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JBuilder 3: Building Java Apps Under Linux
Freely Available: JBuilder 3 Foundation for Linux
February 10, 2000
As part of a growing movement towards free software, Borland released its JBuilder 3 Foundation Java Integrated Development Environment--or IDE--for free to the Linux, Solaris and Windows worlds.
Once the premier developer of programming tools on PCs, Borland has come on hard times in recent years. The company won the early battle over Pascal compilers and tools, but few people develop with Pascal anymore. Borland won the early battle over both C and then C++ compilers and tools, handily beating Microsoft. The rise of Windows, and the fact that Microsoft controls the Windows application programming interfaces, or APIs, eventually made Microsoft's Visual C++ the winner in that market.
Borland, meanwhile, got distracted by purchasing other companies in a series of what turned out to be expensive failures. All of this lead to the situation where the once-dominant maker of programming tools became a mere shadow of its old self, and even stopped going by the name of Borland in many areas, using the term Inprise instead.
Borland went for a comeback with the rise of Java, focusing on development tools for the up-and-coming language. Ironically, Microsoft lost valuable time with Java, just like they had with C++. This helped make Borland's JBuilder integrated development environment, or IDE, one of the early leaders in tools for Java developers. Till now, this IDE was available only on Windows and Solaris. (Corel recently announced plans to purchase Borland/Inprise for $2.44 billion, showing just how well Inprise and Borland have turned things around.)
Sun recently purchased NetBeans, another IDE that runs on Linux (and a variety of other systems, as it's written in Java). You can download NetBeans for free, just as you could when it was part of an independent company. What's changed is that Sun brings a lot more publicity.
Perhaps Borland acted in response to Sun's purchase of NetBeans. Or perhaps the low-end Java IDE market just isn't what it used to be. Some more reasons appear here. In any case, you can now download JBuilder 3 Foundation for free.
The Foundation part of the product name means that this is the base product. Pricing goes up to $2,499 for JBuilder Enterprise on Solaris and Windows. Right now, only the Foundation version is available on Linux.