a rapid dev. But I would need everyone's digits in this building for the number of times I threw rapid dev code away. That says a lot. Usually the rapid dev code just gets you started. But you can get the same effect from a set of good templates. .Net does the same thing really. It just 'hides' it in the twist ups. It just has huge templates to map out the 'easy repetitive code'. You can build whole applications with the rapid dev stuff (I have). But it has its place. One is not necessarily 'better' than the other. It usually is just matter of what frame work the GUI is plugged into.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848841)

PFfffffffffft. Visual C++ STILL makes you do shit the hard way. Want to change the color of the font of a text box? You have to manually catch OnCtlColor/WM_CTLCOLOR and call SetTextColor. Want to change the background color of a button? Have to catch OnEraseBkgrnd/WM_ERASEBKGND, create a brush, select it into the display context, then delete it.

Not hard, but extremely tedious. Especially when something like C++ Builder has these as properties for the widgets in the IDE.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (2, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848305)

C++ Builder and Delphi were sold off some time ago (to Embarcadero in 2008, according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ), so I'm not sure what Borland actually does these days, but it should have no effect on any of the CodeGear stuff. I still use Delphi, it's a great IDE, but not as nice a language as c# imho, maybe there'll be a C# Builder in RAD studio at some point.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848747)

C++ Builder and Delphi were sold off some time ago (to Embarcadero in 2008, according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ), so I'm not sure what Borland actually does these days, but it should have no effect on any of the CodeGear stuff. I still use Delphi, it's a great IDE, but not as nice a language as c# imho, maybe there'll be a C# Builder in RAD studio at some point.

There was a C# Builder in BDS 2006, but I'm not sure about RAD Studio now that they've ditched Delphi.NET and are doing the whole Prism thing now.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848367)

All the developer tools were shipped off to CodeGear a few years ago. They are now owned by Embarcadero who are starting to invest more heavily in R&D. Delphi and C++ Builder 2009 are a vast improvement on the previous offerings.

Re:C++ Builder is the best C++ IDE for RAD, by far (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848797)

You can design forms and controls in the same way as Visual Basic, but it is C++.

Wow! So it's exactly like Microsoft's Visual C++, except less-supported!

Seriously, how out-of-date is your knowledge that you didn't know about Visual C++? It's been around for ages-- hell it's probably the reason most companies dumped Borland Builder.

turbo-Pascal (5, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848101)

Man - bring me back to the 80s - when EVERYTHING was "TURBO". Go shopping for flatware "get this new stainless steel TURBO flatware - the spoons are extra-round!". You get your fucking cable bill and it's not delivered by letter post, it's deliverred by TURBO letter post. And the computer had a TURBO button on it to make it go faster. And the cooling fan the kicked in made you think - "hey maybe there IS a turbo in there!". And you go to the deli to pick up some fish, and they're selling TURBOT, but not just ANY TURBOT, but TURBOTURBOT!!!

Man - between all that bullshit and bands like "A Flock of Haircuts" it was enough to make Max Headroom hurhurhur-HURL!

RS

Re:turbo-Pascal (5, Funny)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848179)

I'm glad the "turbo" trend died. Long live "X-treme"!

Re:turbo-Pascal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848811)

Turbo is making a comeback in the i7 processors from intel...

Re:turbo-Pascal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848853)

Yeah, "Wormhole X-Treme" was my favorite sci-fi show.

Re:turbo-Pascal (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848383)

It was just another case of electronics geeks trying to make automotive metaphors — the most badass cars at the time were all TURBOcharged.

Re:turbo-Pascal (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848511)

Best part was the acronym: TP

Every time you'd ask for help with TP on a newsgroup, some wise-ass would make a toilet paper "joke." Got old really fast.

Don't forget dBASE (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848121)

Buying Ashton-Tate, maker of dBASE, was their downfall. Huge outlay and the migration to windows was a massive failure.

sad (2, Interesting)

Bryan-10021 (223345) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848123)

First Sun now Borland? Very sad but in both cases you had good technology and poor management. I realize that IBM's funded free Eclipse made hurt Borland JBuilder sales but to sell off the development tools division? Really?

Re:sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848737)

Borland spun off its tools division a while ago, calling it CodeGear, which was subsequently purchased by Embarcadero Technologies. The Borland that Micro Focus is buying is what was left - the ALM stuff.

Delphi and C++ Builder are still alive. I use Delphi every day.

Odd (4, Funny)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848149)

I'm not sure what surprised me more when I read this: that Borland still exists, or that Micro Focus still exists.

Turbo C (4, Interesting)

kingmundi (54911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848159)

Let us not forget that Borland had a pretty dominate position in the programming C/C++ IDE market way
back in the early 90s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_C%2B%2B [wikipedia.org]

I remember all of the C programming college courses in my area all used Turbo C as the preferred IDE.

I remember that many folks claimed Microsoft sabotaged Borland's product by integrating their Visual Studio with windows in ways that Borland just could not do. This was years before the Netscape lawsuit! I even seem to recall reading that Microsoft was accused of preying on Borland's staff and hiring them away. Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I can provide some more information on those bygone days.

Re:Turbo C (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848503)

Anders Hejlsberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg) was the principal author of Turbo Pascal, Delphi and VCL component framework that was lured away by Microsoft and later played significant role in creating C#, J++ and .NET framework. Anyone that knows Delphi must have realized that C#/.NET is a mix of Java and Delphi (delegates, switch statement, .NET classes...) and this was the blow that really started the decline of Borland (of course, Eclipse was another disaster for them).

Re:Turbo C (2, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848533)

I fondly remember writing my own GUI environment that ran on top of DOS--I hated Windows 3.11--using Borland C++ using BGI for graphics (although I abstracted it in case I wanted to port) and inline assembly to handle interrupts and for critical sections. I modelled my GUI on AmigaOS (I was missing my Amiga) and it even multitasked. In 2000 I did a rebuild of my system and backed up all my src code onto CD, formatted the drive, installed redhat 5 or something, stuck the CD back in to put my src back on the hard disk... gone. The directory structure was there, but no data. Still annoys me that I lost the src for my DOS GUI. Maybe it was for the best. Anyway, back on topic, I loved the Borland IDEs.

Re:Turbo C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848819)

Where do you think the creator of Microsoft's C# came from? Oh yeah, it was Borland.

IIRC, Microsoft had to pay Borland for stealing...err...hiring him away from Borland. He was the original creator of Object Pascal and worked on Turbo Pascal before that.

Borland has had the nasty habit of abandoning their customer. For example, OWL (Ojbect Windows Library) was released for OS/2, but dropped after a 1.0. Also, C++ Builder for Linux was released and then support was dropped for it.

I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner.

Compuware's "Optimal Advisor"... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848161)

...included [developers.net] a BSD-licensed open source utility I worked on - PMD [sf.net] . I recall getting some nice emails and phone calls from them saying they were packaging it up, and they sent in some bugfixes and new rules and whatnot. They bought a couple of copies of my PMD book [pmdapplied.com] , too, which was nice.

Generally, I thought they were a good example of how a software company could bundle up and enhance open source software, contribute back, and still turn a profit. Selling that part of the business for $58M, sounds like it worked out OK for them...

Re:Compuware's "Optimal Advisor"... (1)

robkill (259732) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848357)

Compuware had 3 essential tools for mainframe development (IBM 370)

Abend-Aid - automated dump solver for when you program core-dumped.

File-Aid - Easily the best file browser for the mainframe. I'd love to see a similar tool on Windows or Linux that allowed you to create customized text and binary file formats for viewing file innards.

Xpediter - mainframe debugger.

Do Not Want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848165)

Micro Focus has some of the worst install scripts and asininely oppressive "License Managers" I have ever seen in my decade+ of enterprise software experience, and for the amount of money they want for their products, you'd think they'd have the decency to get this stuff right. Every time I have to work with Server Express I pray for the speedy end of COBOL for enterprise batch processing just so I don't have to go through the pain of installing/licensing the damn thing. The balls it must take to write an application that hobbles your server by only allowing a specific number of COBOL's (say 5) to run concurrently or the "License Manager" will throw a fit ...

Borland gives me warm memories (1)

MrCawfee (13910) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848173)

Thinking of Borland still gives me fuzzy memories. Every IDE they have made I have liked using (i even liked Kylix in itself, except it was impossible to use on (or the applications for that matter) non supported distributions of Linux).

I know they effectively died because of their decision to focus on the middleware.

Their tools were great, but it was sad that their management couldn't plan the products for the newer market place.

Re:Borland gives me warm memories (1)

Haelyn (321711) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848281)

warm memories but painful present. I'm forced to wrestle with Starteam to get my CM work done. Good riddance to awful rubbish I say...

Re:Borland gives me warm memories (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848569)

Thinking of Borland still gives me fuzzy memories.

Yeah, me too. Although I think my memory is just getting fuzzy 'cause I'm getting old and drank too much beer last night.

Delphi was much bigger (4, Insightful)

xquark (649804) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848227)

I believe they sold more Delphi licenses than turbo pascal. Furthermore I think Delphi was the the impetus at Microsoft for things like the MS developing a true IDE, J++/visual J and finally C# which btw was architected by the very same guy that did Delphi.

The biggest shame was when at the end Borland tried to sell their compiler business for roughly $1b no one wanted it, eventually some veritably unknown company called Embarcadero made an offer for $24m for the business and that was the end of that.

Lesson of the day: Regardless of how good/essential the products you deliver may have been, bad management and poor future insight can make you crash and burn.

Re:Delphi was much bigger (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848823)

...and a poor set of icons. I think the horrible icon library that came with Delphi may be one of the other reasons it failed.

Used to love Borland Products (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848263)

I bought 3 different versions of their Turbo C++ products and Turbo Assembler in the 90's, and had a great time with them learning to program. But then came along C++ Builder, which ended the affair. I gave Kylix a try after I switched to Linux to see if I couldn't rekindle the flame but that was like pouring a bucket of water on smoldering embers.

My greatest hope come true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848301)

May StarTeam die an ignominious death!

Re:My greatest hope come true! (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848699)

As someone who is on the team that manages StarTeam at a large company, I wholeheartedly agree. Bah, and I just made it through the 2008R2 upgrade...

Bring Back Paradox (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848369)

My favorite Borland product was Paradox for Windows [wikipedia.org] , a RDBMS engine and GUI with IDE. The engine was available as a C++ library for embedding. It brought together programming and data techniques from spreadsheets, databases, languages and GUIs that made "Windows" a complete and consistent platform.

Borland, or somebody, could do exactly that with existing OSS code today. The software world could use such a tidy tool, and especially a competent company to market it. Maybe that's Oracle now, but the game is just getting rebooted again.

Re:Bring Back Paradox (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848987)

My company actually still has a couple of old databases in Paradox that they still use. I developed in Paradox (PAL) for about 8 years. It was a great platform that blew away anything else at the time, short of maybe Foxpro. We had several CRM systems built on it.

Paradox for Windows was a complete flop, and because DOS Paradox used native Novell server file sharing/locking- it was unusable on a Windows network. I think that's what ultimately killed it.

Borland App Server (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848371)

They had good development IDEs like Delphi, C++ Builder, Jbuilder. The problem they never integrated JBuilder with their app server and support sucked big time. JBoss, eclipse killed Borland products on the Java side. They could not compete with MS VB and Visual C++. They could not revamp themselves to competition from JBoss and eclipse like companies. Bad to see it go though, my first real paying job was to program in C++ using Borland 3.0 IDE.

Turbo Pascal rocked! (2, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848389)

It was blinding fast for a compiler of its day, running on a 1 MHz Z-80. There was no debugger, but if a Turbo Pascal program halted with an error at a given location (which it would politely print out before quitting), you could run the compiler to find out which line of code that location represented. It was cheap, too -- fifty bucks or so at a time when other compiler makers were charging $300 or more.

I wrote a computer game in Turbo Pascal that got me my first job in the game industry. VERY fond memories.

floppy disks (1)

Howpostsgetratedsuck (612917) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848475)

I loved getting a new version of borland C. You would receive a box with 23 3.5" floppy disks and have to sit there for a few hours while the installation software said, "Please insert disk #" Of course this was on my massive 15 inch monitor. I was totally amazed when I received a version with a CD-ROM. Not that my PC had a CD-ROM, but a little Novel Networks magic and you could remote mount a drive. Heady days indeed.

Re:floppy disks (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848703)

I loved getting a new version of borland C. You would receive a box with 23 3.5" floppy disks...

Not to mention the pile of blue (and I think later versions were orange) books, that came with the gaggle of floppy disks, that just took up lots of room on my bookshelf.

...on my massive 15 inch monitor.

You had a 15" monitor? Wow. Wait, so did I. Carry on.

Embarcadero already has the good stuff. (4, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848493)

All the people remembering Borland's language wars with Microsoft, and came up on the other side, should know that all of those tools were sold to Embarcadero some time ago. The Borland that we knew has already been gone for quite some time. Turbo C++, C++ Builder, Turbo Pascal, JBuilder, etc, all live on at Embarcadero. In fact, I think Embarcadero even got the Borland database...

Don't Forget Quattro and Paradox (4, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848523)

Two very popular Borland products back in the day were the Quattro Pro spreadsheet and the Paradox relational database. Quattro Pro had WYSIWYG and three dimensional features running on DOS way before Lotus. Paradox was a huge advance over dBase III in ease of use and report writing.

If you had 2 MB of system RAM, they could both exist in system memory at the same time and swap back and forth. Not quite multitasking, but innovative at the time. Using DR DOS made the memory tricks easier. Ah... memories.

One more star has gone dark (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848525)

First of all, before I go on a trip down memory land, WTH?

Texas-based Borland

When have they left Scotts Valley? Bloody traitors.

Okay, now that I have gotten that out of my system, I remember when Turbo C kicked Microsoft's Quick C into oblivion. I mean, when Quick C could muster maybe 80K size out of a simplest program, Turbo C could squish it to maybe 12K. Don't laugh, in early days of DOS, that was important.

Also, anyone remember register pseudo-variables in Borland C? God, they ruled. Combined with the "List of Interrupts" they placed power and speed at your figertips that only rightly belonged to the creator.

Alas, they took IBM's commitment to OS/2 too seriously. I remember when they put so much resources into OS/2 tools development. I must have been a huge financial blow and a loss of invaluable development time when IBM just walked away, whistling. That might have been the beginning of the end for them. It may have been partly my fault. Back in those days I, too, carried the "I want my OS/2" button.

This is a sad day. Like so many icons of Silicon Valley of the early glory days, one more star has burned out.

IBM just walked away from OS/2 (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848877)

"they took IBM's commitment to OS/2 too seriously .. IBM just walked away, whistling"

I thought OS/2 was a joint project [theinquirer.net] between IBM and Microsoft? Perhaps that explains Borlands decision to commitment to OS/2 too seriously. MS also leaned on IBM to drop OS/2 [cnet.com] else it would be forced to pay higher prices for software. See also IBM chief: Microsoft killed OS/2 [bbc.co.uk]

Turbo Pascal challenged Microsofts dominance ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848531)

"Turbo Pascal, which challenged Microsoft's dominance in the application-development market"

I thought the original Turbo Pascal [experiencefestival.com] was a one-pass compiler that ran from memory as compared to Microsoft's Pascal two pass compiler and linker that ran from floppies. Turbo Pascal also ran as an IDE. Microsoft Windows didn't even exist at the time. So the logic of how Borland challenged Microsoft's dominance in the application-development market escapes me.

--
ms.time.paradox©

still using Borland C++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848639)

Borland has some great console manipulation routines built-in.
Use it almost daily for running tests with a CLI.
Can't be beat for fast easy results.

Star Team? (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848715)

What exactly is Micro Focus buying from Borland since they seem to have divested themselves of everything except something called StarTeam...I went to their website and I'm still not 100% what StarTeam is or does for me.

Maybe that's why they're in dire straits...they make software that takes multiple pages and graphics and bullet points and still doesn't seem to convey exactly how this will help me.

What really killed Borland... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848745)

... was its amusingly heavy reliance on people consistently agreeing to buy suspiciously frequent "upgrades" to development software that already worked just fine. Borland tried to create a sort of subscriptions-based business model without actual subscriptions, and people balked. Borland never made quite as much money as it anticipated; it underestimated the fiscal and material conservatism of its target market.

Last I heard of Borland was (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848809)

Last I heard of Borland was when I purchased Borland's C++ DOS based IDE. That must have been back in the early to mid 90s. I'm surprised they are still around and at that, producing $172m in revenues!

Borland being purchased? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848953)

Al and his mother will be pleased.

Creepy Borland Pascal story (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848963)

I remember turbo pascal / borland pascal. I never liked Pascal, and it took 25 years to figure out why.

Do you remember "Second Life"? I guess it still is operating. For awhile they had weekly/daily slashvertisements but they seem to have gone away. Anyway, SL would not allow arbitrary usernames, you had to select one of their predefined last names. Pascal was available. Unfortunately someone already selected first name "GNU" and "Turbo" was long gone... I thought it would be funny to be called "Borland Pascal"

Now if there was one thing SL was famous for (other than the furries, their own little housing bubble, and their gambling establishments) it was creepy men "wearing" teen girl avatars trying to pick up other men.

Every time I logged in to SL, it was creepy how these "teen girl" avatars all came up to me to mention, "hey, did you know there used to be a computer language with your name? I used to use that in college"... etc etc.

So, yes indeed, in SL, alot of the women are not only men, but are old male Pascal programmers. So, after a quarter century, I finally figured out why I didn't like Pascal.

Borland ?--? Embarcadero (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848971)

I am curious if anyone understands the relationship between former Borland and current Embarcadero [embarcadero.com] . It seems Embarcadero owns most of the apps and tools that Borland used to make, and they also live in Borland's former building in Scott's Valley. Curiouser and curiouser... Could it be possibly that Embarcadero is former Borland who simply shed its name to some Texas-based company? Anyone with better insight care to chime in?

This is not Borland (5, Informative)

ZioPino (4293) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848975)

I worked in Borland, when it was indeed Borland. Great company, you could not find another place with so many fine minds.
What is called Borland today is not the company that people knew. The management stole the name, connected it with mindless, buzzword-rich nonsense and moved the headquesters from Scotts Valley to Texas. They were selling nothing and that's what MicroFocus is buying: nothing.

The core of Borland's business, compilers and IDEs was spun off as CodeGear, recently purchased by Embarcadero Software. CodeGear is still located in Scotts Valley with many of the original developers in the group. Great people with a passion for tool development.
It's not a coincidence that Borland, the travesty, has been losing money at incredible speed after CodeGear was gone. The only part of the business that made sense, that generated revenues, was let go by a management simply unable to understand what a compiler is.
That the name Borland, which was synonym of innovation and "barbarian" spirit, is now associated with the leading name in a technology that was an embarrassment in the 80s, COBOL, is a shame that makes me cringe to no end.
Remember, this is not Borland, the real Borland, the one that brought us such gems as Turbo Pascal, C++ builder, Paradox, JBuilder etc, and that in general taught Microsoft how to write IDEs, is called CodeGear.
The company mentioned in this article, is a travesty and a sham.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848983)

Turbo Cobol :-)

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