I started my serious programming works on Turbo Pascal around 1990. It’s clear that the Turbo products was a breakthrough because of the following reasons :
- With the simple IDE (Integrated Development Environment), Borland significantly lowered the barrier of entry to programming. People can start to program and see results in very little time.
- Excellent documentations – it’s not easy to find product documentations that’s of equal quality of Borland’s. For example; a Turbo product manual also includes a programming tutorial, aiming at complete newbies. So you don’t need to buy additional “Idiot’s Guide To ..” book – Turbo product already got you covered. Before O’Reilly’s book series, there were Borland products and its excellent user manuals.
- Cheap – it was priced within a lot of people’s reach.
- Because of the reasons above, Borland’s Turbo series has helped Microsoft to dominate the PC platform, even though they’ll hate to admit it. Among the reasons of the OS/2’s failure (much to my grief) was lack of a big enough developer community (a vital ingredient to grow any platform).
Too bad there’s no Linux version yet, I think that would really help to entice more newbies to Linux programming. Oh well, later perhaps.
In the mean time, kudos to everyone involved.