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A Brief History of Clarion (Updated)

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The following is a work in progress. If you have material you'd like to contribute to this history of Clarion, please send it along or post a comment at the bottom of the page (you must be logged in first).

Events with incomplete or uncertain information are colored yellow.

Date Description Notes
1973 Bruce Barrington starts HBO & Company. Barrington writes a multi-user operating system and macro language for the IVPhase desktop computer, one key feature of which is memory-mapped video. BB forms ideas that would later evolve into Clarion.
1979 Niels Jensen starts Midas ASP Develops and markets sofware for microcomputers. First product is WordIndex, an add-on for WordStar. Midas acquires an Irish shell company named Borland International Ltd. Eventually Midas begins doing business as Borland, and later Phillippe Kahn is hired to run the US operations.
1981 HBO goes public, BB lives "pretty comfortably" BB buys an Apple II but finds Pascal frustrating. Doesn't consider this a business machine
1981 IBM releases the PC BB says Aha! Memory mapped video! and calls up some HBO pals.
1983 Work begins on Clarion 1.0

Monty Shaw joins the team in late summer and persuades BB that development should be done in C. Bob Steinke is hired out of HBO but doesn't offically start until 1984.

1983 Niels Jensen and Poly Pascal Jensen discovers a product for the CPM-80 called Poly Pascal, written by Anders Heilsberg. Borland acquires marketing rights and renames Poly Pascal to Turbo Pascal. Jensen's team later writes the enormously popular Sidekick.
1984 Work continues on Clarion 1.0 Bob Steinke is brought in to write the compiler and collaborate with BB on language design. Gary Liming starts a few weeks after Bob Steinke; Shaw, Liming and Steinke have known each other since grade school and become the "three musketeers" for much of 1984. John Herron is hired late in the year and helps recruit the rest of the core team, including Stephen and Kim Kemp and Tony Jackson.
1985 Borland moves to London Begins developing new compiler line for Modula-2, C and C++
1986 Clarion 1.0 released, April.

Clarion 1.0 is released at Spring Comdex in Atlanta. To combat copy protection, the first release of Clarion requires a hardware dongle (the "Actuator"), as do all apps created with Clarion. Unfortunately the industry is in the midst of a backlash against copy protection; negative press almost kills Clarion. BB reluctantly agrees to remove the Actuator in release 1.1.

1986 JPI is formed Niels Jensen is also one of the founders of Borland (1983).
1987 Borland USA acquires Wizard C, which became Turbo C The Borland language team leaves and forms JPI.
1987 Designer under development Bruce Barrington and John Herron begin writing the Designer product. Steve Parker recalls BB saying John Herron was the creator of Designer: ("It took him a year and it almost killed him").
1988 CPD 2.0 released, May The first version of Clarion to include Designer. Wins PC Magazine's Editor's Choice. InfoWorld rates CPD along with Paradox as the best programmable database.
1990 TopSpeed technology licensed Niels and Bruce work out a deal to use TopSpeed compiler technology in Clarion 3.0 (CDD 3.0)
1990 Report Writer introduced Approx date: "a year and a half after CPD"
1991 Euro Sales Manager George Ratcliff of Essex is hired as the European Sales Manager
1991 CLARIONET No, not the thin client technology for Clarion for Windows, but an online information service announced by Clarion Software as part of the Clarion Developer's Exchange, for just $150 per year. Ten hours of toll free access included!
1991 DevCon #1 The very first Clarion DevCon was held Sept 22-25 at the Westin Cyprus Creek Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. CDD 3.0 announced, but little shown of substance. Keynote speakers included Bruce Barrington, Will Fastie, and Niels Jensen.
1991 Clarion Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa November 12&13 at the VW Midrand Conference Centre. BB was present at this conference.
1992 Staff turnover Six of the original seven R&D people, as of 1990, have left.
1992 DevCon #2 Marriott Harbour Beach in Ft. Lauderdale. CDD 3.0 shown, but not in final release yet. Jeff Duntemann the editor of PC Techniques was keynote speaker, this was presumably following his article in Dr. Dobbs Journal in 10/91 entitled "Sympathy on the Loss of One of Your Legs"
1992 CDD release at end of year (or might have been early '93)  
1992 JPI and Clarion Software merge in April, announcement made at the end of the year.

The new company has a head office in Pompano Beach and a development center in London (LDC). Later the LDC is revealed to be under contract to TopSpeed.

1993 Aussie DevCon Sydney, Australia, CW 1.5 released, also "pen stuff" for CDD
1993 DevCon #3, Sept, first CW demo Ft. Lauderdale (Marriott Harbour Beach again?). David Bayliss speaks and shows some actual Clarion for Windows applications. Ross Santos finds the third party vendor displays "boring". Keynotes by Will Fastie and Mark Burgess.
1993 DevCon Boston Hosted by Ben Brady
1993 Tom Moseley hired to work on templates Tom previously worked with Dave Howington on the LPM add-on.
1993 Clarion RADical Conference in Johannesburg May 6&7 at the Fourways Indaba Hotel
1994 CW 1.0 Beta 2 released Then called CDDW
1994 CW 1.0 Beta 3 released Mid-year release, and the first to include the AppGen.
1994 Clarion Consulting Services formed headed up by Chris Behling, former VP of Marketing
1994 Randy Wood hired as VP of Product Development March 21, 1994
1994 DevCon #4 The Boca Raton Resort & Club. Keynote by John Dvorak (?) Outside events (sailing etc.) are cancelled due to the weather, attendees are not reimbursed for the extra money spent to keep spouses happy.
1994 DevCon West May 7&8, Los Angeles
1994 Aussie DevCon Sydney, Australia
1994 Clarion Software becomes Topspeed Corporation  
1995 DevCon West John Griffiths recalls the DoubleTree hotel in '95 (confirmed by Stamos) and Bruce Barrington showing an early CW beta, presumably of 2.0.
1995? South American DevCon? Argentina?
1995/09 CW 1.5 released  
1995 CDD 3.1 released  
1996/01 Final CW 1.5 release Version 1.502. Includes support for 32 bit executables.
1996 Kerrville gathering Kerrville, TX. Pics. Ross Santos discovers fire ants.
1996/06 CW 2.0 Released Adds object orientation, ActiveX support, enhanced SQL support
1996/09 DevCon #5 Held at the Hyatt Regency at the Orlando airport, and generally regarded as the absolute worst DevCon location.
1996 Arizona DevCon, Nov Mesa Pavillion Hotel. Hosted by Kathryn & Phil Carroll, and I think Larry Teames had just a bit to do with it as well.
1997/01 Aussie DevCon, Feb Sydney, Australia. The 1997 Oz DevCon was held at the Gazebo hotel, Sydney Jan/Feb and included Bruce Barrington, Tom Mosely, Scott Ferret etc.  Internet Connect was shown and was very exciting.  Who would have thought you could flick a switch and turn your desktop app into an internet app??  It was all going to be just soooo easy...
1997/03 Final CW 2.0 release  
1997/04 Euro DevCon Held at the International Hotel in London. "A bunch of folks went to Beefeaters dressed up in costume. James Fortune was Friar Tuck....and a great time was had by all." - Skip Williams
1997/09 DevCon #6 Radison Bahia Mar Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale. Keynote by Peter Coffee.
1997/12 Clarion 4 released Introduced the ABC class library and template chain. The "for Windows" was dropped from the product name. There was no version 3; the official reason was that "1.5 should have been 2.0" and so 2.0 should have been 3.0, but it's generally believed that the company wishes to avoid any numerical association with the CDD 3 debacle.
1998/02 Sydney DevCon Sydney, Australia. The 1998 Oz DevCon was originally also to be held at the Gazebo hotel but this was changed and it was actually held the Millennium Hotel (not The President's Hotel) in late March.  Presenters included Bruce Johnson (a much appreciated regular in Australia...), Erik Pepping, Scott Ferret and Gus Greces.   A sales guy from Topspeed called Antonio Rajan managed to antagonise nearly everyone with his session but fortunately none of his "future directions" such as dumping the desktop development environment and becoming an "Internet company", and changing the name from Clarion ever came to fruition... well so far anyway...
1998 eData is formed Hank Asher goes on to hire most of the London team.
1998/05 Clarion 5.0 released First appearance of Professional and Enterprise versions
1998/05 Euro DevCon Ramada Gatwick Airport
1998/09 DevCon #7 Marina Marriott hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Keynote: Mr. Edward E. Iacobucci - Citrix chairman, chief technical officer and vice president of strategy and technology.
1998/05 ETC I Lee White holds the first East Tennessee Clarion Conference in Gatlinburg.
1998/11 ConVic Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The first of Chris Livingstone's ConVic conferences
1998/11 South African DevCon Johannesburg, Indaba Hotel, FourwaysCorrection. Richard Taylor was present.
1999/02 ClarionMag begins publication  
1999/03 Aussie DevCon Sydney, Australia. Article.
1999/04 Euro DevCon Amsterdam, Golden Tulip Barbizon Palace
1999/05 DevCon Latin America Article
1999 Roy Rafalco resigns, Frank Watts hired as new CEO  
1999 ConVic '99 Mt. Buffalo, Australia. Article. Article.
1999/06 Clarion 5.0B released Final 5.0 release
1999 Clarion 5.5 beta  
1999/09 DevCon #8 Hyatt Regency's Pier Sixty Six in Fort Lauderdale. Hank Asher keynotes, Main Street USA strategy announced, and it appears to many attendees that the company is being sold out in an attempt to grab a slice of the dot com pie.
2000/05 SoftVelocity formed TopSpeed's VP of Product Development, Robert Zaunere, heads a group of investors who purchase the Clarion product line from TopSpeed Corporation. The new company is called SoftVelocity Inc.
2000/05 ETC II Lee White holds the second East Tennessee Clarion Conference in Gatlinburg.
2000 ConVic Daylesford, Australia. Article.
2000/08 Clarion 5.5 released Adds interfaces to the language
2000 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Bonito - Mato Grosso do Sul
2001/10 South American ConDev Argentina (last Argentinian Clarion conference before the economic collapse)
2001/03 ConVic 2001 Mt. Buffalo, Australia. Article.
2001 ConDev Gescla, Brazil São Paulo
2002/01 Clarion 5.507 released Final 5.5 release
2002 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Florianópolis - Santa Catarina
2002 ConVic 2002 Geelong, Australia. Article.
2002/05 ETC III Lee White holds the third East Tennessee Clarion Conference in Gatlinburg. Articles.
2002 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Curitiba - Paraná
2003 ConVic 2003 Geelong, Australia. Article.
2003/11 Clarion 6.0 Gold C6 Gold released. Major changes include support for full OS threads.
2004/05 ETC IV Lee White holds the fourth East Tennessee Clarion Conference in Gatlinburg. Articles.
2004 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul
2004/05 Clarion 6.1 C6.1 Changes include XP theme support.
2004/09 DevCon #9, Orlando Held at the Disney contemporary resort. First SoftVelocity DevCon. Some Clarion# vaporware shown. Articles.
2005/05 Clarion 6.2 New features include enhanced SQL functionality, new core templates, EIP, RTL and RTF improvements.
2005 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Foz do Iquaco, Brazil. Article #1.Article #2.
2006/01 Clarion 6.3 C6.3 released.
2006 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Bonito - Mato Grosso do Sul
2006/05 Aussie DevCon Geelong, Australia. Articles.
2007/02 First Clarion 7 hand coder's release Build 1457 was released on Feb 23, 2007
2007/05 CapeSoft Seminar Johannesburg
2007/05 CapeSoft Seminar Sydney
2007/05 Aussie DevCon Sydney, Australia. Articles.
2007/05 CapeSoft Seminar Las Vegas
2007/06 CapeSoft Seminar Cambridge
2007 ConDev Gescla, Brazil São Paulo - São Paulo
2007/11 First Clarion# hand coder's release Nov 17
2008/05 Aussie DevCon Eden, Australia. Articles. First public appearance of AppGen.
2008/10 C7 AppGen Third Party Release Oct 21
2008/12 C7 AppGen CSP release Dec 24
2008 ConDev Gescla, Brazil Juiz de Fora - Minas Gerais
2009/03 ClarionLive! launched The ClarionLive! webinar site went live on March 27
2009/04 C7 Gold Release April 13
2009/06 CONDEV GESCLA (Brazil) June 11-14 in Curitaba
2009/10 Aussie DevCon Eden, Australia (SV announces .NET architecture plans, releases 7.1 beta to attendees)
2009/12 Clarion 7.1 released

December 22

2010/10 ClarionLive 2010 The first ClarionLive conference, organized by Arnold Young and John Hickey, was held at the end of October at the Inverness Hotel in Denver, CO.
2011/08 Clarion 8.0 Gold Release August 29
2011/09 Clarion International Developer's Conference (CIDC 2011) Co-sponsored by ClarionLive (John Hickey, Arnold Young) and SoftVelocity. Held at the Rosen Centre Hotel inOrland, FL at the end of September.

My thanks to Bob Steinke, Luis De Almeida, Geoff Robinson, Paul MacFarlane, Mike Hanson, Stamos Fafalios, David Jung, David Bratovich, Jose de Mello Junior and other unnamed Clarion folk for their contributions and corrections.

Larry Sand notes that the Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows the history of the TopSpeed web site until early 2001. Then the SoftVelocity web site is phased in late 2000.

Article comments

 

by Luis De Almeida on March 2 2009 (comment link)

November 12&13, 1991: Clarion Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the VW Midrand Conference Centre. BB was present at this conference.

May 6&7 1993: Clarion RADical Conference in Johannesburg at the Fourways Indaba Hotel. Richard Taylor (in charge of Documentation & Training, I think) was the Topspeed representative.

 

by Luis De Almeida on March 2 2009 (comment link)

Correction: Richard Taylor was at the Johannesburg Clarion "Wizatron" Conference in 1998, not the Clarion RADical Conference in 1993! Maybe someone else can shed a bit more light on this...

 

by Larry Sand on March 2 2009 (comment link)

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows the history of the TopSpeed web site until early 2001.
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.topspeed.com

Then the SoftVelocity web site is phased in late 2000:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.softvelocity.com

 

by Geoff Robinson on March 2 2009 (comment link)

The 1997 Oz DevCon was held at the Gazebo hotel, Sydney Jan/Feb and included Bruce Barrington, Tom Mosely, Scott Ferret etc.  Internet Connect was shown and was very exciting.  Who would have thought you could flick a switch and turn your desktop app into an internet app??  It was all going to be just soooo easy...

The next year the 1998 Oz DevCon was originally also to be held at the Gazebo hotel but this was changed and it was actually held the Millennium Hotel (not The President's Hotel) in late March.  Presenters included Bruce Johnson (a much appreciated regular in Australia...), Erik Pepping, Scott Ferret and Gus Greces.   A sales guy from Topspeed called Antonio Rajan managed to antagonise nearly everyone with his session but fortunately none of his "future directions" such as dumping the desktop development environment and becoming an "Internet company", and changing the name from Clarion ever came to fruition... well so far anyway...

 

by Paul MacFarlane on March 3 2009 (comment link)

I believe the '95 devcon was in Los Angeles at a Hotel near LAX.  I was trying to get there but had a conflict.

 

by Daniel Scott on March 5 2009 (comment link)

DevCon4 The Boca Raton Resort & Club

Clarion pisses off all the wives when outside events (Sailing Etc.) are cancelled due to the weather. We were never reimbersed for the extra money we spent to keep our wives happy. An omen of things to come when paying Clarion in advance?

 

by Mike Hanson on March 5 2009 (comment link)

One of the DevCon Wests was definitely at the Doubletree Hotel, which I think was near LAX.  I'm not sure if it was the one in El Segundo, though.

 

by Stamos Fafalios on March 5 2009 (comment link)

You have me wrong, they were Florida Devcons I was thinking about, and yes it was the Westin (not Hyatt, I was wrong there)
I have the flyer for Devcon 92 in my hand, Jeff Duntemann the editor of PC Techniques was keynote speaker, this was presumably following his article in Dr. Dobbs Journal (which I have) in 10/91 entitled "Sympathy on the Loss of One of Your Legs" and I presume the photos in there are from Devcon 1.
I have the handout of the 1991 Conference with roster of attendees and 3rd party folks also flyer for Devcon 96.

There is a bunch of stuff here like a big article by Richard Aarons (Jan 87) from PC Magazine describling the Clarion language at the time of 1.1 and saying that in '87 Clarion will bring out a compiler able to produce executables <G>.

Give me a couple of weeks and I'll find you lots of stuff.

 

by David Jung on March 13 2009 (comment link)

1994 DevCon #4? The Boca Raton Resort & Club. Keynote by John Dvorak.

I don't know if it was #4 or not, but I was at this DevCon with my wife.  I happened to throw out the binder and conference materials about a month ago after having kept them up to this time.  If I had thought about it, I would have asked if anyone wanted them...

 

by David Bratovich on April 3 2009 (comment link)

DevCon West 1994 took place on May 7th & 8th.

 

by David Harms on April 6 2009 (comment link)

Thanks David.

Dave

 

by Jose de Mello Junior on April 7 2009 (comment link)

Hi,

In Brazil there is a group of users called GESCLA. We are organized since October/2000 performed as a first event for professionals who work with CLARION. Today we are organizing our 10th event, which will be held in the city of Curitiba, State of Paraná in the period from 11 to 14 June 2009, under the name CONDEV GESCLA, an event organized entirely by users.

City Year
2000 Bonito - Mato Grosso do Sul
Caraguatatuba 2001 - São Paulo
2002 Florianópolis - Santa Catarina
2003 Curitiba - Paraná
2004 Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul
2005 Foz do Iguaçu - Parana
2006 Bonito - Mato Grosso do Sul
2007 São Paulo - São Paulo
2008 Juiz de Fora - Minas Gerais
2009 Curitiba - Paraná

 

by David Harms on April 7 2009 (comment link)

Thanks Jose - I'll add that to the document.

Dave

 

by Stamos Fafalios on April 8 2009 (comment link)

As promised, here are my Archives if they are of use:

DEVCONS

1st Devcon 91 at Westin Cypress Creek Ft Laud Docs Yes
2nd Devcon 92 at Marriot Harbour Beach Resort Docs Yes
3rd Devcon 93 at Docs Yes
4th devcon 94 at Boca Raton Resort & Club Docs Yes
Devcon 96 at Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport Docs Yes
Devcon 97 at Radisson Bahia Mar Ft Laud        Docs Yes
Devcon 98 at Marina Marriott Ft Laud Docs Yes
Devcon99 at Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Ft Laud Docs Yes
Devcon 2004 at Docs Yes

Euro Devcon 97 at International Hotel london Docs Yes
Euro Devcon 98 at Ramada Gatwick London Docs Yes
Euro Devcon 99 at Golden Tulip Barbizon Amst. Docs Yes

ETC 98 Docs Yes
ETC 2000 Docs Yes
ETC 2004 Docs Yes

Devcon West 95 at Doubletree hotel LA Docs Yes

Arizona 96 CW Expo at mesa pavilion hotel AZ Docs Yes

PUBLICATIONS

The Clarion Technical Journal complete July/Aug 89 Vol1 No1 to July/Aug 95 Vol 7 No4, all good condition
also on CD

The Clarion for Windows Journal Vol1 No1 to Vol 1 No6, good condition

BoxSoft Banter 1 - 3

PPS !COMMENTS various 93 - 95

Clarion Herald 1.1 July 92 - 1.6 Jun 93

Clarionette V1 No1 to V1 No3

Clarion Developer V2 No9 to 1994, most issues

Topspeed Developer 1995 feb

Written Clarification (UK) 96 - 99 various

 

by David Harms on April 9 2009 (comment link)

Thanks Stamos! I'll update the document.

Dave

 

by David Jung on May 1 2009 (comment link)

And to make this really interesting...where are the people named in the list now? :)

 

by Ray Rippey on May 1 2009 (comment link)

I think somewhere around Clarion for Dos 3 Topspeed released a personal edition that was very inexpensive (I think around $99)... the idea was great to get folks introduced to Clarion and have it affordable so schools would buy it (if my memory serves correctly). It was a great little program that I think was wizard driven so you could make simple databases very quickly.

Anyone have more particulars on this?

 

by Tom Drum on May 13 2009 (comment link)

Why no mention of when Bruce Barrington was about to abandon Clarion altogether before Bob Zaunere was kind enough to buy the rights to it in 2000?

 

by David Harms on May 13 2009 (comment link)

Thanks Tom - Andrew Guidroz also mentioned this. I've updated the doc (see May 2000).

Dave

 

by David Bratovich on May 26 2009 (comment link)

DevCon West 1995 took place on June 10th & 11th.
Location: DoubleTree LAX 5400 West Century Blvd.

Presented/Coordinated/Organized By DataForce
Bruce Gilham (President DataForce Los Angeles)

Co-Sponsored by...
TopSpeed
Mitten Software
The Clarion Tech Journal
Clarion User Groups of California
(LA/Modesto/Riverside/Sacramento/San Deigo/San Francisco/Silicon Valley)

Speakers/Trainers/Vendors...
Bruce Barrington
Dave Harms
Ross Santos
Andy Stapleton
Bob Foreman
Todd Seidel (ToolCraft)
Bruce Wojak (C3 Development)
Mike Hanson (BoxSoft)

 

by David Harms on May 28 2009 (comment link)

Thanks David - wow, that takes me back. I think that was the first time I spoke at a Clarion conference.

Dave

 

by David Bratovich on May 28 2009 (comment link)

Hey Dave,

Do you remember what you spoke about?

Off the top of my head, I can't remember the topic.

I do remember going to a Dodger game on the night of the Dinner Cruise. I also remember a discussion I had with Bruce B. about CD3 and OS/2.

Dave B.

 

by David Harms on May 28 2009 (comment link)

I'm pretty sure I spoke on templates - why you should consider writing them, how to write them, something like that.

Dave

 

by Geoff Robinson on October 31 2010 (comment link)

Version 1 seems to have been released by "Barrington Systems" not Clarion Software

see the review on page 39 of Infoworld 1st September 1986

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=cS8EAAAAMBAJ&amp;lpg=PA39&amp;pg=PA39#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=true

it says it is reasonably priced and powerful but complains about the hardware lock scheme.

 

by David Harms on November 1 2010 (comment link)

Geoff, just use the URL toolbar button to add the URL:

see the review on page 39 of Infoworld 1st September 1986 in Google Books

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