Borland --

With Borland's announcement that they are divesting themselves of their IDE division, the tragedy has finally occurred that has seemed inevitable for the last few years now. Borland, who once produced the finest compilers and IDEs in all the land, has officially announced its demise (again). In some respects, Borland still has the finest compilers, and maybe IDEs, in all the land. Delphi for one is a mature and profoundly capable product by itself. It has a fantastic IDE that in some respects, Visual Studio .NET still falls short of. The Delphi component framework was very innovative and influenced the design of the ".NET Framework" more than any other single product. Delphi's compiler and memory manager are performant and multiplatform, and the compiler can even take a step back and produce IL if somebody should so desire. When you combine all this with the fact that a Delphi compiler can produce modules and components (VCL) that can be statically linked to an application with modules from Borland's C++ products, it is a simply wonderful piece of technology that Borland has let it slip through their fingers. And this doesn't even get into other innovative technologies like Turbo Pascal, InterBase/Firebird, JBuilder, and many more. It would be very interesting if, instead of trying to sell their IDE and compiler products to another company, they open sourced them in a foundation setup something like Eclipse, Apache, or Mozilla. I bet a lot of people would contribute, not the least of which would be the famous community of Delphi hackers where I am currently visiting here in Russia.