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Corel to Buy Inprise/Borland 264

d writes "Corel will buy Inprise/Borland Corp. in a $2.44-billion deal "designed to capitalize on the growing Linux market". "
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Re:Corel has an office suite

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Corel is just buying more distressed "hand me down" products from another failed business (Borland). They're starting to look like a second-hand "thrift" store.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The makers of kick-ass development tools, that has (sadly) been in decline for the past few years?

    Development tools? On Linux? That's always been Linux's greatest strength. Borland is like the _last_ company I'd expect a company that wants to be a Linux Power to aqquire.

    I mean, how about:

    - Adobe (Photoshop, font tech, PS/PDF, DTP tools)
    - NewTek (Lightwave, an awesome 3D production tool)
    - Sybase/Oracle (industrial strength DBMS)
    - Lotus (123, Notes)

    These make sense. But Borland?

    The only reason I can see for buying Borland is that it's a good way to get a bing chunk of programmers all at once. But there's nothing I see attractive in the product line

  • There are currently two Open Source pascal projects:

    - Free Pascal: Written in itself, has a lot of extensions over "standard" Pascal which bring it _close_ to Borland Pascal. Available for a few non-x86 platforms.
    - GNU Pascal: Written as a language front-end to GCC(GNU Compiler Collection ;) so can target virtually any platform that GNU C can and is highly optimising. Supports a wide variety of Pascal standards. Somewhat compliant with Borland Pascal.

    Neither of these compilers are in the same league as Borland Delphi. They are both staggeringly slow compared with the Borland compilers (OK, I can forgive GNU Pascal as it shares exactly the same back end as GCC). Neither compiler has adopted many Delphi-isms - which is good if you want a Borland Pascal look-a-like but lousy if you have 100k+ lines of Delphi (like me ;). Both compilers are cross-platform and cross-processor which is a Good Thing(tm).

    When I looked at trying to improve these projects back in 96/97 the developers seemed less than enthusiastic about adopting Delphi constructs... YMMV.
  • Hmm... Given the existence of GCC, maybe they will open source or drop the compiler, and sell the IDE only instead.

    I hope not. The Borland compiler has a lot of advantages, the main one being speed. The Delphi 4 compiler will build my 100k line application from scratch in around 60sec on a PII-233+192MB RAM. An equivalent sized C application can take ~10mins (under Linux - much much more under Windows/Cygwin)....

    GCC however is highly portable and can target many platforms and processors. Which is really neat....but you don't need (or want) an IDE to do that. Autoconf/Automake is your friend ;)
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Ooh, ouch. Don't like GCC, eh? :)

    Well, you can always use RHIDE, (looks like a Borland product, in text mode, yay!)
    FreePascal, (pretty complete, not quite there last I checked. But back then it was FPK Pascal or something)
    and NASM. (looks kinda like TASM, for those of us who don't want to learn AT&T-style Assembler syntax, for one.)

    Oh, and feel free to port the BGI interface. I ported some of it to SVGALib, so I could move my graphics hacks over. Of course, I used p2c, and hacked the output some, and compiled with egcs, but it's all good. And my stuff runs much better now. I just wish SVGALib had more primitives, like "floodfill"... *sigh*
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Yeah, that's what happens when you turn a C compiler into a C++ compiler. However, that's actually not nearly as bad as some implementations I've seen, believe it or not.

    Centerline's old "C++ compiler" didn't support boolean variables, true or false. I had to ifdef / define the darn things if I wanted to use them.

    I'm not convinced that strong typing is a benefit, unless you can override it when necessary. However, I guess it helps catch errors if you know what types you want, and want speed. Lately, I've been using languages with pretty flexible types, and implementing something that *looks* like that in C++ is a real pain.

    (pardon me while I override the + operator so it supports every combination of anything addition-like for every type, ever. ;)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Well, the environment is definitely a separate chunk that can be made to work with the compiler(s). That's one thing I like about RHIDE.

    I don't know how much of a market there would be for an X RAD tool, but I understand there are such things for FLTK and GTK. (?)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    What, it prints out "Inf"? The "real compiler" I tried did the same thing. Of course, if you had a "real interpreter"... (contradiction in terms?)

    (define main
    (lambda (i x)
    (if (= i 1000000000)
    (main (add1 i) (* x x)))))
    (main 0 3.14)

    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • How did you misinterpret my post as adoration for GCC? I just use it a lot.

    GCC actually optimizes things decently on Intel, and your problems did not concern optimization, but rather scale. And I've seen worse C++ compilers, but GCC definitely does better as a C compiler. It also has a lot of unique flags to tune its behavior in both C and C++, which is a really good thing to investigate.

    Also, last I checked, GCC optimization sucks on Solaris, and probably a few other platforms. But again, that wasn't even what you were talking about. (I think) Also, it's nice that GCC supports so many platforms, and allows its users to extend it. That's really its strength, and also why we have Linux in the first place.

    But when I wrote some classes that used templates, I had to #include my .cc files to get it to work. Bleh.

    Also, I agree, RHIDE for Linux is pretty buggy. But the original, RHIDE for DOS is much better. (and it runs in DOSEmu. Go figure) Also, I *love* its info browser. That is a wonderful idea, making it just like the Borland Help.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Maybe we *will* get to see all that Borland stuff ported to Linux. I hope Corel follows through on their good intentions.

    Have we seen some little companies grow up and buy some big companies, or what? Compaq and Digital, AOL and Time Warner, and now this. It boggles the mind...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by rlk ( 1089 )
    There was one really nasty thing of this nature in 2.7.2 (I think it finally got fixed in 2.9 something). Compiling C++, a function

    foo(int a)

    was accepted. Notice that there is no declaration of return type -- a violation of every C++ standard -- and the compiler defaults to returning int, K&R-style. Even including -ansi -pedantic-errors would not trigger an error (it would trigger a warning, but not an error). I had a very hard time convincing the gcc folks at the time that this was a real, and serious, problem.

    I'm glad that at least -ansi -pedantic-errors exists; for the most part, it's quite good. It's unfortunate that something as egregious as this (and in C++, where one of the major benefits is strong typing, this kind of thing is a real problem) slipped through for so long.
  • Corel is attempting to create a new market for non-technical Linux users for their office application with their distribution. This is a totally different market than the Borland development tools are attracting. Thus, I don't think tying the development tools to their distribution would make any economic sense.
  • Delphi is very popular around here, judging from traffic in the dk.* newsgroups, it is discussed as much as C/C++ and Visual Basic.

  • Actually, I was thinking about the Borland C/C++ compiler only, which is what is most clearly equivalent to GCC. I use both Borland C++ 5.0 and the GCC from Cygwin 1.0, and GCC generates 10% faster code. GNU ld, on the other hand, uses way to much memory (1 Gb for my project), and the debug information takes ridiculous amount of space. Linking is also a weak point for Borland C++.

    Delphi is very different, GCC doesn't include a Pascal compiler yet, and as you say, the Delphi compiler is much faster. I agree dropping it for an alpha version of GNU Pascal would be ridiculous.

  • lcc doesn't have as many backends or frontends as gcc, but it should be a nice little C compiler.
  • Precompiled header support was developed by Cygnus, but apparently there was issues with the implementation, so it was never merged into gcc. Cygnus has now (sub-)contracted the job to a new person, who apparently work directly with the public gcc tree, rather than the internal Cygnus sources.

    Or something like that.
  • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:47AM (#1298669) Homepage
    Corel has until now been a user and (indirectly, through Cygnus contracts) a developer of GCC. They have paid Cygnus to implement various MS extensions for GCC, as well as support for precompiled headers. I hope this move does not mean they will use (and enhance) the proprietary Borland compilers instead.

    Hmm... Given the existence of GCC, maybe they will open source or drop the compiler, and sell the IDE only instead.
  • Not really how Godwin's Law works, but I understand the sentiment.

    The actual definition of Godwin's Law here [].

    Making iDirt 1.82 a safer place, one bug at a time.
  • by Drey ( 1420 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:27AM (#1298671) Homepage
    Borland's version of the news here [].
    Making iDirt 1.82 a safer place, one bug at a time.
  • I was under the impression that gcc still didn't do this. Since I've got some rather large bits of C++ code that I compile fairly often, I'd be interested in activating this feature if it works. Do you have more information?

  • I *did* try to use C++ builder, "try" being the operative word. I still haven't figured out what the point is..or for that matter, how to compile a simple program. Mind, I haven't tried particularly hard since I stopped using Windows soon after I bought it (waste of $100, but anyway..)

  • After seeing this article I decided to check out Glade, and it looks like it does pretty much the same thing, only it has the advantage of having documentation that makes sense :) Also, you can export the interfaces to XML and (I think) dynamically load them back in, adding a lot of customizability; does C++ Builder do this? (shouldn't be hard) There are a few UI annoyances; for example, if you select a widget and then place it, the next click will revert to "select" mode instead of placing another widget of that type, but those are easy to deal with (if I ever am in a position where Glade could help, I may send a short patch -- probably no more than 10 lines -- to the Glade folks to fix this)

    Anyway, I'm obviously pretty ignorant about "visual" design; I've only tried to write one Windows program, and did it with very little assistance (I did use some buggy Borland dialog creation tool -- a resource editor, I think they called it). It was an enormous pain. I think the complexity and hackiness of the Windows API may be a major reason for the popularity of this sort of tool over there.
    If I want to write a UNIX GUI program, I generally use GTK+. If I want to write it quickly, I use GTK+ in Python. The API for GTK+ is logical and consistent enough that I'm not sure that GUI drawing tools aren't redundant -- except for the rather cool dynamic-loading and design-by-nonprogrammer aspect I mentioned earlier.

  • Now Corel and Borland are merging, they seem to show their true intentions: to use Linux as a weapon in the market share grabbing game against Microsoft. Linux to them is just a money-making tool, in some ways not different from the case of LinuxOne. They either ignore or forget about the true significance of Linux and Open Source. Trying to sell their compilers and GUI frameworks to Linux users and to control the market, thinking that these areas are currently vacant? Just imagine if Borland requires that all Linux systems shall have some Borland library installed, or applications built with Borland won't run. Or a Borland installer requires root privileges, or installs over standard library files (like the C library). Coral/Borland shall realize that since GNU C was released in 1989, the hackers have been freed from proprietary domination. And they won't go back. They are not Windows programmers. Trying to play the same game as they did in Windows land (one vendor for everything from compilers to office suites, all proprietary), and Corel/Borland will die sooner before the advancement of Open Source.

    Redhat and VA Linux are the future of computer companies. Corel/Borland is not.

  • And close this discussion forthwith
  • Since Borland has 2.5 times Corel's revenues I'm not too worried about the dilution.
  • I *did* try to use C++ builder, "try" being the operative word. I still haven't figured out what the point is..or for that matter, how to compile a simple program. Mind, I haven't tried particularly hard since I stopped using Windows soon after I bought it (waste of $100, but anyway..)

    this has been a major annoyance to me lately. i dont know when borland started doing this but they have gotten into the nasty habit of trying to force their project structure down your throat. the reason i loved borland products before is that i could whip up and debug plain code in seconds. with jbuilder you have to make a project and you can't uninclude .java (during compilation) from the project if they are in the same directory as your project. with delphi, the ability to write a from scratch console apps is buried. i still love delphi but that pisses me off. they were alot better when they gave the programmer some credit.

    "The lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths."

  • For all those who thought Corel might not be fully committed to the Linux platform, this should serve as proof otherwise. It would seem that Corel is betting the farm on this one, and it'll be interesting to see how it works out after the dust has settled.

    I for one am rooting for them. Hopefully they will keep raising the bar in the ease-of-use dept., pushing Red Hat and the other distros to continue to improve their product, too.

    Speaking of Red Hat, I wonder if this was a "pre-emptive" buyout. If I were Corel, I would have harbored concerns that Red Hat, flush with cash, might have picked up Inprise/Borland themselves sooner or later. Not sure how that would have hurt Corel, though; just a thought.

  • First it was the graphics apps... Then they bought the Wordprocessor, Spreadsheet, etc.

    Most of these companies which Corel is buying are ones which Microsoft has passed on. Borland was the major IDE competitor before Visual 'x' surpassed them. Wordperfect was the #1 Wordprocessor before Lotus was killed and Word bundled Excel.

    To spare the usual Anti-Microsoft rant, Corel has not been leveraging an OS to manipulate their competition.

    Corel/Inprise is now doing something interesting and exciting on a cool platform. I hope the quality of their software reflects the talent they should be attracting.

    Boosting WINE, and working on a common printing environment are noble spinoffs.

  • Actaully, the presence of additional C compilers on Linux and the other Freenixes might force the GCC people to start actually following standards, rather than engaging in their embrace-and-extend adventures.

    Actually as far as C goes GCC is really quite standards conforming. It supports tri-graphs, and lots of icky things that not all C compilers do. It has a lot of extensions, but all of them can be disabled by passing "-ansi -pendantic".

    Of corse some of those disbleable extensions are now part of the recently-approved C99 standard, but GCC has more work to go on that front.

    If you want to talk about C++ then that's another matter. A pretty mixed bag in fact. For example it was the first known C++ compiler to have exception support. It was also almost the last to enable that support by default (only turning it on within the last year!!).

    Again it has a pile of extensions, again you can disable them all with the flick of a switch or two.

    I don't see that adding more compilers to the mix will make GCC ditch any extensions, in fact I expect it will grab a few from the other compilers (some mix of the "best", most useful, most popular, and easyest to re-implment). It can't halp the "standardness" of the C implmentation, but it might give the C++ front-end a boost.

    P.S. alot of the C++ extensions were added after much discussion in comp.lang.c++ about new pontental features. Some became standard, others, like typeof() should have, yet others have languished as they deserve.

  • Think about it for a minute - what products does Corel offer? Well first it was a Word processor/Business suite. Next they put together an OS package for the end user. The last piece of the puzzle is development languages/Data Base system. Sounds an awful lot like Microsoft's product mix.

    Sure seems that MS is settting up to compete with MS across the spectrum.
  • by sector ( 5159 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:51AM (#1298683)
    This brings up some interesting scenarios...

    As software tools companies port their compilers to Linux, we risk getting into a situation similar to what exists in the Windows world...where there are a number of compilers available, each with its own quirks, libraries and special features.

    Right now, go to metalab and download the source code for the linux app of your choice. It's a pretty safe bet that the app developer used the same compiler that you're using -- gcc. Possibly a different compiler version but same compiler essentially. Barring any incompatibilities between expected compiler versions or maybe kernel versions, you can be pretty sure that the app will build with little or no porting effort on your part.

    In the Windows world, where you have compiler suites available from Microsoft, IBM, Watcom and Borland, just to name a few, it's not a given assumption that source code you download will even build in your environment. For instance, consider an app that's written to use the IBM OpenClass'll have fun building it in a Microsoft Visual C++ environment. So even though the app itself might be open source, you're stuck installing pre-compiled binary version of it because you're unable to build the app yourself.

    Let's hope this doesn't happen in the Linux community.
  • Borland/Inprise _was_ a successfull company some time ago. For me Turbo Pascal was the first programming language i learned on my PC and so it was for lots of user guys i know of. However, times have changed, AFAIK they have some difficult years, losses, freeing some staff. Why do you think they changed their name from Borland to Inprise, out of nothing?
  • corel only bought the front end of paradox. borland still owned the borland database engine (bde) that paradox ran off of.
  • there are/have been more than three office suites. there's star office, there was one given away free in magazine by some russian team, and i'm sure there are others i'm forgetting.
  • There always seems to be some sort of merger or acquisition going on in the software industry. But have there been any important demergers? (Apart from the mother of all demergers which might happen soon, depending on what the DOJ and courts decide.)
  • And according to Borland, the Linux port of delphi (which by the way is already being worked on) will include its own widget set (vcl clone) that will make the linux version of delphi more portable from windows. I doubt it will be perfect, but if you can carry 75% or more of your current work over...makes life allot easier.

    I know I'll be first in line to get it. I'll even pay for it.
  • I wrote a microcontroller C Compiler in C++, a
    huge program. The code compiled perfectly under
    OS/2 and winblows with IBM Visual Age for C++
    and Borland C++. (Dos with Borland only)

    When I went to convert it to work under Linux GCC
    would generate core dumping code until I limited
    the number of virtual functions I had.

    I also had to cut my modules in 3 or 4 pieces
    because GCC would barf, the code being too big.
    GCC under Dos generates a file that is about
    3 times large than that generated by either
    Borland or IBM Visual for C++.

    I would advise you to rethink your adoration
    of GCC. It may not be a bad compiler but it
    is not the best by a long shot, it is the only
    one under Linux that is readily available. It's
    optimization sucks big time.

    Comeau C++ which is a good C++ Compiler but you
    still need to use GCC. I use GCC because I don't
    have a choice but whenever Borland C++ and/or
    IBM Visual Age for C++ are available for Linux
    I will not hesitate for one minute to buy either
    one of them.
  • by bbcat ( 8314 )
    Rhide has major problems, if you go a bit too fast
    during tracing you get core dumps. I've had the
    same results under Slackware, RedHat and SuSE.

    gdb may be the guilty one but being integrated
    into rhide it's hard to be happy with either one
    of them.

    I was degugging my code with it and got sick
    of it and went to OS/2 to do the debugging with
    a real debugger.

    To make things worst, the support for fonts is
    almost as bad as on winblows. Winblows is OK
    until the screen turns green or I get a page
    fault. Under Linux I get garbage around the
    edges of the screen when I use a decent font.
    To see something acceptable only a few useless
    OEM fonts can be used, if I use those stupid
    fonts I can't see the accents in my French or
    Spanish texts.

    When Borland comes aboard Linux it'll be a dream
    to debug code under Linux.

    Somehow Borland got to me way back in the days
    of CPM/80 and the love affair has never died.

    There was Turbo Pascal, then Turbo C then
    Turbo C++ and then Borland C++.

  • Foogle writes:
    There's no reason to think that Borland's RAD IDE could not be ported to work with GCC.
    Yes there is: GCC probably lacks Borland's proprietary extended-C++ keyword _property , don't you think?
    The IDE is essentially the same with C++ Builder, and that works just fine as a C++ frontend.
    "Frontend"?!? C++ Builder is no mere "frontend", AFAICS: It's integrated [TM Microsoft... ;^] with the compiler; it depends on the _property keyword, can't work its magic without it.

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • Quark tried to take over Adobe a year and a half ago.
    Yeah, but given Quirk's snotty snobbish attitude, it's a good thing they weren't able to get Adobe.
    " It's a ligne Maginot []-in-the-sky "
  • One of the more amusing aspects of this is that Quattro, which is the spreadsheet portion of the Corel Wordperfect Suite, was originally a Borland product, back when they made office applications.
    I was acutaslly a big fan of Borland's apps, back in the DOS days. They had a kick-butt wordprocessor called Sprint that had a full-out EMACS emulation mode, and a very powerful macro language. It died, unlike Quattro,which was spun off to some other company (not sure if it was Corel directly).

    Hmm... I think I may still have a copy of Borland's DOS version of Quattro... And, of course, Turbo-C totally rocked my world back in the day.

    Sad how the mighty have fallen, but maybe they'll do better in the Linux market.
  • Borland went toe to toe with Microsoft and lost badly (I'm not saying the fight was fair). They never really recovered from that. Corel did the same thing, but were smart enough to know when to retreat - to the high ground of Linux. Otherwise, they would have been creamed just like Borland, antitrust trial or no antitrust. The markets apparently agree - while Corel's stock is no rocket, it's certainly done well this year and seems to have a lot more support than in the past.

    Now, the best thing Corel could do with Inprise nee Borland would be to hurry along the release of Delphi - a lot of programmers are waiting for Delphi to show up on LInux before then finally defect from Windows. For such people (I know several personally) Linux will only be be seen as a real platform when it runs Delphi.
  • 3COM is splitting off the Palm division, who will be having their IPO real soon now.
  • - It's easy to be one of the three most popular office suites when there are only three on the WinTel platform.

    Don't forget StarOffice [].

  • It's good to see an instance of a Canadian company (Corel) buying out a US company for a change.
  • Unfortunately, Watcom C++ is no more ... Borland is not being used so the only option is VC++ ( and 90% of the code available for Windows APIs will compile with MS compiler)
  • Ignoring the fact that I like to think Corel is a company that does have good intentions, it simply wouldn't make sense for them to make it Corel Linux only. Sure it would boost the Corel Linux market share some, but I imagine they'd take a much larger hit in loss of sales from people who a) refuse to buy from a company that looks like it's trying to become the microsoft of the linux world and b) refuse to give up their current distro just so they can use some app that isn't really needed. I honeslty doubt they'd try to pull something like this. Also, I imagine if the ports do lean to one desktop/toolkit it will be kde/qt as they are used heavily in Corel Linux. Just a guess.
  • Historically any time one company buys another the stock of the buyer drops and the buyee goes up. So this was to be expected.

    I'm holding out though. I've got around $7K tied up on Corel stock right now. I think they are ripe to be acquired themselves. They have development tools, their own office suite, and their own distribution. My gut tells me that a Red Hat or VA equivalent is going to snatch them up soon.

    ---This routine borders on black magic. Touch it at your own peril.
    ________________________________________________ _____________________
  • Microsoft spinning off Expedia (I don't know if it's happened yet). There's been talk for years of AltaVista being spun off, although I don't think that it has ever happened. Oracle said that they were going to spin off a Linux network computer unit, although I haven't heard anything about it in months.


  • I wonder if this means that the forthcoming port of Delphi / C++ Builder will lean to GTK / Gnome?
    Or, worse yet, will be Corel Linux only? That'd be very annoying.

    Gotta keep an eye on these guys.
  • As so often happens, Linux folk seem to be unaware of the realities of non-Linux software and software companies.
    1. Inprise, while no M$, is certainly not dying.
    2. Interbase is, in fact, in widespread use in enterprise level and embedded applications.
    3. The Java IDE may or may not be inferior to that of IBM, but IBM has an abysmal performance record at marketing good software, or of remaining committed to it. Remember OS2?

    No, you don't get it. Real commercial software products are not built by macho C programmers who refuse to use a RAD tool, but by programmers who select tools for the productivity they provide, and for the ease of production of solid programs.

    Visual environments, for the most part, make the programming of the UI a task so formidable that it dwarfs tha actual application code in many cases. Delphi, C++ Builder, and JBuilder all put the UI development where it belongs: in a simple and quick IDE which lets the programmer focus on coding application code, not UI code.

    My only concern with this deal is that Corel may lessen the commitment to continued support for the Windows development language tools. You do remember Windows, don't you? It's that OS which many of us pragmatists do hate, but which still dominates the desktop market.
  • WP peaked at 5.1 for DOS, which was an unmitigated piece of crap with a horribly inconsistent and byzantine set of function keys. The show codes function which I always heard praised was there because they never figured out how to clean up after themselves.

    WP was, at least through the 6.1 version for Windows, a horrible, bug-ridden disaster which I used only under extreme duress.

    Not that Word is the holy grail, either. Actually, the single most productive word processing tool I have ever used was Borland Sprint.

    You don't like it, leave. You know what he/she meant.
  • by Anm ( 18575 )
    Corel has been around as long as I can remember. Back when I was coding in Turbo C++ 1.0 for DOS, I was also using CorelDraw. And before CorelDraw, Corel was into SCSI drivers and stuff.

  • Well, then that's your problem. Don't come whining to us about it.

    Unless you're trying to be a parody, in which case it didn't come off too well...

    It's a fine line between trolling and karma-whoring... and I think you just crossed it.
    - Sean
  • Ironically enough, a good part of Corel's office suite came from Borland originally --- Paradox and Quattro Pro were both Borland products that got sold to Corel when we couldn't turn a profit on them.
  • It's normal during buyouts for the buying company's stock to drop and the stock of the company being bought to rise --- CORL dropping right now is nothing to worry about.
  • It might also interest you to know that the Delphi (and C++ Builder) on Linux team is a completely different team than the Delphi on Windows team (they hired all-linux developers to write the Delphi-Linux "Kylix" project).

    Really? I hadn't noticed that.

    --Robert West
    --Delphi R&D
  • Delphi will not suffer stagnation.
    The delay in the Delphi patch was related to a delay in the release of C++Builder.
    More details than that i'm not willing/able
    to give you at this time --- ask me at the
    conference. :)
  • by nd ( 20186 )
    I'm not sure what to think of this. It kind of saddens me if Borland will lose their name and become Corel. I was really looking forward to Kylix (Delphi/Builder for Linux), and I wrote them a detailed e-mail with suggestions on how to make it successful (not sure if they care what _I_ have to say, though). I explained that it would be best if they released their compiler and command line tools free of charge and charge for the development environments (this way OSS projects would still be possible.. distribute the Delphi source and they can use bcc to compile it). I also explained how important it was for Linux devlopers to have choice (in desktop environments and GUI toolkits).

    I was happy to hear that Borland would indeed be releasing their command line tools free of charge, but what about the GUI stuff? I hope Corel won't be using this to have Borland only make Kylix work for KDE/Qt rather than GNOME/gtk+ (or whatever combination). I don't, however, think that Corel would be stupid enough to make Kylix a Corel-distro required thing. Now I'm also worried that they'll do the winelib thing with Kylix for some reason.

    Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
  • Not true. The Borland name still exists.. why do you think they're referred to as Inprise/Borland now?
  • I may be wrong, but I see Unix in general, and Linux specifically, as one huge development environment.

    So do I, and many others. Indeed, that was one of the main goals for the OS back when Unix was being written in the early 1970s. However, there is no reason you cannot add more tools to that environment, such as Borland's offerings.

    I don't know how much Borland can add to the C/C++ tools, and I doubt there's room for another scripting language. Is Delphi all they have?

    Borland's development tools are very nice to work with. Their VCL (GUI framework) is the best I've ever used. Elegant and easy. You can use their visual form editor to drag-n-drop, but you can also write it in code -- or both. The IDE detects changes you make to the code it writes, and back-updates any data files it needs.

    I would really like to see C++Builder on Linux. Delphi, too. I like Object Pascal for its clean design. It isn't a standard, nor is it portable, unfortunately, which limits its uses in "real world" code, but I find it fun to play with, if nothing else. And Borland has a number of other products as well, in the database, Java, and CORBA markets.

    So, yes, I think this could work. Will it? I don't know. If I could predict the future, I wouldn't need to work on computers for a living. :-)

  • If i'm not mistaken didn't MS buy a whole load of borland stock recently?
    I'm sure they won't object though since with a company in charge that is pushing Linux, development of windows apps may slow which can only be good for MS. Of course if borland do get good cross-platform tools then it could be considered a big threat.
  • You think Corel is just a Linux company? Well, I guess I can't blame you, because that's what they want people to think.

    Just go to their website, I'm sure they list some other products you may have heard of. Like WordPerfect. And "Corel Draw". Etc. They've been around for a while--probably 10 years.
    Java banners:
    Bad for users because Java kills Netscape
  • It's true that they were trading at $4 - $6 but they were very undervalued at that price. I feel that the current 12-15 price range is much more fair.

    I owned some Inprise stock (actually bought it when it was Borland) for a number of years and it was quite a bumpy ride. The main problem for Inprise was total and comlete turmoil in management. CEO's and CFO's coming and going, name chage ( I prefered Borland ) etc... They are a company that is floundering in a major way IMHO. Even though I ended up with a 50% profit I'm very happy to put that behind me.

    I really can't see how they can justify 2.4 billion for a company with a market cap of 782 mill. Just plain nuts if you ask me.
  • by Synopsis ( 25076 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:54AM (#1298719) Homepage
    You can try Free Pascal. It 99% compatible with tp7. And it has already a lot of Delphi features like classes RTTI, exceptions, ansistrings and FCL (Free Component Library).

    Free Pascal can be found at

    Two projects developping a GUI can be found at:
  • Corel was also making SCSI interface products before CorelDraw! came along.
  • - Adobe (Photoshop, font tech, PS/PDF, DTP tools)

    Most of their products are direct competitors to Corel products. The font technology would be nice but it's easier to just license it or get a font server that supports Type-1.

    - NewTek (Lightwave, an awesome 3D production tool)

    Corel is aiming at the office/desktop market. 3D production is probably too specialized.

    - Sybase/Oracle (industrial strength DBMS)

    They are getting Interbase from Borland/Inprise. Not as industrial strength, but not as hard to manage for the end user. And I don't think Oracle will be bought by anyone.

    - Lotus (123, Notes)

    Too late. IBM already bought them. Domino is available for Linux now. Corel has already demoed Quattro Pro on Linux.

    If you don't see what is attractive in the product line, then you don't know much about Borland. Apparently you didn't know they had a database product, nor that Delphi is the #1 requested software package on Linux Journal's software Wishlist.
  • Story []
  • The new company will be called Corel, but I think that the name you were concerned about would be Corel-Inprise/Borland. (Mathematical result left as an exercise for the reader)
  • The Reuters story [] says "Inprise/Borland sells development tools for Linux." As if those companies only had a history of Linux products. How amusing.
  • Yes there are demergers too. For Example Hewlett-packard/Agilent stuff. Nokia has splitted
    away practicaly all lines except for the mobile phones. (Nokia was known in the 80's of its rubber
  • You're absolutely right, I'm afraid :(
  • Actually, according to the CEO of Nortel Networks, if I recall correctly, up until late 1998, the majority of buyouts were Canadian companies buying American ones.
  • I'm a Delphi programmer. I was just asked at my work my opinion about what this means for Delphi. Here's a fragment of an email with my take on it. There's some thoughts on Corel as well that might help you understand why this happened.


    Corel is a company that knows very well how to side-step Microsoft. They are non-competitive with Microsoft, as you say, because it would be stupid to do so directly, as Borland found out, twice, first with office tools and then with development tools. At any rate, that sidestepping paid out in the long run - not only did they survive "the big Windows Desktop and Devtool wars" without nearly as many bruises as Borland, they still have all the products they ever did, and they ended up (counting their own Linux distribution and now the Visibroker and Borland development tools) with a cradle-to-grave solution that involves absolutely no Microsoft products (or products from any other vendor for that matter).

    In addition, it's hard to find any other company with such a large scope of products (from OS to Enterprise to Desktop) except for Sun Microsystems and possibly IBM on their Unix market. It's actually kind of amazing to see them actually pulling it off. I see a Michael Cowpland book on the horizon. :-)

    Since Delphi and C++ Builder) for Linux are not products that are out yet, but are in development now (albeit in early stages from what I've been able to extract from Inprise Linux people I've talked to), it will be very interesting to see if they will open source them (as they have behaved with their wine move and other things) to increase the rate of development while freeing some of their Delphi people to bugfix them. It might also interest you to know that the Delphi (and C++ Builder) on Linux team is a completely different team than the Delphi on Windows team (they hired all-linux developers to write the Delphi-Linux "Kylix" project).

    In my opinion, Delphi suffered more when Borland lost over half of their Delphi team to Microsoft's Visual Basic team in the infamous "limousine lunch invitations" by "The Dead Borlanders Society" of Seattle - which prompted a lawsuit that was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount - than they are suffering here.

    In any case Delphi in particular has already been suffering somewhat (in my opinion) from their concentration on Java development and CORBA/Java integration. The entropy is much higher from Delphi 3 to 5 (mainly because Delphi 3 to 4 was huge) than from Delphi 1through 3, even though 1 was 16-bit and 2 was a complete rewrite.

    I'm definitely not saying that it will be a good thing for the next iteration of the product, but in the future, you'll have to remember that Unix people in general tend to care more about infrastructure than wizards. That change of view will probably be very healthy for the product in general, especially considering that the last two versions of Delphi have been feeling in general less stable and the do-it-yourself-with-code functionality is starting to go missing in newer features - so it's not just "don't use the wizard, it doesn't work right", it's "don't use the feature at all"... Delphi would be well served by a year of bugfix-only development in the manner of Sun's JDK1.3.

    So all in all, I think it's actually "neutral" news from our perspective, at least until we see what the plans are (not that Delphi was a high priority in Borland anymore anyway). Now it would be good news if they GPLd Visibroker, which strategically is a smart thing to do (depending on how much revenue they're getting from it after factoring in all the Corel product revenue). Now = that = would save us some money.

    Just my opinion from the Delphi front,

    My opinions are mine of course, they don't represent the opinions of my employer, my cats, or slashdot :-)
  • >>It might also interest you to know that the
    >>Delphi (and C++ Builder) on Linux team is a
    >>completely different team than the Delphi on
    >>Windows team (they hired all-linux developers
    >>to write the Delphi-Linux
    >>"Kylix" project).

    >Really? I hadn't noticed that.

    >--Robert West
    >--Delphi R&D

    I'm sorry, seems like I have been misinformed at the last Borland Conference (where they gave all impression that the Linux team was a separate entity of "Real Linux guys" (whatever that meant) and they were doing the port). I apologize for that.

    However, this begs the question. Will Delphi suffer stagnation during the next year due to the Linux port? Do you have more or less people/budget than you used to? Is the delay on the Delphi patch (which should address several important Corba/Midas issues for your enterprise customers) in any way related to this? As I wrote before, I'm not worried about the long term future of Delphi, but we still have deadlines and planning to do.

    As a Linux user and enthusiast, I really like the fact that you are doing a port and all, but I don't want you guys to cover the front door and let the thief go in through the kitchen, if you know what I mean. Even if you are suffering from a shortage of resources to be able to release patches and such, as your clients, we kind of deserve to know, don't you agree?

  • If you recall, Quark tried [] to take over Adobe a year and a half ago. Adobe is valued at something like one and a half billion dollars, and Quark (itself half the size of Adobe) was too small to take them over. What makes you think (relatively puny) Corel would succeed?
  • I think they are going to be keeping the same name, according to the article on yahoo"The new combined company, to be called Corel, "

    ``This gives us a real end-to-end solution from tools all the way to the suite on Linux and gives us clearly the largest set of Linux technology from any company,''

    So has anyone really used the corel dist in a dedicated server environment? (And if so why no just use Debian..) e.g. the "end-to-end" statement, from all that i've seen corel linux is more focused on business desktop users. This merger will certainly help them there, bring them more applications with which to _sell_ and/or package with their distribution.

  • by Stavr0 ( 35032 )
    Cowpland: C-O-W-P-L-A-N-D.
  • by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @07:05AM (#1298739) Homepage Journal
    "Corel announced today that Peter Norton, original author of Norton Utilities, has been terminated with an undisclosed severance package"
    The newly acquired Norton/Symantec/Inprise products will be renamed as follows:
    Copeland Commander
    Copeland Guide
    Copeland Ghost 5.2
    Copeland Utilities
    The new package artwork revealed shows Michael Copeland in a white dress shirt with arms crossed and at his side, his wife Marlen sporting a risqué dress made up of recycled XT motherboards.
  • There's no reason to think that Borland's RAD IDE could not be ported to work with GCC. The IDE is essentially the same with C++ Builder, and that works just fine as a C++ frontend.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • CORL stock dropped on the news. I'm not sure why. They seem to be all the right stuff right now for the big desktop Linux distribution. I could see them becoming the largest supplier of Linux to corporate desktops in the US, and perhaps even take a good fraction out of MS in the next couple of years.
  • This happens all the time. Usually, a good time to pick up a stock you've been wanting is a few days after an announced takeover attempt by it. The time to sell a takeover target is usually after it's been announced as a takeover.

    [note - I own INPR shares]

    Basically, the market is reacting to the difficulty and expense in merging a different organization into the buyer, while realizing that the buyee may be worth more than they thought.

    An example would be the continual wars between American Home Products (AHP), Pfizer (PFE), Abbot Labs (ABT), and such. My shares in Pfizer and Abbot Labs keep bouncing up and down as everyone gets into this continual takeover spin.

    Some companies, such as Cisco Systems (CSCO) specialize in rapid turnarounds of other companies. My shares in this don't seem to fluctuate in response to news of a takeover by Cisco as a result, since the shareholders "know" that Cisco can absorb the other company at little cost and at maximum profit.

  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:36AM (#1298752) Homepage
    I wonder if this means a big push for Borland Pascal/Delphi on Linux. Can someone who is familiar with Pascal say how GNU Pascal compares with Borland Pascal ATM?

    Remember that Visual Basic was the big thing that got Windows a critical mass of apps (and some would say that "critical" describes many VB apps perfectly). Pascal on Linux *could* become popular, depending on Borland/Corel's marketing strategy.
  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:43AM (#1298753) Homepage
    Corel's office suite is one of the three most popular office suites available (Lotus' is another one), though it is slowly getting hammered by MSOffice in the Windows market.
    As far as I know, all that Borland has which sells at all is some development tools, which are slowly getting hammered by MS in the Windows market.

    Both companies have been unable to compete with MS on Windows. Both could potentially do well out of the Linux market. The new combined company must surely be relying on the Linux market for salvation.
  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:31AM (#1298756)
    Ok...the markets are /really/ wacky now.

    Borland has been around a long time and has a very large and successful product line. How long has Corel been around, and what does it have besides a relatively recent Linux distro? It would seem to me to make more sense the other way around, Borland buying Corel. Not saying it's good or bad...just weird.

    I expect tomorrow Winzip (Niko Mak) will buy Microsoft in order to leverage their product. - the Java Mozilla []
  • COREL is buying Inprise for less than its recent high prices, but the prices still includes a significant recent added "Linux premium"

    Prior to October, Inprise had been trading in the $4 - $6 range for over a year.

    As a result, some investors may feel Inprise got the better end of the deal.
  • by Cy Guy ( 56083 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @06:54AM (#1298762) Homepage Journal
    what products does Corel offer? . . . a Word processor/Business suite [and a] OS package for the end user. The last piece of the puzzle is development languages/Data Base system.

    Everyone in the press and here keep talking about the developer tools as the big addition to Corel's inventory, but I think it really the ASP Server software and InterBase database backend that are the real future. The developer tools combined with COREL's WINE enhancement will be a big benefit to the Linux community, but from a business standpoint, the one-two punch of client OS/Office Suite + Server OS/database backend is the real money maker. Add-in the benefits of Corel's relationship with ASP client developer GOJO, and Inprise Application Server, and you're talking a great business model.

  • Corel has been around quite a long time too. I remember Corel Draw running on 286's with Windows 2 around 1988.
  • I really can't see Red Hat buying Corel. RH already has development tools from Cygnus and, of course, a popular distro. Why should they buy more of the same (except to get an office suite)?

    VA buying Corel would maybe make more sense. I suspect strongly that VA wants to make the big league (and I think they will) and Corel could help them achieve this. However having a distribution, tools, apps etc. tied to a single hardware vendor might not be such a good idea.

    I think that (unlike RedHat), Corel is maybe aiming at being the M$ of Linux. Whether this would benefit or hinder Linux remains to be seen. I guess that now would be a great time to be a Linux startup with a good product - you could sell up to RedHat, Corel or VA and make a fortune.

  • by dsplat ( 73054 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @07:34AM (#1298785)
    Other companies (Redhat, VA Linux) have shown that they understand how to maintain the goodwill of the open source community. Eric Raymond's article The Magic Cauldron [] spells out several ways to make money in open source. I'd like to know more about Corel's plans, but I think we'll just have to wait and watch. They have certainly done the right things on Wine, so I'm hopefully that we will see more good things from them in the future.
    • Sure seems that MS is settting up to compete with MS across the spectrum.

    Uhh, the primary problem with MS is that it uses it's dominance in diverse product lines so that it doesn't have to compete.

    A "new, little" MS to compete with the "old, big" MS is exactly what we need.

    -Jordan Henderson

  • First let's set down a few facts:

    - Corel Office WAS Borland Office and then it was Novel Office.
    - It's easy to be one of the three most popular office suites when there are only three on the WinTel platform.
    - Inprise/Borland has been having tough times ever since the purchase of Ashton Tate. THAT was their downfall. They paid far too much for a company that they could have bought for a song. They also kept *way* too many of the Former A-T Employees. Probably about 80 percent of the holdovers could have been dismissed - especially considering the fact that the only A-T products that were kept were Interbase and dBASE and most of the employees that were retained were support and marketing groups for the products that Borland dismissed.

    - While true, both companies have been tromped on by MS (remember Novel bought the Borland Office who sold it to Corel - so the spanking goes back even further), Inprise has been working *extremely* hard to re-invent itself into a non-Windows company (JBuilder and the AppServer were just the first steps). And I *think* that Corel was taking a cue from their lead.

    - And Borland tools *still* do *extremely* well in the Wintel market.

    - BInprise and Corel have *both* been doing well in the Linux market (the problem is that most of the stuff so far has been free - JBuilder Foundation, for example). Now if they can just make this move as *profitable* as it has been *popular* we'll have a serious tools company.

    These things being said.. I think this is great for Borland/Inprise/Whatever... I worry about what this will do for Corel...
  • Corel-Inprise-Borland...


    Coders in Black...
  • There's a webcast of the announcement (if you can bear the tedium!) at at 16.30 GMT.
    Probably (IMPO) the usual 'we're really jazzed we could get together.' stuff as opposed to analysis, but there you go.

    'There are no black cats, only black cat - shaped holes in the universe.'
    -Arundhati Roy
  • Corel has shown that they will support Linux and that they have intentions of making money from it. This is good for Corel and it's good for Linux.

    Linux will benefit from having another "Powerhouse" distribution (in addition to Red Hat, Debian, and Slackware) to compete with the strong companies in the Microsoft world.

    Corel will benefit because it is becoming a major player in the Linux game. Attaboy Corel. Keep bring Linux to the desktop.
  • by John Murdoch ( 102085 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @07:14AM (#1298808) Homepage Journal
    Corel was originally a custom software provider, focusing on the Canadian federal government, in the mid-1980s. In the late 80s Corel developed a graphics package named Corel Draw! (they used to add an exclamation point to all their products) as a companion tool for Xerox Ventura Publisher. The original version of Corel Draw! shipped with a Microsoft Windows 2.15 runtime--Corel Draw! 1.0 was how I first bought Windows.

    In 1991 Corel bought the Ventura Software division from Xerox. Corel attempted to package several graphics package bundles, but their development efforts were hampered by both sales and programming obstacles. (The big programming obstacle was that Ventura Publisher was an assembly-language hack--no documentation, and the original programmer was long gone.)

    Mike Cowpland (rhymes with "hope-land") of Corel has worked very hard at being a wheeler-dealer. He has bought a couple of well-regarded names for lots of Corel stock and very little cash--he bought WordPerfect (but not WordPerfect's payroll) from Novell for a lot of stock but only about $10 million in cash in the mid-90s. In this transaction he's "buying" Borland with newly-issued stock and no cash. (This transaction dilutes the shareholders interests by 44%--but doesn't cost Corel a dime.)

    (FWIW: I used to be a tech support forum sysop on Ventura Software's CompuServe forum. I used to do technical illustration of children's books using Corel Draw.)
  • Besides the obvious intent to offer all things desktop in Linux land, this acquisition has an extra level of intrigue in that Inprise is one of the very few companies besides Corel with significant revenues selling Windows corporate desktop software.

    Is Corel also hoping to take a bigger piece of the post-DoJ Windows software market?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell