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 Dr.Bob's BorCon 2002 Report (in Anaheim, May 18-22, 2002)
Last updated: 2002/05/25

Like previous years, I have written a "live" Conference Report on this website including details (and photos) of all major events, Borland and 3rd-party announcements and session details. My personal focus is on Delphi.NET, Delphi 7 and Kylix (for C++), but I also look for any news on C++Builder and JBuilder 7 as well as other new developments.

BorCon 2002 Highlights
  • Borland announced JBuilder 7, Borland Enterprise Studio 4 for Java, and OptimizeIt Suite 4.2
  • Borland previewed C++ technologies (codename Edison) for 2.5G/3G Mobile Applications on Symbian
  • Kylix 3 (codename Cortez) will ship in 2002, and will contain a Delphi as well as C++ IDE
  • Delphi 7 (codename Aurora) will ship in (the second half of) 2002, and will contain a preview edition of Delphi for .NET (consisting of DCCIL command-line compiler and VCL for .NET)
  • A .NET Development Studio (codename Galileo) will ship in 2003 - supporting multiple populair .NET languages, including Delphi for .NET
  • Borland previewed a programming language for Web Services creation & scripting (codename Charlotte)

Saturday - May 18th
I've just arrived in Los Angeles and picked up my stuff at registration. The conference bag is a nice one again, although it took me a while to figure out how to turn it into a backpack (hint: open the zipper on the back of the bag).
Inside, you'll find the Conference Program, the Borland 2001 Annual Report (works great against jetlag: I was sleeping before I hit page 4), a great "Made in Borland" sticker (especially made for laptops), and a great number of trial CD's. I had to count them twice (some packages contain 2 or 3 CD's) to verify that the bag contains no less than 17 CD's (8 from Borland, including all trials and the BorCon 2002 CD itself).
The BorCon 2002 CD doesn't contain all papers, yet, which is always a disappointment (it's impossible to attend all sessions, and it appears that for example most of the sessions which are given by Borland people are without a paper - of course, I'd rather have them work on Borland tools than on papers about Borland tools ;-).
Hopefully a lot of the "missing" papers (or at least the slideshows!) will be ready and made available in the final edition of the BorCon 2002 CD.
As a bonus (which isn't enough to let me forget the missing papers), the CD contains an offline version of the Borland Community website and the Borland website itself (as of the end of April 2002).

PS: I just found out that BorCon 2003 will be held from November 1-5 2003 in San Jose, CA (USA). That's a long time between BorCon 2002 and BorCon 2003 (in which case you can always attend DCon early 2003 of course).

Sunday - May 19th
Today started with a great pre-conference tutorial by Danny Thorpe about the .NET FrameWork (through the eyes of Delphi Developers).
The latest news (from the Borland Community website) includes the Linux Format's Top Stuff Award for Kylix.

The Opening Keynote started out in the Bond theme, with a special role for "gadgets" (wireless or otherwise). We saw David I in the role of James Bond 007 "license to code", with Dale Fuller. Special guests included Blake Stone who showed JBuilder 7 and some of the IDE enhancements (such as errors-on-the-fly and refactoring) in JBuilder, so I was right about the announcement of JBuilder 7 this week (which will officially happen during the JBuilder Product Address).
Another special guest was Chuck J. who showed an IDE with Delphi 7 in the titlebar, but then used the command-line compiler DCCIL to compile it to a .NET Windows Forms application. This application not only ran on Windows with .NET, but also on a gadget (Tablet PC) using .NET.
Another news item concerned the Borland Community website, which will be renamed (and restructured) to Borland Developer Network.

Monday - May 20th
The RAD Product Address was the first of a 2-part story about Freedom. Today was the first part, called "Freedom Today". Tomorrow (tuesday) will be the second part, called Freedom Tomorrow. As a result, I'm afraid today didn't really contain a lot of news, although it did mention two codenames: Cortez and Aurora.
The news items that are worth to repeat concern Kylix 3 (codename: Cortez), which was shown to consist of two different IDEs: one for Delphi and one for C++. We saw Kylix 3 for C++ in action, which seemed to be the Linux edition of C++Builder 6 (just as Kylix 2 is currently the Linux edition of Delphi 6). I wonder if Kylix 3 will contain any improvements on the Delphi side, or if the main "new feature" of Kylix 3 will be the fact that it now contains a C++ IDE.

Apart from Kylix, we saw one quote about the future of Delphi as follows: "Aurora will help Delphi developers build applications that are .NET ready." I must say I'm not sure what this means exactly: .NET ready doesn't sound as if we're talking about .NET deployment. So maybe Aurora (the codename for Delphi 7, for which we saw the IDE) is something different than the DCCIL command-line compiler that we saw them use as well.
Of course, tomorrow we'll know for sure after the second RAD Tools Product Address about "Freedom Tomorrow".

But first we'll have the Keynote by Anders Hejlsberg from Microsoft, who will show .NET (and then the Freedom Tomorrow will be Borland's RAD answer to Anders' keynote, no doubt). So, please be patient, I have a feeling the best is yet to come!

Monday - May 20th
OK, we've just had the Keynote by Anders Hejlsberg, which was - in my view - the best thing of BorCon 2002 so far. Anders explained the purpose and benefits of the .NET FrameWork, and then build a demo using ASP.NET plus some Delphi code snippets that were compiled (behind the scenes) with the upcoming Delphi for .NET. It was impressive to see how easy it was to compile Delphi code and integrate it into ASP.NET (even turning it into a Web Service).
At the end of his keynote, Anders even told us (with permission from Borland) that the next version of Delphi (remember, codename Aurora) will be available "in the second half of 2002". It will also contain a preview of Delphi for .NET - which means that Aurora itself is not Delphi for .NET, but Delphi 7 for Windows.
Later in 2003 (the slide showed first half of 2003, but Anders said "second half of 2003"), we will see the full Delphi for .NET (as part of the .NET Development Studio with the codename Galileo). This will be the Delphi for .NET (just as we have Delphi for Linux and Delphi for Windows), with a full VCL support for .NET, etc. etc.

Tomorrow will be the "answer" from Borland in the "Freedom Tomorrow" session, which is not to be missed, and will again show Aurora (Delphi 7 and preview Delphi for .NET), Galileo (.NET Development Studio with Delphi for .NET) and Cortez (Kylix 3). So, please be patient, I have a feeling the best is not over yet (and by that I also mean the Return to the Dark Side and Meet The Team sessions tonight). So stay tuned...

(later that night)
Well, we just had the Return to the Dark Side - Episode II session, but it was a bit of a disappointment (too bad so many failed on him). I'm especially sad about the fact that he wasn't able to really show off the new Virtual Dr.Bob.
The Meet The Team session was good, especially when we got to thank Corbin Dunn and Bruneau Babet for their great support in the newsgroups (and see the other important players in the Delphi R&D Team, of course). Mark received the Spirit of Delphi award, and "accepted" in his own typical way, which was funny.

Tuesday - May 21th
Today started with the "Freedom Tomorrow" Product Address, which focussed on the things to come (what's cooking) from the RAD Team. There are four focus points: C++, Mobile, WebServices and .NET.
On the C++ front, we heard that Borland is working on a next generation Borland C++ compiler, which is a 3-phase (plug-in) compiler with the possibility to add other source code definitions (other than C++) at the front-end, and other code generation definitions (other than Intel object code) on the back-end. As an example, ARM code generation was mentioned.
On the Mobile front, we saw a new C++ environment for mobile devices (codename Edison). The first version is actually a plug-in for C++Builder, and will be available in the middle/third quarter of 2002. The second version will use the Galileo IDE (the .NET Development Studio that will also be used for Delphi for .NET), and will contain the Borland ARM C++ compiler (once that's ready), the Mobile CLX (that's a new one), and target Nokia 60 SDK and other phones. A target date of Q1 2003 was mentioned, but I doubt if that is a serious target, since both the Galileo IDE and the Borland ARM C++ compiler will probably take longer to complete. But time will tell, of course...
On the Web Services front, ChuckJ showed UDDI capabilities added to Delphi (extending the WSDL Importer), which was really cool to see. I wish that would be made available today!
As if that wasn't enough, Chuck also introduced a new language codename Charlotte, which is a simple yet powerful programming language expressly for Web Services creation and scripting (note however that Charlotte may feel like scripting - it's still a compiled language). Charlotte will be a 1st class .NET Language, being able to interoperate with C#, etc., use .NET FrameWork or Components, create .NET Web Services, components & applications.
Read Allen Bauer's blog (May 2004) for the fate of Charlotte...

The final topic was about Delphi and Delphi for .NET. Chuck told us that Delphi 7 (codename Aurora) will be made available in the second half of 2002, and it will contain a preview edition of Delphi for .NET. This preview edition will consist of the DCCIL command-line compiler as well as the VCL for .NET Component Framework, to get the first experience with Delphi for .NET this year!

Wednesday - May 22th
Today was my sixth and last session (two were "only" Birds-of-a-Feather), and time to say goodbye. As almost every year, I had to miss the closing session - at that time my plane was already in the air flying back to Amsterdam Schiphol.

I noticed during the conference that the Borland website is restructured, and the Borland Community website is renamed to Developers Network. I'm not sure I like the new design - it's a bit harder to find information (and the list of press releases and events contain is not working well), but I'm sure it'll grow on me in time. I hope...

See Also...
Other BorCon Reports and pictures from Anders Ohlsson can be found below:

Exhibition Lab
A significant number of vendors were present in the exhibition hall again, including the following sponsors of my website: Advantage Database Server, Developer Express, and TurboPower Software (who just released Visual PlanIt).

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