by John Kaster, Borland Developer Relations
November 13th to 17th, Borland hosted two booths at the Linux Business Expo at
COMDEX 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We had presentations usually on the hour, showing our progress
on Project Kylix. On every other half-hour, we showed
JBuilder 4, the current release of our pure Java
cross-platform development solution (which includes the Linux platform).
Is there a trend?
Last year at this same show, we already had JBuilder running on Linux, but we didn't
see the crowds we did this year. It could be due to the smaller booth last year, but
we also didn't get a lot of people interested in development solutions for Linux. Last
year, it seemed that most of the attendees (and it was crowded last year, too) were more
interested in finding out what they could do with Linux. This year, it appears that
most of the attendees were ready to start working Linux support, and wanted to learn
about the development tools that are available for Linux.
They Like What They See
We had tremendous response to both JBuilder and
Project Kylix both in our
theater demonstrations and at our individual demo stations. There was rarely a time
when our machines were not in use -- and it was usually at the start of the day or
very end of the day.
For example, while Geoff Goetz, one of our Sales Engineers, was demonstrating
JBuilder to a packed theater, I was wandering around behind the theater, and found
a show attendee playing with the Kylix IDE. I asked him if he had any questions.
He just smiled and said "No," and continued playing with the IDE.
After about 2 minutes,
he stood up and backed away from the computer, glanced at me, and told me, "This is
the most awesome thing I have ever seen on Linux," turned around, and walked away.
It was a lot of fun being at the show.
A Flurry of Press Coverage
Our booth wasn't the only place things were hopping for us at the show.
The press was extremely interested in Kylix and JBuilder.
Here's a short list of some of the press coverage we had.
Gnome and Kylix
KDE and Kylix
A pictures worth ... well, a lot of words
Here's some of the pictures taken with my camera at the show.
||Tom Theobald, one of our RAD Group Product Managers, took some pictures of me doing a Kylix
demo early in the week|
||We kept drawing more in as the demos went on.|
||This picture includes a screen shot of the new CodeInsight look, some feature
work for Delphi 6 that automatically made it into the Kylix build. The CodeInsight
box is resizable (and persistent), and automatically filters the selection list
as you type. It also colorizes various items in the list, and helps reduce typing
even further than it used to when you select an item from the list. It also has
additional intelligence for showing you items specific to what you're doing. However,
I have to leave some surprises for later, so 'nuff said.|
||A better shot of the crowd.|
||More of the crowd|
||A shot from behind the theater, so you can see the crowd is really paying attention.|
||People were lined up outside our satellite booth to putt for T-shirts with a Borland putter,
get Borland bags (looks like lots of them came over right from seeing .Net presentations,
doesn't it?), and a bag of popcorn to fortify them for the rest of the show.|
||Our extra booth was called the "Borland take a load off lounge", where you could
relax on bean bags (tie-dye, naturally), and eat your popcorn after winning your
||After the demos, we gave away T-shirts and took profile forms that we used in
our daily drawings, where we gave away two Borland-branded Santa Cruz skateboards, and
two copies of JBuilder 4 Enterprise (a US $2999 product).|
||Toni Gehrman (the quick-moving blur) and Geoff Goetz handing out T-shirts after
||Here's a shot of Geoff demonstrating JBuilder 4. He usually showed how simple,
fast, and easy it is to create, deploy, and manage Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) with
JBuilder 4 Enterprise and
Borland Application Server.|
||Geoff still drawing the crowd for JBuilder 4|
||Geoff still doing a great job with his demo. Looks like the EJB wizards are on
the screen. Sorry for the bad shot.|
||Tom Theobald getting started with a Kylix demo.|
||Some attendees looking at JBuilder 4 with Sung Nguyen, another of our Sales Engineers|
||Even Penguins are living la vida Linux|
||Geoff doing another demo on the second day of the show. The crowds never stopped.|
||Except for one woman who clearly needed more sleep the night before, the whole audience
is quite intent on what JBuilder 4 can do.|
||Who was that caped Penguin?|
More to come
As we get closer to releasing Kylix (we're planning on it being available in the first
quarter of 2001), we'll be showing it in additional places and posting more information
on our web sites. For an exhibition near you, check our Events Calendar.
I hope you gleaned some new technical information from this article, but I mainly wrote
it to show the community our presence and COMDEX and share a little bit of the fun
we had at the show.
Enjoy, John Kaster