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NetBeans Java IDE would be moving away from Oracle. James Gosling, the founder of Java is supporting this move. Apache Foundation will be handling the reins of NetBeans from now on. NetBeans is a Java development environment that allows programmers to develop apps in Java and other languages. As of now the IDE has As of now the IDE has as many as 1.5 million users worldwide.

Many experts are seeing this move as a good option as it is likely to expand the contributor diversity in NetBeans. Even though Oracle is abandoning the IDE, contributors from Oracle are expected to continue their work even after the takeover.

A few licensing problems are expected to crop up post takeover, but because NetBeans has been open source since 2000, the licensing problems will not be insurmountable. Many developers are seeing this passing of stewardship as a positive thing for the tool as Oracle has been accused of neglecting NetBeans. Oracle has been steadily moving away from Java and dropping NetBeans is viewed as another evidence of Oracle’s flagging interest in Java programming.

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NetBeans came into being in 1995, since than it has changed hands two times; first it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2000 and then by Oracle in 2010. This will be the third time NetBeans is changing masters.

Many people think that the future of NetBeans might be as bleak as Open Office. Incidentally Open Office was a Sun Microsystems project and it was ignored and eventually dropped in 2011, by then most of the developers have left the project due to Oracle’s apathy. In 2011, Apache took over the project and tried to blow some life into it, but by then it was already too late.

Diehard fans of NetBeans are hoping that Apache would have better luck with the IDE and it won’t go the way of Open Office or dinosaurs. Some however are more hopeful as NetBeans still has more developers than Open Office had when Apache took over its operations. So, there might be a chance that NetBeans will come back better and stronger now as there are hopes of more contributors being interested in the tool.

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