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Borland comes back to life

Today, I'm going to tell you a story. It's about a company called Borland,

now known as Inprise. But I prefer to call it Borland, since the name

brings back old memories.

In the 1970s, Philippe Kahn was working on the Pascal language in

Switzerland. In 1982, he came to the USA. In those days, Pascal compilers

were very expensive and cost a few thousand dollars. They were available

only for mainframes. That made Philippe Kahn think back and write a Pascal

compiler for PCs. He liked Pascal and wanted the compiler to be


In those days of yore, BYTE magazine was one of the most popular computer

magazines. So, he approached BYTE and told them he wanted to put an

advertisement in the magazine, but he didn't have the money to pay for it.

The magazine, obviously, found that a silly thing to say. But, before they

decided to throw him out of the office, they asked him what the ad was

about. He told them he wanted to put in an ad for a Pascal compiler for

only $49.95. He finally convinced an advertising salesperson to accept on

credit a full-page color ad for Turbo Pascal.

Philippe was stormed with orders, and this is how Borland was born. How it

got the name is an interesting story too, but I'll keep that for another


After Turbo Pascal, they came up with Turbo C, Borland C++, Delphi,

InterBase and several other development tools that have changed the face

of computer programming.

Anyone who's been a programmer for a while must have definitely admired

Borland. Several programmers in the past decade used, "We swear by

Borland!" Borland then expanded to develop applications like Sidekick,

QuattroPro and Paradox - all of which became very popular applications.

Borland grew to become one of the biggest companies making development


Today, Borland is struggling to survive in the market and its recent

merger with Corel has fallen through.

By now, you must be thinking, "That's a good story! I may have heard it

several times before, but what's it doing in a Linux column?"

The reason is that Borland is coming back to life with its

development tools being released for Linux.

History's going to repeat itself, with Borland releasing for Linux their

flagship product, Delphi - called the The Kylix Project.

Borland is well respected in the developer community and Delphi is