Tuesday, March 28, 2006


<geekpost>I read with interest the latest in a spate of flame wars and “informed opinions” regarding the Java IDE brouhaha between the folks who like to code using the Eclipse IDE and those who think that NetBeans is the bee’s knees. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m both an Eclipse and a NetBeans user, although I’ve been using NetBeans pretty exclusively as of late.)  In Too Many Cooks Spoils the IDE, Robert Thornton posits that Eclipse’s successful nature is causing it to be a less capable IDE than NetBeans. While there’s some truth to the argument that the confusion of all the Eclipse plugins and such hampers usability, that’s pretty much admitting that Eclipse is a victim of its own success. I don’t hear anyone complaining that Linux’s myriad packages makes it a less appropriate operating system than, say Windows, although the exact same argument can be made. When (says I) the confusion of Eclipse packages and “personalities” (an Eclipse-ism) becomes an overwhelming issue (and I suspect it will, soon) subprojects will form to steer specific personalities into convenient distributions to alleviate the pain of the problem. It’s childish to complain that the phenomenal rate of Eclipse adoption amongst third party tools vendors gives it a distinct disadvantage, although clearly NetBeans’ simplicity and pretty much single-vendor involvement does give it more of a “designed under a single roof” feel. My take on the whole Eclipse vs. NetBeans war? In a nutshell, there’s room for two competing IDE’s but Sun needs to figure out what its value proposition is for its entire app dev and deployment stack is. Giving it all away doesn’t add to the bottom line and whatever strategy they are pursuing isn’t either.</geekpost>

No comments: