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Oracle Outlines Plans for Sun Products, Casts Doubt on NetBeans 151

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that a recent FAQ released by Oracle outlines the plans for many of Sun's popular products like GlassFish, MySQL, and NetBeans. Many are worried at some of the possible avenues the decisions outlined could lead to, especially with respect to NetBeans. "What should have happened, Oracle should not have missed a beat and should have announced work on Oracle plugins for NetBeans and active Oracle support of NetBeans. This type of announcement would have brought a large and some-what skeptical NetBeans community much closer to Oracle. It would have been a big win for Oracle. NetBeans will continue to grow either way - but Oracle has missed a big chance to really change perceptions and at the same time move their tools to another level. What JDeveloper lacks is buzz, a wealth of community developed plugins, a wealth of support for other languages and a very, very large community. And of course it does not offer a platform in the NetBeans and Eclipse sense of the word. This is a huge missed opportunity for Oracle."
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Oracle Outlines Plans for Sun Products, Casts Doubt on NetBeans

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  • by mbrod ( 19122 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @05:12PM (#30038274) Homepage Journal
    They shouldn't be allowed to own MySQL. Europe should shut that down and they should spin it off.
  • by multi io ( 640409 ) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Monday November 09, 2009 @05:36PM (#30038660)

    Yes, both Netbeans and Eclipse are also RCP platforms, but how many real Netbeans platform apps are there?

    Well, with Eclipse, the IDE is pretty good, but the RCP platform -- not so much. It's quite obvious that this thing was designed to write Eclipse (IDE) plugins. For writing standalone applications, the whole approach seems overengineered. OSGI doesn't buy you much in that context, and one doesn't want to turn every small standalone app into a kind of mini-Eclipse, with simple things like command shortcuts and editor selection synchronizations being handled by 5 plugins interacting in complex ways. And then the whole SWT/native-UI-toolkit thing is bound to bite you at some point, e.g. if you're trying to have a table control with varying row heights, for God's sake.

  • by jambay ( 531064 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @05:58PM (#30038958)
    Disclaimer - I work for Oracle and came from the BEA Systems acquisition.

    My personal opinion is that Oracle is very dedicated to the entire Eclipse ecosystem as well as to JDeveloper. It's about choice. There is an entire free download product that is continually being enhanced called the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse (Oh-Pee is how we say it within Oracle). In fact I believe it was one of the first, if not the first commercial IDE to support the latest Eclipse 3.5 Galileo. http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/enterprise-pack-for-eclipse/index.html [oracle.com] OEPE is targeted for Java and JEE developers and is mostly about supporting the Java standards. Additionally, the majority of the TopLink code was donated as the EclipseLink project and is currently the JPA reference implementation. Just take a look at the presence has at the next Eclipse conference and I think you will see that Oracle is committed to Eclipse. http://www.eclipse.org/eclipselink/ [eclipse.org]

    When you get into the "upper-stack" components like SOA Suite for integration and WebCenter Suite for enterprise portal development, and Oracle's Application Development Framework (ADF) that Oracle strongly recommends JDeveloper. Those products have been based on JDeveloper for a long time and the user-experience developing for those products is extremely smooth because Oracle can influence everything about the IDE. If you want to do Java and JEE development in JDeveloper, you can do that too. It's your choice.

  • by Joseph Lam ( 61951 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @06:03PM (#30039034)

    Netbeans isn't there in terms of industry backing and support (which is what we hope Oracle will provide). As far as the software itself is concerned I find it to be at least as good if not better than Eclipse. It's been significantly improved over the last couple of years from version 4.x to 6.x. There are two things that I like it better than Eclipse:
    - it's 100% Java and runs fine on anything that has a JVM (Eclipse's SWT has platform specific dependencies which prevented me from using it on 64bit machines, it took ages for it to have proper x64 support)
    - better developer experience because of a cleaner and sensibly chosen set of plug-ins that all work out-of-the-box with no dependency hell (Eclipse plug-ins is a mess unless you pay for commercially packaged versions like MyEclipse)

  • by Joseph Lam ( 61951 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @06:06PM (#30039054)

    There is a Vi bindings plug-in for Netbeans
    http://netbeans.org/kb/55/vi-integration.html [netbeans.org]

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @06:37PM (#30039464) Journal

    Unfortunately for Netbeans zealots, it has never caught up with Eclipse.

    It depends. In terms of how easy it is to create, say, an UI application, NetBeans is much better out of the box than Eclipse, especially its awesome visual Swing designer. I've also found J2ME development to be more of a breeze in NetBeans compared to Eclipse offerings.

    The problem with Eclipse, it seems, is that it overemphasizes extensions to the point that, to do anything useful, you need some mix of extensions. And often there are several extensions available that do the same thing differently, so you have to pick. So it's kinda like Linux - it's pointless to debate it in general, because the specific experience really depends on one's set of extensions used.

    NetBeans is much more of a "turnkey" approach - you download the full version, install it, and everything that it can do, is there and working. If you want web or J2EE development, you get the full stack of servers, too. In that, it's much closer to Visual Studio in approach (which may be a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective).

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @06:53PM (#30039630) Journal

    I like Netbeans because it's easy to use. Perhaps Eclipse is useful for super-uber-professional programmers, but I do think Netbeans is the IDE for the rest of us. I like how everything seems to be self-explained and intuitive.

  • by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Monday November 09, 2009 @07:03PM (#30039724)

    ost stuff follows the convention over configuration principle. At least that's the way it seems to me

    I think you may be misinterpreting the "convention over configuration" principle. It is exactly the principle that Eclipse follows.

    Convention over configuration means that if you are doing standard stuff, no configuration is required. If you want to do non-standard stuff, you need to configure it. This is why there are so many configuration options in Eclipse. 99.9% of them you don't need unless you are doing something unconventional.

    Netbeans seems to follow the "My way or the highway" principle. You either squeeze yourself into the Netbeans box, or don't use it.

  • Re:NetBeans? Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fusiongyro ( 55524 ) <faxfreemosquito AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @03:13AM (#30043002) Homepage

    I started professionally programming Java about two months ago and hadn't had any experience with it before.

    First impression of Eclipse: it's slow, there were display artifacts. It's versioning scheme was clearly designed with pride rather than usability in mind (which is newer, Galileo or Ganymede, and how can you tell?). I could never find the correct Subversion plugin (was I supposed to be using Subclipse or Eclipse Subversion?). Both of them seemed to depend on other plugins which I was supposed to choose between or manually install. Ran into similar issues with Maven integration. The plugin had a clever name and once installed I never really figured out how to make it "go." I only have so much time to spend any given day on configuring my editor. Both coworkers who used Eclipse also helpfully assured me that I'd have to reinstall it every six months or so, because it tends to "go bad" after a while. Not a great sign.

    On a whim I downloaded NetBeans. Nobody in my software group was using it, apparently older versions had turned them off completely. Out of the box, it opens Maven projects and the integration is seamless, and it has Subversion and Mercurial integration out of the box. For a new user, the out-of-the-box experience with NetBeans today beats Eclipse hands-down. Especially coming into a professional environment with many moving parts integrated.

    The story isn't perfect. NetBeans takes forever and a day to start up. It also can get unresponsive from time to time. You can sink your whole day into configuring it. Plugin integration seems to in general be better than with Eclipse (at least to me) but configuration is a bit worse; everything seems to get thrown under that one tab in the preferences. It tries to manage Tomcat for me but I usually wind up manually force-quitting it (our app probably has a memory leak) because NetBeans' Terminate option doesn't ever seem to do anything. And there have been plenty of confusing issues. Tab completion worked in EL in our JSF facelets, but only inside in a valid XHTML file; figuring that out took an afternoon. I'm still not altogether sure how to get the relationships between multiple projects right.

    If I were going to summarize my opinion of NetBeans as a two month user, I'd say: usually it just works but when it doesn't, it's hard to figure out how to fix it. The situation with Eclipse seems to me to be more like, there's a plugin out there that does what you need, good luck figuring out how to get it installed and use it.

    Prior to using Java and NetBeans, I mainly did PHP and Ruby plus some other miscellaneous on a Mac with TextMate, Emacs or Coda, depending on the situation. From a usability perspective, Coda in particular but also TextMate are wonderful tools. NetBeans and Eclipse both do some space-age cool stuff but their usability isn't quite up to par. Lots of things are slow that don't seem like they should be, like switching tabs and opening files, and fundamentals tend to be screwy. For example, in NetBeans, if I'm debugging an app and have an SQL window open, there will be three green play icons on my screen. One of them runs the app in not-debug mode, one of them continues from a breakpoint, and one of them runs the SQL command. None of these have particularly memorable shortcuts and their icons are too similar. NetBeans will happily run and deploy the app while I have it at a break point in a debugging session, though the exact intended meaning of that action would be hard to guess.

    All in all, if you have a day to throw at it, I recommend giving NetBeans a shot. Two of my three coworkers wound up switching. It also has better Vim integration, if that's relevant to you.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith