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Inprise swamped by response from Linux developers

November 17, 1999
Web posted at: 10:59 a.m. EST (1559 GMT)

by Rebecca Sykes


LAS VEGAS (IDG) -- The lack of applications for Linux has hindered its adoption in some quarters, but that appears about to change.

An Inprise Corp. Internet survey of Linux developers in July elicited so many responses that it crashed Inprise's server. The developers wanted Linux versions of Inprise's Borland Delphi and CBuilder tools, according to Michael Swindell, senior product manager for Linux tools at Inprise.

"We underestimated the response, so we didn't really put it on the appropriate system," Swindell said. "What the survey told us is that developers are now interested in building applications."

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Inprise spread the word about the survey, which was quite technical, on various Linux Web sites, expecting between 4,000 and 5,000 responses, Swindell said. Three weeks and 24,000 responses later, the company stopped accepting replies, he said.

Typically, when a new technology like Linux comes along, developers first work on infrastructure which supports it, Swindell said. Only once the underpinnings have been worked through do developers turn their attention to creating applications, he said.

Apparently, developers are ready to do so, and the application tools and applications themselves are just becoming visible at Comdex.

Corel Corp., for example, is demonstrating six applications for Linux at its booth here this week, including WordPerfect 8, QuattroPro, Paradox and Presentations, and the Linux Business Expo part of Comdex is packed with developers and other attendees.

Inprise will ship JBuilder for Linux, a Java development tool, in the first quarter, and Linux versions of Delphi and CBuilder will be available in mid-2000, according to Swindell.

Around 70 percent of the interest in Linux which Swindell sees comes from the U.S.

"That's pretty normal for an emerging IT technology," Swindell said, adding that his recent European tour convinced him that is about to change. "I think that we're going to start to see the wave we saw in the U.S. happen in Europe."

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October 27, 1999
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SGI to offer key piece of OS to Linux
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Linux at Comdex
Corel launches desktop Linux
Linux creator Torvalds extols open-source way
Domino 5 for Linux to ship next month
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Delphi and CBuilder tools to support Linux
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Linux development tools roundup
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