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Delphi's 10th Birthday
February 14th, 2005
It seems like yesterday, but Delphi was officially released 10 years ago on February 14th 1995, during the Software Development Conference 95 West. Borland has a vendor presentation followed by a party at the Exploratorium. I was there, was already doing Delphi due to an invitation to the beta program as potential book atuhor, and have kept working mostly in Delphi since then.
There are many ways to celebrate. I've decided to collect a few photos and scan some very old documents and make them available on this section of my web site. There are documents falling in different sections, and this is not really a well-organized presentation, rather I've browsed my archives... and shared the result with you.
Time permitting I'll add some comments to each image, but I think most of the material is self-commenting, at least for those who were around at the time...
Related Links: BDN
Related Links: (Borland) Blogs
Related Links: Discussions in Forums
This is the invitation to the Delphi launch. It was the binder of the conference catalog. You can read the details for yourselves. There is also my conference speaker pass.
Software Development Conference 95 West: Pictures
The conference was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Here are a few pictures of the conference:
After the conference I spent one day noth of SF, with a few friends. You might recognize me in front of the Golden Gate (gee, I was really younger!) and C++ (and now Java) guru Bruce Eckel (with my fiends Norman and Julie).
Software Development Conference 95 West: Brochure
Here are some pages of the conference brochure, with the description of a few Delphi classes, Borland's CEO keynote, and the spacial event with the product launch and the party. Again, it is interesting to see which other products were popular at the time... Sun doing C++, Microsoft pushing MFC, and the like.
Borcon 5, Orlando
But SD West 95 was not the first public preview of Delphi. This took place at the 5th Borland Conference in Orlando, in June '94. Here are some documents, including a list of talks on Delphi (some of whihc were under NDA!) and some of my very own notes. I actually had witnessed an early preview of Delphi in march '94 (at the SD conference, in San Jose, something I acocunted for in the introduction of the first edition of Mastering Delphi).
Delphi Beta Testing
As author of past books on Borland products (Borland C++ and OWL) I was invited on the beta for Delphi. I know this is something you are not allowed to say, but since my 1,500 pages book was out soon after the product, it is too easy to guess it. Anyway, following Allen Bauer in his blog, I've added the image of the beta invitation page (really a secret document), floppies of early betas, and a few beta CDs. Notice the "RTM canditate" date and the 5th CD, which was the one distributed freely at the SD launch event on the same day! Finally, there is an exctra CD: the one of Mastering Delphi. I've found also a couple of floppies (I reused them!) of two different builts. The first was on 6 disks, the second I have on 7.
There have been many debates on the code name of the first versions of Delphi, basically because there were many. The floppy product (early betas) is code-named Wasabi, the CDs use the terms Delphi and Delphi 95, while the beta invitation says AppBuilder, which is also the internal name of the class of the main window of the Delphi IDE! Another name that circulated was VBK (Visual Basic Killer), as you can see in the InfoWorld article below). Eventually the most popular beta name, Delphi, emerged as the actual product name. This was unusual, as Borland was starting to call all of the its products with the -Builder name. It turned out, however, that AppBuilder was already an existing Novell product name. Delphi was the name of a online system compating with AOL and Compuserve, but at least it was in a different market.
And finally, here is some material about the product itself. I still have an original bok and the full set of manuals (the picture was taken in my office today), but here there is also the famous "VB Killer" leak article, and the fact sheet and other classic product documents.
The Mastering Delphi Book
Mastering Delphi was a tome of over 1,500 pages, trying to cover every feature of Delphi, soemthing I had to stop traying to do with later editions...
What about me?
I've put a lot of stuff on display in this page so far, but told you very little about me. Here are some excerpts of the introduction of Mastering Delphi (the first edition) that tell part of the story. Notice in particular how I was introduced to Delphi almost by chance, how I changed my job because of it, and who did the tech review of my first book.
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