New tool aims to make Linux RAD

Borland's Kylix would like to be the Visual Basic of Linux application development

Borland took the wraps off the Kylix, the first rapid application development (RAD) tool for Linux Wednesday, designed to revolutionise the creation of applications for Linux.

Kylix -- which Borland unveiled at the LinuxWorld Expo in New York -- features a graphical environment, an optimised code compiler and interactive debugger as well as a comprehensive component suite.

Rapid application development (RAD) environments enable programmers to quickly build working programs using simple interfaces and tools. The best-known RAD environments are Microsoft's Visual Basic and Borland's Delphi, both designed for development on Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

Borland claims that, by speeding up development for Linux, Kylix will boost the success of Linux as an up-and-coming mainstream operating system and help power it into corporate environments.

"Corporate and individual developers now have an ultra high-performance high-productivity RAD environment to build applications for the Linux platform," said Dale L Fuller, president and chief executive of Borland in a statement. "Our objective is to make Kylix the standard for Linux application development."

Microsoft's Windows operating systems have benefited from RADs designed to allow programmers to bring applications to market quickly and cost-effectively. Industry observers suggest Kylix could help the development of Linux applications in the same way. "To bring Linux into the mainstream, it needs professional applications," Bill Claybrook, research director for Aberdeen Group. "Linux developers need a simplified and standardised environment for creating these applications faster."

Kylix includes CLX, a component library designed for easy cross-platform development. Borland says that developers conversant with Visual Basic and Delphi will be able to quickly adapt to Kylix, increasing the likelihood that applications created for Windows with these RADs will be ported to Linux.

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