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First public statement by Oracle about NetBeans? Or not?

Posted by fabriziogiudici on October 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM PDT

Masoud Kalali just pointed me and other NBDT fellows to this document by Oracle, which contains some more details about the future of many Sun products after the buy is completed. One paragraph is relevant to NetBeans:

Oracle has a strong track record of demonstrating commitment to choice for Java developers. As such, NetBeans is expected to provide an additional open source option and complement to the two free tools Oracle already offers for enterprise Java development: Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. While Oracle JDeveloper remains Oracle’s strategic development tool for the broad portfolio of Oracle Fusion Middleware products and for Oracle’s next generation of enterprise applications, developers will be able to use whichever free tool they are most comfortable with for pure Java and Java EE development: JDeveloper, Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, or NetBeans.

Sounds good at first glance, but after you read it you discover that... basically there's zero information. :-) While JDeveloper remains strategic, NetBeans “is expected to provide another option”, but there's no indication on whether Oracle is going to invest on it or not.

Contrast it to the statements about Solaris and Open Office

After the transaction closes, Oracle plans to continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source.

...

Oracle plans to spend more money developing Solaris than Sun does now.

So, my opinion is that no decision on NetBeans has been taken. In the meantime, the best thing the NetBeans community can do is to be vocal about the best IDE and Platform around!

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Comments

a bad coincidence?

I really love Netbeans but since Forte times I've never seen versions so buggy as 6.7.1 and 6.8*, is that a very, very bad feeling or coincidence? :-/

And MySQL...

And MySQL got similar promise!. I enterpret this as if NetBeans will remain the community tool while JDeveloper will remain the enterprise tool. Of course, that raises the question, does this mean either 1) JDeveloper will get JavaFX support or 2) Oracle does not consider JavaFX important so will leave this to NetBeans and the community at large.

My point is that the document

My point is that the document adds nothing to the known and possibly is only a way to fill in the void that is taking more than expected because of the EU stuff.

I would love to know if

I would love to know if they're going to invest in it or not. We're currently holding meetings on the feasibility of moving one of our major products to Netbeans. It would take 2-3 years at a minimum. We can't just invest resources in the platform if there's a chance it might be choked off from lack of funding.

In my opinion, your decision

In my opinion, your decision is not tightly bound to what Oracle will or won't do. NetBeans IDE and Platform will stay independently on what Oracle will do, as there are vibrant communities behind (and tons of customers using the Platform - look at the showcase) (*). It's more a matter of the community that will react in different ways to keep the work, and just being held before actuating a plan is unpleasant. (*) Yes, I understand that the _political_ response to a manager "it's a product supported / not supported by Sun/Oracle" can be important. But it depends on your management attitude. I mean, I don't think that companies developing huge codebases on the Platform are even thinking of moving to something else.

PS Another thing that

PS Another thing that prominent bloggers and journalists could do, in case they have access to Oracle's officials, is to put an explicit question about it: Will you invest in NetBeans? After all, if they can now say something explicit about OpenOffice and Solaris, it doesn't sound rude to ask about other products.