No-Longer-Borland Folk Seem Confident

Every indication is that the people involved in Borland’s compilers and IDE are confident that they will carry the products forward.

I talked to a couple people and I still haven’t heard of a specific suitor, but there’s also a real tone of confidence.

There’s already a “Delphi Corporation”, but there doesn’t seem to be a “Turbo Corp.” I guess the Turbo brand is a thing of the past, but it was such a great friggin’ name — easy to remember, good connotations, etc. Dropping it always seemed the biggest branding mistake in Borland-Inprise-Borland’s history… Oh, wait…

Borland Casting Off IDE, Compilers

Today, Borland announced that they are seeking a buyer for their line of IDEs and compilers and will concentrate on their Application Lifecycle Management tools. They also announced that they’re buying Segue, which on a normal day would be big news, but, my god, the end of Turbo?

This really feels like the passing of an era to me. Of course, Borland has been eclipsed (hah!) in every aspect, but Borland was such a huge part of my nascent programming / software development life and the C/C++ wars of the late 80s and early 90s so dominated my formative years in the tech magazines….

Borland is being somewhat cagey if they actually have a buyer lined up. Officially, they’re saying “We’re seeking…” but David I seems to feel that moving to a new company is a done deal (it may be that David I is simply in a position to retire if no buyer can be found).

Outlook’s Fatal Flaw as an RSS Aggregator: Desktop Search

I use NewsGator as my aggregator, but I think I’ll have to change. The problem is that when RSS posts flow into your system as email items, desktop search for real email becomes much less useful.

For instance, searching your real email archive for words like “schedule” or “deadline” would likely result in a very relevant set of returns. If, though, your RSS reader is integrated in Outlook, that same search will turn up a hundred RSS posts for every real email message to you.

Ironically, you can search within Outlook based on folder structure, but none of the Desktop Search tools allow you to control indexing / searching. So we’re back to where we were 5 years ago: One tool for searching your hard-drives, another tool for searching within Outlook.

Programming OneNote 12

I’ve confirmed that, as one of them thar jour-nye-lists, I can actually write about my experiences with the Office 12 Beta (I’m allowed to talk about client-side stuff only). I have much to say about the new task-based interface, but for my first post I have to talk about OneNote.

Whoa, baby, does this have potential. Add a reference to the Interop library in Visual Studio and you have trivially simple read-write access to XML-encoded OneNote content. How easy is it to read the pages in your Notebook? Is three lines too much work?:

 ApplicationClass ac = new ApplicationClass(); string strXml; ac.GetHierarchy(String.Empty, HierarchyScope.hsPages, out strXml); Clipboard.SetText(strXml); 

Preliminary investigation shows that you get back all the needed valuable information (note flags, binary content [requires two calls,which is fine]). I haven’t yet started writing new data, but expect it to be equally straightforward.

OneNote is a platform for innovation. I really think this is one of the best chances for MicroISV development we’ve had in years.

Low on brains

When I’m struggling with a hard problem, I often find myself subvocalizing the logic. It’s surprising how often thinking “And therefore..” results in shaking free an elusive conclusion.

But not always. Today, as I tried to figure out some Win32 IPC problem, I found myself thinking the following thought: “And if that works, then undoubtedly that works.” Big help.