By: John Kaster
Abstract: John K invites you to help in the collaboration projects for the community web site.
Ever since Turbo Pascal 1.0 came along and changed the way developers
wrote software, Borland has had an enthusiastic and loyal following. There are
many reasons developers may like using Borland tools. For me, the impact Turbo
Pascal made on my software development efforts made me a fan for life.
I was writing a text editor using UCSD Pascal on an IBM PC/XT. The editor was only
1,000 lines of code or so, but every compilation took about fifteen minutes. I became very
proficient at visual compiling, because I could actually find syntax errors faster than
the compiler did. When I did finally have to compile and run the application, I would start
the compile and go grab a drink or find a book to read.
We won't explore the amount of paper I used to print the source code so I could review it.
Printing (even back in the early 1980s) was faster than compiling the source code with the UCSD Pascal
compiler. Turbo Pascal broke all the rules and conventional wisdom of software development.
The first time I saw Turbo Pascal, all my notions about software development went flying
out the window. The IDE and compilation speed made it actually practical (and easy) to write
code and test it without going through a paper-based debugging process.
After the first fifteen minutes of using it, I was hooked. If you're reading this, chances are that you know I was not
alone in this addiction.
I couldn't wait to share my discovery with other computer lab mates. We would all laugh in
disbelief and struggle to adjust our mindset to the new development world. Soon, everyone
in the computer science department at college had their own copy of Turbo Pascal. After many
years and many products, Borland tools still win the hearts and minds of software developers around
In 15 minutes, a community was born.
Developers who use Borland tools have a reputation for enthusiasm, early adoption of the
latest and greatest technology, and generously contributing their time and knowledge to helping
other software developers build their applications and businesses. The Borland newsgroups are
some of the most active development newsgroups on the Internet, because of the high quality of
information provided by the members of the newsgroups. This is often called a good
This quality of information and expertise is so well recognized that you often find
people coming to the Borland newsgroups to ask technical questions that relate to computing
in general, not specifically Borland products.
If you read our newsgroups, you may even find questions about competing products asked
(and answered!) in our newsgroups. I have seen many dialogs in our newsgroups that
go like this:
Joe User: "I'm having a problem with Company X's product ..."
Jane User: "Just do (whatever) and everything should work out fine.
But why did you ask this question here?"
Joe User: "Because I knew I'd get the answer here. I asked in Company X's newsgroup, but
no one responded."
Many long-time software developers still feel the excitement of creating reality from
an idea. The computer industry is changing so quickly the wonder has never diminished, and
new computer users are constantly catching development fever. Software developers literally build the
systems that make the world work. I can't think of a more exciting industry in which to work.
Based on the heavy participation in our newsgroups, and the email messages sent directly
to me, many of you feel the same way. You love the tools we produce and want to do whatever
you can to help them succeed. I truly believe that our development community is the strongest
development community in the world, and we are working on the web-based systems you want
and need to help keep our community informed, productive, and competitive.
Members of our community frequently ask me why Borland doesn't build more of
our internal applications with our own development tools. This is a great question, and I have an answer I'm happy
to give you now. All of the customized pieces of the web site you are helping us build use
Borland tools in most or all of the mix for that particular system. There are many benefits
to using our own tools to develop the solutions we provide to our customers.
First, we demonstrate the power of our development tools by rapidly delivering solutions with them
Second, by implementing them in a real-world, heavy-usage internet environment, we test the
scalability and reliability of the solutions we are selling customers. Those of you who have
been participating in the CodeCentral client
beta test know that I have encountered some problems with MIDAS, and needed to create some
components that were not previously available for Delphi. You will see these issues addressed
in improvements to MIDAS in its third version, and in the source code for the components written
for CodeCentral that will be published in the
Third, we have live examples available to the public of applications built with our technology.
There are additional benefits as well, but you're probably better at pointing them out than
I am. After all, we're finally doing what you've been asking us to do for years.
You will finally have the opportunity to help increase the power and productivity
of the entire Borland community by: contributing your insight to the CodeCentral knowledge base;
using our web interface for Borland's bug tracking system; evaluating the content on the web site; participating in
chats, interviews, and OpenSource projects; and contributing to the content of the web site itself. As various collaboration
projects come nearer to completion, I will share the implementation and design details with you, and invite you
to participate in them as well.
Please let us know what other collaboration projects you would like Borland to provide by participating in our
As our new web site evolves, please share your code, ideas, discoveries, insights, passion,
and caveats to help us make our web site a great resource for software developers, and continue
our goal of making the world a better place for software developers.
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