Talk:Borland

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Untitled[edit]

Thanks for the assist! As a newbie to Wiki, I'm impressed how excellent the upkeep is, and how well others make righteous corrections. This is very much a nano-level, viral work, which like all open-source efforts beats the pants off of any proprietary efforts. -- Gjalexei

Fred Borland?[edit]

Fred Borland is listed as a company founder in the opening paragraph and sidebar but not mentioned anywhere else in the article. Who is he? 220.233.169.72 (talk) 05:42, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Fred Borland is a fictional character invented by Phillipe Khan, if you see any old Borland coffee cups or t-shirts with a guy in shorts, sandals and a t-shirt, he's that guy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.116.68.11 (talk) 23:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Sarcasm?[edit]

In the section The 1990s: Rise and change we read "... was considered superior to then-market-trailing Microsoft." Is this deliberate sarcasm, or should it read "... then-market-leading Microsoft"? (Or is it irony?) I would venture that sarcasm is not very encyclopedic. Peashy 09:01, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Even at the time, Borland's purchase of dBase from Ashton-Tate was viewed as a huge mistake by software developers. Most of them knew that dBase was a dead end and nearing end-of-life. Borland already had another product, Paradox, that they should have instead sunk more money into. It would have had a better future. Borland also had other serious problems. The IDE's for their compiler products were deficient in supporting large scale software development efforts. --71.38.172.171 (talk) 00:59, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Origins of the name Borland[edit]

Hey does anyone know how Borland got it's name? - Gaurav

Good question. Try this link http://bdn.borland.com/article/0,1410,20283,00.html that talks about the historical figure Frank Borland. That is as historical as I know. -- Jim McKeeth
Did some more digging and found this http://www.xent.com/FoRK-archive/apr98/0460.html which says that the company was originally called MIT, but when the school by the same asked them to change theirs they took the name in exchange for a debt from a bankrupt company in Ireland. The posting is by David Intersimone who is now a VP at Borland, and he is quoting Philippe Kahn, the founder of Borland. -- Jim McKeeth
http://community.borland.com/article/0,1410,10195,0.html states that Borland was the name of a preregistered company that three Danes bought from an Irish lawyer in 1981. They decided to keep the name, apparently because they thought that anything they could come up with themselves would be clicheed. Henning Makholm 19:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

It appears that the Irish company went bankrupt. It appears that there were debts, some of them settled by the bankruptcy court. The name in particular was acquired in 1983 by MIT, a California Corporation, which changed it's name to Borland International. (The Irish name seem to have been "Borland Ltd.") This is a common pattern under British and Irish law. You generally buy an off the shelf "recycled" company to avoid some delays and nuisance associated with starting a new one from scratch. There are some companies that specialize in the recycling and it works smoothly and cheaply so no one bothers to change the system. I formed an LLC in Britain in 1986 and went through that process. It is a little more unusual not to change the name at the same time, but heck that saves some bother too so if the name is ok seems reasonable to keep it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TanjBennett (talkcontribs) 04:44, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Price Wars[edit]

OK, I know my memory is fairly faulty, but I seem to recall that part of what Borland into the forefront in the early years was a drastic reduction in prices. When many programs were going for like $495, Borland started selling solid alternatives for $99. Does anyone else remember this? And, if so, it ought to be included. Sholom 15:20, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

My memory is that Borland sold the first Turbo Pascal for $49 at a time when its competitors were in the $500 range. I've seen pictures of ads for the product around. --Craig Stuntz 16:04, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
We're in essential agreement then. Isn't it also the case that these prices helped bring Borland a lot of publicity and market share at the time? Sholom 16:13, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that such a statement is verifiable. It's quite plausible speculation, but spedulation nevertheless, as the quality of their tools also had something to do with their sales. It's hard to demonstrate conclusively why people bought a product years ago. --Craig Stuntz 18:26, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, it might be hard to verify. But certainly it's reasonable to claim that it helped them get a whole lot of attention, don't you think? Sholom 19:24, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Claiming that low prices got Borland attention is verifiable, especially if cited. Claiming that it got them market share is harder to verify. The article notes that the TP IDE was better than Microsoft's, and this is my recollection as well. But I think it's fair to say the low price got attention. --Craig Stuntz 21:03, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I think we're pretty much in agreement. I wanted to, first, make sure I was remembering it correctly. Note, finding cites to back it up is a whole different ballgame. I have no idea where to even start with this (as I don't have my ancient copies of computer mags anymore <g>) Sholom 21:28, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Here's a copy of the ad for TP 1.0 as well as a legal download of the whole product. Can't help much with the competing product of the time. --Craig Stuntz 02:05, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Craig, that link is broken for me. — Wackymacs 07:27, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Link works fine here. --ozzmosis 10:51, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, price was definitely a factor. Remember this was back in the early 80's when a lot of PC compiler's were selling for $500-$1000 (roughly equivalent to $2000-$4000 in today's money). Mini and mainframe computer compilers were considerably higher cost than that even. --71.38.172.171 (talk) 01:41, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Now, all we have to do is find an add for some competitors' products at the time. Anyone? Sholom 13:37, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I recall that I heard of JRT Pascal before Turbo Pascal and that also was advertised for about $49 - this is backed up by the Wikipedia article JRT Pascal. I understood at the time that the developer of JRT could not keep up with the demand so it fizzled out fairly quickly. Also, being cheap was only any good if it was reliable. I had already switched from using Pascal to Modula-2 by then - Modula-2 compilers for the PC were also in the $400-$500 range. I can probably dig out some Pascal ads from copies of the Journal of Pascal, Ada and Modula-2 from that time when I'm back in the office on Monday. Chris Burrows 12:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
In May 1984, Softech Microsystems was advertising UCSD Pascal with the 'Insight Window Designer' as a special deal for $399. It wasn't just price, however, Turbo Pascal, being a memory-resident system, was innovative with its much improved edit-compile-run turnaround time. Competing development systems at the time were slow, floppy-disk, multi-pass compiler based systems overlayed to squeeze into 64Kb (yes, 64Kb!) of RAM. Chris Burrows 00:40, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Two more pieces of information on that advert and the launch: First the ad was wrttien in partnership by Alex Morton (Canadian Citizen that seem to have been an early creative force at Borland and who had a direct mail background) and Philippe Kahn. Second apparently they wanted a demo program with Turbo Pascal before it shipped and Kahn wrote in one afternoon "MiniCalc" complete with source code, which was a spreadsheet with the functionality of Visicalc... It was the first time that the source code of functional software like this was released. Kahn was apparently pretty handy at writing code. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.171.5.35 (talkcontribs) .

The Turbo Pascal compiler was unusual at the time for handling Large Model. But mostly it caught attention because it was fast and cheap. I routinely used Pascal compilers on PCs at the time, and TP was in a league of its own, reliable, and practical for big programs. I wrote the review of it in the UK magazine PC Computing when it came out. The MiniCalc sample was only a few hundred lines long and had pretty simple. It was limited to the cells you could display on one screen (80 x 25). Worked fine though, excellent as a demo. I used TP professionally for several years and eventually went to work for Borland (but not on TP). Tanj Bennett 00:40, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like an urban myth - if he had written it from scratch that would amount to a programming rate of about 2-300 lines per hour!

Exactly: The innovstion in Turbo Pascal was *not* the compiler. It was the IDE, the first real IDE and that was the huge difference between all other systems and Turno Pascal.

Depends on what you mean by 'real IDE'. UCSD Pascal had an integrated edit / compile / run system a few years before Turbo Pascal came on the scene.

It is my understanding that Philippe Kahn designed the IDE and then looked for a compiler to plug into the IDE. That's when he licensed the compiler in the Danish "Compass Pascal". That compiler was a simple recursive descent compiler modelled after the one in Niklaus Wirth's Tiny Pascal that is part of "Algorithms+Data Structures=Programs". The irony is that apparently Philippe studied with Wirth on the ETH and assisted Wirth as a young student in editing that book and imnplement the first Pascal compiler on the ETH's mainframe.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.171.5.35 (talkcontribs) .

No - apparently not. I don't know about any involvement with the book, but I do know that Wirth credits the development of the first Pascal compiler (after the first unsuccessful attempt by E. Marmier to write one in FORTRAN) to three people: U. Ammann, E. Marmier and R. Schild. REF: N. Wirth: Recollections about the Development of Pascal. ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 28, No 3, March 1993. Note also that Kahn studied Maths at ETH whereas Wirth was Professor of Informatics.
Chris Burrows 06:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually Niklaus Wirth and Kahn are prett close clearly for us who have seen them together, like when they filmed "The World of Objects". Wirth seems very proud of his student and Kahn likes to launch on long technical conversations and recollections.

Which part of the video are you referring to? You can view it at http://www.turboexplorer.com/worldofobjects. Niklaus Wirth is not even acknowledged as being the creator of Pascal - "Leading Computer Scientist" indeed! Chris Burrows 02:24, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

he was apparently a first to thrird year student taking the required programming classes in Pascal from Wirth and got involved "by accident" but loved it. Apparently he was in charge of checking the "Tiny Pascal" recurring descent compiler who's source-cde you can find in the Pascal version of "Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs", Wirth's calssic text book. So for sure the ETH, Wirth are very aware of Kahn and vise versa. The World of Object project was enlightning as we all that were involved were able to see the close relationship between Kahn and Wirth, Minsky, Alan Kay etc...

Wirth might well have known Kahn if he was an undergrad student of his but many of his students would have had the task of dissecting the PL/0 (its proper name) compiler as part of their course. Mr H. Sandmayr is credited with the task of proofreading the book. I have not seen a single mention of Kahn in any of Wirth's publications although he credits many others who were involved in the early days of Pascal. I can't see any evidence from the video of any close relationships whatsoever. Each of the people mentioned are being interviewed in what appears to be a public place - it looks to me like the general sales area of a conference. It could have been anybody asking them a question. Chris Burrows 02:24, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that it surprised us all as it became clear that his heart was more in the technology and the inventions part than the business part. Probably one of the reasons that at the end Microsoft got the better of them: Kahn was probably way too obsessed with software crafstmanship while Microsoft was focused on market share and financial gains. Something that doesn't really come up in the article about Borland....

Founded by Danes in 1981?[edit]

The article states

The beginning of the Borland name started with a small company in Ireland. Three Danish citizens, Niels Jensen, Ole Henriksen, and Mogens Glad founded Borland Ltd. in August 1981.
Borland International changed from a private to public company when it was incorporated in California on May 2, 1983. The company's original personnel in the US included Philippe Kahn ...

This text was added by an anon (no other edits) on 2005-06-16 with no comment or source. Every other source, except Wikipedia mirrors, assert that Phillippe Kahn was the founder of Borland. The closest Google gets is http://info.borland.de/newsletter/nl03_1/ which says (in German) that Kahn and the three Danes founded Borland in 1983. Can anyone find references for the Ireland 1981 claim? Henning Makholm 18:37, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Futher googling unearths http://community.borland.com/article/0,1410,10195,0.html which confirms that and Irish company was started in 1981 but does not quite tell how its name came to belong the the California company in 1983.

The challenge is that all these stories seem to have been written "later". Kind of rewriting history.... The fact seems to be that between 1982 and 1994 Philippe Kahn was President, Cbairman and CEO and that none of these "so called founders" had any role or any title in the company. Not even directors. You'd think that they would have had some official status....? So I'd tend to believe that they sold the name of the company as part of their bankruptcy as they probably owed money for consulting work performed in the USA. They also seem to have disapeared in the aether too. You'd think that anyone with that kind of stature would have had some success in the high technology industry? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.171.5.35 (talkcontribs) .

Borland Ltd was founded in March 1981 according to Irish company registration records (its company number 81582 for anyone that wants to compare). I'd assume it was just an off-the-shelf company used by the founders... --86.42.207.185 (talk) 04:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know "Borland, Ltd." and "Borland International" are two completely different companies. The text quoted is accurate as far as it goes but doesn't quite make this clear. Kahn is the founder of "Borland International," but he got the name from "Borland, Ltd." I don't know if he got anything else, or just the name. If anyone really cares, just send email to DavidI. --Craig Stuntz 13:45, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe that was because they were 'just the developers' i.e. the ones doing the actual programming work. It is likely that all three, but definitely at least one, of the Danes, Niels Jensen, stayed with Borland. Niels was working on the Modula-2 compiler when he eventually left in 1987 taking other members of the development team with him to found another company - Jensen and Partners International. JPI were the creators of the TopSpeed Development System with inter-operating Modula-2, Pascal, C and C++ compilers which is still, today, the underlying technology of the Clarion programming language. Chris Burrows 23:56, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Well a good source are the various prospectus put out for the public offerening. The 1986 public offering prospectus for the London IPO has a simple reference of the fact that the only link is that the Irish company was bankrupt and that Borland Inc. acquired the rights to the name. It seems that MIT had done some technical consulting work for the Danish/Irish company and that it was owed money. The debt seem to have been settled for the rights to the name, when MIT was forced by attorneys from MIT.edu to change its name. the other mystey is why three Danes in Irland... The best answer that seems to have been provided is "tax optimizition" (a polite way to say that the Danes may have thought that they'd become millionaires and didn't want to pay the 75% taxes in Denmark (who would blame them?) and acquired an off-the-shelf company in Irland, which seemd to have a double taxation agreement with Denmark....). This would all explain why those Danes never returned for years to Denmark and moved to Irland/UK territories. It sounds fishy. The bankruptcy avoided taxes too..... In the wrong way I suppose....—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.171.5.35 (talkcontribs) .

I know nothing about the laws of the time, but people don't generally go to Ireland to avoid taxes! --Craig Stuntz 00:16, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Ireland is known for its incredibly low corporate tax rate amongst EU countries so yes, companies do go to Ireland to avoid taxes... --86.42.207.185 (talk) 04:27, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Quite the opposite I think. This is the reason that Dell and many others setup shop in the Republic of Irland is a special "trading zone" next to Dublin. They had in the early 80s huge tax incentives. For Danish people that were used to a 75% tax burden, it was panacea, as long as they were prepared to exile themsleves from Denmark, which these people seem to have done. It appears that one of them even changed his last name from Ole Rasmussen to Ole Henriksen? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.171.5.35 (talkcontribs) .

Was Fuller Fired?[edit]

I believe that Dale Fuller was fired by the company; he did not resign. Many press articles misreported it as a resignation, and Borland made no effort to correct them, and seems, in my experience, to be hiding the truth. So you have to dig a little deeper in some SEC filings to find out what actually happened.

The company itself chooses the ambiguous term "stepped down" in its press release (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=112793&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=727866&highlight=), as well as in their filings to the SEC.

In this filing (http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/edgar_conv_html/2005/07/07/0001193125-05-138914.html), Item 5.02(b), it is revealed that "Pursuant to the terms of the Employment Agreement, Mr. Fuller will receive from the Company...a cash lump sum payment of $1.2 million."

Referring to his Employment Agreement (http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/edgar_conv_html/2001/03/29/0000950130-01-001500.html), Exhibit 10.20, page 3, paragraph 4, "Benefits Upon Termination by Company", it states that he shall receive a cash lump sum equal to his annual salary (which was $1.2 million). However paragraph 5, "Benefits Upon Termination by Executive", specifically states that "no other payments or benefits shall be made".

The fact that Fuller received the severance pay proves that his employment was terminated BY THE COMPANY. I.e., he was fired. If he had resigned, according to his employment contract, he would not have gotten his massive cash lump sum gift for leaving. -- Suzll

Brief Text Editor[edit]

The Brief (text editor) is missing from the list of old software. I am not sure which category it should reside. Rombust 12:25, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

incomplete[edit]

Article doesn't list the Kylix-cide. I agree that it is only "dormant" in formal Borland-speak, but at least THAT should be mentioned. Also doesn't mention Eureka: The Solver, An equation solver they were selling in the mid-80'sGaryappel 04:55, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


Additionally, the article lists Kylix as Borland's first IDE on Linux, but JBuilder was on Linux several years earlier. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.116.68.11 (talk) 23:46, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Default sort to Inprise?[edit]

I noticed Borland is showing up in categories under I due to the DEFAULTSORT directive. Is there a good reason this page shouldn't just sort under B as normal? I suspect more people know this company as Borland than as Inprise. --Bill 02:55, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Corrections Needed[edit]

This article occasionally repeats factual details more than once. Some of this restating is contradictory. For example, Paradox is sold twice to two different companies. --Darren 17:31, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the 1994 deal included only Quattro Pro and WordPerfect, not Paradox. See [1] and [2]. For a more accurate description, see this New York Times article from 1994. It says "Novell Inc. agreed today to acquire the Wordperfect Corporation in a stock swap valued at $1.4 billion. Novell will also purchase Borland International's Quattro Pro spreadsheet business for $145 million. [...] The deal with Borland also gives Novell up to a million copies of Borland's Paradox data base product, which could be bundled with Quattro and Wordperfect in a software suite.". The article should be updated with this information. Razvan Socol (talk) 17:14, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of this paragraph?[edit]

"In February 2006, Borland announced its intent to divest its IDE business, known as the Developer Tools Group, to allow Borland to be completely focused on the enterprise and driving its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) business forward. As part of that plan, Borland acquired Segue Software Inc. (NASDAQ CM: SEGU), the Massachusetts-based provider of global software quality and testing solutions. Both actions were significant milestones in Borland’s strategy to secure leadership in the growing ALM sector and expand its ability to offer organizations solutions that make software delivery a more predictable and manageable business process."

What does this actually mean?

It's management speak, saying "Our Software Development Tools are no longer competitive with Microsoft's so we're getting the heck out of that business and trying our luck selling Application Lifecycle Management tools and we bought Segue Software to get our toe in the door." --71.38.172.171 (talk) 00:34, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Massive clean-up required[edit]

This article needs a massive amount of cleanup. Here's a gem that highlights one of the many things wrong with this article: "in the middle of Borland's identity crisis, Dale L. Fuller..."

This isn't a Dateline NBC cover story. This type of style is not encyclopedic. 24.87.6.107 (talk) 07:36, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The "Look and Feel" lawsuit by Lotus Development[edit]

The 1989 lawsuit by Lotus Development Corporation against Borland Software alleged that Quartro Pro violated copyright law by copying the "look and feel" of 1-2-3 published by Lotus.

This lawsuit, which was one of a series filed by Lotus against a number of spreadsheet publishers in the late 80s, is referenced in articles on both Lotus and Borland, but with important inconsistencies.

The Lotus article says Lotus lost in the First Circuit, but the Borland article claims the defeat came in the Supreme Court.

This needs to be corrected and reconciled.

As an aid, here is what I believe to be authoritative information, copied from http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/int-prop/software-copyright.html#Lotus, which is part of the course materials of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

Lotus then sued Borland over Quattro. Even though Quattro's user interface was different from that of 1-2-3, Quattro was able to interpret Lotus macros (which followed the Lotus menu hierarchy), and Lotus claimed that this was also copyright infringement. The District Court agreed, and Borland appealed the decision. The following material is on reserve for the course:

   Judge Keeton's ruling in Lotus Development Corporation v. Borland International, US District Court, District of Massachusetts, July 31, 1992.
   Two amicus curiae briefs in the appeal of Lotus v. Borland, one on behalf of a group of computer science professors, and one on behalf of a group of copyright law professors. 

The US First Circuit held for Borland, reversing the District Court's decision on unexpected grounds. Borland's appeal, and the amicus briefs, had argued, using the guidelines set forth in Altai (see above) that the two programs were not sufficiently similar. But according to the appeals court, the issue was not "substantial similarity" at all. Rather, they held that the menu structure of Lotus 1-2-3 was a "means of operation" and reasoned, based on Baker v. Selden (see above) that the menu structure was not copyrightable in the first place:

   Concluding, as we do, that users operate Lotus 1-2-3 by using the Lotus menu command hierarchy, and that the entire Lotus menu command hierarchy is essential to operating Lotus 1-2-3, we do not inquire further whether that method of operation could have been designed differently. The "expressive" choices of what to name the command terms and how to arrange them do not magically change the uncopyrightable menu command hierarchy into copyrightable subject matter. 
   Appeals court decision of March 9, 1995, reversing the District Court's 1992 ruling. 

Lotus appealed the decision to the Supreme Court:

   Lotus's petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, June 7, 1995.
   Borland's brief in opposition to petition for certiorari, July, 1995.
   Lotus's reply in support of the petition. 

On September 27, 1995, the Supreme Court granted Lotus's petition. The finding that user interfaces might consist of inherently uncopyrightable "means of operation" had pulled the rug out from under the proponents of strong user-interface copyright. The case generated major interest, and several amicus curiae briefs were filed:

   Amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court in support of Lotus's position by DEC, Gates Rubber Company, Intel, and Xerox.
   Amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court against the Lotus position, on behalf of a group of computer science professors.
   Amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court against the Lotus position, on behalf of the League for Programming Freedom.
   Amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court against the Lotus position, on behalf of a group of copyright law professors. 

Oral arguments were held on Jan. 8, 1996. People expected that the Supreme Court would use this as an occasion to issue a major ruling on intellectual property issues for software, and perhaps to clarify the relative roles of patents and copyrights for software. But a week after the oral arguments, the Court announced that it would issue no decision at all. The Justices had split 4-to-4 (Justice Stevens having recused himself):

   High Court Punts On Lotus Vs. Borland 

The inability of the Justices to decide left the Appeals Court ruling standing by default, with the Supreme Court neither explicitly affirming nor rejecting this central issue in software copyrightability. Sidbee2011 (talk) 22:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

? Place Scotts Valley / Cipertino[edit]

"Borland was first headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, then in Cupertino, California," Is Scotts Valley, California now called Cupertino, California or is Scotts Valley, California now a part of Cupertino, California?GinAndChronically (talk) 17:13, 1 July 2014 (UTC)