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Is the ship sinking at Borland?

Looks like the CTO (Blake Stone) is resigning from Borland.
Also, their Chief Administration Officer is resigning as well.
I also heard that their Chief Scientist, Chuck Jadzewicki, and Simon Thornhill had resigned earlier this month.  Normally if some high profile person at a company resigns then no big deal, they are probably moving on to bigger and better things.  But to have 4 high level folks resign seems like more than just coincidence.

http://biz.yahoo.com/e/040120/borl8-k.html

Smitty-
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The ship has been sinking for a LONG time. Most people are just amazed it's still afloat. It's like the company is actively trying to lose money.

  
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Borland has a lot of talented develolpers. they will continue to produce high quality software and contribute to the developer tool market for many years to come.

corbin
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Borland's "ship has been sinking for quite a while now", yet there they are, still crusing along.

Nick
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Borland has been "sinking" for ages, while in the meantime such unsinkable Titanics as Netscape, Visual Cafe, Visual J++, Enron, etc. have disappeared without a trace.

After a while the "Borland is dying" mantra sounds more like a dull whine, almost like the distant braying of donkeys.

Captain Jake
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I believe Chuck Jazdewski and Simon Thornhill did not resign.  This was just an unfounded rumour that was dispelled by TeamB.

Kevin
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I think it's pretty obvious with all the high level departures that Borland is finally sinking into the abyss.  Coupled with the fact that they've basically relegated themselves to a company that excells only with IDE's (and then, even this is done less than perfectly), I think it's only a matter of time before the cash bleeding finally kills Borland off.

Sure glad we recently moved to Visual Studio, Borland is simply not a safe business bet: this just proves how unstable they are as a company.

sbrennan
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"Borland has a lot of talented developers. They will continue to produce high quality software and contribute to the developer tool market for many years to come."

Yeah, just not at Borland. :-p

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Jadzewiki and Thornhill are the keys to this discussion.

When the top developers leave, it's all over.

And I'm not whining, just stating facts from my own experience. Several times, I have dumped stock because the key developers have left a company and each time it was the right thing to do.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Ah, well if it is an unfounded rumor then all is well. Just a shake up in management. Things are gettnig better.

You really have to find out about the key developers. They are the ones that predict company success with absolute certainty.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yeah, Borland's down for the count this time. It's all over.

No, really, this time stick a fork in them, they're done.

And I'm married to Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

And Apple's goose is cooked too.

Null object
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I wonder how many of those that are making sport of the thought that Borland just might be floundering have paid full price for the following:

CBuilderX

Delphi 8

and actually thought their money was well spent on a excellent robust product with full documentation.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Could it be that there is some internal cleansing going on? If so I only hope that the guys that care about the developers win, instead of the managers that are currently in control running headlessly from hype to hype.

Thornhill was the one who wrote the infamous open letter, announcing the death of Delphi for win32 that cause the real big stink in the newsgroups. Stone was a JBuilder guy that did not seem to care too much about Delphi either.

So maybe the current developments are a good thing for the everyone who is doing boring stuff like creating real world applications in win32.

Probably wishful thinking though.

Jan Derk
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"Is the ship sinking at Borland?"

No.

It's as valid as every other bin bunny prediction here.

rasputin
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Borland have produced a number of catastrophically buggy
and unusable products recently.

These include ( but are not confined to):

Delphi 8 : Avoid this bug ridden mess like the plague.

C# Builder : Expensive and buggy . Stick to the Visual Studio Net that this tries to imitate

Kylix: of ill memory

C++Builder : now mercifully abandoned.

The software rats are leaving the sinking corporate ship.

Finian Willams
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Did they go to MS like so much of Borland's talent?

Shame to see them down again.

At least Kahn is still kicking butt down the road a few minutes at www.lightsurf.com

fool for python
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Perhaps the ship isnt sinking.
However, the captain and crew seem to be leaving to
sign on aboard other ships.

Three of the four senior staff who have left Borland
have gone to Microsoft.

I am glad that we decided to switch to Visual Studio .NET
instead of continuing develiopment with Borlands deadend
and buggy products.

Puri Jaganathan
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Borland products are still the best in their class. This thread reads like a lot of Microsoft-Campers throwing mud.

Its always a struggle to keep high quality products on the market against with more compromised, aggressively marketed competitors.

Ian Sanders
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Finian Willams, I've always wondered, when rats are scuttling off from the sinking ship, where do they go? ;-)

Seriously, Borland did much better in early days than now. I wish them well.

Vlad Gudim
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

sbrennan: "relegated themselves to a company that excells only with IDE's"

the delphi and kylix compilers are the best pascal based compilers out there. the java stuff as well is top class. so what are you talking about? the c++ stuff? admittadly microsofts visual studio has a better one, but there's is not too far behind.

Finian Willams: "buggy
and unusable products recently.

These include ( but are not confined to):

Delphi 8 : Avoid this bug ridden mess like the plague.
.
.
.
Kylix: of ill memory"

Have you actually used either of those?
Kylix 3 is great and i must admit to never finding a bug in it D7 was a lot worse and that hardly ever crashed. D6 was a disaster though. K3 is also still actively supported, and the next version of Kylix is expect next year.
D8 is also great, admittadly i have only had it a short time but there have been  no issues showing up.

Ian Sanders: "Borland products are still the best in their class. This thread reads like a lot of Microsoft-Campers throwing mud"

Agreed :)

Vlad Gudim: "Seriously, Borland did much better in early days than now. I wish them well. "

Agreed that Borland has had better days, but this is far from there worse days (when they changed there name to Inprise).

Robert MacLean
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

While everyones giving their opinion, my 2c.

Excluding the hardcore developers (who uses C++), Delphi is arguable the best Win32 dev. environment for mass  market consumer applications that are sold/downloaded via Internet such as shareware, etc..

Laim
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"Delphi is arguable the best Win32 dev. environment for mass  market consumer applications that are sold/downloaded via Internet such as shareware, etc.. "

I couldn't agree more.  Right from the start (Delphi 1.0), it has been a rock solid enviroment to program in.  Starting from Delphi 1.0 it contained a fully objected-oriented language, great easy to use IDE, component development, fast compile/linking/execution time, applications compiled into one static exe, which made it great for deployment, great user community, and great third-party component market (Dev-Express, Eagle Software, Turbo Power, TMSSoftware, AtoZed Software, Bradbury Software etc).  It spanked VB and handed it it's a$$ hands down in all areas of development.  It's a shame that it never caught on more.   

Smitty
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"This thread reads like a lot of Microsoft-Campers throwing mud": this kind of comment makes me feel real sick about it. I've been a Delphi bigot from start, and I've been praising for years all the good things Delphi had, when compared to Microsoft products. You can take a look at my web site, www.marteens.com : I have based my whole business in Delphi. Now things are changing: I regret my Delphi 7 purchase, it was wasted money, and I don't like at all Delphi 8, for a lot of reasons I could enumerate. What's more: Microsoft .NET is fine, it's an excellent product who shows that innovation that Delphi used to show some versions ago. So what? Does this make me a Microsoft Camper? There's none so blind as those that refuse to see. You can go on. I quit.

Ian Marteens
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've used delphi since Delphi 3 which I thought was excellent - far ahead of any other RAD at the time.  By Delphi5, the gap had widened to ludicrous, but with .NET on the horizon Borland needed to step up to the plate fast and like a power hitter.  Their response was a half-hearted attempt to develop a Delphi for Linux - as of the 3rd version, Wine is still required to run Kylix.  Their expectations for the development of the Linux desktop market were obviously very optimistic, and when reality set in, Kylix development grinded to a virtual halt. 

I have not used Delphi 8 - nor do I plan to from the reviews I've read.  Their new products have been too buggy (Kylix) and feature poor (C# Builder) as well as incredibly expensive for what they offer.  Does anyone remember the original pricing for Kylix "Professional" ?  Now that was funny.

I used to own a lot of stock in Borland.  All of it has been sold.  Delphi 7(Win32) is still a great product - and the best choice for UI's, hands down on the Windows platform.  But their new products range betweeen mediocre and very expensive to poor and fairly expensive.

I wish I could say otherwise.  I've moved on to VS.NET and C#.  When they update Delphi (Win32), I'll be in line for an upgrade, but the rest of their product line is just not up to snuff, IMO.  They've come out with *gobs* of products in the last 4 years - and given none of them the attention they need to become the next Delphi.  If they want to maintain their size, let alone grow, they will need a vision and they will have to devote most of their resources to that vision for years to come. 

Gosh No
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"Their response was a half-hearted attempt to develop a Delphi for Linux"

Don't get me started (Kylix, C#Builder, CBuilderX).  This is like history repeating itself again at Borland back when they made all those aquistions and were going to go head to head with Microsoft.  They've seemed to spread themselves to thin again.  C'mon did they really think people would buy C#Builder over VS.NET?  Hopefully some things are stirring up over there and they go back to their core competancies : making kickass development tools.

Smitty
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I actually do think they could sell a C# Builder.  But they have to compete based on price.  Since they don't have to develop .NET or a low-level compiler, it seems they should be able to offer far more bang for the buck.  As it is now, they are trying to sell an inferior product at a high premium (compared to what you get with a MSDN subscription).  If they don't cut their prices in half, it will fail miserably. 

What they should really do IMO, is to create a suite of their top products and sell a subscription similar MSDN - and realizing that they still won't put in nearly as much as MS does in their suite, it should sell at a significant discount.

As it is their attitude seems to be  "MS sells it for less because they are willing to take losses".  Well, that just does not matter.  MS has set the market price.  Either you  are competitive with it, or you file anti-trust papers or you get out of the business.  And since they did not have to develop .NET, or a low level compiler,  I see no reason they should not be able to undercut MS.  Much as I hate to say it, MS has done all of the hard work. 

Gosh No
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Put simply, Borland's flagship products--Delphi and C++ Builder--have been reinvented and improved upon by Microsoft, to shortly become the standard development tools for Windows.  I have a soft spot for Borland, and I guess I always will, but I don't see how they can get out of this one, at least without being reduced to essentially an IDE company.

Realistically, C# and .net have completely outdone Delphi in almost every way.  Borland essentially stopped developing their products back in 1999 or 2000, coasting ever since.  Maybe they saw the writing on the wall?

Junkster
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Robert MacLean: "the delphi and kylix compilers are the best pascal based compilers out there. the java stuff as well is top class. so what are you talking about? the c++ stuff? admittadly microsofts visual studio has a better one, but there's is not too far behind."

Their compiler development at Borland is on cruise control.  Except for Delphi for .NET, everything has seen little in the way of new updates or features.  Delphi 7 was almost identical to Delphi 6, for example.  The C++ stuff is also stuck in cruise control mode.  I can't comment on the Java technology because quite honestly our shop doesn't (and won't) use Java.  C#Builder is an IDE only, it uses Microsoft's C# compiler for the back-end.  (It would have been revolutionary had Borland created a native compiler for C# that would have allowed C#Builder to target both .NET and 80x86).

Microsoft also has compilers and technology that address both Itanium and AMD's x86-64.  Not to mention native mobile support (eMbedded Visual C++).

sbrennan
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

For 'coasting' read 'maintaining a committment to their products and customers'. I consider that an uncommon strength, given that I have a lot of software products and customers of my own to support into the future.

Ian Sanders
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Ian Marteens: "I regret my Delphi 7 purchase, it was wasted money"
Compared to 6 it was wasted money espcially if you are a windows only developer. if you use both delphi and kylix and upgrade from 5 it was worthwhile.

Gosh No: "as of the 3rd version, Wine is still required to run Kylix. "
Just the IDE. The compilers do native code. My guess at this is they wanted to maintain a common code base for there IDE.

Gosh No: "as well as incredibly expensive for what they offer. "
Agreed, Borland charges way too much for far too little

Smitty: "C'mon did they really think people would buy C#Builder over VS.NET?"
If you read there statements when it launched they expected a tiny share of the market. C# Bulder imho was purely a money making excerise. And I agree with the others that it is extremely overcharged considering they did not write the compiler.

sbrennan: "Their compiler development at Borland is on cruise control.  Except for Delphi for .NET, everything has seen little in the way of new updates or features.  Delphi 7 was almost identical to Delphi 6, for example."
D7 and D6 were very different on a compiler level. Agreed that D7 did not have many new features or syntax changes but a lot of work was done under the hood. The variables system was completely re-written. D7 also had support for providing warnings about non-safe code that would not compile on .net (which D6 couldn't), and D7 had all the updates to make it compatible with Kylix 3 where D6 was more Kylix 2 compatible.

Ian Sanders: "For 'coasting' read 'maintaining a committment to their products and customers'. I consider that an uncommon strength, given that I have a lot of software products and customers of my own to support into the future. "
Considering D5 is still one of there most used products that is an excellant point.

My personal opion is Borland should stop trying to provide a IDE for everything and stick to what they do best, like Delphi (win32 and dotnet), Kylix, C++ and Java.
Doing things like modelling tools, the evil that is the bde, etc... is taking away from the strong areas.

Robert MacLean
Thursday, January 22, 2004

"For 'coasting' read 'maintaining a committment to their products and customers'."

Well, that depends who you ask.  They've kept Delphi and C++ Builder going, which is good.  But at the same time they've been getting sloppier and slower with bug fixes.  The frustration about this is evident on Borland's forums (it's much different than it was five years ago).

Additionally, Borland entirely dropped the hobbyist market which their company was based on.  Delphi was the standard for a large number of independent, smaller developers and individuals.  Hundreds of Delphi websites sprang up.  But then they jacked up prices to target corporate customers.  The professional version of Delphi went from under $500 to over $1000.  The personal version had its license changed to disallow any form of commercial development, even though almost no smaller developers needed the additional capabilities of the $1000+ version.  And now Delphi is twice the price of the professional version of Visual Studio .net.  They're essentially trying to milk as much as possible from old customers before they go under.

Junkster
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Junkster: "But at the same time they've been getting sloppier and slower with bug fixes."
100% agreed. Borland should be shot for there way of handling patches now.

"Borland entirely dropped the hobbyist market which their company was based on. "
I had forgot those days. But you make a great point. Borland is trying too hard to be the corporate thing (and that is also evident from the development life cycle they are chriping)

Robert MacLean
Friday, January 23, 2004

I agree that Borland used to court the hobbyist market, but then I have used their products since having a PC with a meg of memory made you the cutting edge guy in the office. I remember when SideKick 1.0 for DOS changed my life ! There was no professional PC development culture. You could say we were all hobbyists and I did PC stuff as light relief after clubbing away at big iron all day. JCL. Yeugh.

Anyway, I did find Borland's habit of giving away older versions of Delphi with PC magazines uncomfortable. It made interviewing for professional Delphi people hard but eventually you can pick up the signs when an interviewee has played around with Delphi rather than used for professional development.

Ian Sanders
Friday, January 23, 2004

"Additionally, Borland entirely dropped the hobbyist market which their company was based on."

as IMO MS did with VB <sigh> which is (only) one of the reasons I moved to Delphi. Having made the move though, and providing it all doesn't drop down the crapper, I think it was a good one. D7 Rocks!

The Hobbyist
Friday, January 23, 2004

"as IMO MS did with VB <sigh> which is (only) one of the reasons I moved to Delphi."

MS has turned around on this, with VB .net Standard being less than $100.  Ditto for C# Standard.

I remember when VB jumped way up to ~$1000, though.  That was a bad move, IMO.

Junkster
Friday, January 23, 2004

"MS has turned around on this, with VB .net Standard being less than $100."

IIRC, they started that with VB3 (I started with VB-DOS) can't remember what it was called then ... Learning Edition ??

I haven't looked at this (haven't looked at anybody’s FooBar.Net at all) but if the trend remains the same then this doesn't help those of us that use the Pro edition(s) for the data access capabilities.

Surprise, surprise Borland has a standard version of Delphi as well - 3rd party tools if you want to do data access but then doing much with either of them (at least up to and including Pro) and your probably into the 3rd party market.

The Hobbyist
Friday, January 23, 2004

"Surprise, surprise Borland has a standard version of Delphi as well"

Nope.  It's called "personal," and the license specifically disallows it from being used in a business or from using it to ship or develop a product.  This started happening several versions back.

The thing to realize is that Microsoft places so such restrictions on the < $100 version of C# / Visual Studio .net.  Period.  So Borland has caused an exodus to competing products.

Junkster
Monday, January 26, 2004

Ten years of Delphi programming, it was great, best IDE, components and classes. Now it's time to move on to C#. Should I choose Delphi for .NET or MS VS .NET with C#. It's a no brainer, Borland has nothing to offer anymore.

Man Dizer
Sunday, February 01, 2004

Borland may or may not be sinking. Even though I use Delphi exclusively, I'm not concerned about its demise. Any developer worth his/her salt will adopt new syntax and frameworks effortlessly. So far, I've none but perused small bodies of C# code. I don't find the anticipation that I'll need to learn it pretty soon daunting in the least. My only reservation about Borland's possible 'sinking' is that Microsoft may gain a (possibly deserved) monopoly in the dev. tool market, which will hurt us if ever the quality of their tools sinks.

Tinashe
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I'm using Delphi for ten years and I will not move to C#, period.
I think everyone must think before sticking to some technology.
Think, for example, that Microsoft  *MAY BE* the company behind the SCO vs. Linux licensing battle...
I love freedom, and freedom is *THE* feature I like most in the Borland philosophy.
Do you really think Microsoft  will promote the use and development of C# for the Linux platform? This seems a good question. Just remember  that Microsoft was accused for the Halloween e-mails: in those emails, someone working at Microsoft, stated that Linux *IS* the real danger for Microsoft business, and  Microsoft must counteract it.
The point here seems to be a matter of freedom, not a matter of technology. As a technician with an IT experience of more than 25 years in programming methodologies and languages, now I can state that  asserting that a language is better than another is senseless. What really matters is the freedom to be free. And Borland has always provided us with this rare "feature".

Fabio Vitale
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Ian/Robert,

Both of you have valid, and "totally out of your bloomin' minds" points. What you fail to acknowledge is that most folks making detracting comments are either basing them off of personal PRESENT or PAST experience with the products that Borland has been producing over the past 5 years. Co-incidently, this can be classified as the "Fuller in his prime" years. 

The products ( Delphi, Kylix, C++Builder, and C#Builder ), all have problems in three areas:

Placement - Do you see any Borland products at BestBuy ?
You can Microsoft's. Even if just to get "mindshare", Borland should put out the personal editions out on the shelves. ( And what's up with the "Not for commercial use" licensing ? Are you kidding me ? )

Content    - C++ Builder and Kylix have been the stepford childer of their development products line. Multitudes of VCL's for Delphi, but God-forbid someone programming in other than Pascal might want this or that component ! And C# Builder ? It's an IDE for chrissakes. There's SharpDevelop for the cost of a download, and it's got most of what C# Professional has. Get serious ! You want a GRAND for that ?

Pricing - Which brings me to the issue of price. For crying out loud, do you think we're all working in a corporate environment where the CIO has a personal IV running to the drip of money coming from the boardroom. It's incredibly difficult to get management sometimes to sign off on licenses that cost a $1000/seat, much less $2500. I mean, c'mon, you can get MS.NET Architect for $1000. Why is it so hard for Borland to grasp the concept. Including things like StarTeam and Together aren't necessarily what most folks are looking for. Most corporate product don't have the sort of lifecycle that would require that sort of integration. Sure, you re-factor code, but that's only part of the process, and then again, management changes their mind enough between releases, that the "evolutionary" approach to ALM is a pipe-dream. Again, unnecessary fluff for about 90+% of enterprise developers out there.

So guys, lighten up on the detractors, because we actually have a point. And a very good one at that.

Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr.
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Devolop tools will not make money.
People need services and .net  now.

.Net will win.

fastman
Sunday, February 08, 2004

Borland sold out to MicroShaft and now Borland found out how badly MicroShaft shafted them

DelphiShop
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Kylix fails because Linux couldn't remain standard.
Its that simple!

Money is not an issue. The fact is, I cant develop a Linux app using Kylix and release knowing that all Linux user will happerly be able to run the software.

IDE bugs I can deal with, after all, most are related to either RedHat or QT issues.

Redhat is more focused on adding XP style icons to Linux instead of focusing on stablity.

Kylix is a fantasic idea and a great implementation, but the Linux legal issues, instability & the desire of distros to turn Linux into a XP lookalike is killing Borland.

RE: C++Builder. Beleive it or not, programmers dont like things easy. After all, you get paid more if you spend extra months working playing with a new MS toy.

Hence why easy doesn't sell. I worked on Delphi & BCB projects for years with a 100% success rate.

But, it only caused the amount of work given to me to increase. Not the wage.

The coders playing with MFC & .NET were given extra "time = money" because managment thought, "well, this is taking ages to develop, it must be good".

Nope. Sorry. Developing software is just an excersize in cloning previous software.

One last thought. If you never complete a project, did you ever fail?

I've met many a programmer who bases their entire carreers on incomplete projects.

So, why would they use Delphi?

Derek Evans
Monday, March 08, 2004

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