SDTimes故事: C++ Builder X: 复仇出击 (English)

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C++ Builder X: Back ‘With a Vengeance‘
Java, pluggable compilers aid Borland’s assault on market
By Alan Zeichick

October 1, 2003 — Forget humdrum version numbers: The successor to Borland Software Corp.’s C++ Builder 6.0 integrated development environment goes by the name “X,” as in C++ Builder X. That’s a letter X, pronounced “ex,” as opposed to the Roman numeral X used in Mac OS X, pronounced “ten.”

Got that?

But there’s more to the new IDE than the letter; after years of neglect of the language by Borland in favor of C# and Java, C++ Builder X was rewritten from the ground up, according to J.P. LeBlanc, vice president and general manager of Borland’s C++ solutions group.

“We’re going back into the C++ market with a vengeance,” he claimed, “and we’re going after the entire market. Over the years our product was focused on Windows developers building GUI solutions; this product is taking a step back, and is aiming at the entire C++ market.”

In fact, the IDE, LeBlanc said, “adopted an IDE framework, internal to Borland, which is also used by JBuilder.” That 5-year-old Java-based IDE gives C++ Builder X some of its new features, such as pluggable compilers, project files stored in XML documents, and compatibility with Borland’s other tools, such as Teamstudio collaboration software, CaliberRM requirements manager and the Together modeler.

Because the Java IDE code is portable, said LeBlanc, for the first time C++ Builder runs on Solaris, as well as Linux and Windows out of the box. “We never had a tool chain for C++ that ran on an enterprise platform such as Solaris,” he said.

Another benefit: C++ Builder X is now compiler tool-chain agnostic, according to LeBlanc. Some editions of the new C++ environment, which shipped in mid-September, include Borland’s C++ compiler for Windows; Microsoft’s Visual C++ compiler; GCC for Linux, Solaris and Windows; and Intel’s C++ 7.1 compilers for Linux and Windows. Not in the box, but supported if the developer owns it, are the Metrowerks C++ compiler and Sun’s Forte C++ compiler for Solaris on SPARC processors.

According to LeBlanc, developers can plug other compilers in as well. “If you have a special compiler, as is common in the embedded space, you can easily plug it in.

“There’s no one compiler that’s best,” he continued. “If you’re looking for performance on the runtime, that’s one compiler; if you’re looking for performance at compile time, you might choose another.”

Indeed, admitted LeBlanc, “since our focus has been on rapid application development, we tend to focus on compile time; we’d be good, but not great, at runtime. Whereas you have the Intel compilers that are excellent at runtime—they’re the fastest—but at compile time, they could be slow.”

A free Personal edition of the C++ Builder X compiler is now being offered, which will include only the Borland compiler. A US$1,000 per seat developer edition adds the extra compilers, as well as licensed versions of Intel’s Math Kernel and Performance Primitives libraries. The top shelf is the $2,500 enterprise edition, which adds Intel’s VTune profiler, Altova’s XML Spy 5, and development licenses for a variety of database tools.

Moving beyond the C++ Builder X Enterprise Edition, Borland also has released an Enterprise Studio suite version that includes a starter version of Borland’s StarTeam and CaliberRM, as well as the company’s new Together Edition for C++ Builder X. The latter is a port of Borland’s modeling software, which according to LeBlanc brings the company’s first simultaneous round-trip modeling and code visualization capability to C++ developers. Enterprise Studio costs $5,000 per seat.

Finally, Borland has revamped its bilingual Borland Mobile Studio, a $6,999-per-seat tool suite for Java and C++ that is designed to work with J2ME and Symbian OS, to include the new C++ Builder X environment.

Since its C++ and Java development environments are now based on the same code, would Borland ever create a single multilanguage IDE to compete against Microsoft’s Visual Studio .NET? LeBlanc hinted about the feasibility, saying, “There’s not a reason today why there’s two separate products. I think it’s a very good vision, but I can’t say any more about it than that. For now, they’re two separate products, based on the same technology.”


注:Borland C++ BuilderX目前并不是Borland C++ Builder 6的升级,而是两个不同方向的产品线。--Bear