When considering whether or not to support JDeveloper or NetBeans the following needs to be taken into consideration:
- Quality of support for development of JavaFX applications
- The ability of the IDE to support the big picture (supporting things that will make a difference in the long run for software developers)
- Support of widely used software development techniques (eg Agile development, Test Driven Design (TDD), team collaboration)
- Level of support for Polygot programming
- General IDE platform support
- Support for different types of software development (mobile, web, desktop, TV)
- User uptake of the IDE and IDE platform
- Very good support for enterprise software development (for web development)
- Comprehensive support for software diagramming
- Reasonable built in diagnostic tools
- Ready to use out of the box for web development
- Very good support for developing DB based applications
- Good performance
- No support for mobile and TV development
- Poor support for desktop development
- No support for Polygot programming
- Does not support JavaFX development
- Very limited uptake of IDE and IDE platform
- IDE platform is mainly used in some major Oracle products
- Reasonable support for enterprise software development (for web development)
- Very good support for desktop, mobile and TV development
- Reasonably good support for JavaFX development (currently #1 IDE) *1
- Very good support for Polygot programming (currently supports JavaFX Script, Java, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, C/C++)
- IDE and IDE platform are very widely used (high uptake among businesses and software developers)
- Very good diagnostic tools (including profiler and debugger)
- Excellent usability and out of the box experience
- Reasonably good performance
- Limited support for developing DB based applications
- Limited support for software diagramming
Some major questions remain on the very existance of JDeveloper.
- Why did Oracle create JDeveloper when they could have used Eclipse or NetBeans instead?
- Why is JDeveloper designed to be similar to NetBeans (eg with the user interface)?
- Why does JDeveloper have such poor adoption rates compared to NetBeans?
- Why is Oracle taking such an interest in the NetBeans IDE platform when it directly competes with JDeveloper's IDE platform?
For the first time the development of the JavaFX NetBeans plugin has been syncronised with the general development of the NetBeans IDE. It is expected that when NetBeans 6.8 is released that a JavaFX bundle will be available at the same time (on the official downloads web page). Such a change will further bolster the commitment NetBeans has to supporting JavaFX development, and will bring about stronger support in the future. Since Oracle is going to support JavaFX (in a big way) they will find themselves in an very difficult situation should they not support NetBeans (*1).
With the current situation of NetBeans not lagging far behind Eclipse (*2), and the fact that JDeveloper is not one of the top three IDEs is there really room for a 4th IDE (apart from NetBeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ Idea)? Is Oracle willing to get offside with software developers by not supporting NetBeans?
There is a potential risk that if Oracle does not support NetBeans then there could be a mass migration of developers from the Java platform to the .NET platform. Some reasons for this are:
a) NetBeans is more similar to Visual Studio than Eclipse. Why would NetBeans users go to Eclipse when Visual Studio is more familiar? Already there are many Java developers that are doing some software development part time on .NET. Many software developers consider having to use Eclipse (for development on the Java platform) a major step backward from a quality perspective.
b) Possible perception by some software developers that Oracle is not acting in the best interests of the Java platform by removing a major choice, that helps move the platform forward. One can see some of this in the NetBeans Users mailing list, it could be the tip of the iceberg.
*1 - As indicated in an informal poll conducted by Jo Conner
*2 - As indicated in an informal poll by Jo Conner and in a recent poll on java.net