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Borland Being Purchased By Micro Focus 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the reaching-the-bottom-of-the-hill dept.
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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Borland Being Purchased By Micro Focus

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  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:16PM (#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.

    • by robkill (259732) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:22PM (#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?

      • by Nimey (114278)

        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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tumbleweed (3706) *

        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.

      • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:03PM (#27850453) Homepage Journal

        providing COBOL development on the PC. COBOL programmers who were maintaining applications on a mainframe were no longer tied to an 8-color [mainframe] terminal...

        Having a million-color monitor makes COBOL soooo much friendlier than 8. It's just the touch COBOL needed. I like my GO TO statements to be Sunrise Chartreuse. Any other color and they'd be mistaken for PIC statements.
                   

    • by SCPRedMage (838040) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:27PM (#27848181)
      First thing to cross my mind when I read the headline was "holy crap, Borland's still around?"
      • by tomhudson (43916)

        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.

      • by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:55PM (#27849617) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, and the second thing to cross my mind when I read the headline was "holy crap, Micro Focus is still around?"
        • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:09PM (#27850517) Homepage Journal

          I'm not sure which company surprised me more that it still existed! I was a MAJOR fan of Borland's products starting with Turbo Pascal 1... you have to remember that way back then compiling and linking even a 50-line Fortran program was a several minute operation, and suddenly it went down to several seconds.

          I hung tough with Borland products for about 8 years, even buying Turbo Pascal 4 around 1988, just for the editor, even though I no longer used Pascal. I took advantage, along with several co-workers of a misprint in Egghead's flyer for the week to pick up Borland C++ 1.0, and later did some serious OWL program. To this day, I still think OWL was far better than MFC.

          I even thought Object Pascal was a nice implementation, and would have enjoyed using it if the team had decided that way. They ended up going with Microsoft C++, which was good, even if MFC at the time was nothing better than a half-hearted first cut.

          I spent many years using Visual C++ and generally loved it. To this day, VS6 is my favorite IDE. None of my clients and employers ever made the jump to .NET and by 2004 or so, I'd made the jump to working on Linux middleware... no so much because I didn't want to Windows any more, but because that's was the best job available.

          As of today, I'm glad I'm not doing Windows C++ programming any more. The number of layers between the code and the metal has become so ridiculous you're hardly programming at all. It's all just cookbook code to use Microsoft's byzantine libraries, and then reverse-engineering them when they don't do what you expect or what the documentation says. Of course, one could argue it's always been like that, but 10 years ago, it was possible to rewrite and/or extend most of MFC into something really slick and way easier and faster to use. I know because I did it. Nowadays, I would dread having to wade into the enormous amount of stuff involved in Windows programming... whether it's good or bad, it's massive and complicated, and those are two things I can't abide.

    • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:36PM (#27848349) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:46PM (#27848485) Homepage Journal

        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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sopssa (1498795)

        Assuming that Borland still does IDEs and compilers (weren't they trying to spin off that business?)

        Yes they did, all of their programming stuff was moved under CodeGear a few years ago, and those werent included in this purchase.

      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:52PM (#27851147) Homepage Journal

        "Borland's tools are really kewl, but they've never gained serious mindshare"
        Wrong. Borland had more mindshare than Microsoft in development tools.
        Turbo Pascal, Turbo C, Borland Pascal, Borland C and C++ where all more popular than Microsoft's tools. One reason was the cost. You could buy Turbo Pascal for around 10th the cost of a compiler from Microsoft. It also came with an IDE. Before that a lot of programmers used Wordstar to edit their code!
        Borland lost mindshare and didn't do all that well during the migration to Windows. Frankly that is what really did in a lot of companies and Microsoft replaced them all! Lotus, Ashton-Tate, WordPerfect, and Borland all did very well until Microsoft pretty much killed them all. And yes a good part of it was caused by their failure to produce good Windows products.

        "This compiler was, weirdly enough, written in COBOL. Somebody once explained to me why this made sense, but I've forgotten the explanation."
        It is called bootstrapping.
        The logic is this. If you make improvements in the compiler then you make improvements in your own product.
        Let's say you create a better code generator. When you recompile your own compiler it will run faster since it is being compiled with that improved code generator.
        It also helps you find bugs since you are using your own compiler everyday to write your compiler.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ilgaz (86384)

        I started to wonder if people bitching about COBOL have written a single business/enterprise application serving to thousands or even millions?

        I see there is a language which is designed for writing business applications and even named that way, runs on mainframes which are worth millions and serving to thousands in mission critical environments and people who didn't write a single line of code (in that sense) keep bitching about it. It is not you I talk about, it is a general thing.

        In Video business, we ke

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hognoxious (631665)

      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.

    • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Old97 (1341297)

      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 develope

  • So Long... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djbckr (673156) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:19PM (#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

    • 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.

  • TSR (Score:5, Informative)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:19PM (#27848055) Journal

    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..

    • if you can't remember the 80s then http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SideKick [wikipedia.org] - happy days indeed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      Anyone else remember Int 27h [nvg.org] and the magic of hooking a subroutine to make it appear like your OS was actually multitasking?

      No, because two years after SideKick came out, I was preemptively multitasking on an Amiga.

      Sorry, just had to get that in there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tadas (34825)

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

      And they all wanted to be loaded last, and took militant action to make sure that they had their hands on Int27h. I remember reading some assembler source from the era where one of the first chunks of code was commented as "Duke it out with Sidekick"...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dave Emami (237460)

      Aaah good old terminate-and-stay-resident programs,

      Terminate and stay resident? You mean, when a cyborg that looks like Arnold Scharzenegger kills someone and then moves into their house?

  • ah borland (Score:4, Funny)

    by Zashi (992673) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:20PM (#27848075) Homepage Journal
    I remember, back in the day, when all malware was written in borland C/C++.

    Er.. not that i wrote malware. >_>
  • Borland is still around? I assumed they'd died back in the mid-90s...

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

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

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

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

  • by master_p (608214) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:21PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by StikyPad (445176)

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

      I thought that was called Visual C++.

      • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tx (96709)

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      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.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:22PM (#27848101) Journal
    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

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

      That wasn't their downfall. Their downfall was the same thing that made WordPerfect an also-ran, that virtually destroyed Novell, that ended Netscape, and heavily contributed to the end of Sun: Microsoft.

      Love them or hate them (and at Slashdot it's usually the latter), Microsoft is single-handedly responsible for the deaths of many tech companies. In Borland's case, they simply couldn't survive against MS Visual Studio. Everything else they did or did not do pales against that fact.

  • sad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bryan-10021 (223345)

    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?

  • Odd (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rary (566291) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:24PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kingmundi (54911) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:25PM (#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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Psychotria (953670)

      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

  • ...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 w

    • by robkill (259732)

      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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:29PM (#27848223)
    http://www.networkworld.com/news/1997/0512borland.html [networkworld.com]


    In the end, Microsoft strategy of simply throwing obscene salaries at the Borland talent ultimately worked. It was systematic, it was effective.

    Now go suck on Visual Studio.
  • by xquark (649804) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:29PM (#27848227) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dedazo (737510)

      Visual Basic killed Delphi. Delphi was always a better language/runtime/platform, unfortunately it was full of Pascal.

      VB had the advantage of being far more approachable from a beginners standpoint, and I think Borland underestimated two things: the market for third party components (which was *huge* with VB) and the way businesses used development platforms - to talk to databases. The first few versions of Delphi were not exactly database friendly, while VB4 was Jet/SQL Server ready out of the box through

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by metamatic (202216)

        Visual Basic killed Delphi. Delphi was always a better language/runtime/platform, unfortunately it was full of Pascal.

        Worse than that: it was Pascal enough to annoy people used to BASIC, but not actually Pascal enough to be standard Pascal.

      • Delphi's name (Score:3, Informative)

        by DrYak (748999)

        I think Borland underestimated two things: {...} and the way businesses used development platforms - to talk to databases.

        Perhaps you should google around about Why Delphi was called Delphi.

        Delphi was envisioned from the beginning as a platform to communicate with databases.

  • 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.

  • Bring Back Paradox (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:38PM (#27848369) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by neowolf (173735)

      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.

  • 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! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EWAdams (953502) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:39PM (#27848389) Homepage

    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.

  • 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...

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:47PM (#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.

  • 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 "

  • "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©
  • Wow, blast from the past...

  • Cause, that would be awesome.

  • 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.

  • ... 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.

  • What, no Khan joke?
  • 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!

  • 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 "Borla

  • 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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZioPino (4293) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:13PM (#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.

  • Ah, the great teaching tool that it was. A fairly strict and clean language with few possibilities to shoot yourself in the foot, a simple-to-use 2D graphics library, and excellent IDE for that time, complete with integrated debugger - and all that made it an ideal platform for teaching programming. It's still used in many Russian schools today for just that purpose. There are even unofficial (but complete and fairly good) translations of Turbo Pascal help files to Russian, to help in this.

  • The Borland Museum (Score:5, Informative)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:25PM (#27849151) Homepage Journal

    The Borland Museum [embarcadero.com] has the old Turbo series of Turbo Pascal, Turbo C, and Turbo C++ for MS-DOS downloadable for free.

    Turbo Pascal and Delphi got replaced by Free Pascal [freepascal.org], and Turbo C++ got replaced with GNU C++ and MinGW C++ [mingw.org] for Windows which are open source alternatives to them. Which I think is why the Borland Museum got opened and why the command line version of Borland C++ was given away for free.

    While people were waiting for the Borland Museum to release Delphi 1.0 the Lazarus Project [freepascal.org] was developed based on Free Pascal to replace Delphi.

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