InfoWorld: Eclipse is the defacto IDE for Java

InfoWorld: Eclipse is the defacto IDE for Java

Summary: 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).

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TOPICS: Open Source
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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).

 

Topic: Open Source

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6 comments
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  • How about a new name?

    NetBEANS, I mean REALLY! Sun must have thought COFFEE beans, but most everyone else thinks BEANO . . .
    Roger Ramjet
  • Eclipse will fragment

    NetBeans (aside from Roger's comment) is by far the better IDE out-of-the-box (or download, as it is).

    Eclipse, on the other hand, is reliant on a diverse set of plugins from a variety of sources.

    Look at the list of Eclipse supporters. How many of them compete with one another? How much effort do you think they'll put into ensuring their Eclipse products play well with other Eclipse products?

    So I predict that for all intensive purposes Eclipse will be forked by various vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, BEA, Borland, and JBoss.

    In the end, the core Eclipse codebase may continue as commoditized software, but the actual deployed IDEs will become more and more proprietary until they are almost entirely incompatible with one another.

    NetBeans, however, is more unified. Yes, this means in aggregate less functionality is available under the NetBeans banner, but I think in the future the "largest useable (and useful) set" of functionality will come from NetBeans. A lot of this functionality will come from Sun's commercial IDEs (which are built on top of NetBeans).
    Erik1234
  • NetBeans is a better IDE for mashups

    NetBeans provides better support for building user interfaces, both for the web and the desktop. If you think usability is not important and you are not building cross platform applications then Eclipse is for you.

    Eclipse uses the SWT for desktop application GUIs while NetBeans uses Swing. SWT is not a practical solution for consumer applications and will offset any productivity gained from Eclipse having wide industry support. Also, NetBeans is both easier to use and easier to evolve. Most of the Java developers I respect prefer NetBeans over Eclipse. They are smart enough to not buy into the hype generated by companies invested in the eclipse camp.

    My money is on Tim winning this bet.
    fricker
  • Why do we need only one Java IDE?

    The fact that Visual Studio exists doesn't mean there should only be one Java IDE. There are 4 million Java developers and we should at least offer some choice to them. Netbeans is a good opensource choice. If you want to get locked in to Eclipse, go ahead, but at least leave some choice in the matter.
    cpgilliard
  • Eclipse is the most widely used

    At work we have over 1000 Java developers and do you know how many use NetBeans? Only one that I know of. Eclipse won not because of marketing or company policy, it won because of its quality, price, and community.
    Ed Burnette
    • Won?

      Won? That assumes it's ever over :-)

      Remember, JBuilder was the defacto IDE for Java a few years ago. They won, didn't they?
      kablosna