2007-05-22

Tie that binds Sun, NetBeans and Java criticized

A friend told me about this article. I read it. I was immediately peeved:
http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid26_gci1255657,00.html

One paragraph from this article reads:
Roth argued that Sun Microsystems Inc. has tied the NetBeans IDE to Java in a way that takes unfair advantage of Sun's custodial relationship to the Java language and ignores the developers working with the Eclipse IDE. "I think what they're doing is morally reprehensible," he said.

Personally, I first want to see what it is Mr. Roth is exactly talking about. I am not a Sun employee, and I haven't seen anything in NetBeans I do not have access or which isn't being converted for me to access, and I certainly have not seen anything in Java which is specific to NetBeans other than IDE features.

NetBeans is a Java IDE. Of course the IDE project is going to ignore Eclipse IDE users. They are not NetBeans users. It would be like us Americans going up and voting in Canadian elections and not paying Canadian taxes and getting Canadian benefits. What flipping sense would that make.

If he is talking about features, then I'm not sure how there can exist multiple IDEs and them have the same exact feature sets. Otherwise, why even have more than one. I for one do not like Eclipse nor SWT; that does not mean others don't, but I believe I have the right to choose. I'm glad I have an alternative.

There are many things like the mentioned paragraph in this article. I find many of them to be extreme contradictions of their own words. How can one have an autonomous project if it is exactly like another one (Eclipse)? NetBeans is not Java. NetBeans is not Eclipse. It is a Java IDE, so of course it supports Java features. Instead of telling Sun to contribute to Eclipse, these people could just as easily contribute to NetBeans as it is an open-source project.

For instance:
Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC., strongly supports the criticism, saying, "Bill Roth from BEA is right on the money."

OK, so what exactly are you talking about? It still eludes me. I have yet to see anyone quoted as saying what it is specifically Sun is doing to give NetBeans an unfair advantage...repeated...enough said on that front...waiting for answers.

I'm a member of the NetBeans Dream Team. I have been around the NetBeans project for years, and I contribute as much as I can. I love the IDE, and around 4.0 I started playing with the Rich Client Platform; I help other users among other things and is why I'm part of the team. I have at times voiced my concerns in our community about community involvement and Sun.

That doesn't mean I think Sun runs NetBeans as some kind of totalitarian project. I strongly believe differently. I have never been a Sun employee, and I have a good community relationship with many Sun folks, and it stays good even when in disagreement.

Like any project I have seen, there are some who are easier to work with than others. It doesn't mean they are bad folks; they are simply people. Different people see things differently. Just like people, different projects are run differently and in turn behave differently. That should be no surprise to anyone involved in an open-source project.

It seems to me the folks complaining are not complaining about Sun, Java, and NetBeans specifically though this is what they say. Their comments seem to allude they want Sun to contribute to Eclipse, have NetBeans go away, and that be it. To me it is about like asking SuSE developers to contribute to RedHat or Ubuntu or vice versa and the others go away.

Those Linux projects all contribute to the Kernel just as all IDE and Java projects at times will contribute to patches and common APIs and tools for Java. That doesn't mean all projects for a technology should be merged into one. Different people love these products and projects. Eclipse users and developers: Imagine Eclipse going away and being stuck with NetBeans. NetBeans users and developers: Imagine NetBeans going away and being stuck with Eclipse.

Obviously if Sun is working on a JSR they can add features to their IDE to gear up for supporting the API or specification. This is what BEA or any other company will be doing with their products if they are worth having investors or customers. I, as a user and community member, expect it. That doesn't mean an API was designed specifically for their projects, but it will always (for any company) play a part, and if any CEO or VP tries to tell you different, they are lying.

It seems we have a few classes of folks when it comes to issues like these. I call the ones I read here whiners. Some seem to be commercial entities and employees looking for anything FUD or sound bite related to make their own case, and others are those who seemingly don't know and understand the daily ongoings of open-source projects and the intermingling of commercial and community contributions.

NetBeans is just as open-source as anything else. If there is a feature these guys want in Eclipse they can take the code and use it. Many people in the NetBeans community do every day for their own projects. If they just want Sun to contribute to their IDE instead of NetBeans, they should just say it in those terms, and they should be asking instead of telling Sun how morally reprehensible they are for support their own open-source community. Regardless, will all those quoted in the article contribute to NetBeans as they are asking Sun to do for Eclipse?

3 comments:

Adrian's Mobile Blog said...

I think that when people start making those accusations and criticisms, it is because they feel threatened.

As a NB protagonist, you might want to feel flattered :-)

Wade Chandler said...

Good point :-).

Pr0ph3t1c said...

I doubt that Sun is tweaking things behind the scenes. They would have nothing to gain from it. When you have a good product someone always has something to say.

The thought that Sun should contribute to Eclipse sounds ludacris to me. I won't go into why, the reasons are obvious and too many to write down not to mention that I'd rather kill those brain cells with a cold beer instead.

Having worked at BEA Systems, and even if I had not, it is pretty obvious why they would make those remarks. The current release of Weblogic Workshop is built on top of Eclipse. And, while the ideas behind the technology BEA introduces into Eclipse are solid, they fall short on execution because they are constantly releasing way behind the technology curve.

Netbeans threatens this by simply being a far superior IDE and injecting community driven features effortlessly that BEA has been working on for years. This is magnified by the glaring fact that Netbeans features work with a large portion of readily avaliable Open Source and commercial Java middleware, application servers, and serverlet containers.

You have to understand BEA's position though, when you have invested $$$ in developing basically an IDE plugin that only works with one tool which is rapidly being overtaken, you might feel 'obligated' to do/say something to protect your 'investment'.

The thing Netbeans lacks, which i am supprised no one has pointed out, is the massive community support that Eclipse has had. Not to say that this is not rapidly changing in favor of Netbeans.

I hear a lot of whining and oh what is that...oh yes its more clear now. I hear this hollow wind sound coming from corperate conglomerate world...