Open Source IDE shootout
I've been working on a JDJ article comparing the latest releases of eclipse and netbeans. I knew both were obviously close to releasing significant updates but it crazy to see yet another round of public discussions about SWT and Swing.
For all the hot air, both products and teams are more alike than they are different. Netbeans is free, Eclipse is free and yet both parties spend huge resources to give them away. The original IBM eclipse team and original Sun netbeans team were both away from the companies central engineering efforts and probably had more freedom in the direction they chose.
Both have reached a good usability level with useful features, but at the same time the corporate sponsors want to see their features like mobile support even if there is debatable current demand.
As a Java developer I believe the competition is good, they both set a standard for the other to reach, The downside is that it makes it increasingly difficult for the commercial tools vendors that provide even higher productive gains to survive. That said I've enjoyed giving them both a test run with JDK 5.0
To finish, a reminder we have a free event at SpikeSource next week http://www.spikesource.com/testfest.html. I'll be there if you just want to talk all things Java.