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2003/02/14 - Jason Vokes (Borland) on Borland and .NET
Jason Vokes, Borland European Product Manager for RAD Solutions, has not only sent me the first two screenshots of SideWinder (Borland's forthcoming .NET IDE), but also kindly participated in a little on-line/e-mail interview with me.
So before we start the interview, I first want to thank him very much for his time (and the screenshots), it's much appreciated!
Again, many thanks for participating with this interview (and the first screenshots of SideWinder).
It's much appreciated!
Bob Swart: First of all, I want to thank you for sending us the first screenshots of SideWinder - it has attracted attention from a lot of developers worldwide.
One of the questions that people had in response to these screenshots and the whole SideWinder news of last week, was the relationship between Galileo (which was first mentioned at BorCon in 2002) and this SideWinder IDE.
Are they one and the same, or can we see SideWinder as the first "result" of the Galileo project?
Jason Vokes: Firstly, you are welcome.
It really helps for those that have not seen demos yet to get a feel of Sidewinder with a screen shot.
Last May, Borland were talking about Galileo, which is the codename for Borland's new IDE core (as mentioned at BorCon), and SideWinder is the public codename for the first product based on the Galileo IDE core.
Bob Swart: Why would I want to (wait for and) use SideWinder if there already is a C# development environment for .NET?
What's the additional value/benefit I can expect from SideWinder from Borland?
Jason Vokes: Apart from a whole bunch of reasons that are going to be down to the intuitive nature and finer grain capabilities of the IDE, it's look and feel and so on, there are also some larger considerations that will mean that Sidewinder will majorly empower the developer.
Firstly, Borland are going to significantly accelerate the time to delivery capability of developers by extending the model driven capabilities to .NET.
This approach has already been a very successful part of Delphi 7 Studio Architect based on the Bold technologies.
Secondly, we are going to make Sidewinder the .NET development solution that actually makes it very difficult to deliver badly performing, resource hungry applications, through a highly integrated profiling capability.
In fact you may have caught news of the new Borland Optimizeit™ Profiler for the Microsoft .NET Framework that Borland launched at VS.Live in San Francisco this week.
Thirdly, Borland are the only major vendor that has world class developer solutions in both the Java and Microsoft worlds. We are committed to making those worlds easily accessible to each other and Sidewinder will be the development solution piece on the .NET platform side.
Bob Swart: When Borland released Kylix, we could produce cross-platform applications by moving from VCL to CLX.
Will there be a similar migration effort in the .NET world?
Will we be required to migrate VCL to native WinForms?
Is there a reason why we should use VCL (for .NET) any longer if there is a native WinForms on .NET?
Jason Vokes: I would say that this migration has already started with dccil and the VCL for .NET pieces that we are already making available in Delphi 7 Studio.
I know that Borland R&D are also working with dccil to bring Delphi code over to .NET and also I bumped into Chad Hower the other week (of IntraWeb, Rave and Indy fame) and he was showing me how near to completion he is at moving the whole of IntraWeb over to .NET using dccil too!
On the second part to the question.
Again, it comes down to choice.
Borland developers will be in the situation to have the choice to reuse and extend their existing Delphi language and VCL code through to .NET, or use also Delphi to write new apps that purely use only the .NET Framework.
Oh yes, and by this summer, they will also have the choice of working in C# using the MS .NET Framework using Borland development technology and getting better software faster than they could have done any other way - did I mention that already yet ? ;-)
Bob Swart: Different sources (like CNET and Infoworld) mention the fact that SideWinder would be a development and design tool for the C# language.
Will the "design part" of SideWinder be based on the Bold and/or TogetherSoft acquisitions?
Will it be using (or compatible with) UML for our designs?
Jason Vokes: Borland are now in a position where it has world class products in each of the software delivery stages.
This runs through from requirements definition (Starbase), into design (Together), development (Delphi, JBuilder, C++Builder, Sidewinder...), testing/profiling (Optimizeit) and last but not least, deployment (InterBase, Borland Enterprise Server).
Also, all of this can be managed using the collaboration capabilities (Starteam).
Even though many of these technologies have already been integrated to one degree or another, Borland are committed to delivering the whole Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) in a seamless way.
Deliverables of this strategy will be seen through the coming months.
It's important to remember that Bold is not a design technology.
Bold provides a framework that is capable of running the model.
You still need the design capability from something like Together, but Bold also continues to work with offerings from other vendors - and integration with other players in the application lifecycle categories above, keeps the whole offering very open and customer centric.
The model driven approach, provided already to Delphi 7 Studio Architect developers, by the Bold technologies has proved to be a great accelerator of application delivery.
If you look at customers such as the Swedish Parliament, they have used this technology to see an increase in productivity of ten fold!
That is really something.
Bob Swart: Apart from the SideWinder IDE, which is reported to support the C# language, Borland is also still working on Delphi for .NET, for which we've seen the Delphi for .NET preview command-line compiler.
Will these two projects be merged at some point in time.
Or in other words: will SideWinder support the Delphi language as well? (not just the command-line compiler, but also complete with full syntax and code insight/generation support).
Jason Vokes: Sidewinder does offer an extendable environment, but in the summer release, the primary development language with be C#.
Bob Swart: Is Borland planning other development tools for the .NET Framework apart from SideWinder and Delphi for .NET?
What about, for example, InterBase for .NET?
Jason Vokes: InterBase would already make a great embedded database solution for .NET applications.
Borland are planning for Sidewinder to provide an InterBase driver in the summer release.
Oh yes, and you would have already heard about Optimizeit for .NET for profiling.
Bob Swart: Will there be future updates for Delphi?
Will there be a next version of Delphi for Win32?
Jason Vokes: Borland are totally committed to Delphi developers, the Delphi language and Delphi technologies.
Nothing has changed with regards to the Delphi delivery cycle that has been running for the last 7 versions.
Bob Swart: It's Borland's 20th anniversary this year - congratulations!
BorCon US in November will be a big event, not to be missed.
Will there be BorCons in other places of the world as well (like last year), and will these be before or after the big BorCon in USA?
Jason Vokes: Yes, it's very exciting that it's Borland's 20th anniversary this year.
I think that there is more than ever going on this year within Borland.
Look out for more news of exciting technology announcements, seminars, meetings and even web chats.
Details of dates and locations of other Borland conferences throughout the world and Europe especially will, no doubt, be coming out through the year.