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Eclipse / Sun Relationship Still Icy

by Scott Delap on Jul 17, 2006 |
Eclipse and Sun both have large gravitational pulls in the Java community. Eclipse is the largest Java IDE (65%+ marketshare) while Sun controls the Java language. Cooperation between the two has been limited at best in recent years and shows little sign of improving. In a recent article in The Register, Eclipse Executive Director Mike Melinkovich is quoted on the topic as saying that their relationship is:
"professionally courteous", but added: "We don't really have a relationship...I've made numerous entreaties to try to engage Sun with Eclipse, from Jonathan Schwartz down, and I've never had anything other than 'thanks for calling'. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, that ball is firmly in their court."
Complicating the relationship is Sun's dissapproval of the SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) that is used by the Eclipse IDE and other Java GUI applications. Sun promotes their own pure Java based Swing GUI toolkit which is included in JSE. The Eclipse foundation's position is that there is plenty of room in the Java community for both technologies. It is also highly unlikely that even with Sun's disapproval SWT will simply go away, as more and more vendors embrace Eclipse as the platform for their IDE technologies the code base of applications using SWT continues to grow.  Meanwhile, Sun continues to invest heavily in the development of the NetBeans IDE which is also an extensible platform like Eclipse.

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