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Borland C++Builder Revolt

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the fight-the-man dept.

Programming 95

florescent_beige writes "Developers using Borland's C++Builder RAD tool are in revolt. Borland apparently obsoleted this product one year ago. However, the promised migration path (to be described in a now infamous open letter) never materialized. In a last-ditch effort to convince Borland to support them, users have put together a letter justifying (and begging) for continued support."

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95 comments

Last I heard... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10602562)

Last I heard, Microsoft Visual Studio was the only game in town. Why don't they get with the times instead of crying to a loser (Borland) who finally conceded defeat in the market.

Re:Last I heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10606615)

Excuse me, but I've tried Visual Studio, and I really wasn't all that impressed. I mean it isn't horrible, but I wouldn't rule out the chance that someone else could still come along at beat them.

Re:Last I heard... (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10609821)

Lets see that. I have never once had a problem with Visual Studio 6 or Visual Studio .NET and [Visual] C++.

The only problem I've had is that C++.NET is a horrible language, but the full support for C++ is still there and it still rocks.

Re:Last I heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10628459)

Sure.

Begging is not freedom. (4, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#10602709)

Poster writes

[...] In a last-ditch effort to convince Borland to support them, users have put together a letter justifying (and begging) for continued support.

Slashdot places this story in the "fight-the-man dept.".

Asking or begging a proprietor to do what you want is not fighting anyone, it's acknowledging that you are not livin in freedom. Placing yourself in a dependant position by not choosing free software [gnu.org] to do the job doesn't bode well for leveraging a free market to supply the desired changes or improvements. Ironically, all the customers the letter cites are capable of paying for the support they want. Perhaps these developers should put some money and/or time into getting someone to distribute a free software program that does what they want so they won't be in this position.

quite so Re:Begging is not freedom. (3, Interesting)

samjam (256347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10603656)

If Borland are being stinky, and poeople are starting to suffer from being "locked in" (even thought it was nice while it lasted) then its time to look at:

wxPython [freshmeat.net]
and
Boa Constructor [freshmeat.net] , a python IDE and RAD style designer. Its a bit harder than Delphi (or am I getting mentally stale) but at least its fully cross platform GUI and open source, so you get to increase your target market and never get locked in again.

No point in continuing with Delphi.net, it may only happen again in a few years when the fashions change.

I learned this lessen a few years ago when a nameless search engine salesman witheld some updates and we (Ananova/Orange) switched to the open source Xapian [xapian.org] search engine and paid one of the original developers to do some more work on it for us. Xapian is now being trialed [gmane.org] as the search engine behind gmane [gmane.org]

Its the same lesson Richard Stallman learned years ago. Don't get locked in.

There's no need to learn that lesson twice. And, you may as well join the FSF while you are at it. You know it makes more sense than most political donations, and for less than the price of a night out each month! I got a copy of Lessigs "Free Culture" in the post today as part of my FSF membership.

Sam

Re:quite so Re:Begging is not freedom. (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10606787)

It's not a matter of lock-in. Actually, that concept has always worked against Borland, since their tools are always of the "road less travelled" variety -- the main road mainly being Microsoft "Visual" programming products. People who use Borland products don't do it because they have to, they do it because they're totally infatuated with the products. These C++Builder people can easily switch to Visual C++ -- but they'll hate having to do it.

Re:quite so Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613472)

These C++Builder people can easily switch to Visual C++ -- but they'll hate having to do it. There are open source compilers out there. There is no good GUI builder for windows, but perhaps a few borland fans could finance/write one. I suggest they team up with Open Watcom [openwatcom.org] . You have a great compiler there with a crappy IDE. The Borland developer community could probally make a kick ass GUI builder with watcom, and help with fleshing out some of the newfangled C++ extensions yet to make its way into the C++ compiler.

wxPython and Boa Constructor (3, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607722)

wxPython and Boa Constructor are all well and good, but how do they help C++ developers?

Perhaps Anjuta [sourceforge.net] would be more use to them in conjuncion with gcc? Here [sourceforge.net] are the features and here [sourceforge.net] is the eye candy.

Products like C++ Builder are not only fancy IDEs and compilers, but they come with very rich class libraries. If someone has invested years of development time creating applications using these class libraries, thier discontinuation is a disaster if they are to continue to develop their application without rewriting it from scratch using different libraries, or in a whole new language environment.

Re:wxPython and Boa Constructor (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607865)

Good tip. Its a shame its gnome-specific, though.

I like wxWidgets because it wraps the native widget set of each target platform, somewhat after the style of Borland, so yourapps "look" native.

Sam

Re:wxPython and Boa Constructor (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 9 years ago | (#10650322)

>>If someone has invested years of development time creating applications using these class libraries, thier discontinuation is a disaster if they are to continue to develop their application without rewriting it from scratch using different libraries, or in a whole new language environment.

There was a huge problem in my shop a few years back when Rouge Wave changed their licensing terms (for the C++ api's) and costs unexpectedly when renewal time came up.

Developers forced to abandon those (somewhat nice) libraries and use the proper STL and OSS libraries to reinvent the Rogue functionality.

Took us about 3 years or so to completely get off the product.... I hope they are enjoying their new $0 revenue stream.

wbs,

Choosing the right project for the job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613033)

I can't speak for Borland C++; maybe the other poster is right in saying that Anjuta + GCC is the closest replacement.

But as for replacing Delphi, isn't freepascal.org the project that is explicitly aiming to duplicate Delphi functionality? I am sure their project wouldn't mind the increased community support.

Re:quite so Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

justins (80659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614066)

If Borland are being stinky, and poeople are starting to suffer from being "locked in" (even thought it was nice while it lasted) then its time to look at:


wxPython [freshmeat.net]
and
Boa Constructor [freshmeat.net], a python IDE and RAD style designer.

Unfortunately, comparing Boa Constructor to something like BCB is like comparing a couple of sticks you intend to rub together very quickly to an acetyline torch. They're not in the same ballpark. They're not even playing the same sport. Boa Constructor is great but it doesn't help these people - it's just a different target audience.

Re:quite so Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10615248)

You are right, and sadly Boa Constructor is the sticks - very good and finely honed firesticks - but sticks all the same.

Boa Constructor is too much like the class wrappers MS write for their own API, but still a great thing.

Maybe I should take another look and see what lazarus [freepascal.org] has done in the last 4 years or so. It seems to use GTK or Qt, I wish it used wxWidgets.

Sam

Re: Begging is not freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10608553)

"Perhaps these developers should put some money and/or time into getting someone to distribute a free software program that does what they want..."

Last time I checked, if you're paying for software it isn't free.

Re: Begging is not freedom (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611585)

At the risk of feeding the trolls, please do take the time to read the article I linked to. It is quite clear that the operative definition of "free" is freedom, not zero price ("``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer.''"). If we had been conversing in another language, odds are this would have been more immediately clear.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (3, Insightful)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10609112)

What in the hell are you talking about? Free software dies off just like proprietary software.

If the company (READ FOR MORONS: developers) do not feel like supporting the software, then THEY STOP.

What does the free market dictate? YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE (READ FOR MORONS: take your business somewhere else). Stop acting like you have a damn clue.

Whether you take your "business" to free software or not is your choice. THAT IS FREEDOM.

You damn hippies are just tools.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10610222)

If the company (READ FOR MORONS: developers) do not feel like supporting the software, then THEY STOP.

And you can start. Or, at the very least, download the last, best build from some guy's FTP mirror, and keep on working. That is not an option with closed software. If you need a feature, and "they" don't want to implement it, you're out of luck. If you scratch your install CD, and "they" are no longer offering that product, you're out of luck.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (3, Insightful)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10610423)

Actually, that scratch the install CD thing isn't always true. I scratched a development CD of a very old version of a piece of software (say, version 3 versus the current version 7) and I wanted the version 3, which I could not find anywhere. The company just gave me it.

Obviously that's a limited example, but the Open source example also assumes there is a recent mirror and that you are willing to do it. A lot of people actually have jobs, and do not have the time to redevelop/reverse engineer applications for a feature that just should be there, but that does not have to be there (one of those things that makes life a little bit easier).

Plus, have you looked at many OSS source code recently? I have, and most of them are very poorly documented, especially in terms of commented code (even Apache 2; I was looking at the AliasMatch code).

The beauty of OSS is that the option is available, but in way too many cases the time it takes to learn a crappy code base is not worth the effort. Look at the Blog implementation, WordPress. It's great if you want exactly what it has to offer. However, if you don't then you have to go searching for where functions are declared and track through the dependencies, not to mention the spaghetti code! I was able to get it to what I wanted, but that's one of those wonderful OSS things that everyone brags about and it is a web.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611606)

Free software dies off just like proprietary software.

Actually, free software is always available for anyone to make into whatever they want. If a free software program goes unused it is likely that the program was of low value. But the great thing is that you get to make this call for yourself; I maintain old versions of programs I care about for myself so that when I switch platforms the programs I like move with me. I don't have that power with non-free software. In this situation with Borland, until Borland decides to continue development of their C++ Builder, nobody can move away from the platform on which the previous versions run without losing the function of the Borland software. So, as long as these users pledge allegiance to this program they are granting Borland the power to keep them helpless to do anything but continue to beg Borland.

What does the free market dictate? YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE [...]

Interesting that this is being critiqued from a free market perspective; proprietors want to insulate themselves from the competition a free market would permit. That's why they don't release their programs as free software and then charge you to get a copy from them. They know that someone or some organization would distribute the program (possibly with improvements) for less money and they would have to outcompete. An effective way of insulating oneself from the ravages of a competitive free market is to divide the users with restrictive licensing terms keeping them helpless to get real help from anyone but the proprietor.

If the market really did cater to people's demonstrated needs, this story would not be as interesting because there would be an alternative popular drop-in replacement program. There is no drop-in replacement for Borland C++ Builder right now from anyplace else. Someone could build a free software replacement for it that functioned identically and worked with the files the Borland program reads. This would allow Borland's former users to continue working with a program that they enjoy and then grant them the freedom to move to whatever platform suited them best.

Whether you take your "business" to free software or not is your choice. THAT IS FREEDOM.

Of course it is, and paying for free software would be a fine choice for the petitioners to make because it gives them the most flexibility at the lowest price and simultaneously allows the widest array of competition. Jumping from one proprietor to another is merely selecting a new master, that is not freedom. Free software is socially important because it grants people the freedom to make their computers behave in the way they wish. This is the right way to treat other people, not keeping users divided and helpless as the petitioners apparently are now.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611962)

First part:

Again, I refer to my comments that people with real jobs cannot simply pick up where another developer of a huge, many thousands of lines program left off. It's a nice thought, but it's just not realistic.

Second part:

Lets see, the way that free software people seem to think is that someone else should always put in the effort with their R&D and then hand over everything to say, you. Then, you take that code and make one change and start selling it as your own software. Maybe you just change the name, who knows.

Now, lets say you do this and Microsoft does this across the board one day.

Microsoft is the brand name that every person in the real world knows and loves. You are just another person. You create something equivalent, but that is a FOAK, to this Borland product. Microsoft takes it and has its army of programmers rebrand it and ship it out with Office, or Visual Studio, or something similar. (I am thinking J++ right now, and oh no, evil Microsoft cannot do that, right guys?!)

I think you'd be crying a different game there. Their product would not be any better. The end users choice would still be there.

Or lets think of another scenario. Borland develops the next C++ Builder or whatever, and releases it on your terms. You, or maybe me, goes in, changes it, and starts selling it under the same license (obviously). Now, Borland just takes it back and sells it as though it made it (you know, as one of us would have done with their product), and continues to dominate the market. No innovation comes from them at this point. Just like IBM and more importantly, RedHat, they have the drones of the OSS world doing all the work for them.

Or lets go the third route. Borland creates the next iteration of the software and they release it on a closed license, with no available source code. They make all of their R&D back and continue to make profits (hopefully, for their sake) and free software people whine and moan. At the end of the day, they're making all of the money from their product, as opposed to somebody else like us that simply added a toolbar feature or fixed a typo error in a menu, and then resold it.

You're probably playing through your Utopia right now about how this would never happen in a free software world. No one would do that! But, if the option was available, then you at least SHOULD know that they damn well would. Why R&D when some other idiot will do it for you for free?

Third part:

"paying for free software"

I don't think I should have to go much further, but I think I will. This just reiterates my above point. Someone ELSE should pay for your R&D?! What a nice world.

"Free software is socially important because it grants people the freedom to make their computers behave in the way they wish."

Isn't that a sweet image. Viruses are free. Worms are free. Let's hook my mother up with Linux and let her get it to behave as she wishes it too. No? Oh, she has an easier time doing this with Windows, thanks.

By giving away your source code to your competition effectively makes you compete with YOURSELF. Corporate espionage is illegal for a reason, and yet you are saying that you should give away all of your secrets (the source code) to your competition. Awesome. Start a business, I love this idea. You would NEVER be one step ahead of the competition. This is such a pathetic idea of how to run a business that it honestly baffles me.

"Jumping from one proprietor to another is merely selecting a new master, that is not freedom."

Lets say I am running Mac OS X, that beloved OS of the non-Linux world (the next best thing). Are you suggesting that when I use Microsoft Office on Mac OS X, that I am somehow under the slavery of Microsoft? Or maybe I am just always the slave of OS X?

Get a job. If you have one, then great: Get a real one. If you honestly feel this is how a business should be run, then have fun explaining this strategy to your bosses.

Hippies make me sick.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#10612217)

Your points are refuted by history. Twenty years ago people insisted that the free software movement was doomed because nobody would work to produce high-quality code without being paid. GNU showed them differently as did a number of other free software operating systems. Today, it is copylefted free software that makes Microsoft nervous.

Building GNU didn't involve anyone else doing the R&D for GNU then handing over a fully finished product. It involved using an extant design (UNIX) and writing all new pieces to fit that design. Initially, the parts were built using proprietary programs (because that was all one had to work with in the mid to late 1980s) but eventually self-hosting environments were possible and now people (such as myself) run GNU/Linux and use nothing but free software to build new software.

Fortunately for us, the hard work of protecting the commons was supplied by the Free Software Foundation. With strongly copylefted free software, one doesn't need to worry about embrace and extend. This is why Microsoft hates the GNU GPL and calls it names (using similarly unnecessary harsh language to what you use in order to make an equally poor point). The GPL lets me distribute software freedom and not fear that my source code will be distributed as proprietary software because I can win a lawsuit against anyone or any organization that infringes. It doesn't bother me who distributes copies of free software for a fee. The program wouldn't be free software if anyone or any organization were prohibited from distributing copies for a fee. Services atop the software aren't to be feared either, they're grounds for competition.

And the work one can get from this is quite real. Brad Kuhn came to the University of Illinois some months ago and told the audience about a consulting firm (whose name escapes me at the moment, but there is a recording of his speech on audio-video.gnu.org if you care to hear it) that deals exclusively in GCC enhancements (this was some firm other than Cygnus, but Cygnus did this work too). According to Kuhn, this firm has a long waiting list and can charge a premium. Competition would work here. The question is who's up to the challenge. I've been hired to do programming work on free software. I got paid a living wage and I will do it again because I'm a self-employed consultant. My clients like that they can hire other people to do the work I did; that they're not locked into hiring me (but they come back to me because I don't lock them in; people like being treated kindly). They know that what they're paying for is my time and having someone to work on their problem in a way that suits them. Just like hiring a plumber, an electrician, or a mechanic, people have no problem paying for custom services and individualized attention. Perhaps its your language and attitude that makes this path an unviable one for you.

Finally, conflating the two definitions of free only shows how unwilling you are to be cordial. It's widely known (particularly here on Slashdot) that tying price and freedom to the same word is a weakness of English, not a genuine problem for the free software movement. Genuine problems for the free software community include software patents (patents on algorithms used in software production), a community that is focused on features instead of ethics and freedom, not getting politically active and recognizing what political issues are (as opposed to technological issues), and not teaching the values of software freedom to newcomers as quickly as they enter the community. All of these problems are fixable, but they require time and effort, not namecalling and harsh language. History shows that with time and effort we can make great things happen.

It's a shame that you're choosing to be so rude and condescending in your remarks. Had you been nicer, we could have had a more fruitful discussion about the misperceptions of the free software movement and how the community that grew from that movement works.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614120)

See the reply to the other post for clarification of why I am done wasting my time on you, hippy.

For my final point. Google: define: free [google.com] people who are free; "the home of the free and the brave" grant freedom to; free from confinement free from obligations or duties costing nothing; "complimentary tickets"

Weakness or not, I guess it might just be another poor decision by the OSS movement because saying "pay for free software" is about the biggest weakness in an argument that I can imagine. You benevolent geniuses could have used the word "Freedom" in whole if that is what you meant, but I guess maybe you were trying to mask another problem with your ideal.

Boohoo. I'm done fighting the exact same argument from you. "You're mean; free software is the light; corporations are evil." Cry me a river and then get yourself a job.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613894)

Economically, the open source licensing model can reasonably work only if the people who need the development work are prepared to pay for the work itself. The end product is free, but the work is not.

In the case of developer tools, it works reasonably well since every user is in principle capable of further development work -- in effect, paying for new features by their own time.

It remains to be seen whether users can support non-developer software as well. Sun supports openoffice.org development seemingly to spite Microsoft (of course they do also get an office suite for the few Suns they still sell for desktop use). Apache is an interesting case -- IBM gets paid for enterprise deployment services and spends some of the money on developing new features.

There are real-world cases where open source development is reasonable and works economically. I would suggest you ignore the idiots shouting for others to give away their work -- cold hard reality will keep them in check in any case. However, it cannot be denied that open source is an interesting approach that won't be going away. And it is perpetrated by idealist hippies. Deal with it.

Re:Begging is not freedom. (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614092)

I like your argument. There are give and take points in it.

The other guy is just a hippy that repeats himself and doesn't like "mean" words. I'm done responding to him because of his cyclic argument ("Free software will save us." and of course "Paying for something destroys freedom.").

I still see no long term benefits from free software, mostly because all of the existing free software out there is just a copy of some proprietor's software. Apache is the most innovative free software that I have seen as far as features go (and of course BSD, but that's truly free software that will probably never go mainstream, but I wish it would dominate Linux as it should) and the code in Apache is just awful in the parts I was looking at.

In the vast majority of cases, free software is playing catch up and never innovating. I am looking at things like gnome and KDE, but all I see are ugly UIs (especially by default, but if you want to talk customizations then we can look at Windows and Mac customizations as well), yet these are hyped to no end.

To sum it up, they're just copy cats. Whenever MS adds a feature to their web server that has existed in Apache, or any other product for that matter, then suddenly they are the bane of society for copying, but the second Apache does it (or OpenOffice.org for example), then they are the champions of the free software movement. Besides, most of the features that free software beat companies like Microsoft too are simply because MS announced said features ahead of releasing a product that has a product life cycle that "free" software can skip. So they're just playing a verbal catch up (I am thinking Mono right now).

Re:Begging is not freedom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613462)

Try Dev C++, http://www.bloodshed.net/ [bloodshed.net] it's available under the GPL and continues to improve.

this is why open source rocks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10602711)

if a RAD tool is open source then people can put some time on making their RAD tool better and better. Borland here just puts a dead end to a product which seemed to have some followers. Not good for Borland, not good for Borland users. Now opening up the source seems like the right thing to do.

Re:this is why open source rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10608201)

"if a RAD tool is open source"

Unfortunately, there are no open source equivalent of Delphi or C++ Builder.

"iNow opening up the source seems like the right thing to do."

Much of the source of C++ Builder is shared with Delphi (and written in Delphi). Delphi is not dead yet, Borland just announced a new version.

I agree Builder is not Open Source... (2, Interesting)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10602993)

It's a proprietary development environment used by a large number of developers to create the type of software they wish to create.

I remember writing in Pascal, and paying for the Pro edition of Borland Pascal with Objects. It was a great environment for the level of development I was doing. It included a large block of source code for OWL which if you spent enough time tweeking, you could have even rebuilt the IDE out of, including the compiler and debugger.

I don't know if the Pro release of Builder C++ provides the same type of set of source code. If it does, then there is no real reason to force Borland to try to continue supporting the software. The 'Pro' or 'Enterprise' customers can review the code, modify it, and create patch files that can be distributed to other developers at the pro and enterprise levels.

So they won't be blessed by Borland. Like Borland has done a lot of other good for you this past year?

-Rusty

Re:I agree Builder is not Open Source... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604015)

The Professional & Enterprise editions of BCB included the VCL and the RTL (although maybe not all of that; I can't remember). In BCB5 Pro & Ent, TASM & DCC32 were provided for compiling assembly & Object Pascal when needed - don't know about other versions, but I would expect the same is true of BCB6 Pro & Ent.

The majority of the Delphi & BCB IDEs are implemented in Delphi with VCL, while the JBuilder & CBX IDEs are built in JBuilder. I don't know about Kylix.

There used to be a patch project for OWL much like what you describe - don't know what the status of that is these days.

T

Re:I agree Builder is not Open Source... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607181)

The majority of the Delphi & BCB IDEs are implemented in Delphi with VCL, while the JBuilder & CBX IDEs are built in JBuilder. I don't know about Kylix.
Kylix is basically a Linux port of Delphi. There are even WINE widgets filling in for Windows controls -- which was supposed to be a temporary expedient, but they never got round to writing Linux-native widgets.

Since I mentioned WINE, I have to answer the question that always gets asked: no, Kylix is not a WINE application, it just uses some WINE resources. Delphi actually runs pretty well under WINE, but Kylix aims to be a fully native Linux app. Or perhaps I should use the past tense, since my spies tell me that there are no plans for further development of Kylix.

Re:I agree Builder is not Open Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10607611)

The source to the VCL (the widgetset so to say) is provided, but you don't have the full source to recompile the IDE. Just what's needed to debug your apps at runtime (with VCL source they use).

Does anyone use this C++ RAD? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10603067)


I was just wondering what people think of Borland's C++ Builder RAD (rapid application development).

I think VC++/MFC was considered to be RAD, but I found it totally convoluted.

I can't wait until RAD is the buzz again. I like the idea of Getting Things Done(tm) quick.

Re:Does anyone use this C++ RAD? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10603837)

I used BCB from the beginning through 5.0 and preferred it over Visual Studio 5 & 6. I haven't used BCB 6.0. I haven't had a project that justifies purchasing BCB6, but I've heard good things about it, except that the IDE is reported to be less stable running on the Win9x family.

If you want both C++ and GUI development for Win32, BCB has no real competition. GUI creation is as easy as Delphi (or Visual Basic, for those unfamiliar with Delphi). IMHO the "Visual" in Visual C++ is more about marketing and naming consistency with the other MS "Visual" development tools.

T

CHARGE TO 350. CLEAR!...Mods dead at 18:12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10606161)

And how, might I ask, is this comment off topic?

The parent asked for opinions about the product clearly named as the subject of the article.

This post clearly provides one such requested opinion.

Re:CHARGE TO 350. CLEAR!...Mods dead at 18:12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10667448)

Hence the need for metamods...I was metamod on the offtopic mod. I marked it as unfair.

So glad that I did not pick BCB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10603217)

this is just further confirmation that I made the right choice in abandoning Borland ( both BCB and JBuilder ) before they abanonded me!

Same old Borland (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10603320)

I am shocked that anyone thought Borland wouldn't pull a stunt like this. They have a consistent history of making products that are a great leap ahead and then just sitting idly by as everyone else catches up and surpasses them.

For developer environments, the software does in fact "rot". For example new APIs and components are introduced in the underlying operating systems, and the compilers and libraries etc usually have to be updated to use them correctly. I remember sitting idly by during the Windows 95 beta programs waiting for a version of BC++ that could actually produce Win95 programs. (It wasn't a big leap as they already produced Win32 programs for NT but some updates were needed for win95). As another example, you need some tweaks done if you want a Win32 program to use the proper widgets under WinXP.

Unless there is steady stream of effort to at least keep up to date, and fix bugs then the development environment will become useless.

Re:Same old Borland (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10604265)

Same old Borland, indeed. Every couple of years or so, the management seems to misread/forget/ignore the core developer clientele that has kept them alive through their difficult times. This still occurs despite offering online polls for feedback on what developers want in the next version of $product.

Evaluating Borland's recent actions in light of their overall history, it seems fairly obvious to me what the fumble was this time: Borland gets chummier with Microsoft and completely swallows the .Net-is-now-Win32-is-legacy pill. Borland releases C#Builder (not their own C# implementation, just MS C# in a Borland IDE) and Delphi 8 (.Net only, no native Win32 support). Kylix is pretty much ignored for the time being. CBX sort of looks like it's intended to replace both BCB and Kylix and is missing the GUI builder - after all, nobody wants native Win32 GUIs anymore - they'll just use C#Builder or Delphi 8 for that, right?

The BCB community is grudgingly accustomed to taking a back seat to the Delphi crowd, but even so, CBX isn't received well at all. The Delphi people like the .Net stuff, but wonder what genius at Borland decided to drop Win32 from Delphi 8. There isn't enough interest in C#Builder to refer to its "community" - at least not yet, and maybe not ever.

At least the JBuilder fans don't seem to have to deal much with this kind roller coaster ride. But for a while some Borland observers were wondering if Borland was considering dropping BCB and even (gasp!) Delphi to become an all-Java vendor.

These Borland snafus and mixed signals are indeed typical. It's almost as though there's some Borland-specific el nino that turns things upside down every now and then. Just wait a year - the weather will change.

T

my impression of C++ Builder (2, Interesting)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10603500)


I just started using Borland's C++ Builder 1.5 Mobile Edition for Symbian/Nokia mobile phone software. So far, it sucks. It can't perform incremental builds: changing one .cpp file requires a clean build! It can't use the standard Symbian/Nokia SDKs. You have to install Borland's special Symbian SDKs, which seem to be missing some library files. The IDE supposedly has a remote debugger, allowing you to debug code running on an actual phone (just like Microsoft's Embedded Visual C++), but none of my co-workers could get it to work. It just freezes.

I think there is a reason that Microsoft Visual C++ won out over Borland's C++ tools. :( Microsoft needs some REAL competition.

Re:my impression of C++ Builder (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10606755)

Thanks for making me feel better. You're talking about a product I would have worked on if I'd stayed at Borland. I was really looking forward to this one, because it was supposed to be Borland's first step towards an all-C++ replacement for C++Builder. (The current C++Builder relies mostly on Delphi-language libraries, and the language impedence gap was always painful to deal with.) The had some first-rate people working on it, and my job would have been to document the new libraries from the ground up. Fun challenging work for a serious API writer, and I've often kicked myself for walking away from it. But of course the project self-destructed, as Borland projects are wont to do.

I tried before to explain Borland's Dysfunctionality [slashdot.org] . Whatever the reason, it's pretty clear they're never going to live up their potential. Which potential is pretty great -- that's why people get so pissed when they screw up.

Re:my impression of C++ Builder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10607691)

I believe "C++Builder 1.5 Mobile Edition" is actually based on "C++BuilderX" - a totally different product without any kind of visual RAD capabilities which Borland launched in a successful effort to confuse all their existing customers.

BCBX (as it's known) is not -yet- being obsoleted - in fact Borland are apparently beta-testing a new release codenamed Boomerang.

not verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10605298)

Obsolete not verb. pls fix. k?

Re:not verb (2, Informative)

mjc_w (192427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607029)

From dictionary.com:

obsolete

\Ob"so*lete\, v. i. To become obsolete; to go out of use. [R.] --Fitzed. Hall.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Re:not verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613315)

It is, stoopid. Bwah!

i have used CBuilder (3, Interesting)

floydman (179924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10605645)

since it was version 3, all the way to CBuilder-6(and ofcorse i have used their Borland C compiler before the IDE).
I think it is one hell of a devlopment tool, what you do in visual studio in days, can take you hours in CBuilder. With all the drag & drop options, components, and third party objects that were available, it was an extremly easy to use tool.
Some drawbacks though were blotted executable, and runtime libraries issues, but they were only a nag and not a major show stopper.

Too bad they had to cut the support.

Personally i think its a very stupid move from their side, CBuilder was their number 1 product, and they are killing it???? That is a true example of shooting your self in the foot.

Re:i have used CBuilder (2, Interesting)

floydman (179924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10605656)

Forgot to metion though that it used to cost about 5 times as much as the whole Visual Studio package, which is a lot of money when u compare both of them.
And by the way, thats not the first time they do it, any one remember KYLIX??:)

The "h4xx" crew put together a solution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10606051)

It's a 3rd party Borland C++ Builder Tool [h4xx.com] that seems to work pretty well.

AVOID THIS LINK LIKE THE PLAGUE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10606960)

n/t

Borland was great, at one time. (4, Interesting)

statusbar (314703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10606284)

I started with Borland back in the Turbo Pascal days. I did a ton and a half of work with Borland C++ V3 (with a ton of books!), and then Delphi and C++ Builder after that. Quality of their products has steadily declined. I believe that the 'top gun' at Borland was hired away by Microsoft. Everything has been buggy and problematic since.

One thing that I REALLY liked about Borland back then was their software license. Basically it said that you had the right to 'Use this software as you would a book'. Meaning that you are allowed to install it on multiple computers as long as only one person would be using it at a time - and it could be different people as well.

I lamented the loss of Borland's products 2 years ago. Now, mingw32 and the old trusty standby vc++6 are my windows tools of choice.

As a previous poster said: that is the problem with closed source applications. Sometimes you get burned like this. I was burned before when Borland C++ Builder upgrades didn't load old projects properly and other closed source widget libraries become incompatible.

--jeff++

Borland as an Eclipse Plugin? (1)

kupci (642531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10606804)

I agree, both Turbo Pascal and Turbo C were fantastic. One person mentioned open source, why not use the Eclipse IDE, and supply a Borland plugin?

Re:Borland as an Eclipse Plugin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10607511)

Because C++ side of Eclipse is very bad. It is primarily Java specialized tool without reasonable (good| support for others.

Re:Borland was great, at one time. (1)

GimliGloin (642963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607720)

I used to love Borland Products.... Turbo Pascal and Turbo C rocked! But Borland turned to the dark side when they stopped suppor of OWL in favor of Builder. Gee, its funny how history seems to repeat itself at Borland. I remember not long ago, I was handed a project by my company written entirely in BC++ (5.02) and OWL. The debugger was crap (would crash your whole system), the linker would freeze your whole computer for like 5 minutes, and the Windows Resource editor had bugs all over the place. Borland Decided to NOT fix any problems and switch over to Builder completely. There was NO conversion tool (that worked at all) to OWL to VCL. Thanks. Our App is only 200K SLOCS.

I wouldn't touch Borland with a 10 mile pole.

Go with either full Microsoft products (that will at least be supported properly) or go with Java or even better FSF where at least you can fix all the bugs.

The top gun... (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10607979)

I can't remember his name, but he was indeed behind all the greatness of Delphi, and was hired by Microsoft. IIRC, he's the one behind C#.

*sigh* Imagine what Delphi would be today...

Re:The top gun... (2, Informative)

seanyboy (587819) | more than 9 years ago | (#10609022)

It's Anders Hejlsberg. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Borland was great, at one time. (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10609670)

I stumbled upon a very interesting article, which I'd recommend most people interested in modern languages to read. You'll recognize the author as the person behind Turbo Pascal and Delphi, and now C#:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vcsharp/homepageheadline s/hejlsberg/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

It hurts reading this on a MS site and nearly nowhere else... but that guy has it right. And Borland was right on path following those ideals.

It's not just about visuals (5, Interesting)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10609536)

This whole problem has recently become incredibly relevant for me. We are starting a project, and I am in charge of deciding which development enviroment to use.
I started by trying JBuilder. I gave up. It's not that I don't like Java - but it ends up being too ecletic in its stubborness for not supporting things like properties and operator overloading - I know how to develop, I don't need a language that imposes limits, I want a language that is easy to write and read, and I'd rather type C++ than the whole verbosity of Java.
I tried Delphi, but again, it's syntax is aging. Don't get me wrong, it's not just about syntax, but if given the chance to develop in C++ or in Delphi, I'll pick the former.
Lastly, we decided to go with BC6. We didn't adhere to using CLX and decided to go with VCL, confident that at any time it would not be a hard issue to port it over, if need ever arised. I'm not so sure right now.

And it's not all about visuals. It's about things that Borland was innovative in, like BDE/dbExpress and the whole concept of linking databases to datasets and then to data-aware controls. It's the whole atmosphere of using a Borland product and having freedom of choice.

I do NOT want to use C#, even though I like the language. I simply refuse to step back 10 years and go back at programming for a single-platform enviroment. Some people say .NET is the future, but I can only assume that's out of ignorance, or a real commitment to MS platforms. And don't talk about Mono, it's an interesting project, but it's far from being a drop-in replacement for .NET at the moment, and we need solutions now.

So, real world choices for RAD enterprise-grade applications involving database access, complex forms, multi-platform, etc? Delphi, C++ or Java.

Java isn't really slow anymore, but the syntax is a disgrace. Why on earth would I want to write a.setCounter( a.getCounter() + 3 ) when Delphi has had for ages a mechanism of properties that allows me to write "a.counter += 3" - even C++ allows for similar freedom, with operator overloading (although not the same) (and no, JavaBeans aren't the answer).

I know, this post comes out as a collection of assorted gripes, mostly in an attempt to justify why I chose to commit to using Borland C++Builder 6. I believe in it, and Kylix. Where's that going? We have a very tight deadline (don't we all) and using Delphi or BC6 is the only viable chance to beat it. Syntax-wise Delphi feels like using VB (ergh) so to keep some sanity intact, BC comes out as the obvious choice. Uncertainity is deadly when it comes to starting projects and preparing for the future... and it's causing me a great deal of concern wether I'm digging myself, the team and the project into a hole in choosing BC6.

Re:It's not just about visuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10609743)

Java isn't really slow anymore, but the syntax is a disgrace. Why on earth would I want to write a.setCounter( a.getCounter() + 3 ) when Delphi has had for ages a mechanism of properties that allows me to write "a.counter += 3" - even C++ allows for similar freedom, with operator overloading (although not the same) (and no, JavaBeans aren't the answer).

That's because Java assumes you are too stupid to understand operator overloading, so it doesn't allow you to do it.

Personally, I don't like C# either because it has the same philosophy - "the programmer is a moron" - but at least it is not as bad as Java is in this regard!!

Re:It's not just about visuals (3, Interesting)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611512)

I know how you feel. Personally I feel there's a distinction between trying to spare the programmer from writing boring code and thinking the programmer is a moron.

Java *limits* what you can do and ultimately, the structuring of your code. It forces you to write long sentences and code that doesn't really add anything to the program.

I've mentioned this article [microsoft.com] before, but I really believe it to show some very valid points and the way they approached things on C#.

Bear in mind that I am mostly a C and C++ person (well, among other 10), and I also believe there are different languages for different jobs. But for RAD and solid structuring, I am desperatly in need to find an alternative to C++, if only because it's getting harder to recruit talented people.

Well... (1)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632050)

I know I'm late to this conversation, but I'd like to suggest my own preference as an alternative to C++/C++ Builder.

IF I were going to start a project that had to be developed at "RAD speed" and it had to be cross-platform (and therefore non-Microsoft) and it had to be a decent language which doesn't require a lot of useless verbosity, I would be using Python with a GUI library like wxWindows (actually, EXACTLY like wxWindows since that's my preference).

The real "problem" with Python is the choices it presents to you. There's not a real standard environment for Pytyon, so you basically need to set your operating environment up and standardize your team on it from the start. You'll need to choose a GUI library, an IDE, potentially an ORM/persistence layer, etc. But, once that's all done, using Python to develop a project presents no issues and, in the long run, is a very enjoyable experience.

As a side bonus, and as a C/C++ programmer you'll appreciate this, it's very easy to write libraries in C (and I think C++) and interface to them from Python from SWIG. Mind you, I've never actually done this myself, but I've had contact with very strong C programmers who HAVE made that claim and they had the proof to show for it. Another side bonus you get is being able to use a language that allows you to program in a way which is (usually) much closer to how most people think about the domain problems.

BTW - My above suggestion about Python and the environment, etc. probably applies just as well to other scripting languages, e.g. Perl, Lua, Ruby, etc. Python is just my preference.

Oh, and if you have problems getting people to take Python seriously, you merely need to point out that Yahoo, Google, Red Hat, and even Microsoft (Site Server 3.0 was written in Python (look for the .pyc files in the Site Server installation if you don't believe me) but some of the drones at Microsoft insisted on porting it to C++ before it become Commerce Server, so no longer) have all used and are mostly still using Python in their products and/or product sites.

Seriously, is that closer to what you're looking for? I suspect you may not have desired to "stoop" to the level of a "mere scripting language" but really, they usually are the best tool for the job when it comes to building end user applications.

Re:Well... (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633357)

Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate an alternative vision. :)

I'm not picky when it comes to languages, as long as they allow for some degree of expressiveness (read sintactic sugar) and don't force the programmer to write too much "dumb"/pointless code (which is why I'm not fond of Java).

I've done a bit of work in Python, in an UO server emulator [sourceforge.net] , and although it's used as a scripting language there, I did notice that most of the recent work tended to be less on the "core" (C) and more in python itself. So, outside a RAD context, I have no problem with it, on the contrary, as it enforces some good practices like propper indentation. ;)

But in a RAD context, besides a "form designer", I also really require some degree of "database access/integration". I'm talking about data-aware controls, where you just point a textfield to a (dataset,field) and it automagically shows the current record value. Or a datagrid. It's not that I wouldn't develop without those features on my own work. But I also need to setup teams to develop "braindead" software fast, and those features equal productivity (speed of development and less bugs). Many argue "that's for wimps", but I'll discard those comments as being from people who never had to write boring software for a living. :)

At the moment I'm looking at SharpDevelop/MonoDevelop, and although I'm naturally resistant to MS, they did get ir right this time on several levels, so for productive enviroments, I might get people going with Mono/.NET/P.NET. But I'd be more than willing to try alternatives. Do you (or anyone else) have any ideas for an IDE that allows form designing and a toolkit with data-aware controls implemented?

Re:Well... (1)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10635583)

Well, assuming you REALLY want data-aware controls, why even stray from Microsoft? No one is going to do that better than them. Period. Why not just use Microsoft Access or VS.NET? There are no other tools that will make you more productive than that in a two-tier application design. And no.. I'm not really being sarcastic. Let's face it: ease of development is what characterizes the MS developer toolset.

All that aside, I have done a little research on data-bound Python applications just for you (and to sate my own curiosity). See, I have written a little Python that talks to MS SQL Server using ADOdb (http://adodb.sourceforge.net/), but it wasn't a data-bound GUI application. So, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm wondering how it could be done.

It turns out, we're not the first people to think about this. See http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.a sp?p=30649 for a more thorough treatment. Bottom line: It's doable.

Besides what's mentioned in the article and ADOdb, here are some other interesting possibilities:
PyDO - http://skunkweb.sourceforge.net/PyDO/PyDO.html - don't forget to look at the *genscripts -
Roll your own - http://www.devx.com/dbzone/Article/22093/1954?pf=t rue

And there were others that I didn't capture (ZODB, Metakit, etc.)

Roll that database access method with a decent GUI library (http://www.wxpython.org/) and your own application development framework, and I'd think you would have a framework that could/would make dataset driven forms a piece of cake. You could even put together your own XML DTD or schema which would make putting together a new form a simple matter of writing a new XML file (use a validating editor of course) containing the SQL, the CRUD matrix (per field if you like), the fields to be displayed, which data-form controls to display (e.g. Prev, Next, etc.), and maybe even some layout hints. (Yeah, that's getting carried away.)

Or you could even take more of a shortcut and use something like PythonCard for the dynamic layouts (http://pythoncard.sourceforge.net/samples/custdb. html). But, if the Qt + Python method mentioned on InformIT worked out, you shouldn't need this approach.

It seems that there are options though. Enjoy!

Oh and.. (1)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10635761)

be sure not to miss this link to the book that really elaborates on Python + Qt. It also details how to use BlackAdder to build database applications.

Re:Well... (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638229)

I wouldn't go as far as saying "MS only". Actually, Borland was the first to come up with a product that had that concept (Deplhi). It's not a coincidence that the lead architect for Delphi is behind C#/.NET. :) As for alternatives to MS, all Borland tools still have that concept, which gives you Delphi, BC++ (back to the original topic) and even JBuilder. Each one has its perks (MS too).

As for data-aware controls... I sense an idea forming. I must admit I never did an extensive search to see if the idea exists past those Borland/MS tools, but now that I think of it... :) To be honest, I only recently started feeling a need for powerful RAD enviroments, (I'm a screen/vi/gcc person). I'll take those leads and see what shows up. Maybe that's a spot for improvement in opensource toolkits...

Re:Well... (1)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639646)

Well, maybe Borland's tools are still contenders. I honestly don't know. However, it seems clear from the discussion surrounding this thread in the forum that the ball has been dropped for developers loyal to Borland. Putting one's trust in Borland would seem to be ill advised given the displeasure with them that I've been witnessing here. On the other hand, this IS /.

Say what you want about Microsoft, but at least we both can say with near certainty that the toolsets under discussion will not evaporate any time soon. Even J++ and FoxPro still get "the time of day" from Microsoft whereas other vendors can not claim that about their core development toolset.

Anyway, I do encourage you to chase that forming idea. A powerful RAD environment need not always be served up in a single install package. Sometimes our circumstances require us to take the next couple of steps in order to best meet the requirements. The challenge, as always, is to do that while meeting the client(s) unforeseen future needs all the while avoiding rash (and yet, maybe popular) choices made in the heat of the moment. After all that, maybe you will come around full circle back to the mainstream tools. Having at least made the inquiry, you could select those tools in good conscience and with enthusiasm rather than with the dread of resignation.

Frankly, I'm a bit envious of your situation. It sounds like you have quite a degree of latitude at the moment. I, on the other hand, am locked down into a project where all the choices have been made. Fortunately, I made good choices for this customer. All that remains now is to deliver that remaining 20% of features that take 80% of the time. Enjoy your freedom while you have it and make the choices you need to make in order to make the bulk of the time on your project as enjoyable and memorable as possible while serving your customer in the best possible way.

And that, is my official $.02 USD. :+)

Do feel free to post an email address if you like for further communiqués. This thread won't be open for replies much longer I would think (though I am too lazy too look it up right now).

Re:Well... (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10642523)

Well, one thing with Borland that needs saying is that even if they discontinue the product (BC++), you do not necessarily get stuck - the code for the VCL is available, so one can move its project to another development enviroment (like MSVS) with little effort. It's not an instant move but at least it's feasible.

I'm trying to investigate all possible avenues, weighting the cost of having to backtrack later. Funny that while we were having this discussion, someone posted a newspiece about Gambas, a VB like language and IDE. While it's not a choice (maturity, language), it's still interesting to see new stuff turning up. As in many other things, it's also a matter of what the target audience is, for whatever you're developing.

As for having a degree of latitude, it also means that if we do get locked into a corner I'll bear the weight of a bad decision. The last time I was in a situation like yours... I ended up working in VB for 3 months. Served me a lesson on what NOT to do in the future. :) Funny how 6 months ago I'd have laughed at these concerns and would have kept typing C++ /OpenGL in the beloved screen/VI combo (with the occasional cross-compile to windows). While that hasn't changed, a lot more was added to the batch. ;)

At the moment, I'll probably bite the bullet and go with C# - it's a pretty elegant language. Mono seems quite able to run the simple stuff I've thrown at it, so we get cross-platform for free, and while the target audience is Windows, we hope to eventually be able to convince them to move. :p

Feel free to reach me via email at this same username over at users.sf.net, I'd be glad to continue conversation.

Cheers.

Zombie Sucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10611179)

>why I chose to commit to using Borland C++Builder 6. >I believe in it, and Kylix

Sucker.
So where does that "I believe in it" get you ?
Two dead development platform.

I hope your company sacks you for leading them down the Borland path to the land of the undead

Re:Zombie Sucker (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611521)

I'm sorry to inform you that you've totally misguided your anger. :)

I believe in the concept, but the sole fact that I'm seeking information should have spared you some typing.

And why am I answering this? Dunno... it's amusing how people really take time to post comments like yours, so I'll amuse the readers even more by answering.

Re:It's not just about visuals (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10615210)

Java has one big advantage compared to C++, and that is memory mangement (like garbage collection). Memory management in C++ is error-prone and difficult to do correctly. Sure, smart pointers and containers are helpful tools, and there are good implementations in Boost and STL. Not quite the same, though.

Re:It's not just about visuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10615284)

Java isn't really slow anymore, but the syntax is a disgrace. Why on earth would I want to write a.setCounter( a.getCounter() + 3 ) when Delphi has had for ages a mechanism of properties that allows me to write "a.counter += 3" - even C++ allows for similar freedom, with operator overloading (although not the same) (and no, JavaBeans aren't the answer).

You can write a.counter += 3 in Java if you really want to (just declare counter as a public variable of a). But personally I would go for something like a.addToCounter(3), makes the code clearer.

Re:It's not just about visuals (1)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10627277)

You're totally missing the point. I'm talking about doing something like a.label = "123"

And having the setter for the "label" property executed (eg, updating some display), instead of doing a.setLabel( "123" )

Some people argue that languages like C# only add sintactic sugar. And you know what? They might be right, but sintactic sugar helps readability and expressiveness. Wasn't for sintactic sugar we'de all still be programming assembly, and from an evolutionary perspective, we'de still have about 14 words, one of which would be "ugh". :)

Always on the Wrong Side of Moore's Law (1)

smug_lisp_weenie (824771) | more than 9 years ago | (#10610130)

Borland has always had brilliantly creative and powerful development tools. If you've ever used Borland Builder you know what a wonderful tool it was. Delphi (basically the same design but using Pascal instead of C++) is still eekeing by. But what Borland had to offer (OK performance with OK ease of use) has just been a loser's strategy in the current market place. Performance just isn't as important as it used to be, allowing Java and VB (which typically have worse performance) to eat Delphi's & Builder's lunch. The future is all about a 100% focus on ease of use in a programming tool- Performance has now been delegated to be an afterthought, as evidenced by the popularity of tools such as JIT compilers and VMs, which place language flexibility first and allow the performance to still remain acceptable. Companies like Borland that sacrifice some of the ease-of-use and RAD abilities of their tools in exchange for better performance via static compilation and language constructs that emphasize performance (no garbage collection in Delphi, for instance) are bound to become extinct at the hands of Moore's Law.

Borland cannot be trusted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10611046)


Borland has killed off : Codewright, Kylix,C++Builder
and left their developers high and dry.

Their flagship Delphi fails to work on XP systems
with the latest SP 2 applied.

They have long promised and failed to deliver
Compact Framework support in Delphi .NET

Their head of Borland Developer Network, John Kaster is alternatively rude to or dismissive of developers
legitimate concerns.

All these are signs of a company in decline and serious internal disarray.

I would suggest that anyone thinking of using or continuing to use Borland products have a good long hard think about the consequences of their decision.

Just look at how Kylix and B++ Builder developers have
been abandoned. Some of us are desperate, we have large codebases that we foolishly wrote in Borland C++ Builder.

Now our codebases have been orphaned.

Switching to Visual Studio .NET is the rational thing to do but is going to be costly in terms of time and money.

Borland, you have burned developers once too often.

Delphi Pascal is a joke with no formal syntax (0, Troll)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 9 years ago | (#10615511)

Their flagship Delphi fails to work on XP systems with the latest SP 2 applied.
That's the smallest problem with Delphi that I see. Delphi is a joke. Why? Have you ever tried to obtain a formal syntax for their "Object Pascal"? Good luck, one probably doesn't even exist. That's right. I'm not kidding you. The only program on earth that can parse 100% of Delphi code is the Delphi compiler!. See this thread [google.com] on comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc.

This is year 2004 and Borland offers us a language for which you cannot write a code analyzer/class diagram generator/semi-automatic doc generator - nothing that works on 100% of their code.

I repeat: Delphi is a joke language that needs to die.

Re:Borland cannot be trusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10630879)

Borland has recently talked about improving Kylix through an open source initiative.

http://freeclx.sourceforge.net/index.php?page=abou t/ [sourceforge.net]

Hopefully this will work out better than the interbase fiasco.

Delphi 8 (.net only development) doesn't work with .Net sp 1.1, but all previous versions work fine. It has nothing to do with XP.

They are at the mercy of MS for the Compact framework stuff. A legitimate complaint would be their reliance on MS for a large portion of .NET development. They will always be playing catchup.

John K's communications in the newsgroups are short and to the point. It's only rude if you assume that is his intent.

Borland C++ users have my sympathy. I agree one would be better off with Visual Studio or an open source compiler.

Re:Borland cannot be trusted (2, Informative)

NavySpy (39494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10658406)

Let's clear up some of the FUD in your post, Mike.

Borland has not killed off Kylix. That is FUD. Kylix is "on hold" this year, but they did announce some open source initiatives at this years Borland Conference. Kylix isn't thriving at Borland, but it's FUD to say that it's been killed.

Borland /may/ kill off the VCL side of C++Builder. They have set Dec 15 as the deadline to announce whether C++Builder will become part of the BDS/Galileo IDE or not. If they miss that deadline, then we know the answer. But it is FUD to say that it has been killed.

CodeWright has been killed, yes, and incorporated into Galileo and Primetime IDE's.

Borland never made any promises about CF support in Delphi for .Net, and to say that they have is FUD. Borland very much wants to do this, but MS is dragging their feet. It's a limitation in Delphi, yes, but to portray it as broken promises is vicious FUD.

Delphi works fine on XP systems with SP2. What are you on about here?

Man, clearly all that baloney up took some work.

Borland cannot be trusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10611114)

Borland has killed off : Codewright, Kylix,C++Builder
and left their developers high and dry.

Their flagship Delphi fails to work on XP systems
with the latest SP 2 applied.

They have long promised and failed to deliver
Compact Framework support in Delphi .NET

Their head of Borland Developer Network, John Kaster is alternatively rude to or dismissive of developers
legitimate concerns.

All these are signs of a company in decline and serious internal disarray.

I would suggest that anyone thinking of using or continuing to use Borland products have a good long hard think about the consequences of their decision.

Just look at how Kylix and B++ Builder developers have
been abandoned. Some of us are desperate, we have large codebases that we foolishly wrote in Borland C++ Builder.

Now our codebases have been orphaned.

Switching to Visual Studio .NET is the rational thing to do but is going to be costly in terms of time and money.

Borland, you have burned developers once too often.

Re:Borland cannot be trusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10611394)

Big deal.

So a failing company tries to save money and cans some
money losing projects.

So what ?

Get a life and a MSDN subscription.
MSDN provides developers with VS.NET really affordably.

Delphi 5 works well with SP2 here... (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611418)

Delphi 5 works well with SP2 here... Where have you heard that delphi + sp2 thing?

Re:Delphi 5 works well with SP2 here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613097)

It must be a typo for Net SP 1
From Danny Thorpe, the Chief Compiler Architect for Delphi:

" Delphi 8 vs .NET 1.1 SP1 Don't install .NET 1.1 Service Pack 1 on your Delphi 8 development machines. It has been reported in the newgroups that Delphi 8 has trouble compiling projects after .NET 1.1 Service Pack 1 has been installed. The issue is immediately apparent in Delphi 8 with update 2 applied, but can also affect earlier versions of Delphi 8. This also affects the Delphi "Diamondback" preview distributed to

I feel sad, but Inprise or is it Borland... (2, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611423)

...is not the Borland I remember. I knew this when
they took too long to release a Pascal for Windows.
Since it was their *core* product, clearly they weren't so bothered about capturing hearts and minds as they were in the old days.

OK. I can live with that. But trashing the C++/C community? Hmm. Why is it a problem to keep both streams (and gradually wean people across to C# builder?).

This is not the company we knew and loved years ago.

Nuff said. But there are tears in my eyes because
they were well admired by almost all of us for the things they did in the past.

Anders is now working for those excellent and perhaps too much maligned folk at Redmond (don't spit H2SO4 at me, they are kool sometimes), and I'd guess since PK isn't there it isn't really the
*same* company it was.

Just the name. But, on the other hand Novell is
much to my delight proving that the name still matters.

I for one mourn the passing of a group of people that we all admired...

RIP Borland.

(But, Frank can come and drink a beer here in Athens any day of the week).

Further study on alternatives (3, Interesting)

Kell_pt (789485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611487)

This isn't directly related to BC++, but it's in line with my other post slightly above. It's related to looking for alternatives, in the current age of Java, .NET and Mono.

For the last 8 hours after my other post on this thread, I've been searching the net for information regarding C#, CIL, Mono, comparisons to Java (with usability in mind, not zealotism), etc. And one thing is for sure: .NET and CIL is good technology - I hate to admit it, but MS has something good there. It is not a surprise, as it comes a LOT from the same person that designed TorboPascal, Delphi and now C#. I recommend those interested to read an interview here [microsoft.com] and pay attention to the ideas he puts forth. It offers a lot of insight into a few things that are wrong with Java, and that most people will probably have felt.

Also, one interesting RAD project is here [icsharpcode.net] . .

I've also tryed to learn as much as I could from the state of Mono, its legal status... and I felt important to share that my view has changed slightly, it MIGHT become a player, and it might offer a cross-platform alternative to .NET. I also recommend the GoMono FAQ [go-mono.com] . There's a lot FUD regarding possible patent threats from Microsoft over Mono, but I believe that to be mostly out of misinformation and lack of knowledge at how it works. The idea of a common VM isn't new, Parrot [parrotcode.org] for instance is just another one.

I'd be most interested in whatever other people might have to say about Java vs .NET/Mono, that comes from careful study and consideration not just hype. Approaches like CIL and Parrot make a lot of sense... where do you see them going?

Borland dead? I don't think so. (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10611499)

Oh well, I'd really like to be proved wrong here, because I know that since Anders left, Borland's going down, but as a developer who is not in the OSS stuff, what better option do I have than Delphi?

Python: This really look interesting. I would gladly jump in this bandwagon BUT, I'm not in the OSS stuff. How the heck am I supposed to distribute applications on the internet without also distributing the sources? If there's a way, I'd like to know :)

C#: This too, looks interesting, but from what I read, it has few advantages over Delphi. Remember that it is the creator of Delphi who created C#, and he included a lot of Delphi concepts in C#.

VB: Don't make me laugh.

C++: I don't like the language, and it has few advantages over Delphi. And Object Pascal is much more graceful.

Java: even uglier than C++.

Since I have a quite large code library in Delphi, I don't think I'll move anytime soon. I guess I'm not the only one in this situation. Thus, stop saying Borland is dead, or tell me about an alternative language I should learn.

Re:Borland dead? I don't think so. (2, Insightful)

hh1000 (303370) | more than 9 years ago | (#10612050)

"or tell me about an alternative language I should learn."

Consider contributing to the Freepascal and Lazarus open source projects.

Re:Borland dead? I don't think so. (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613426)

Oh That's in my plans. However, I wouldn't use freepascal for window binaries because their compiler is not as optimized as borland's. However, FPC/Lazarus is extremely interesting for cross platform development.

Re:Borland dead? I don't think so. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613252)

As you say Borland isn't dead, and neither is Delphi. What should set alarm bells ringing is the fate of C++ Builder.
You may not like C++, but C++Builder is still a great tool, and despite the uncertainty it's still one I recommend to people.

One possible 'upgrade' route for BCB users is to port their code to Delphi. All your GUI will still use the VCL, so there's some simple C++ > Pascal 'recoding' involved there, and if you can encapsulate large chunks of your C++ code into DLLs or packages, you can call that from Delphi with few problems - in theory.

But, the main reason that approach scares the shit out of me is that Borland could just as easily pull the plug from Delphi as well. BCB isn't being canned because it's rubbish, it's being canned because Borland can't make a 'compelling business case' NOT to can it.

"Developer Tools" are only 30% of their turnover nowdays - they're focused on 'enterprise', 'alm' and 'SDO' (whatever that is - investor-attracting snakeoil, I suspect)

Re:Borland dead? I don't think so. (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613432)

Well, even if they would pull the plug, I could still develop in Delphi: I still use Delphi 5.

Yes, if they would do that, I would really have to start to think about migrating to another language, but that wouldn't be urgent, nor dramatic.

Re:Borland dead? I don't think so. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613456)

This really look interesting. I would gladly jump in this bandwagon BUT, I'm not in the OSS stuff. How the heck am I supposed to distribute applications on the internet without also distributing the sources? If there's a way, I'd like to know :)

This is certainly possible. Remember how you distribute Java executables without source code? You compile the source to bytecode, then distribute the bytecode (after some formatting and massaging) to be run by the JRE.

Python will work similarly, but since the Python runtime is NOT a standard piece of installed software on a lot of machines, most "compilers" will throw the Python interpreter and a large chunk of the standard library into the package as well. Depending on the size of the program you're writing, this can have an impact on your total executable size-- be warned.

Note that some of the compilers will need a copy of the Python source tree. Some won't. py2exe is a good example of a program that doesn't need the Python source-- but it's Windows-specific. A cross-platform compiler that doesn't require the Python source tree is cx_Freeze (Google for it).

If you're positive that your customers have a proper version of Python installed on their computers (plus any other dependencies!), you could also try distributing .pyc files, but that's probably NOT what you had in mind.

Hope that helps!

Thanks. (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613605)

Thanks. I'll certainly have to look for that, because I really do like what I know of python :)

Re:Thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631572)

I'm not sure about that. Java bytecode is fairly low-level and can't be automatically turned back into human-readable code.

Python bytecode is much more high-level and can be automatically decompiled (minus comments, of course, but including variable names). There is a program called decompyle to do this; it can be found at ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/distfiles/ decompyle-2.3.zip [freebsd.org] . It seems to be broken on Python 2.3 at the moment, but can generate a working .py file from a .pyc or .pyo file.

To see that this information is available, you can import a module and see what you can find. For example:

import xml.sax

There is a function xml.sax.parse which takes three arguments and one local variable (use dir(xml.sax) to find out that it exists). You can find the number of arguments by typing:

xml.sax.parse.func_code.co_argcount

which will return 3. Now find out the names of the variables by typing:

xml.sax.parse.func_code.co_varnames

which will return the tuple
('source', 'handler', 'errorHandler', 'parser').

Note that there are four values here - the last is the local variable used by the function. This sort of information will be available for all your functions if you distribute a .pyc file, which is why decompyle can more or less make an exact version of your source code.

If you want to see what information is contained in different places, try dir(name-of-variable-or-function-or-class-or-...). This will give a list of all the members of that object (and it even works on things like integers).

some thoughts (1)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10612033)

1) Its a shame that Borland waffled on C Builder support. I think it will really hurt them because it will hurt their other products. Delphi is hardly a world-reknown development tool. Now when programming shops consider what platform they are going to build upon, this non-ISO environment will certainly look unattractive; seeing how the company treats one of their formerly popular development packages.

2) Who really gives a frell? Its not like people can't do C++ anymore. Microsoft puts out a perfectly reasonable commercial developer interface. "It doesn't do this, it doesn't do that, I don't like the Evil Empire, blah blah blah..." Nothing is perfect, and if anything, Borland's product probably had more flaws. If you don't like a commercial monopoly, use crappy(?) open source tools.

The business environment is about reality, and reality bites. The reality is that Borland doesn't make the kind of money it needs to be viable corporate entity in this environment. They decided they don't have the money to support CBX or they need to put their money on some other savior product. Lets hope I'm wrong, they're right, and they live another day. If not, they're gonna greet Darwin anyway, and the market will have spoken. But face it, CBX offered nothing that made it head over heels superior to MS VS. Stop crying in your beer, unless that's the excuse you're using to drink...

Turbo Prolog is still available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10612691)

as Visual Prolog [www.pdc.dk] , even though Borland no longer owns it.

How is it possible that Prolog outlasted C++?

Hahahahaha! Suffer Beyotch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10623156)

Borland hasn't had a dime from me since they did the exact same thing with their DOS character-based GUI builder, TurboVision. These people never do a stabilization release, they just walk away. As you should.

Forgotten Backwater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10628449)

Borland stepped on its dick so many times it could throw that pitiful, stretch-out thing over it's shoulder- And they STILL haven't learned. They've got a couple cute, techno-shiny toys- Yes, toys, that will always have a vociferous couple thousand developers that pay homage to it, and defend these ...gadgets... like a pack of scruffy, starving dogs. The real talent, from Borland and it's customers, left years ago.
Borland's tools and developers will always be a backwater in a wasteland of missed opportunities, so why worry about it? Move on. Or don't- It's easier if you confine your whining and bitching to the Borland forums.

you know, you just wouldn't believe who reads and posts anonymously to these forums...you just wouldn't believe it

Borland NOT dead (1)

ValiantSoul (801152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10650208)

This doesn't have to do with BC++ Builder (I love the product and wish it was updated just to through in my opinion), but Borland is in no way dead. They just released JBuilder 2005 and Delphi 2005. Although Delphi is now geared towards .NET (IMHO a terrible mistake, before .NET everything was very very fast), it is still being made.
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