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Borland Rolls Out With Kylix

Borland, a company that became one of the original big names in the desktop PC business -- and earned their "barbarians at the gate" tag long before Linux was so much as a twinkle in Mr. T's eye -- is porting their Delphi and C++ products to Linux, under the collective name of Kylix.

It's been public knowledge for some time that Borland was planning to do this. What hasn't been known was how Borland planned to deal with the for-profit/open source dichotomy. After speaking with Michael Swindell of Borland about this at some length, the good news is that it's all good news, and the barbarians are about to prove all over again why they've long been one of the smartest and most aggressive competitors in the industry.

The first available version of Kylix will be Delphi, which is basically Borland's (considerably) evolved, object-oriented version of Pascal, while the C++ version of Kylix is being actively worked on and will be released at a later date. But the real news is the versions of Kylix that will be available. As is typical of commercial development tools, Kylix will come in three flavors, traditionally called "enterprise," "professional" and "entry level."

Borland is calling the first two "server" and "desktop", which are somewhat better names since they more clearly indicate the focus of the product. These versions will include Borland's CLX ("clicks") framework, which has the sub-components "VisualCLX", "DataCLX", and "BaseCLX" for GUI, database, and, well, basic aspects of programming. The server version will also include facilities to help professional and corporate Apache software developers. The DataCLX components will also include Oracle, DB2, and MySQL connectivity support.

What about that third variant? That's where things get the most interesting. The "open" version will be identical to the professional version, including the full GUI RAD environment, except it will be free. You'll be able to download from Borland's web site or buy it in a shrink-wrapped box, likely with a printed manual, for approximately $99.

Portability is yet another area where Borland showed an uncommon amount of common sense. To read a full version of Lou's story as well as colorful commentary, click on sister site, LinuxProgramming.com.

Lou Grinzo is the editor of LinuxProgramming.com.