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News of C++ decline is an exaggeration

Despite a burst of attention directed at new languages like Java and C#, C++ use quietly continues to grow. At the same time, observers say .NET-driven changes in Microsoft's popular Visual C++ tool may alienate some C++ developers. Into this scene comes Borland Software Corp. with C++ Builder 6.

Borland bills C++ Builder as a cross-platform visual development environment for building Web services and other applications. C++ Builder applications can run on Java, Unix, Windows and, soon, Linux, as well as on Web servers.

"With C++ Builder, we are not forcing a developer to go to one platform," said Tom Theobald, technical marketing manager for RAD solutions at Borland. "We're here to help you deploy apps wherever you want to go."

While Borland was on hand at the debut of Microsoft .NET, Theobald does point to some aspects of the new architecture that may turn off C++ developers. "Microsoft has added extensions to Visual C++ that depart from the C++ ANSI standards. It's a hedge to bring C++ into .NET."

In any case, he noted, "you don't want to learn a new language if you don't have to."

In describing the health of the C++ environment, Borland Senior Director of Product Marketing Alison Deane cites IDC surveys that set the number of C++ developers at 2.6 million worldwide. She points to improved ANSI/ISO standard conformance, SOAP and XML support, a new component library for cross-platform development, plus native CORBA links to Borland's Enterprise Server as key elements in this release.

The Borland C++ Builder unveiling came on the heels of news that Borland would deliver a RAD solution with C++ development for the Linux operating system in the first half of 2002.

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