These are the words that the Dolphins ‘uttered’ just before the end of the world in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It bears repeating now because I think we’re seeing the final signal in the end of Borland – the makers of tools like Delphi and JBuilder and the venerable Turbo Pascal. From the borland non-tech groups – as posted by Borland’s own David I:Today, Wednesday February 8, 2006 at 1am Pacific Time, Borland announced plans to seek a buyer for our IDE product lines that include Delphi, C++Builder, C#Builder, JBuilder (and Peloton), InterBase, JDataStore, nDataStore, Kylix, and our older Borland and Turbo language products and tools. The goal is to create a standalone business focused on advancing individual developer productivity using the people inside Borland who are focused on the success of these award winning products.

I was asked today by Daryl Taft of eWeek magazine, “As Borland’s longest term employee, how does the spin-off hit you?” I answered by saying, I am moving forward as part of the new company with a huge smile on my face and a
small tear in my eye.

Translation: “We are so freaking doomed….. But I can’t say that because I own stock in a publicly traded company”


“So long and thanks for all the fish…!”

Yes, Borland is selling the part of the company that MADE the company. The IDE/Tools group. For years Borland management has said, We are fully committed to the tools that made this company what it is. And for years I’ve quietly said “Bullshit”. Borland commitment to developer tools should have been questioned the moment someone at that company said; “Hey there’s this company called Ansa just north of us that’s selling this database product, Paradox – let’s check it out”. Or when they said; “Hey.. let’s buy this word processor called Sprint! It’ll be great!”

It should have been questioned again when Philippe Kahn said; “Today we have announced our intention to aquire Ashton Tate”.

And it was questioned… And every time the same thing was said; We are fully committed to the tools that made this company what it is.

A recent example:

CEO Tod Nielsen wants to return the company to a leadership position in the tools space.

Never trust a man who craps on his previous employer – especially when that employer is Microsoft:

Crossgain vs. Microsoft: ‘Mooning the Giant’

Well, this time I’m calling bullshit once and for all. Borland is commited to one thing – increasing shareholder value. And they think that inventing their own version of Rational Unified Process (RUP) will continue to do this. And they certainly have had some promising sales in this area. However I can say at least ONE of Borlard’s customers (who was one of my customers this past summer) thinks the Borland ALM software is counter-intuitive crap – which is pretty much what Rational Rose was before IBM bought that overengineered wad of tripe.

The problem is that I honestly don’t think anyone is interested. Borland has had huge amounts of schizophrenia with the C++ tools – and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the minds behind that compiler technology are now at Microsoft. Kylix (what kind of name IS that anyway?) was a disaster and JBuilder was killed off (and with this announcement I doubt Peleton will EVER see the light of day). And unless a command-line version of the Delphi language compiler is made available for FREE to allow for a better sourced-based-components market that tool is going to continue to fade away as well.

So the bottom line is.. it’s over. The new Delphi release is selling well, but apparently not well enough to justify it’s continued existence within Borland. Java developers are moving to Eclipse in droves. And that’s sad because in the .NET space at least developers have VS.NET – and that’s a reasonably OK tool. Eclipse is crap – completely and totally. It’s an IDE with it’s own version of ‘DLL hell’ because of all the stupid libraries that you have to tack on to do Java development, visual GUI design, etc. I explain more of that another time. I think Delphi has a chance of continuing on but I think if you’re using JBuilder you best hope that IBM makes Eclipse work on the new Intel-based MacOS – or look at Netbeans or IntelliJ.

[ Borland to Acquire Software Quality Company, Segue Software;
Announces Plan to Divest IDE Product Lines