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Borland C++ For Linux 457

Ardax writes: "Looks like Borland is going to be releasing C++ for Linux, according to this InfoWorld article. We'll be seeing more details at LinuxWorld in NY next week. The article doesn't mention whether this will be C++ Builder for Linux, or 'just' a command line compiler. No matter what, this is a sweet thing. I wonder how it will compare to gcc? (I wonder if it will be able to compile the kernel? :-) ) If it's the whole C++ Builder shebang, I wonder if there will be an Open Edition? Borland's Community site has a blurb about this. There's no comments at the Borland community yet, but some interesting commentary might pop up there."
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Borland C++ For Linux

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  • Market (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SonCorn ( 301537 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:20AM (#2899051)
    I could see there being a market for Borland if they released a nice GUI C++ development environment; but if it was just a command line program, can someone explain to me why they would use it instead of gcc. I just see no reason to pay for it if it is a command line program. I can't believe that they would offer some feature that gcc doesn't.
    • Re:Market (Score:4, Insightful)

      by qurob ( 543434 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:25AM (#2899082) Homepage

      can someone explain to me why they would use it instead of gcc

      On many UNIX workstations, GCC makes slower/much slower code than the system vendor's compiler.

      Many people argued the speed/size benefits of Watcom's DOS compilers compared to DJGPP, the (DOS port GCC)
      • Re:Market (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SpinyNorman ( 33776 )
        The same is true of PCs too. gcc doesn't come close to Intel's C++ compiler in terms of optimization or features (e.g. SSE/MMX code generation and vectorization). Unfortunately Intel's compiler is pretty expensive, but maybe Borland's will be more reasonable.

        The only thing (not a bad thing, mind you) that gcc has going for it is that it's free... it's hardly the compiler of choice if you really want to optimize your code.
      • Re:Market (Score:3, Informative)

        by ahde ( 95143 )
        The gcc we all use is much slower than the gnu-pro gcc you can buy from Cygnus/Redhat too.
      • I get twice as fast an executable when compiling my application with GCC 2.95.2 under Cygwin, compared to Borland C++ 5.5 under C++Builder, both with full optimization.
      • Re:Market (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
        "Many people argued the speed/size benefits of Watcom's DOS compilers compared to DJGPP, the (DOS port GCC)"

        Many people such as? GCC optimizes just as much as Watcom [and much more than MSVC].

        For example, my crypto library

        Includes both MSVC and GCC make files. Compare the timings [ciphers] for yourself!
        • Re:Market (Score:2, Interesting)

          Many people such as ME! Watcom c++ for dos just completely wiped the floor with djgpp (the dos port of gcc). It lost in every test made by every person ever, unless you count apps that were mostly asm anyway. Watcom's optimization was legendary. Most DOS games used Watcom. Remember the famous "DOS4GW" ? That was the default dos extender used by Watcom programs. That too helped, because it was faster than the dpmi used by djgpp.

    • It's awfully hard to know without seeing the Borland compiler first,
      gcc is not known for handling C++ especially well. 3.0 is supposed to support the language better, but is reported to generate larger executables and no better performance than present.
      I have no idea of how the Borland compiler would get along with current linkers and whether it would be better than the current mess, which is largely responsible for the long time required to start KDE apps.
      This stuff may not matter for free developers, but commercial developers may see improved performance as one of the edges they can ask people to pay for.
    • I've done hardly any programming for Linux yet. Mostly I've just used a text editor. If Borland doesn't release a GUI for C++, what's another good one? I thought gcc was command-line only & didn't have an IDE. Is there something else? I always assumed there was but have never got around to checking into it. Thanks.
    • Re:Market (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anandrajan ( 86137 )
      There's always been plenty of excitement on the borland.public.kylix.non-technical newsgroup regarding native RAD C++ for linux. John Kaster (from Borland) is the guy who usually confirms or denies rumors. For a while, there was a rumor that the C++ RAD version of Kylix would be called Sylix and he squashed that rumor pretty quickly.

      You can access the newsgroup here (sorry for the long URL, blame google not me) 43 n-technical%26start%3D25%26group%3Dborland.public. kylix.non-technical

      Also please check out an earlier message on this topic which may have already been covered on slashdot (sorry too lazy to check at 3:15AM),1410,2819 8, 00.html
      This one gives you an email address where (surprise, surprise!) you may be able to get a beta.
  • What an old fart I am. I remember cutting my teeth back in the 80's on Turbo C 1.0 ... and nearly did back flips when they finally got the Windows IDE right with C++ 5.0 some ten years later.

    Let's hope it doesn't take them as long to give us a familiar interface. Sure, the command line would be nice, considering Borland's robust libraries and deep oop capabilities ... but an IDE would be even sweeter.
    • If you're looking for a familiar interface, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Kylix, Borland's recent Delphi for Linux IDE, is for all purposes identical to Delphi 6. Kylix 1 had some stability problems, but Kylix 2 has been perfect. I'm sure that C++Builder for Linux will be stable and be immediately useful for experienced C++Builder users.
  • by Lobsang ( 255003 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:21AM (#2899062) Homepage

    I wonder if this will be like Borland C V1.5 (or was it 1.0? I'm getting old anyways...):

    int a = 4 / 8;
    printf("%d\n", a);

    Result: 2

    It's not a joke kiddos. It was a real bug, just like that.
  • Oh man... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pb ( 1020 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:23AM (#2899070)
    Borland has always put out wonderful tools, and really worked hard on making their compilers optimized on their platforms, but I think they've missed the boat here. This is most likely for easy porting of other applications written with Borland tools to Linux, because Linux already has a solid toolchain of its own. Regardless, I hope they get back on track.

    What I miss most is the old text-based Borland IDE. That was the most productive development environment ever. RHIDE is close, but wasn't stable on Linux when last I checked.
    • Re:Oh man... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by robbyjo ( 315601 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:29AM (#2899317) Homepage

      I think that Borland is trying to make its fan "feels like home", creating the "illusion" of being "cross platform". Thus, developers seeking to embrace Linux but reluctant to lose their Windows market can easily be lured in. When Linux gets stronger, Borland already has had a real good head start.

      BTW, old text-based Borland IDE can be "simulated" using Twilight scheme.

    • Re:Oh man... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ipfwadm ( 12995 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:31AM (#2899328) Homepage
      What, we can't use another compiler (which may or may not be better than gcc) and possibly an IDE?

      Us: "We need more companies to release products for Linux!"
      Borland: "OK, we'll release our C++ development environment!"
      Us: "No, not you, we don't need your product, we've already got that."

      Even if you never use it, it helps raise the visibility of the Linux platform when big-name companies like Borland are releasing Linux products.
      • Re:Oh man... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pb ( 1020 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @02:01AM (#2899420)
        I agree that there's nothing wrong with having more tools out there. However, I sincerely doubt that many Linux users would pay to install a third-party C++ compiler suite when they already have the standard C++ compiler for Unix (g++) free and already bundled with the system. This fact alone significantly narrows Borland's potential audience on Linux.

        Factors that might change this:

        (1) Borland releases it free of charge or under some open source license; this is a possibility, but isn't clearly stated in the article--perhaps the command-line compiler will be available free of charge, which would encourage many Linux enthusiasts to try it out.

        (2) Borland's C++ compiler supports advanced features not in gcc, such as compatibility with Borland's existing C++ compiler for Windows, better support for templates, better optimization, you name it. I already mentioned that this product might be aimed at people porting applications already written for Borland's compiler.

        However, the main problem I have with your point is your imaginary conversation; you neglected to date those statements. That first statement was made years ago! At the time, Linux was not very well known and companies were just starting to take notice of it. Borland took a survey and started work on Linux products. Then other companies actually wrote and marketed Linux versions of their products whilst Borland was busy having an identity crisis (remember Inprise?). This also caused Borland to lose credibility with some of their long-time supporters, who likely ported their applications to Linux with some other product (like g++) and forgot about Borland/Inprise. Only now are they waking up and marketing this product again!

        Therefore, I sincerely hope that this is a sign that the old Borland is back, and I hope they release a wonderful product, and gain massive support on Linux, and kick the gcc/g++ development crew into high gear to keep up. But understand if I fear the worst, especially from the vague tone of that Infoworld article, where they pretend that Linux doesn't already have a decent C++ compiler. :)
        • Re:Oh man... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kevinank ( 87560 )
          Oh, I don't agree. KDE developers might flock to a better C++ compiler. And users of AMD chips might be attracted to better optimization code since gcc basically sucks there (instruction schedulers in recent gcc builds are badly dis-optimized for AMD.) Precompiled headers might be nice too, and the Borland compilers have long had a reputation for compilation speed which itself is useful.

          Personally I remember liking the built in debugger and editor simplifying the compile/edit/debug cycle, so that would tend to attract me as well; in fact I was considering getting a box myself, and I rarely even have time to code in C++ any more.

          • Re:Oh man... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by HeUnique ( 187 )
            Never going to happend..

            Look at this: Intel released a free (for non commercial) release of their compiler (ICC)

            Did you see the KDE Developers move from GCC to ICC? I didn't, and I do follow the KDE lists..

            What could be is that if borland (probably) will release their command line tools free (as a beer) - then someone might build KDE binaries and will give it out as super optimized. Those will be unofficial binaries of course.
            • Re:Oh man... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Chainsaw ( 2302 )
              Intel has got a pretty good C compiler that gives quite a speedup compared to gcc. The bad news is that it crashes or generates bad code when using C++ with templates, operator overloading and other features that are clearly non-C. Even the Linux kernel isn't 100% stable with it.
    • Heve a look at XWPE (Score:4, Informative)

      by root_42 ( 103434 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:57AM (#2899407) Homepage
      And it even has been floating around for YEARS. Look at some screenshots of it here []. I think it might be what you are looking for.
    • What I miss most is the old text-based Borland IDE. That was the most productive development environment ever. RHIDE is close, but wasn't stable on Linux when last I checked.

      Try SETEDIT []; it's pretty darn close.

      -- MarkusQ

    • Re:Oh man... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @03:10PM (#2902223) Homepage Journal
      ...because Linux already has a solid toolchain of its own.

      I see the monopolists are out in force today. A language standard like ISO Standard C++ is a Good Thing. A single compiler that becomes a standard is a Bad Thing. When there is no room in Unix for an additional compiler, the end is near.

      If Borland C++ (the stand-alone compiler) won't be free then there probably won't be many users. It won't be shipped with your Redhat Subscription Service. But it will still have a place, namely with those that think choice is the first attribute of freedom. And if it is free, then expect it to be widely used.

      Gcc will finally have competition. It might actualy spur GNU into action to improve their compiler. Most of you guys here are too new to remember the history of gcc. Only a few years ago gcc *sucked* at C++. The unwritten by very official stance policy of GNU was that C++ sucked so don't bother. There was little standards conformance. But someone in the GNU crowd did have a clue, and forked the compiler. Before you knew it, egcs was being used more than gcc. Eventually the two merged back together, but I hope GNU learned its lesson.
  • This Is Very Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:23AM (#2899073) Journal
    Borland's IDEs (baring of licensing crap ;-) have always been exceptional. Current opensource IDEs are decent, but they are no where near the quality.

    It comes down to maturity. Borland has been making powerful IDEs for a very long time. Development for opensource IDEs however is a fairly new thing (KDEvelop is good, but it is still fairly unreliable and not as featured as I'd like).

    After years of tweaking, Borland's got it down pat.
    • The problem I find with KDevelop is the lack of integration of GUI design and coding. This is a staple in all modern IDE's, and I'd like to see it in KDevelop. An interface like Borland's would be great for KDevelop.
  • If nothing else, it'll be nice to have an industrial strength competitor to GCC coming from a (former) heavyweight in the development community. I remember Pascal oh so fondly...

    And I'll be real interested to see if it will actually compile the kernel!
  • by frleong ( 241095 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:25AM (#2899083)
    Kylix was supposed to be compiler independent. The current generations have only the Object Pascal compiler. IIRC, the next version of Kylix will support C++ too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    void main(void) {
    printf("Big deal\n");

  • I wonder if there will be an Open Edition?
    Yes, that would indeed be cool. Unfortunately, it's not gonna happen. If they open source it then people could recompile it for windows, and boom, there goes their whole suite for windows down the drain! But still, with GCC already out there, does it matter?
  • great! (Score:2, Informative)

    Then all we need is Textpad [] for Linux and then all well be well in the land of CS coding...
  • Hhhhmmm... let's see I can use XEmacs with code generation, source templates, tags, class browser or I can use Borland's and not be able to use elisp.

    I'm sure MSVC++ kiddies new to unix development in general can enjoy it however. I just hope I don't see 'project files' all over the damn place a year from now in lieu of Makefiles and autoconf.
  • Don't get me wrong; GCC is greak - but C++ Builder is an impressive way to write GUI applications quickly.

    I'd immediately recompile MemTach for Linux :-)

    Best Regards,

  • Resume Item (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenneth_martens ( 320269 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:31AM (#2899112)
    It's not clear (at least from the sketchy information in the article) if there will be an Open Source/free version, but I hope so, and here's why: currently my university requires us to use Windows in our computer science classes, mainly because Microsoft gives us a lot of expensive software for free (if Microsoft makes it, students probably have access to it--Visual Studio 6, Visual SourceSafe, SQL Server, Windows XP Pro, ...)

    That leaves people like me--who prefer to run Linux instead of Windows--at a disadvantage. I have to have a dual boot system, and I have to reboot to Windows every time I need to hack out some code for a class. Now, if Borland releases their C++ for Linux and makes it free, I know I could convince a couple of my professors to ditch the Microsoft stuff and use teach the class using Linux and Borland. That would enable me--and the rest of the university--to gain some practical experience coding on the Linux platform, and not just on Windows. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with knowing how to code using Windows and Microsoft Visual Studio (in fact it's probably a good resume item), but I'd like to get familiar with some alternatives before I enter the workforce.
    • Re:Resume Item (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cuthalion ( 65550 )
      You know, there's nothing stopping you from using GCC and whatever editor you like (RHIDE, emacs, whatever) under linux. If you absolutely must make it work under windows too, all the better - now you're learning how to write portable code. Even neverminding that, using GCC is much more practical linux experience than using Borland C++ will ever be, in that most everyone doing linux development will not drop everything and migrate to Borland's tools immediately.
      • In my OOP class we started out writing an interface to Excel, moved on to animated MS Agents, Windows RPC, and GDI screensavers for fun. Which pretty much limits you to MSVC. Some projects wouldn't compile on the 5.0 I had bought the year before.

        While I appreciated the instructor trying to make it more "interesting", he was a couple years behind in what was cool. Several of us had started experimenting with Linux (1998) and once you've seen the flexibility of gcc, it's tough to go back.

        Not to mention how painful it is to unlearn the incompatibilities Microsoft teaches you.
      • Indeed, and some of my work colleagues use emacs or vim + either makefiles or ant to develop in Java, despite having plenty of JBuilder 4 Professional licences. It's what they're used to, and to be honest, JBuilder is a bit of a cow, performance wise (we only have 450MHz P3s, but that's a moan for another thread)

        I had never really used an IDE until I was persuaded to give JBuilder a go (other than relatively brief uses of Visual Interdev and VC++), and it's changed the way I work. If nothing else, being able to step through the code in the debugger, inspecting any variables I choose is wonderful, and a vast improvement on peppering the code with System.out.println()s.

        Of course, as I develop code in Java on a machine running Linux that's going to be deployed on a server running Linux, I don't have to worry about cross-platform issues. However, I can't imagine that there's anything stopping you from developing fully portable code using an IDE, either. You'd just have to know what you were doing, which is true in any case.


        • If nothing else, being able to step through the code in the debugger, inspecting any variables I choose is wonderful

          ...and of course, it has nothing whatsoever to do with using an IDE. Debuggers have been around as standalone products for a very long time in the Unix world. It's only the lack of decent standalone tools under DOS/Windows that has driven people to use the all in one approach that Borland and MS are selling.

          • True enough, but when you can fire up the debugger just by clicking that icon there, next to the one that you click to run the code normally, there's more of an incentive to start playing with it.

            If you have to go hunting around on freshmeat or google to find one in the fist place, or wade through dozens of pages of info/man pages to learn an obscure command line interface, printf()s or System.out.println()s start looking attractive. This is especially true when the bug has to be fixed now, so the client will stop shouting at the project manager, who in turn will stop breathing down your neck.


            • Re:Resume Item (Score:3, Informative)

              by Tet ( 2721 )
              If you have to go hunting around on freshmeat or google to find one in the fist place, or wade through dozens of pages of info/man pages to learn an obscure command line interface, printf()s or System.out.println()s start looking attractive.

              Agreed, if that was the case. Fortunately, it isn't. DDD [] ships with most Linux distributions, and gives you the nice GUI interface you're used to, plus some extra goodies on top (the ability to visually see the state of data structures like linked lists or binary trees is an amazing debugging tool). And since this is Unix, naturally there are other choices if you don't like DDD: Code Crusader [], mxdb, mxgdb, xxgdb etc.

    • Based on Borland's past offerings, I'd say there will probably be a free C++ compiler(command line) but not C++ builder.

      I'm currently learning Java using their JBuilder6 Personal Edition [], (a very good Java IDE, I might add). It's available for free on both Windows and Linux. Its got everything you need to learn Java, just not the enterprise stuff. So its possible they might do the same with C++ Builder. Its just in the past(for Windows) they made the base compiler free and charged you for the IDE.

      • Re:Resume Item (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:25AM (#2899307)
        Word has it from the 2000 Borland Developer's Conference, that Kylix was going to be Delphi on Linux. Next in the queue was going to be C++Builder on Linux. During that same conference, the core C++ compiler had been built and demonstrated compiling and running natively on Linux. That was two years ago.

        Since that time, we have seen Kylix and Kylix 2 released as well as Delphi 6 and a new C++Builder. The fundamental piece was the use of CLX to make the code cross platform between Windows and Linux. VCL code simply will not port. And, the VCL never worked cleanly between Delphi and Kylix. CLX was the answer to this.

        I expect that the upcoming release will be C++Builder on Linux. That means it will have the same look and feel as C++ Builder on Windows. Yes...a GUI oriented development tool with all the wizbang designers that many of us have come to love.

        I'd also like to point out that Borland made it clear that they were not out to replace GCC. Their aim (well, 2 years ago), was to make a development tool that enabled developers with a Windows background migrate to Linux and bring their application development skills to the Linux platform. There was alot of talk about whether the libraries would be link compatible with GCC. They didn't have an answer that most of us wanted to hear. But, like I said, that was two years ago.

        Borland is position themselves to enable developers to enter a new market. While the MS folks are concerned about pushing .NET out the door, Borland developers will already be developing Web services and database applications for both Linux and Windows and beating their competitors to the punch.

        Will these tools be an immediate big hit with Linux users? Doubt it. It takes a lot to effect a paradime shift of that magnitude. But, you will see Windows developers porting their code to Linux and opening up new markets. Eventually, the die hard people will see the advantages of using a tool like C++Builder or Kylix in a corporate setting. And, if we are really lucky, we'll see Borland making their .so's compatible with rest of the Linux community. The whole point of doing a C++ version is simply that the majority of Linux developers use that language. But, they ported Delphi over first (ala Kylix) because the majority of their customers are Delphi users.

        Guess we'll all have to wait and see, eh?

        • Don't forget that as well as Kylix, JBuilder has been available for Linux since at least version 3. (Quitepossibly before that, too, but I came to it just as 3.5 was being released.)

          True, it's almost 100% Java, so there wouldn't have been that much work invovled, but it's still very welcome - it meant that I (and about half my colleagues) could finally ditch Windows entirely at work.


    • You don't have the choice? For programs that were auto-graded, it was always on a Windows machine running VC++ 6.0, but once we got into programs that were demoed, we always had the Linux option. (I wasn't very initiated in the world of Unix at that point, and I gotta admit VC++ is a damned fine product.)

      Anyway, last semester in operating systems, we had to use Linux. If you haven't gotten into higher classes, you might find those give you the option of developing under some flavor of Unix, if it's not required.
  • by fwankypoo ( 58987 ) <> on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:37AM (#2899140) Homepage
    The blurb (linked to here [] mentions that Borland is going to announce C++Builder for Linux. Just a tasty little tidbit that needs to be adressed:P

    • correct, this is going to be C++ Builder, the full IDE. Same as they made Delphi for linux (Kylix).
    • "We are taking our C++ development solution to the Linux platform. We have seen a lot of Linux developers who used to be Unix developers," said Alison Deane, a senior director of product marketing at Borland, in Scotts Valley, Calif.

      She added that Borland plans to announce C++Builder for Windows next month, but declined to provide details.

      No they didn't. They just said they were going to announce C++ for Linux, and C++ Builder for Windows.
      • She added that Borland plans to announce C++Builder for Windows next month, but declined to provide details.

        That's got to be a journalist mangling the message. Borland has been selling C++ Builder for windows for several years already - why would they anounce it now?

        This could really mean that either there is a new version of BCB for win32 to be anounced, or that BCB for linux is coming out.

        Now it has been Borland's stated intent that the Kylix product line (or even the Kylix product) will support drag&drop C++ as well as Object-Pascal. I don't see why not - they share a compiler back end and a class library.

        So either
        - Borland has changed direction and not told anyone, and there will be no BCB for linux.
        - We are getting BCB for Linux now.
        - This is in fact only a commandline compiler, and is just a warmup for a later release of BCB for Linux.

        Place your bets.

        • Oops, just read further, seeing as borland says "We are taking our C++ development solution to the Linux platform." said Alison Deane

          Now "development solution" doesn't sound like just a commndline compiler to me.

          I expect that option 2 (BCB for linux now) is most likely, and option 1 (No BCB for linux ever) is right out.

          There will likely also be a new version of bcb for win32. That's what happened on the Object-Pascal front: Kylix 1 rapidly followed by Delphi6.

      • Well, you are correct, but if the architecture of the platform has not changed drastically from earl builder days, it takes a certain amount of dedication to port the compiler but not the whole builder. The builder envorinment is exactly same as delphi environment except for parser and object inspector (plus a few extra tools for interoperability with other C++ environments, but that is irrelevant.) The builder parser is able to parse both C++ and object pascal, while the delphi parser can only OP. The intermediate code generator is same, the code generator is same, the linker, debugger etc. tools are identical, the code of libraries are identical except for headers etc. (and this too is non-vital, builder can use delphi units just fine, without C++ headers.) The object inspector has to be aware of C++ bindings, but that too is trivial once you have C++ parser. While normally it is rather hard to produce C++ Builder like IDE with onlt a C++ compiler in hand, with Kylix working, producing C++ Builder just takes a new parser and some fiddling. Since a C++ compiler has to have a C++ parser, borland can release a single compiler only if they specifically want not to release Builder.
  • Wonderful (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:12AM (#2899261)

    I applaud Borland for choosing to put more of their fine products on Linux. I have personally used Borland's products since version 3 of their Pascal compiler, which was a pretty long time ago. In conjunction with TurboPower's libraries, which were distributed with complete source code and no royalties, Borland's compilers, both for Pascal and C/C++, were always truly amazing products.

    Now, with the increasing popularity and acceptance of Linux, I believe that Borland's products have found a new home, better than on DOS and Windows. I strongly believe that if Borland continues to implement their fine software on Linux, some great applications, brand-name commercial as well as free, will show up on Linux, making it a strong and competitive alternative to the Windows family of operating systems.

    Perhaps someday, a couple of years down the road, Microsoft will begin implementing their software, such as a Microsoft Office for Linux package, just as some years ago, IBM sold native Windows versions of their OS/2 applications. Hopefully, this move by Borland will bring that a bit closer to reality.

    • Pleeeease. I have been using Borland products for about 6 or 7 years now and I would definitely chime in that they are wonderful tools. But I'm also not so disillusioned to think that the reason there haven't been tons of great commercial applications on Linux is because there hasn't been a development environment good enough to create them. It's simply because there isn't enough of a market for such products. And while having a tool that makes creating applications easier is always a good thing (look what VB did for Windows), Linux needs a lot more than a better development environment for it to better compete against Windows.
  • I'm sure this will marked as troll, flamebait, lame, whatever, but I'm actually curious.

    How many people actually use Borland's C++ products currently? Of those that do, is this just brand loyalty from the Windows 3.1 days? I've been part of product teams (all using C/C++) developing on Windows, Mac, and various unices, and I've never seen Borland being used anywhere. The last Borland product I've seen used was Turbo Pascal for DOS back in high school.

    This isn't meant to start a flame war, I've just never actually seen a Borland C++ product being used, and am curious how big their market is. It may be that the Linux version would actually outsell the Windows version due to lack of competition. And it would totally rock if they released the Borland C++ builder IDE that supported not only the Borland compiler, but gcc and icc (intel) as well.

    Needless to say, if they do release the IDE, I'll be very interested to see how well it works. I've tried KDevelop, CodeWarrior (older version - 5.0?), Anjuta, a couple other gnome things, etc. And I'm sorry to say none of them allow me to be as productive as I am with VC++ (with the VisualAssist add-in). CodeWarrior was probably the worst (I hope for their sake 6.0 was better), and KDevelop the most mature. However, none of the open source efforts play nice with cross platform projects (damn it, I don't WANT the make files in the same directory as the source!!!), and are terrible when dealing with large projects. If Borland's product can deal with large cross-platform projects, I'll be a happy camper.

    • >How many people actually use Borland's C++ products currently?
      I can't quote actual statistics, but: we have a ton of C++ Builder boxes around the office, and we also make extensive use of JBuilder. The place where I used to work, were pretty much all Borland fanatics, and had their own NNTP server, made up of borland fans. A lot of them were "Team B", the Borland Users Group kinda thing.
      >Of those that do, is this just brand loyalty from the Windows 3.1 days?
      Kinda. From reading the documentation and talking to them, they tend to say the same things. 1, it was a better compiler for a LONG time when compared to Windows (arguable, of course). 2, it was more command-line friendly, if you didn't want to use the full-on IDE; this mattered because a lot of them were Unix expatriates having to get work in a PC world, and they wanted a PC compiler that acted like cc/gcc. This too is arguable; I'm just reporting, here. 3, many reported better standards compliance, and more functionality in doing things other than Windows (but on x86). For example, one person I knew did embedded x86 development and liked the Borland tools. The general consensus was Microsoft's tools were *Windows* compilers, whereas Borland's were more multifunction. Lastly, they all loved the IDE, considering it more mature and stable than VC++. The majority of them are excited about moving to Linux with BC++ and I expect a small but noticeable increase in Linux acceptance once this comes out. The glare of running cash registers may not light up the skies, but I can think of at least a dozen people off the top of my head who will be willing to spend moderately large money to get their hands on a Borland toolchain for Linux.
    • We originally choose Borland C++ 5.0 for creating MS Windows binaries because Delphi was popular at our department.

      Since that is getting ancient (I want to use more modern C++ features), I have been looking into an upgrade. The compiler must be cheap and easy to install, as Ph.D. students (who have never heard of Unix) will want to compile the application, and I don't want to come in a situation where I have to provide technical support for the compiler.

      C++Builder is the obvious choice for a succecor, but the IDE is the worst I have ever encountered, is is slow bordering to unusable, and produce (for my application) ridiculous bad code.

      Cygwin was the second choice, since I already use GCC on unix. It is also the recommended way to get CVS, and I can reuse the Makefile. However, the Unix environment is too weird for some of the users, and getting -no-cygwin to work for C++ is non-trivial. So I need a more conventional solution as well.

      Visual C++ is what most people use. It has en excellent IDE, produce OK code, and mediocre C++ support. I have found work arounds for the limitations in the C++ support, so that is going to be the replacement for Borland C++.

    • How many people actually use Borland's C++ products currently? Of those that do, is this just brand loyalty from the Windows 3.1 days? I've been part of product teams (all using C/C++) developing on Windows, Mac, and various unices, and I've never seen Borland being used anywhere. The last Borland product I've seen used was Turbo Pascal for DOS back in high school.
      Here's an irony: I work at Borland, and I'm currently working on the documentation for this product. (Do not ask me for product details. Must go through Official Channels.) The ironic part is that before I took this job, I had the same misperception. I applied for a job in the Enterprise software unit, thinking the developer tools unit must be in Legacy Support mode.

      Not even close to true. A lot of developers are absolutely passionate about Delphi and C++ Builder. I think they'd riot in the streets if either product were discontinued. Not that there's any danger of this. Even in Borland's darkest days, these products were making money, and never stopped being under active development.

      There are lots of reasons for this lack of visibility. The most obvious one is the reluctance of managers to commit to non-Microsoft tools, despite rabid lobbying from their engineers. And there always seem to be rumors of Borland's imminent meltdown -- even as we turn a profit and scramble to house the new hires.

      One way to measure the penetration of Borland RAD products is to download and run the VCL Scanner [], which uncovers installed Windows programs that use Borland libraries. First time I used it, I was shocked to discover how many of these there were. Some of them were basic system utilities that I had used for years.

  • (picture a pretty gui)


    Compiler: [] Borland C++ []gcc |path|

    Linker: [] Borland [] ld |path|

  • A really great thing with Linux (and NetBSD, and OpenBSD) is *portability* . These OS can run the same way on a variety of hardware.
    Something designed on Linux x86 can run on Linux PPC with almost no change.
    The master key to make it possible is GCC. Because GCC can compile (and even cross-compile) code for a lot of architectures.
    Projects using Borlanc C++ specific features will work on Intel Linux. Nowhere else. This is pity. An opensource Operating System should be open to everyone.

  • What Linux needs is a kick ass developer environment like Visual Studio.NET, not another C++ compiler: the way software is written, the time it takes to cook up great reusable code, THAT's important. The compiler is just the end station of what's produced.

    If you are fortunate to be able to take a look at the Visual Studio.NET releases, you know what I mean. I hope for Linux Borland will come with a toolset that gives the Linux developer the same productivity tools as Visual Studio.NET gives you. But I fear it will be only the v5.5 C++ compiler.
  • by Lurks ( 526137 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @04:42AM (#2899707) Homepage
    Quite a lot of this ground has been discussed in the story I submitted Does Linux Need Another Commercial Compiler? []. That being about my company's consideration of porting VectorC {PC} to Linux. It'll just be provided with the Windows version.

    The upshot of that discussion was that VectorC {PC:Linux} is sheduled for release in April this year. That being based on our 2.0 engine so with C++ compatibility (currently VectorC is C only). While there was (unsurprisingly) a load of anti closed-source rhetoric in public, we did recieve a good number of serious private enquiries from people looking for a compiler such as ours on the Linux platform. It was enough to form a view that the platform is viable for us.

    Ultimately I can't see any serious argument against having development tools such as these (Borland C++ and VectorC) on Linux. While it's likely of less interest to the open source/free evangelists wanting everything for free, there's definately demand where Linux is increasingly being used as an industrial platform.

    Codeplay [] looks forward to competing with Borland on Linux.

    Mat Bettinson - Codeplay Ltd.

  • Personally, I could care less about what the actual compiler is. For our product, we use MS VC++ for development and the Intel compiler for release builds (it's a better compiler).

    All I ask from Linux is a similar or better IDE. I want to be able to write code, edit resources (dialogs), and do it all from one environment. I want a class wizard (again, I'm a VC++ user). Give me that, and I'll develop software for Linux in all my spare time.

    Everyone talks about the advantages of Open Source. Give me this one simple thing, and I as user, will become an open source developer.

    Don't make me deal with configure and manual makefiles and all that garbage. Forget it, I'm spoiled. I won't go back to that. It's like going back to the old DOS days. Give me a true IDE environment for development, and you've got me hooked. Throw on top of that a really good C++ class library for dealing with X, and you're done. So, who's doing this?
  • Still Free software? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PEdelman ( 200362 )

    So, if I compile Free code with a non-Free compiler, would people regard it still Free software? This is meant serious, not as a troll.

    As for me, it would not matter very much if with which compiler a program is compiled. But maybe someone has a good opinion on this.

    • I *think* so. The code itself is what matters. You can distribute it under any Open Source license you want.

      Of course, if it depends on a proprietary compiler, it can't be part of a Totally Free(tm) system. But that doesn't mean the code itself is non-Free.
  • Twice Shy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NReitzel ( 77941 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @06:52AM (#2899858) Homepage
    Well, Borland is going to 'support' Linux.

    Whoooopie. I'm so excited I could just lift a finger in celebration. The "next article" finger to be exact.

    Borland was a Godsend back in DOS days, when the Microsoft platform was unreliable and probably the least compatible C compiler ever invented. Those of us who were doing development work on MouseyDos spent our hard earned dollars on Turbo C, Borland C, release after release.

    Then along came Windows and competing products from other vendors. Borland provided us with an extensible object framework better than anything that Microsoft had to offer. And then, something happened. All of a sudden, Borland was in bed with Microsoft, and those of us who worked with ObjectWindows, or (horrors) that "other" platform were abandoned like poor relatives at a party.

    I personally give Borland a share of the blame for the extension of the Microsoft monopoly and the eradication of that "other" platform.

    And now, they're going to bring out a product for Linux.

    Well, friends, I won't spend a single cent on a Borland platform for Linux. Linux already has a mature tool chain available (more than one, actually) and in my humble opinion, Borland's products are unreliable. They are unreliable for the same reason every other proprietary product is unreliable; one never knows if tomorrow that product will even exist. If I find serious errors with the product, will Borland fix them, or will they once again decide that politics or bribery rule, and abandon their product (and me) to their own interests?

    No, friend. I greet Borland's announcement of Linux support with all the enthusiasm of Borland's last six years of announcements. After spending thousands of dollars on their products only to be left standing in the rain, I will never, ever, buy another Borland product again.

    Not ever.
    • In a way I agree and in a way I don't.

      I have Kylix 1 and have been following the kylix newsgroups for a while. I'd love to be able to write some cool end user software in Linux with Kylix, but haven't had much opportunity yet (started a couple cool things though).

      Problem with Kylix (and much proprietary software) is that Borland hasn't really responded acceptably to reasonable gripes. Back in AUGUST it was made fairly clear that some K1 patches would be coming out that would fix the IDE, debugger, upgrade the MySQL drivers (they shipped only supporting the old 3.22 version!) and presumably other things. Then the Borland folks teased us again in October by saying that we'd see a K1 patch before K2 shipped. Then a ***BETA*** patch came out and they say "oh yeah, we only mean beta". Now, only about a week ago did the final patch come out, and all it is is a debugger fix for the 2.4 kernel and a MySQL upgrade. That couldn't possibly have been that hard to fix. How in the name of all that's good and holy did it take them this long to put it out? Any self-respecting Free Software project would have had fixes for that kind of thing LONG ago!

      So that solidifies my position that one should use only Free Software tools to develop something that is truly important or mission critical. Proprietary vendors simply can't be trusted. If something is wrong with the compiler and they won't fix it, YOU'RE SCREWED!

      Having said that, however, Kylix is a great tool for the most part. It is far and away the easiest way to build end user GUI applications for Linux, especially if they involve database access. So I will probably use Kylix in that way in the future -- AS LONG AS the project isn't a super critical one where loss of support from the tool vendor would be a disaster. In that case, I'd probably use Python and wxPython, or perhaps C++ if it was performance critical.
  • Borland is a member of the Consortium []. Perhaps their new IDE is Eclipse. I hope so. The more I work with Eclipse, the more I like it. There's room for improvement, but those improvements are being made. Eclipse is the only open-source software my company has committed to. It's becoming a core part of our flagship product. No other open-source product can say that.
  • EULA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blkros ( 304521 ) <> on Friday January 25, 2002 @09:06AM (#2900079)
    Out of over 200 comments, so far, there have only been a couple of mentions of the license agreement fiasco. Why is this? Does the Slashdot community forget so soon? This was a really big thing less than 2 weeks ago, and now everyone's happy because Borland is releasing a C++ compiler for linux, hmmm. This seems hypocritical to me. Borland never really apologized for their EULA, they just excused it as a mistake made by their lawyers.See this []. There enterprise agreement is not industry standard, it is ridiculous. I guess that it doesn't matter what a company does, as long as it's not Microsoft. It's hard to replace an OS, but not so hard to replace an app--I, personally, would use someting a little less polished, rather than support a company that claims to support a community, but, really, doesn't.
    I'm really not trying to be a troll here, I just thought that this needed to be brought up, and, discussed.
  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <{ten.knilhtrae} {ta} {nsxihselrahc}> on Friday January 25, 2002 @11:33AM (#2900689)
    Borland is entering a tough market. The Linux system already comes with C++ compilers and IDEs. Perhaps not as good, but free (GPL). This makes any sale dubious. Their products may well be better, but how large a market is there for better products against already established free products?

    One place where they have a big edge is in dialog building. Kylix already builds dialogs under Linux, so they know how.

    Perhaps what their goal is, is to get people using their products on Linux to be cross-platform, but to make their pile selling compilers for the Windows versions? Sounds chancy to me, but it would let them sell the Linux system at around cost, and still make SOMETHING. I'm dubious about proprietary libraries, but I believe that the GPL (NOT LGPL!) version of the library is available at sourceforge. And that Borland holds sole rights, so they can license it commercially if you pay them.

    This means that you can use Borland libraries in GPL software without cost, but if you want to sell the product, Borland gets a share. (Sounds fair to me. Viable? I don't know.)

    Given this evaluation, past comments, etc., and what I expect is that this C product will be the C++ companion product to Kylix. And it will probably be available on the same basis.

    As to what they'll call it, companies are unpredictable, but what I think they should call it is:
    Kylix C++, a C++ environment for the Kylix family.
    Then they could follow it up with:
    Kylix Python, a Python environment for the Kylix family.
    Kylix Java, a Java environment for the Kylix family.
    The kicker would be that all of the various pieces could work together in a relatively seamless way. (This takes a bit of work, but SuperCede Java did this between Java, C, and C++ on the PC side years ago. They finally got bought out by someone who raised the price to $10,000 per copy, but it worked pretty well when it was affordable.) And, of course, gcc has always worked this way.
  • by Kaz Kylheku ( 1484 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:14PM (#2901364) Homepage
    Linus used a Borland compiler to bootstrap the development of Linux, because Minix was compiled with that. (Then when the system was good enough to host GCC, and serve as its own development platform, that compiler was abandoned).
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @02:30PM (#2901915)
    I hope Borland learns from past mistakes.

    About 8 years ago I got into OS/2 in a big way and wanted to start developing for it. CSet from IBM was very expensive so I was ecstatic when Borland C++ came out for OS/2. Version 1.0 was pretty damned good - a powerful IDE, a decent set of helper classes (no GUI ones though) and a syntax highlighting editor in an age when IBM CSet++ shipped with no editor whatsoever. All was good or so I thought and I put aside concerns about the few bugs because it worked dammit and 1.01 would iron out the remaining problems.

    Version 1.01 came and had some fixes for the existing problems but overall had *more* bugs than 1.0. The classes didn't work as designed, the debugger more frequently hung your machine than worked and worst of all the IDE crashed - randomly. All was getting decidely iffy but I knew that 1.5 was out so I still held out hope.

    Version 1.5 and all hope flew out the window and emigrated to Australia. I had never seen a buggy piece of shit in life! The all new improved version may as well had alpha written all over it. It was unusable and I gave up after discovering threading was completely broken - a feature I had used up until then.

    Soon after I switched to IBM CSet++. Now that was a compiler. It might have had a totally stinky UI (none at all), but the command line tools were excellent and it came with some pretty good classes too.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein