Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Fly! Be free!

I don't think is has been too much of a secret that Borland, the developer tools company, and Borland, the enterprise software tool company have been on divergent paths for many years.  Some of you may recall all the brouhaha surrounding the tendered offer from Robert Coates and crew to purchase the Delphi and deployment product group(DPG) assets in order to form a separate private entity.  Much speculation and opinions quickly formed throughout the Delphi community.  Hopefully by now you've heard about the latest news from Borland outlining a very similar internally driven strategy to do just that.  If not, please take a moment to digest the information.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Interesting, huh? Oh.. wait... that Segue thing?  That's not the part you and I are interested in.  I know what you're thinking...  I thought the same things when I first heard about this.  How will this be pulled off?  Will Delphi be able to survive?  What about this technical hurdle?  What about that hurdle?  Well, let me give you my take on all this, and hopefully some of your fears can be allayed.

First of all, I'm so totally STOKED about this!  Why?  Finally, Delphi (and the other related products) can now receive the focus and attention the've long deserved.  I can be involved with a team that can make descisions based on what is right for the product and the customers without worrying about how those descisiona align with the overarching corporate strategy.  I mean, our products will be the corporate strategy!  I applaude Tod, Rick, Matt and the other executives for their vision and care in seeing that there is still extreme value and life left in these products.  I'm excited about the possibilities to reinvest the stable revenue streams back into the products in order to better serve our customers.  Also, the potential to invest in new complimentary directions rather than orthogonal ones.  I'm sure by now your mind is reeling and spinning as fast as mine when faced all the possibilities that suddenly begin to open up!  Of course we can't do everything, but we will now have far greater control over deciding on what is the best course to take.

Tod Nielsen wasn't kidding when he came became the CEO with his tagline of “Go Big, or Go Home!”  I mean, this is capital “B“ Big, folks!  Is this a slam dunk for Delphi and the other products?  No.  Is this going to be a tough thing to pull off?  Of course!  But I certainly am excited to give it a good solid chance!  I hope that all of you, the loyal, rabid, Delphi customers, third parties, and fans will stick with us and see this through as well.  I have no doubt that you'll be pleased with how it will turn out.  Think about this folks, Delphi is no longer going to be the red-headed step child looking for it's place.

So I think I'll have to adopt Tod's tagline as well.  Go Big! or Go Home!  And Fly! Be free!  So strap yourself in tightly, cause it's going to be a fun and exciting ride!

UPDATE: Just to clarify, the spin-off of the IDE/Tools business is *not* being driven by Mr. Coates.  It is purely being driven by the executive team under the full blessing of the current Borland Board of Directors.  While the Coates proposal was interesting, it is far better that this kind of thing be driven by an internally committed and involved team. 


  1. I'd like to know how long ago this was decided internally. I don't think you were stricken by this move by surprise the way we were, or were you?



  2. Fly! Be Free! Hmmm. Have to think of that Mork and Mindy episode where Mork tosses the egg into the air....

    Seriously though, I really do hope you guys find the correct investors that will let you take the Crown Jewels of Borland and show those that have been lured by the sirens onto the shoals of enterprise sales that they took their stick off the ice...(horribly mixing a metaphor)


  3. One thing that should happen, but probably never will:

    When I think of Borland, what do I think of?

    -Turbo Pascal (and, by extension, Delphi)


    -Quattro Pro

    With the exception of the language/IDE products, they're gone now. I DON'T think of StarTeam, CaliberRM, or any of the ALM products.

    What SHOULD happen is that the new IDE company should take the Borland name, because these are the products that the Borland name is most closely associated with by the public at large.

    The ALM company can find another name -- Inprise, perhaps?

  4. Heres to hoping the best is still yet to come

  5. John... LOL! I was wondering if anyone would get the reference! The point is that it'll either hatch and take flight or go splat on the table-top. I certainly am going to work hard toward the former rather than the latter.

  6. Hi Allen,

    I currently cannot fully share the excitement you are feeling about the latest development regarding Borland and the IDE-products. This "all or nothing" mentality makes me feel really bad.

    Our company is based on an application which was and is fully developed under C++Builder. Just thinking what would happen if Borland does not find an investor for the IDE spin-off will give me some heavy nightmares for some weeks.

    I really hope that your collegues at Borland have the same positive mentality as you, so that this thing comes to a positive ending.

    Viele Gl├╝ck - mucha suerte - good luck!

  7. Guys , I just one to let you know, that there are things that can be erase, forgot or even can be broken, there are other things that stick, that are solid, and go beyond your spectations, so this its just a transaction to get back to the beginning, to give Delphi his really position in market and to conquer what have lost.

  8. Just because you get off a sinking ship, doesn't mean you will survive.

    However - it's still the best choice :)

  9. My question is.. where is the so-called Borland "commitment" with dev tools now??.. What will happen with Highlander, Delphi for Vista, Delphi 64, etc.??.. It seems to me as if Borland was lying us all the time. And what about BDS 2006 sales??.. After this day, I think they will fall to 0. I think nobody would buy something that has unclear future.. and that also will affect all those 3rd party vendors directly related with Borland.. what a stupid decision!.. What a catastrophe!!..

  10. It's really a great news! ^_^


    And it's still in Spring Festiva in China,

    So, good wishes to the coming new corp.

  11. I think this news has great potential for Delphi, it's creators and customers. I wish you guys luck and success in choosing (or being chosen by) the best possible partner.

    Naturally there's FUD about who that partner might be, and their abilities and motives, but I guess it's best to sit tight and let you guys crank out the *DS2006 service packs (please!) in the meanwhile!

    "Also, the potential to invest in new *complimentary* directions"

    Like an IDE that says "That's a very good line of code you've just written"?



  12. I had departed the Delphi fold to MS visual studio. But if this meant that life was kicked into the cross platform Delphi/Kylix version then I would come back. Especially if you added free Interbase which worked on an Epia processor as SQL 2005 fails to run.


    Humphrey Drummond

  13. Somebody should've told Nielsen to go home. The way to get the strategy right for Delphi is to expel the interlopers. The people who are going to fly and be free are your customers who bought into something that no longer exists. They must have sprayed you all with that George Bush hypnotizing spray, you all sound like you've been brainwashed. All it's short of is locking you in and telling you all to drink poison, while they make off with your bank accounts.

  14. The bottom line is I just decided not to buy Delphi 2006. Cheerio.

  15. It is complete disaster.

    No one ever will go with tool they can't trust.

    You are so stupid about developers. These people invested their time and lifes in your products. And you told them : "Wait, it is very good idea to let it go, may be it can ever be able to survive".

    It's very bad decision.

    And, btw, your CEO is an idiot.

  16. hmm... mind spinning news. The codepaths from here on are a little unclear. A nexus... No (low) transportation (sales) for a while perhaps. Will Anders wake and find you people at the coffee bar?

  17. Zlatibor Boro UrosevicFebruary 9, 2006 at 5:31 PM

    I must admit I love having the same umbrella (Borland) under which I was able to find all the tools necessary for the whole application life-cycle development, from IDEs to ALM tools, associating all of them to the same developers oriented company, which ultimately was able to bring some/much more positive feelings about its future, especially related to stable BDS 2006, new CEO (with MS,Oracle and BEA experience) and better integration among the tools, it was really seen as having a bright future.

    Now, with this HUGE change, slicing the company into two entirely separated entities, it gives the feeling like parents throwing away its baby(ies), which I would say gives more negative impression (especially among developers) then the positive one, which is the fact Delphi and related tools could now potentially have much more (and direct) attention/money/investment from the new company which seems was not the case within Borland...

    ...I would like in some (hopefully near) future, when the both sides will grow and expand enough (Borland ALM and xCompany BDS/Delphi,...) they could come back together into Borland again, competing on much higher level to a "big ones" like IBM, MS, Oracle,...

    All the Best to you Guys.

    You gave us the best of breed since TP days, so please continue feeding us with the best, which I'm sure you will...



  18. Game over... bye bye Delphi...

    does anybody here know any good online C#/Visual Studio Courses or should I go back to Visual Basic??

    I have used TP since 5.5

    and actually moved rom VB3 to Delphi since Delphi 1 , then I used 2,3,4,5,6 and tried to use 2005/2006 liked some stuff like refactoring and the newer editor completion ...etc. but hated the newer crap (.net/ECO...)

    It will never be the same....

    (If they had announced it as splitting Borland the IDE company from Inprise the Crap Company I would have cheered it, but now I am sad... This is just learning that a loved one has passed away)

    Thanks for all the fish

  19. Hi,

    I have beed using Delphi since version 1, I am still using Delphi 6.

    I have not seen any advantage to upgrade to 7,8,2005 or 2006... this is how crappy these products are.

    So it seems my team will continue using Delphi 6 until the sky falls down.

    When do you think that regular 32-bit w32 executables will stop woring on Windows? Vista? Vista 2? will it show a warning:

    This *Legacy* application is not fully supported by Widnows Vista, are you sure you want to run it?

    [Yes] [No]

    Where do we go then? Java? MS? GCC? My head hurts

  20. Jonathan Livingston Delphi-DeveloperFebruary 9, 2006 at 9:42 PM

    Ouch! Unless it's Microsoft that picks it up (don't joke, think about it) it's goodnight Vienna... Anybody know any good csharp books?

  21. "Just to clarify, the spin-off of the IDE/Tools business is *not* being driven by Mr. Coates. It is purely being driven by the executive team under the full blessing of the current Borland Board of Directors. While the Coates proposal was interesting, it is far better that this kind of thing be driven by an internally committed and involved team."

    There's a problem with this argument, and that's the fact the board dismissed Coates' offer without even considering it and said Delphi was an integral part of Borland's plans. IMO, now it turns out the board was not being honest with the shareholders. This is precisely what Coates intended to do. Can this be called copyright infringement? :)

  22. To "Delphi 6 Developer":

    I absolutely agree that Delphi 7,8 and 2005 had major issues, the money we spent on them was a total waste and we continued forward with D6 even though we purchased those verisons due to various reasons.

    Please do not lump 2006 into that group though, if you are still on D6 I highly recommend going to D2006. Much much nicer, many new features, tons of old issus have been fixed, the new memory mananger and stabilty of the IDE alone are worth the upgrade.

    My faith in Delphi has always been with the developers, knowing that the senior management had no clue about what to do with them. I'm very excited about the possiblities of the developer tools being out on their own, in the very capable hands of the team that has been writing them for years. The big unknown factor is who is going to buy it and if their direction will be in line with what we need.

    Just my .02cents.

  23. I didn't run Delphi 2006, but I had the chance to test Visual Studio 2005 with C#. After that I saw a demo of Delphi 2006. The IDE looked to me as a Visual Studio clone. Sad thing. The only exciting thing which I see now on Delphi is that you can still do Win32 unmanaged code with a RAD. Visual Studio can do unmanaged only in C++, which is not so visual and not so RAD.

    Currently the .NET is not so common now. But will be.

    Future NewCompany IDE tools need to take Visual Studio and make it much, much better in order to succeed.

    Or, IMHO another chance for IDE tools is to go to the other markets.

    How about providing a real RAD for MAC or for Linux (not THAT Kylix, would be better to rebrand it ;-) )?!

    How about an Object Oriented RAD for mobile platforms? And thoose IDE should support all mobile platforms, not only WinCE for example.

  24. Well!!, The end of an era has arrived. Visual Studio 2005 here I come. Might as well bite the bullet and make the switch now. Dosen't matter how good BDS tools are, can no longer risk my livelyhood on borland tools, MS stuff will do the jobs and they will be around for quite some time. Checked the job postings lately. C#, .NET, Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005. Its a no brainer. GOOD BY BORLAND & Delphi you have served me well throught the years, but now its time to GO.

  25. You may be right "No Brainer", was checking out VS 2005 the other day reminds me of Delphi 2006

  26. Main is to find byer as soon as possible. Only this will allow Delphi to survive. Time is as long as it will take to finish current orders.

    May be it is possible to find way to by the Delphi from borland by the open source comunity.

    Another Important is took to Linux that grows hardly.

    As soon Linux will get Delphi(Really good and supported) Linux will grow mutch to the office desks.


  27. Adios Borland Delphi!

    Good bye Borland Delphi!


  28. For sure I would like the new IDE company to keep the Borland name...

    But in fact, all I want is Delphi, on Win32 & 64, back on Linux, finally on Mac, on .Net ...in a few year, and anywhere else possible.

    Go on Delphi !

    A happy D2006 user.

  29. I really want to be optimistic, but here are some of the problem i have had with management, and so-called IT professionals:

    - You are using what? What is Delphi?

    - Pascal????

    - Why not Micorosoft?

    - No more Delphi, please!

    The only answer i have had so far is it's better, I expect a few "I told you so" really soon.

    I cannot be optimistic until I see something better than this "announcement". It was just like seeing a classified ad "for sale, Delphi,rarely used, please contact borland at xxx-xxxxx". It would have been much wiser to say "Borland Buys Segue, Sells IDE Business to XXXXXX".

    Thank you borland.

    What next? Linus Torvalds selling Linux?

  30. I just went to university where are hundreds of your potantial buyers, who learned Delphi and loved it. And I asked them about their opinion, and clear answer was to go to Microsoft VS.Net. Many of them don't like it.

    But I also clearly see only this way.

    No more my own firm and any of this students will be using new versions BDS or Delphi.

    We can live with current version, but never buy any other crap like Delphi 8, BDS 2005, and even BDS 2006 (it is finally good IDE, but with this Borland move it suddenly become very bad investement).

  31. Thank you borland for making the decision so easy... VS.net here we come (it looks quite nice, reminds me of Delphi)

  32. hey, hey, hey, folks, got a constructive idea!

    why not spinning off the alm/sdo instead?

    ...perhaps it would be a little bit more appropiate... and give back the brand name (BORLAND) to the Ones/Braves who earned it! (tp, Delphi & bcb Teams)

    and since the ms waves are so high these days, what about dropping a line to Mr Kahn?

    in good faith,

    qm - europe

  33. A small Delphi 6 Developer

    Borland created useless upgrades after Delphi 6 and before D2006 - words that come to mind (not needed, slow, buggy and fat) I've been going mental trying to find a good replacement investment, don't like the .net framework because of the microsoft platform only limitation, the new owner of Delphi should develop the Delphi open source framework to allow applications to run on every platform windows palm macosx linux win-mobile. Forget ASP.net for web applications crap how about the faster/better open source php. I'm dreaming, yes BE FREE! AND U WILL FLY!

  34. Carlo, ASP.net is just like Delphi's intraweb (soooo easy to program, you program a web app like it's a normal one - programming in perl/php/python has different ways of doing things).

    The mono project seems to run almost all ASP.net scripts/apps on Apache/Linux ... so you can have LAMC# as opposed to LAMP.

  35. I've been a Delphi devotee since I switched from VB to Delphi 1. Years of loyalty have been repaid by being told that you're driving my car off the pier and with any luck, it will float. Your optimisim about Delphi's future might be believable if you and DavidI weren't using some of the same koolaid drinking tag lines "Go Delphi Go New Company", etc... Borland survived then Inprise idiocy but you've just slapped the faithful in the face and are tellings to be happy about it. And Nielson with his "Go big or Go home", how much is he being paid for that. What a load of crap!

  36. Sorry Allen,

    I'm just not able to be that optimistic right now. Sure, I do love both the Delphi language and the IDE, and I'll probably be using BDS 2006 for a while, if only to do some coding in my spare time. However, from a business point of view, there are a couple of things that really bother me:

    1. Reliability. If these kind of radical decisions are being made (and publicly announced so damn late!) right now, what's next? This will probably cost Borland some (potential) ALM clients too.

    2. The way I see it, "Free" currently means: floating. Sure, taking big risks and stuff can really be a good thing if it doesn't directly effect thousands of clients who are actually NOT READY nor prepared too go along with the flow of uncertainty.

    3. I think this is a great example of awful timing. Just when the die hard Delphi coders were getting excited about the fact that Borland could actually compete with VS (thus enrolling and stimulating others to use this shiny and promising BDS), things get unclear. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how managers hate being out of control.

    So... to round it all up, I'll probably be able to cheer and/or contribute at/to this new Delphi life cycle in a couple of weeks/months. BUT that's from a nerdy developer perspective. It's just that I refuse to sell/promote anything of which I'm uncertain in terms of maintainability and stuff.

    Well, maybe I'm just too f*ckin' tired right now, I'll sleep on it for while...

    Greetings and success!

    Nevel / Robin.

  37. Wow so many of the posters really should not be in any kind of relationship... First sign of change and boy we are outta here. Shame. Seems like that if the people with the most at stake ie. the team that actually works on the product, are looking ahead as opposed to looking for jobs, everyone else should at least see how it plays out. However, it seems like there are lots of other products getting a really loyal customer base. HA!!!

  38. Best wishes Allen, but it appears the street has devalued Borland over 10% after the announcement. Does this mean the new IDE buyer will get a discount? Borland management again prove they are idiots. I will continue to use C++ Builder 6 for a while (nothing else is good at my type of work while providing RAD), and if the buyer looks good, I may move to BDS2006. I will also continue to look at VS2005 and may do some trial projects in it to see how they come out.I was going to buy BDS2006 but now will put the decision off until I see who the buyer is. One heck of a way to run a company!


  39. It seems that general consensus is that the Borland management is inadequate at best. That being the case it would seem to me that under a new company things can only get better.

    Clearly any responsible manager needs to look at the longevity of any tool they use to build their products with. Having said that though, Delphi and the other tools have survived some really bad senior management decisions for many years (I suspect mainly due to a brilliant team of developers and middle managers). So what is different with this decision? Only uncertainty. Once it is known who the new owner will be, the uncertainty should go away.

    We can only hope that the Borland management doesn't make their last decision relating the the IDE products their worst one yet. Let's hope they don't sell it so somebody who just wants to see the products go away.

    I'm hoping that whoever buys the products will be totally committed to their future. Maybe we will get to see some important developments. I hope that support for Mac is one of the first things we see.

    I'm still fully commited to the products and will remain that way for as long as they are around. I hope that's for a very long time to come.

  40. Just a thought about new Borland's CEO: Should the Department of Justice investigate this guy?

    He is not stupid: it just that, I am sure, he has a lot more Microsoft’s stocks than Borland's. It would be funny to discover that he is still "working" for Microsoft, and the real reason for selling Delphi is Microsoft’s desire to eliminate the competitor.

  41. I hope that Microsoft buys it, then Delphi will become the #1 Devolopment envirument in the world.

    because this the only disadvantage of Delphi,its not microsoft product.


  42. I realised many years ago that it is stupid to invest your time in writing code in a proprietary development language/tool. You will always be in the hands of the company providing that tool. I have been pleading with my current company to migrate all product development to an open language, making use of open source libraries. Once again that philosophy has proven to be correct.

  43. I wish I could share your enthusiasm. The IDE line has NOT been sold yet since the announcement. I like the way the suits say that Delphi deserves concentrated attention which would be better served by others. I say that same thing about old loves when trying to dump them.

    Other technologies are advancing while Delphi languishes in wait for a buyer. Who knows if or when it will be sold and to whom. Perhaps it will languish on the dusty shelves of the buyer.

    Ask yourself, would you buy into Delphi now if you are a corporation starting new development?

    Maybe the open source community will eventually get hold of it. Perhaps it could be donated to a socialist country such as Norway... They hate MS anyhow so it would be a match made in heaven.

  44. "- You are using what? What is Delphi?"

    If I get this line of questions, I rephrase the answer to - "I'm using the right tool for the job ... "

    - "But why don't we all use the same tools"

    - "Ok boss - heres your hammer, now go play. When you're done tell em why we have 100 servers running 500 different applications?"

    I hope the best for Delphi, but don't forgte it's always important to keep your mind open ...


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