Java IDE camp used to be splited into two, and the ultimate sign of this split is conferences: EclipseCon for Eclipse camp, and JavaOne for the NetBeans camp. The line is very clearly drawn. Relation seems to take heading for the worse when Sun sent Eclipse a Dear John letter (Unfortunately I cannot find any link to Eclipse’s reply). Underneath the diplomatic language is an undercurrent of disagreement. The talks that time seems to be to merge both Eclipse and NetBeans, … like pigs can fly!
As the years passed and everyone grow older and mature, we all mellow. The invisible Berlin Wall between the two is showing signs of cracking. First sign: Mattisse was ported to Eclipse. When that happens, I was watching for any signs from the NetBean (a.k.a. SUN) camp that it is not happy. That work was and is legal, but has the potential to irk NetBean. There was no negative noise of disapproval and I tell myself that is a good sign. It is clear that both might be moving towards coexistances, rather than merging. Personally, I prefer coexistance. There is nothing better than competition to deliver value to consumer, i.e. me.
Now, we have more evidence that relationship had improved: We have a presentation on the upcoming JavaOne conference on comparing Eclipse RCP platform and NetBeans platform. This is great news indeed. I know people had been quietly comparing the two. However, an open discussion is better.
Of course, when the two camps talk, we can built on both experience for better platforms. The benefit from this is huge, since we are talking about the two most popular Java IDEs.