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Sun+Eclipse - almost a good story

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JavaOne The sleepy reverie of an IBM Rational keynote presentation at JavaOne in San Francisco was temporarily broken by what appeared to be one of the news stories of the week – Sun had opted to join Eclipse.

Did this mean that its own development environment, NetBeans, might be dropped in favour of the Eclipse IDE? The possibilities of a good story seemed endless – enough to stir the laggard juices of several journalists sitting in the hall.

But no, what was heard was not right. Several of the assembled hacks were convinced they had actually heard Eric Gamma and John Wiegand of IBM Rational say that, as of yesterday, Sun had contributed the x86 version of Solaris to Eclipse and the company had joined the organisation.

But no, us poor hacks were robbed of a good story by circumstances – particularly the circumstances of what actually happened to provoke the misunderstanding. It transpires that Sun had received a query from a user wanting to use Eclipse on a Sun server: a bug had got in the way, it appears. So a Sun engineer set about some debugging and produced a patch to cure the problem. This is what Sun calls "`all part of living in the real world".

It was the patch that got contributed to Eclipse, and nothing more exciting. Shame really, it would have been a great story. ®

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