Sun CTO Bob Brewin on Eclipse 3.3 and the Future of Netbeans

by Scott Delap on Jul 02, 2007 |
InfoQ recently sat down with Sun CTO Bob Brewin to discuss the Eclipse Europa release and the future direction of Sun's Netbeans IDE.  On the topic of Eclipse, Brewin noted that he was interested to see the community response to the Eclipse 3.3 release.  Specifically Brewin mentioned that he was curious to see how developers will rate it versus Netbeans 6.0.  Despite interest in how Europa is received Sun is not considering joining the Eclipse Foundation at this time.

InfoQ then asked Brewin about collaborating with Eclipse in a less formal manner.  He responded that developers choose their toolsets and Sun will continue to support Eclipse where beneficial situations arise.  Two recent examples of such support are the Glassfish Eclipse plugin and MyEclipse's use of Sun's Matisse GUI builder technology.  Brewin stated that Sun will continue to support Glassfish Eclipse integration.  Sun is also continuing to work with MyEclipse and their use of Matisse.

The conversation topic then changed to Sun's Netbeans IDE.  Brewin defined Netbeans strengths as including a tightly integrated toolset, end to end functionality, and a first rate mobility toolset.  InfoQ asked Brewin about the plugin gap between Eclipse and Netbeans.  Brewin stated that there are currently over 100 active Netbeans partners.  Sun is working actively with partners to increase the number of plugins available and have made plugin development easier in recent versions of Netbeans.

Finally InfoQ asked Brewin about the direction of Netbeans going forward.  At the general level he said that developers would see technology that has previously been independent Sun projects integrated into Netbeans such as Java Studio Creator.  Sun's new JavaFx scripting language will also see growing support in Netbeans.  Future tools will include those targeted to content authors similar to capabilities found in products from Adobe today.  Brewin then reaffirmed Sun's commitment to Ruby.  A number of Sun developers are working to make Netbeans the best Ruby/Rails IDE available. 

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