[2 days left] What’s wrong with your cloud strategy? Learn why multicloud solutions matter with Nimble Storage.Register Now


why has it been called Delphi?

Posted on 2000-03-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-04
Town in Phocis, GREECE, near the foot of Mt. Parnassus. It was the seat of the Delphic ORACLE, the most famous and powerful oracle of ancient Greece. The oracle, which originated in the worship of an earth-goddess, possibly GAEA, was the principal shrine of APOLLO. It was housed in a temple built in the 6th cent. B.C. The oracular messages were spoken by a priestess in a frenzied trance and interpreted by a priest, who usually spoke in verse. The oracle's influence prevailed throughout Greece until Hellenistic times. Delphi was the meeting place of the Amphictyonic League and the site of the PYTHIAN GAMES. It was later pillaged by the Romans, and the sanctuary fell into decay".

Okee, nice Oracle, nice name to use. But what about the decay?

While E.E. is a bit down, I would like to ask; why did Delphi's developers call their project Delphi?


Question by:florisb
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Expert Comment

ID: 2673179
Because it was a huge jump from what used to be pascal into the future of windows programming, they wanted a new look/feel a total overhaul especially from a marketing perspective.

(much better than turbo pascal 8 or what ever, and pascal interrest was admitedly dwindeling with people jumping to primarily C++)

I seem to remember they were going to change it to ivory at one stage (round d3 time).. and call their C builder ebony, but because they were so successfull with the name Delphi , they decided not to break the brand and the loyalty its clients pledged to it.


Expert Comment

ID: 2673187
no decay for delphi as yet!

Author Comment

ID: 2673284
RBertora: but why Delphi in the first place? I understand 'never change a winning name'.

'because it was a huge hump', is reason for a 'huge' name, but why especially Delphi?

The traditional Delphi IS decayed... ...that's why I would have considered an other name... ...it's like calling your program Pompei or Atlantis...:-)


Concerto's Cloud Advisory Services

Want to avoid the missteps to gaining all the benefits of the cloud? Learn more about the different assessment options from our Cloud Advisory team.


Expert Comment

ID: 2673390
Hmm I wonder if their really is a story to this one, I remember discussing the very question when delphi 1 came out, and even the borland reps in our country did not know why exactly.

I suspect that at borland it was just a case of we need something fresh, put your suggestions in a hat and we'll have vote on it.

LVL 27

Accepted Solution

kretzschmar earned 28 total points
ID: 2674059
hi floris,

from borland

--- paste begin

Why the name "Delphi?"

   by Danny Thorpe

   "Delphi" started out as a beta codename for a closely guarded skunkworks project at Borland: a
   next-generation visual development environment for Windows based on Borland's Object Pascal
   programming language. The codename hatched in mid 1993, after the development team had been
   through about 6 months of deep research, proof-of-concept exercises, and market analysis. Members
   of the then Pascal development team were hanging around R&D Manager Gary Whizin's office
   brainstorming clever codenames to use for the new product. It was not a large office, but it was not a
   large team either - about 10 people between R&D, QA, Pubs, and Marketing. It would have been odd
   not to see Anders Heilsberg, Chuck Jazdzewski, Allen Bauer, Zack Urlocker, Richard Nelson, myself,
   and several other regulars jawing away on some topic or another in Gary's office. For the codename
   jam sessions, there may have been some overflow into the hallway.

   Borland has a long history of "unusual" codenames, some with catchy slogans or backgrounds that tie
   the odd name to the market or product focus. A codename should have no obvious connection to the
   product, so that if an eavesdropper overhears the name in conversation it won't be too obvious what
   product is being discussed. The difference between an everyday disposable codename a great
   codename is the pithy passphrase behind it. The most memorable for me was the codename for
   Quattro Pro 4.0: "Budda". Why? It was to assume the Lotus position!

   So we were sitting in Gary's office, kicking around weird and wacky codename possibilities. The
   strategic decision to make database tools and connectivity a central part of the new Pascal product
   had been made only a few days before, so Gary was keen on having a codename that played up the
   new database focus of the proposed product, and of its development team. The database shift was
   no small matter - I remember having grave reservations about "polluting" the Pascal tools with
   database arcana that took me almost a year to shake off. It was a big gamble for Borland, but it was
   very carefully measured, planned, and implemented. In hindsight, making Delphi a database product
   was exactly what was needed to break Borland's Pascal tools out of the Visual Basic - C++ market
   squeeze play and set Delphi head and shoulders above traditional Windows development tools.

   Gary kept coming back to the codename "Oracle", referring to SQL connectivity to Oracle servers.
   "Oracle" didn't fly with the group, though. Aside from the obvious confusion with the same-name
   company and server product, the name itself implied server stuff, whereas the product we were
   building was (at that time) a client building tool, a way to talk to Oracle and other servers.

   How do you talk to an oracle? "The Oracle at Delphi" was the word association that popped into my
   head. So I offered up "Delphi": If you want to talk to [the] Oracle, go to Delphi.

   The suggestion wasn't an instant hit. It's an old name, an old place, a pagan temple in the ruins of a
   dead civilization. Not exactly an inspiring association for a new product! As some press articles later
   noted, the Delphic Oracle was particularly infamous for giving out cryptic or double-edged answers -
   not a great association for a data management tool. Asking a question of the oracle was free to all,
   but having the oracle's answer interpreted and explained (compiled?) cost a pretty drachma. (The
   marketing guys liked that part)

   Overall, though, the "Delphi" codename had a classier ring to it than the sea of spent puns that littered
   the room. Pascal is a classic programming language, so it just felt fitting somehow to associate a
   Pascal-based development tool with a classical Greek image. And as Greek mythologies go, the
   temple at Delphi is one of the least incestuous, murderous, or tragic ancient Greek icons you'll find.

   We went through a lot of codenames during the development of that 1.0 product, coining a different
   codename for each press or corporate briefing of the beta product. This was an effort to limit rumors
   and allow us to track the source of leaks. The last thing we wanted was for you-know-who to get wind
   of what we were up to. Through all these disposable codenames, the Delphi codename stuck.
   Towards the end of the development cycle, marketing started using the Delphi codename across all
   prepress and corporate briefings, and as the codename for the final beta releases. That got the rumor
   mills talking to each other, and the tools industry was abuzz with talk about this secret project at
   Borland codenamed "Delphi". J.D. Hildebrand wrote a whole editorial in Windows Tech Journal about
   the "Delphi buzz" months before the product was launched. (paraphrased: "I can't tell you what it is, but
   I can tell you this: Delphi is going to change our lives.")

   When it came time to pick a retail product name, the nominations were less than inspiring.. The
   "functional" name, a name that describes what the product actually does and is therefore much easier
   to market and sell, would have been AppBuilder. This name actually still appears in some IDE internal
   class names, such as the class name of the IDE main window. (R&D caved in to the functional name
   pressures and set about implementing it early) But AppBuilder didn't light up people's imagination. It
   didn't work well internationally - functional names are only functional in their language of origin.

   Thankfully, a few months before Delphi was scheduled for release Novell shipped their own product
   called Visual AppBuilder. There was much rejoicing in the Borland halls, for at last the "AppBuilder"
   debate was laid to rest. With the functional name taken out of the running, suggestions started coming
   from all quarters to use the Delphi codename as the product name.

   Delphi wasn't home-free yet. The lead marketing person had legitimate concerns about the extra effort
   that would be required to build name recognition in the marketplace for an "iconic" (opposite of
   functional) product name, so he requested a vote of the development team. There was only one vote
   against (guess who?). Much to our chagrin, someone came to the conclusion that the development
   team's views were not an accurate representation of the marketplace ("sample error" was the phrase I
   heard), and pressed for a survey of the beta testers. When that poll didn't produce the result he
   wanted, the survey was broadened again to include Borland's international subsidiaries, press,
   market analysts, stock analysts, corporate accounts, software retailers, and probably a few K-Mart
   shoppers. It became a bit of a comedy: the harder people tried to dismiss "Delphi" for the product
   name, the more it gained support.

   "Delphi" has a classical ring to it. It has a consistent meaning/word association worldwide in all
   languages. It has no embarassing vulgar slang meanings in other languages (that I'm aware of). Most
   of all, the marketing guys had done a marvelous job of building up market anticipation and buzz
   around the "Delphi" name. The market was primed and ravenous for this thing called "Delphi".

   And that, boys and girls, is how the Delphi product got its name.

   Danny Thorpe Senior Engineer, Delphi R&D Inprise Corp

--- paste end

may this help you


Expert Comment

ID: 2674689
Great !

Expert Comment

ID: 2675805
Thanks meikl,
now where did the name oracle come from??

-just kidding.

Author Comment

ID: 2850281

thanks kretzschmar ,

Greetings at Inprise,

Author Comment

ID: 2850283
Comment accepted as answer

Featured Post

New feature and membership benefit!

New feature! Upgrade and increase expert visibility of your issues with Priority Questions.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article explains how to create forms/units independent of other forms/units object names in a delphi project. Have you ever created a form for user input in a Delphi project and then had the need to have that same form in a other Delphi proj…
Have you ever had your Delphi form/application just hanging while waiting for data to load? This is the article to read if you want to learn some things about adding threads for data loading in the background. First, I'll setup a general applica…
This tutorial will teach you the special effect of super speed similar to the fictional character Wally West aka "The Flash" After Shake : http://www.videocopilot.net/presets/after_shake/ All lightning effects with instructions : http://www.mediaf…
In response to a need for security and privacy, and to continue fostering an environment members can turn to for support, solutions, and education, Experts Exchange has created anonymous question capabilities. This new feature is available to our Pr…
Suggested Courses

656 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question