The educational aspect is not least in this business model – the certification program is already a significant size and Sun is expanding tiers within that to cater for different skill levels and interests. In addition, this also lays to rest the perennial question of whether NetBeans, Sun’s integrated development environment (IDE), will merge with the rival open source IDE from the Eclipse Foundation; as NetBeans and Eclipse produce good, healthy competition within the Java community.
Java SE 6 may not have the same major language enhancements that differentiated SE 5 from SE 4, but, in terms of readiness to support the product, Sun has learned from past mistakes. Online tutorials, certification programs and books are all primed to deliver on the latest specification at the release date, and not six months later as has happened previously. This includes support for SE 6 in the latest NetBeans edition.
In the rivalry that is pushing Sun to outdo Eclipse, NetBeans can boast adoption of the latest Java edition, whereas, in the past, Eclipse has taken nine months to adopt the latest release. For anyone wishing to try out the latest SE 6 features, this is a good reason for trying out NetBeans, but the IDE has improved in a number of other ways to the point that its user base has now put it at number two in the Java IDE stakes – according to Sun, users have quadrupled in the past two years – and the ecosystem numbers 125 partners.
Sun is evolving Java, modernizing the language to compete with Microsoft’s C# (which came later and learned from the shortcomings of Java), but also bringing in dynamic scripting that can link to the many Java libraries. The emphasis is also on web 2.0 with Java SE 6. The Java phenomenon is likely to continue for some time yet.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)