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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-09-01 Print this article Print

Green said that although Sun is considering involvement with Eclipse, the company would not be moving its core development platform to Eclipse.

"Just like youre not going to see Oracle [Corp.] or Borland [Software Corp.] [both Eclipse members] substitute out their core for Eclipse. That would take up to 24 months," Green said.

Todd Williams, an Eclipse user and vice president of technology at Genuitec LLC, a Dallas-based software consulting and development company, said, "I think as more companies join and share the organizations vision of common frameworks that are flexible and extensible, the better it will be for Java development."

A major point hampering interaction between the camps has been Eclipses support of the Standard Widget Toolkit and NetBeans support of the AWT (Abstract Windowing Toolkit) and Swing as their graphics platforms. The technologies are incompatible.

"Sun believes that Eclipse will hit a wall in terms of performance and compatibility because of distinctions between its NetBeans ... approach and Eclipses ... approach, but at the moment, Eclipse is the clear leader," said Stephen OGrady, an analyst with RedMonk LLC, a market research company based in Bath, Maine.

Boston-based analyst Anne Thomas Manes, with Burton Group, of Midvale, Utah, said the real issue is the plug-in model. "Both NetBeans and Eclipse are frameworks; they both provide a basic IDE [integrated development environment], but they dont provide out-of-the-box support for all kinds of specialized tools," Manes said.

The Java Community Process is working to fix this issue, with Java Specification Request 198, which is defining a standard plug-in API for Java IDEs, she added.

"I think youll see something shaking soon" on the issue of Sun and Eclipse, Green said. "Were interested in working with any and all, including IBM. We are interested in seeing what IBM is doing with Eclipse."

Discuss this in the eWeek forum.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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