The netbeans and eclipse developers get along just fine
I saw this javalobby discussion on roumen's antics today, and I thought I'd put my 2 cents in.
Yes, the products compete. Yes, there's a lot of heated debate and personal attacks on blogs and message boards.
You generally don't see that from the folks who actually *work* on these products.
Last year, I wrote an entry on a meeting of the minds between architects from the eclipse and netbeans platforms. The other day, I was out at the Thirsty Bear with about a dozen folks from eclipse, netbeans, and OSGi. We discussed modular architecture, opinions on "superpackages" in dolphin, software update methodologies, and how utterly rediculous the flame wars are getting.
We were comparing notes. There was no ideas being held back. The OSGi folks wanted to know what it would take to get NB to talk their protocol (a thorny topic I'll leave to the real experts). I asked about how eclipse handles some project and workspace layout stuff under the hood. It was an interesting discussion, and we all had fun. Competitors, to be sure, but in a very open, healthy way.
So, what about Roumen's prank? Well, I can't say I would have done the same thing. Eclipse paid for their booth, and I think it was a bit inappropriate. But, no real damage done, and I think Steve Northover's comments in Javalobby reflect that there's no real ill will among the folks in the trenches. Roumen was just trying to have a little fun, and he misread the atmosphere at the pavilion. Big deal. It's over. I don't think anyone lost any customers over it. I think it's very likely that the brouhaha was more about Eclipse being disappointed with the location of their booth than about anything Roumen did.
As an aside, I was in the "Eclipse Callisto" talk, and someone asked, "Are you happy with the amount of coverage Eclipse is getting at this conference?" The questioner was implying that the stepped-up NB coverage was Sun shilling, and Eclipse was getting short shrift. The answer from the Eclipse speakers, however, was "we are very pleased." In fact, they said they were late submitting that very talk, and Sun made a special exception to admit them.
People look for controversy, but the real story here is just how friendly this competition is.