In response to my post yesterday about InfoWorld noticing Eclipse's momentum (vs. NetBeans), ZDNet reader Mark Wielaard sent me the following via email:
I saw your article on why Eclipse is the defacto IDE for Java and your little bet with Tim Bray. I think you are right. But you didn't mention the main reason (imho). Eclipse is actually supported by the "non-Java" camp now. All the major GNU/Linux distributions are now shipping Eclipse as native binary build with gcj/GNU Classpath and at the next GNU Classpath/gcj conference there will be multiple talks on Eclipse opportunities in the Free Software space (by both GNU and Eclipse hackers). All this makes Eclipse a platform that is "free" from its Java ties, while Netbeans will drag with it the proprietary Java platform. Eclipse (RCP) combined with the GCC/GCJ is a free platform on itself now.
So here's the question for Sun's Simon Phipps and Tim Bray: Is 2006 the year that NetBeans begins to unhitch its wagon from the Java horse (making it hitchable to other horses as well)?