In response to my last post about how rich internet applications running on mobile and embedded devices is the marketplace over which Sun, Adobe, and Microsoft will stop at nothing to win (a "deathmatch" I called it), Ian Skerrett who runs marketing for the Eclipse Foundation questioned my choice of the word "fungus." I wrote:
Sun has one other small fungus eating away at the Java community that may need reconciliation before it can battle Adobe and Microsoft at full strength: the religious division amongst Java developers that’s expressed through their loyalties to either the Eclipse or NetBeans integrated development environments.
a small fungi? I’ve must say I have never seen Eclipse described as a mushroom. According to wikipedia, over 90% of all plant species engage in some kind of mycorrhizal relationship with fungi and are dependent upon this relationship for survival, so I guess David thinks Eclipse is important for Sun’s chance of success in the mobile space.
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz who encouraged me to run a poll to see what which integrated development environment (IDE) was more popular in amongst the mobile Javarati (so far Netbeans leads 69 percent to Eclipse's 31) chimed in:
Hey, he wrote it, don’t hold me accountable, I never said you were a fungus. We’re glad you exist, we’re happy with the competition - two fungi are better than one if you care about genetic diversity and a dynamic ecology (or customer choice). So from that perspective, Go Eclipse!
Aside from the subtle correction to Skerrett's grammer (the singular fungus vs. vs the plural fungi), Schwartz comes off as cherishing competition. Actually, from a CEO's perspective, competition is probably the best way to keep you own people on their toes (it sure beats walking around and figuring things out for them).
What didn't show up in the public discourse though was a subsequent exchange of e-mails between Schwartz and me where he pointed out that I neglected to take the open source (GPL specifically) nature of Java into consideration. It's a fair point. One that I attempted to vet here.