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Sun won't be Eclipse'd

Rolls out NetBeans roadmap

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Sun won't be joining the IBM-led open source tools effort Eclipse, and today announced its roadmap for its own NetBeans framework.

IBM has based its own WebSphere development suite on the Eclipse framework, which the organization describes as "an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular." It's supported by Borland and Linux distributors Red Hat and SuSE (now owned by Novell), among others. In statements, Sun described NetBeans as central to its strategy and cited its flexibility at targeting small devices as well as server-side applications.

Sun also made a beta of Java Studio Creator available as a free download this week, with release slated for the second half of next year.

Sun wants to make the IDE as easy to use as Microsoft's Visual Studio, and has expressed a wish to see the number of Java developers more than triple, to 10 million.

"It's targeting a different set of people," Joe Keller, Sun's VP for web services and tools marketing told us yesterday. "Visual tools sneak in the back door. You'll see line of business guys write a simple two-tier query application, for example for forecasting, and it the board like it, and then it's rolled out to the whole company."

Sun admits in its white paper for Project Rave (now Creator) that it is consciously seeking to emulate Microsoft's developer-friendly tools programs. ®

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