The first programming tool I ever used was Turbo Pascal 5.0, in 1994. A 5 1/4 disk, passed around by a professor, was the gate to a world that had interested me since my first readings about computers and their capacity to be told what to do. From release 5.0, I quickly jumped to 5.5, which offered rudimentar OOP support, and soon was using 6.0, which allowed programmers to use much more interesting OOP features and had excellent graphic support. I started programming my own graphical window manager until I realized it would be too hard to compete with Windows.
My interest in Borland products didn’t dwindle soon. After a brief fling with Turbo C++ 3.0, I went on to program in Delphi from 1997 to 2003, with sporadic uses until 2006. When the company I worked for changed its entire product platform to .NET, I had no choice but to follow. Borland’s frequent strategic mistakes didn’t help as well. Soon, one of my favorite tools was just a memory. I still have a copy of Borland Delphi 6, which I purchased with my own money, but the CD has probably stopped working by now.
After so much time away from the community–I used to be very active in the Borland newsgroups, specially those related to Web programming–I was surprised to hear that Borland restored and modernized their Turbo line of tools. There is now both Turbo Delphi and Turbo C++, new versions of Turbo Pascal and Turbo C++. For those into Microsoft tools, there is also a Turbo Delphi for .NET and Turbo C#.
Obviously, those are basic versions, stripped from any professional or enterprise features. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see Borland returning to its roots, even though those tools won’t sell enought to justify their existence. Then again, who knows, names can be powerful. Since there a free version of Turbo Delphi, I guess I’ll be programming in Delphi soon again.
Better than Turbo Delphi would be a new version of Turbo Pascal. I still have a disk around with lots of interesting programs to run.