Today I went to a Borland presentation on its Java development tool, JBuilder 2005. I hadn’t played around with it for more than five years, so obviously what I saw tonight was dramatically different. It has some slick support for developing and refactoring J2EE programs. For example, if you rename a class via refactoring, JBuilder is smart enough to not only rename any references to the class in other Java classes, but also within XML configuration files.
I was also interested in finding out more about JBuilder’s upcoming transition to Eclipse. I asked why Borland picked Eclipse over NetBeans. It all boiled down to the ecosystem. Even though JBuilder’s architecture is more similar to NetBeans than Eclipse, it would still be painful to move the code base to NetBeans, and the payoff wouldn’t be as great, because there is less third-party support for NetBeans than there is for Eclipse. Plus, Borland was actually a founding member of the Eclipse Foundation (although it didn’t became a strategic partner until this year), so they’ve been keeping an eye on Eclipse for a few years.
A little trivia: Borland has been in Scotts Valley, CA since its founding in 1983. In 2003, it started leasing office space in Cupertino City Center. Cupertino’s city government claimed that Borland was moving its headquarters to there, but Borland denied it. However, if you look at its web site now, its Scotts Valley address is almost nowhere to be found. Instead, it lists its “executive offices” as being located in Cupertino. But the listed phone number is the old Scotts Valley number!
Talking to the folks at tonight’s meeting, it turns out that most of the developer tools are still being developed in Scotts Valley, while sales, executive offices, and development for other products are in Cupertino. As for the headquarters… who knows.