Future of Borland C++ Builder?

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Future of Borland C++ Builder?

Post by Renaud »


I have been using BCB for a few years now, more out of interest in programming than to fulfil a professional need though.
I've always liked the Borland approach to RAD but I'm wondering now where BCB is going.

BuilderX is not a RAD tool. It may be useful for cross-platform development, but it is a puzzle to me as to why it departs so much from the framework that made Borland successful.

.Net is all the rage now, and having dipped my toes in it with C# Builder, I can see that there will eventually be no real place for any way other of developing applications for MS platforms.
You can feel the shift also with the component developers: most are moving their current VCL components to .Net with the huge benefit of opening their market to VS.Net users.

With Delphi making the move to .Net, what incentive will remain to develop new VCL components?
Of course, the VCL market will remain profitable for a little while longer, after all the technology is very mature and an enormous amount of people is using it, but will that still be the case in 2 years?

The other thing that .Net has going for it is its ability to be cross-platform.
The mono project (http://www.go-mono.com/) is well under way, and with the backing of Novell, its future seems well assured.
The great promise of .Net is to enable cross platform development without changing your code: as long as your components are managed .Net components, you're safe and shouldn't even have to recompile.
Granted, we still need to check that in practice, but it seems that .Net and ASP.Net may be able to bridge software development accross platfoms in ways that go well beyond any previous attempt, including those of Borland.

So where does all this leave Borland and BCB in particular?
To me, the next iteration of BCB cannot ignore .Net and must address it somehow: maybe by integrating some .Net-aware tools and infrastructure that would allow BCB to use and create .Net components and applications easily, or even include a Managed C++ compiler...
Or ditch BCB as is exist now and re-invent it as part of a language plug-in for Borland's Developer Studio where it would cohabit with C# and Delphi.Net.
Failure to include .Net in some satisfactory way would make BCB even more of a niche product with no much appeal to RAD developers when compared to alternative offerings.

The ideal would be an all-in-one integrated IDE where we could develop a project in a mix of whatever .Net language we want, under MS, Linux or even Mac platforms (mono ports to the mac).

I love C++ Builder, it's a fine and powerful tool, but I worry about its future, and it will be hard for Borland to make it attractive to old and new developers alike.

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Post by Damon »

From what I gather, the state the C++Builder is still being decided. I'm confident that there will be another C++ offering from Borland, but no one knows whether this will be a new version of C++BuilderX or BCB9. If there is a BCB9, then I'm fairly sure that it will support .NET via VCL for .NET (currently used in Delphi 8). If Borland goes the C++BuilderX route, then who knows. :?

Remember, I'll be forwarding the results of this month's poll (which addresses this issue) to the folks at Borland. Please, I urge everyone to vote.

(Personally, I'd like to see a BCB9.)


Post by Renaud »

An interesting read about this subject can be found on BDN (it's about delphi, but it offers Borland's reasonning for the switch to .Net):
Even more interesting is the discussion thread http://tinyurl.com/2jcrr where BCB's unique difficulties are discussed.

I sure don't know what would be the best route for BCB; it seems that we are at a big junction that split into roads that all go to strange an unfamiliar places.
Borland has been shrewd in their past decisions, and Delphi is so huge that wherever they nudge it, most people will follow (unless they all fall off in the process). For BCB, it's a bit different: it is a product that has been able to exist because it borrowed the technology developped for Delphi; after all, the immense majority of VCL components made for BCB are only adaptations of existing Delphi components. BCB was pulled along Delphi's success and benefited a lot from it.
Now we face a situation where Delphi's .Net framework may not be adaptable to BCB because of language constraints. This implies that BCB has to depart significantly from the established Delphi route to implement .Net satisfactorily.
A lot of people may fall off that train in the process, and unless we can again attach ourselves to something big, there may not be enough interest from the old and the new.

OK, I'm a bit gloomy, but it's more out of worry for the future of a great tool than a personality trait, i assure you :wink:
I'm sure Borland will amaze us all again with some neat features and some great ideas.

In any case, I also encourage everyone to vote!.



Post by OneManDo »

I think that BCB 9 will be all-in-one powerful IDE.

In other word it will have the native VCL & CLX as in BCB 6 today but also have the new VCL for .NET like the Delphi 8 .NET have today…

This will be best tool for native C/C++, PASCAL, ASM, running on WINDOWS & LINUX (.NET also)

Borland has always made the bust development tool, they doing it today and I hope that they keep doing it in the future for all of us…

Let's make the future better place for programmers.

C++ Builder will live on!!!

Post by FrancoisSoft »

According to what I've seen. It seems that a lot of people are interested in Delphi more than C++ Builder and personally I prefer C++ Builder because of it's RAD. .NET, well, that's Microsoft and anything Microsoft makes can't be that good! I mean look at Windows. It crashes so many times its not even funny which is why in the future I'm going to develop a more powerful command line operating system with some multi-tasking but with better use of memory and disk space and a lot more security. (maybe - this seems like a lot of work!) Anyways, I'm starting to turn away from C++ myself because I've been programming in it too long, in fact, I'm looking towards Java and assembly for video game creation. I think if we keep communities like this we can keep C++ Builder alive.
Patrick FAURE

C++ Builder future

Post by Patrick FAURE »


I hope that Borland does not let us fall. C++ Builder is a very powerful
product and I am waiting for the next release. May be C++ Builder 9 with .net integrated in.

Patrick FAURE

Post by LastCyborg »

I'm afraid too, because the uncertain future of BCB. Years ago I had to choose between Delphi & BCB, I've always prefered C++ than Object Pascal so I chose BCB. in that time Delphi and BCB were the almost the same stuff (I mean, anything you were able to do in Delphi it was possible to do it in BCB), but nowadays, every language has taken his own way.

Borland and most people prefers Delphi :( , so I hope not to have to tell to my grandchildren "Once ago there was a powerful tool that Borland could't support because... "

I don't know what can we do to keep BCB alive, the future of many BCB programmers is in Borland hands.

"anything Microsoft makes can't be that good!"

Post by Spaggie »

I agree entirely that Borland makes the best development tools about ever but I thik Microsoft owns a 10% stake in Borland.

This is actually a good thing as it means that Borland must get sneak peeks on .Net and Avalon and everything before a lot of other people do which keeps Borland ahead (In my opinion Microsoft developer tools are mostly a joke in comparison to Borlands).

Dunno, just thinking on me feet
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