Borland Developerís Conference

Funded by Bush Grant

 

The conference.

Borland is a leading provider of software development tools, such as language compilers. The Borland Developerís Conference is one of the premier conferences for professional software developers. The goal of the conference is to educate on state of the art practices in software development with reference to Borland products. The sessions are presented by a combination of Borland employees and outside experts. This conference was held in Nashville on July 11-16, 1997.

Sessions Attended

This is just a brief summary of some of the sessions I attended.

Delphi

DL340 Introduction to Delphi 3. Delphi was first second level Visual product. (MicroSoftís Visual BASIC is an example of a first level visual product and Borlandís JBuilder is an example of a third level product.) Delphi uses as an underlying programming language Object Pascal. I went to this to get some background on Delphi, since it has much in common with C++ Builder. I received background in: drag and drop software development; Property, Method and Event model; Data Forms.

C++ Builder

CB010 Product Address C++ Builder. My main goal was to become proficient in C++ Builder at this conference, so I attended many C++ Builder sessions. This one provided an overview of the product that was new at that time.

CB020 Meet the C++ Builder Development Team. Very impressed by their compiler capabilities. The architecture of the product closely resembles that of Delphi with small variations.

CB050 VCL Architecture. A very entertaining, yet technical talk. Learned definition of Delegation Model, how VCL differs from OWL and MFC, the attributes __fastcall, __published and __properties.

CB230 DirectX and Multimedia. This talk was about using DirectX to speed up screen manipulation from C++ Builder programs.

JBuilder

The Preconference Workshop that I attended was by Bruce Eckel and was a quick (4 hour) introduction to the Java programming language, for those with any other programming language background. A very good overview of Javaís strengths and weaknesses.

JB030 Creating JavaBeans Components with JBuilder. Very much related to the following session. This described the process of creating beans with JBuilder.

JB050 The JavaBeans Component Model. This included a definition of a JavaBean and what the requirements are to create a reusable component that conforms to the beans standard.

JB070 JavaDesign Building Better Apps and Applets. This was presented by Peter Coad a well known consultant in object oriented design. This was the best session I attended. One of his most forceful points is that we have overused inheritance as a construction mechanism, when we should have used composition more. Java is a better object oriented design language than either of its predecessors: SmallTalk or C++.

Other

MG110 Software Metrics: Ten Traps to Avoid. This was a little different than most of the sessions that I attended, since it was more directed at software develpment managers than programmers. However, it was refreshing to hear of useful applications of software metrics.

GN020 How to Build Better Object Models. A design workshop.

Classes Affected

CS 221-222 The compiler of choice shifted from an old copy of Turbo C version 3 to C++Builder 1. Turbo C was a DOS product and very much out of place on Windows 95 laptops. However, Borland C++ 5 is also a Windows product, but it seems to be more dated. Visual Component programming seems to be the trend of the future. Therefore the first ĺ of 221 used C++ Builder in console mode, making it easier for beginners to use and closer to what the students see in the text. The last project was a Windows application using the component properties of C++ Builder. In 1998 I will move that up closer to midterm just the last project. CS 222 only generated Windows applications. (Prior to this, developing Windows applications had only been taught in a 300 level class.)

CS 365 This years CS 365 was on Java, which leaned heavily on Java experience that I had gained. The class was only able to see demonstations of JBuilder because of its memory requirements. I am hopeful that this will be overcome for the next time Java is taught.

Conclusion.

This was a very enlightening conference. It very much altered my thinking about where the state of the art is. The above mentioned classes emerged from the 1980s into the late 1990s solely by virtue of what was learned at this conference.

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