If you didn't catch it in a previous blog, Sun's Tim Bray and I have a little bet going. Even though I only asked if NetBeans should be throwing in the towel versus Eclipse, Tim bet me a dinner if, in a year from now, I thought that NetBeans should toss in the towel (which probably means a merger of the two). I accepted. Not surprisingly, The Eclipse Foundation's Ian Skerret thinks I'll win the bet. By the way, integrated development environments like Eclipse will very likely play a key role in mashup development --- one reason why the Eclipse Foundation will be at the Mashup Camp I'm organizing. Sun will be there too (more news on that soon). While Sun chief open source officer Simon Phipps has responded to the bet by saying that "the world needs a single IDE as much as it needs a single operating system" (he must have meant "single Java IDE" since there's also Vistual Studio), and has been following up with some NetBeans momentum builders (here and here), InfoWorld has taken note of the same momentum I spotted in Eclipse:
Although it began as an IBM endeavor in 2001, the Eclipse open source tools platform has come into its own, emerging as both an alternative to Microsoft in the application development space and the de facto standard for developing in Java....Overtaking Sun Microsystems’ rival NetBeans open source platform, Eclipse is expanding the depth of technologies it is pursuing and its membership numbers.
In the same story, Sun disputes the positioning of NetBeans as being less successful. Although no specifics are available yet, NetBeans is apparently going to get some blockbuster enhancements in 2006 (one reason Bray thinks I'll have a different assessment one year from now).