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Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems acquires NetBeans 58

mischief writes "There's a press release on about Sun acquiring NetBeans. " Word of this deal has been bouncing around for a while, so it appears that the rumour mill had this one right. With the acquisition of StarOffice, one has to wonder what Sun's in the mood for next.
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Sun Microsystems acquires NetBeans

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  • This is not neccessarily a bad thing, but Sun has been in the habit recently of seriously botching up things that would have otherwise been a really good idea. Maybe they really are trying to cash in on the "free" R&D and development they can get from the Linux community by trying to get as many developers interested in *their* products as they can.

    My 1/50th of a Dollar
  • Official Sun Roadmap

    1. Read Business at the Speed of Thought by William Gates

    2. Determine competition.

    3. Imitate competition and buy everyone.

    4. Start e-mail chain and give all recipients of the e-mail an Ultra-5.

    Brad Johnson
    Advisory Editor
  • What is NetBeans?

    Max V.
  • Here's some suggestions:

    Produce a JVM for linux.

    Don't kill NetBeans Enterprise for Linux.

    Drop facades wrt the OSS community ("Let's stand on each other's shoulders and not on each other's toes". "A JVM for linux is hard to do because the linux distributions are SOOOO disparate".)

  • I wonder if they'll be incorporating NetBeans into their "web-based" StarOffice. Actually, I wonder if we'll ever see their "web-based" StarOffice. Sun's got a lot of cool stuff going for them right now, and I for one can't wait to see what they'll do with it.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by jilles ( 20976 ) on Wednesday October 20, 1999 @07:52AM (#1598861) Homepage
    NetBeans is a development tool for Java. It features all the usual stuff you find in a good IDE: editor, debugger, forms and components. One of the reasons it's getting popular really quick now, is its flexible design. I think the upcoming version integrates togetherJ (as a plugin) which is an UML oriented development tool. This tool allows you to write java code and watch the UML diagram change or vice versa.

    Oh yeah, netbeans is written in 100% Java (using the swing classes) which makes it cross platform.
    Probably some readers of this thread are scratching their heads and wondering about performance now. I can assure you performance is quite satisfying provided you have 64 Mb or more of memory. Once the program is loaded (takes about 30 seconds on my PC), you hardly notice you are working with a Java program.
  • It's a Java IDE written entirely in Java such that as long as you had a 100% compat JRE 1.1, you could use it. It was also a free download (forget the original licence, but you didn't get source code with it). Had lots of 'visual' elements to it, and was generally looked on as one of the better low-cost IDEs out there. I used it for a bit, and while I didn't like it, it was good for the state of the technology today. (why oh why must nearly all windoze dev build with the MDI interface: one application window with multiple sub windows, instead of one window per file?!)
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Wednesday October 20, 1999 @07:57AM (#1598863)
    Sun recently gave up on producing it's own IDE (Java Workshop as reported here previously), but the IDE market is still hot (95% of all Java programmers, I'd speculate, want to program visual, and Java Beans does help). As long as NetBeans remains free, I see no problems with this - Sun still wins in the long run because it *is* Java that you develop for, which is all the more power to Sun. I think we do need to watch Sun as their actions are similar to MS, but I believe there's some good at Sun that will continue to improve for free/open source software
  • Well, it appears that Sun's mood is to acquire anything that will help them crush Linux. Although Linux has been quite popular with small organizations that want computing power with limited funds or resources, Linux has not conquered the market of the major players like Exxon, Sprint, AT&T, Boeing, etc. Accordingly, Sun needs to protect the Solaris/Sun market.

    Furthering their vision of the network computer, java, and running "dot com" businesses while making Linux less and less of a viable product for large corporations will allow Linux to remain a small-time operating systems. Now that Sun's Solaris license allows free use to non-commercial users, they're on the "Free OS" turf, too. (Yes, I know about the open source issues, let's not even go there.)

    Sun Microsystems is making some very smart moves and I'll be interested to see where it plays out. Although their popularity with Slashdot users and other OSS fans is probably low right now, it's worthwhile to realize that OSS users is not where the significant market share is. Sun is strong with the big boys, and getting stronger. I'll be interested to see how it plays out in the long run.
    Daniel Baker - -

  • by dkh2 ( 29130 ) <> on Wednesday October 20, 1999 @07:58AM (#1598865) Homepage
    This is good for Sun, and hopefully for us too. Among other benefits to Sun:
    • Brings just a little more control of Java (invented and developed by Sun) back to Sun. Especially good for Sun after that mess with MicroSoft in which they essentially lost some of their control over the language. (More to follow when the case makes it's way through the courts. )
    • Brings some Java development tool expertise inside of Sun. Let's face it, Sun has the major nuts when it comes to advancing the Java language but their development tools are less than perfect. NetBeans produces some good tools and is not so big that Sun would have to take over another major player.
    As with all acquisitions, wait and see what the real outcome will be.

  • Well you can't exactly develop a language and also, design and have an IDE for it Kill it off and then Not have one and Still say you the king of Java. Especially when IBM does such a good job with Java -(jikes, visualage). It only makes perfect sense for them to go Out and but an IDE that is built using Java and is for the Language as well. Must be Made move on SUN part.
  • IBM released their version of the 1.1.8 (final) JDK and JRE for Linux last month.

    It is fairly fast (only somewhat slower in some areas than the 'Official' SunSoft version), native threads, comes with a JIT compiler, and is anywhere from 5-10 times faster than the the Blackdown 1.1.7 VM and 100-100,000 (!) times faster than the Java VM in Netscape 4.7 for Linux, according to CaffineMark 3.0. (Personal testing, your milage may vary).

    It can be downloaded from . []

    Not Open Source, but still a step in the right direction. IBM has also stated its intention to port Java 2 (1.2) for Linux next.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how well Sun's partners are taking this.

    After forking out up to $1million for being a Java Licensee - and then seeing it given away under the community license this must be a real kick in the teeth.

    IBM don't really care, as VA is all about IBM consultancy, but Inprise and Symantec must be stinging badly.

    Its even worse for the small developers out there. Whilst NetBeans was a separate entity - not my cup of tea, but respectable nonetheless - there was an even playing field. Sun purchasing NetBeans AND giving away the entry level tool is a real downer on third party developers producing IDE's and development assistance tools.

    The smaller developers only hope is that Sun do what they have done to most products in the past and give them "The Kiss of Death". Given their commitment to Linux todate this could of course be deliberate policy :-)

  • by John Fulmer ( 5840 ) on Wednesday October 20, 1999 @09:01AM (#1598872)
    IBM released their version of the 1.1.8 (final) JDK and JRE for Linux last month.

    It is fairly fast (only somewhat slower in some areas than the 'Official' SunSoft version), native threads, comes with a JIT compiler, and is anywhere from 5-10 times faster than the the Blackdown 1.1.7 VM and 100-100,000 (!) times faster than the Java VM in Netscape 4.7 for Linux, according to CaffineMark 3.0. (Personal testing, your milage may vary).

    It can be downloaded from here [].

    Not Open Source, but still a step in the right direction. IBM has also stated its intention to port Java 2 (1.2) for Linux next.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This press release tells us:


    I think all you SlashDot lemmings should reconsider if SUN hates the Linux community.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sun is nothing but trouble for everyone for the open source community, Linux, and consumers as a whole. Their current business practices, while apparently legitimate and inncuous, are leading them down a path to become the next microsoft in not only size and power, but in practice and style. Watch out, computer user; we're in for a bumpy ride. With the acquisition of StarDivision, and by extention StarOffice, Sun has entered into the office application space, a realm they've left alone until now. They've also acquired a controlling stake in Netscape, giving them access to the number two, (and formerly, number one,) browser on the market. Their alliance with AOL also gives them an advantage in the ISP space, a niche which they previously dominated only on the back-end. Can we name another company with this kind of activity in, and influence over, these markets? Sun is positioning itself to provide a "whole solution" for the home user. "Buy a Sun NC, and everything you need is provided for you in one convenient package. No need to go to a third party for your Business software, ISP, or web browser! We've got that for you!" This is the same kind of bundling tactic that got MS into its recent troubles. It will, of course, go unnoticed at first, since Sun really isn't a major player in the complete-solution space right now, particularly for the home user. Check sun out in five years, though. You'll hear the name Sun spoken in the same circles and with the same emotion as Microsoft is today. What about the SCSL, though! Sun has gone "Open Source," right? Try again. The SCSL is a fiction, designed by sun to take advantage of and exploit open source developers for financial gain. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. Retaining a single point of control is what's going to ruin this license. Fixes and enhancements will be added to Solaris and other products solely at sun's whim, and will benefit only Sun, bringing in more dollars for Sun. Part of the wonder of open source is that a piece of code from one package acan be applied to and used in another. Such is not the case with commuinity-sourced solaris or StarOffice. Suppose, for example, that sun releases a new server with a whiz-bang proprietary SCSI controller. If Solaris were truly open-sourced, the code for that driver could be inserted into the UltraSparc port of linux, improving a product OTHER than solaris. What do I have to say to Sun? Take your SCSL and stick it where the flat-panel monitor don't shind. Time spent on SCSL'd solaris is time spent working for sun and not not getting a paycheck. Finally, there's this new havit of buying up company after company. Netscape, Star, these Bean people (forgot the name!) produce products that Sun either doesn't have or can't beat. They're playing MS's old games of "Can't beat 'em? Buy 'em!" The problem is, quality products produced by these smaller companies, will suffer the taint of big business, and will be driven not by the desire for a quality product, but by the goals of a money hungry corporation (pronounced "MONEY.") I'm not saying that the smaller companies weren't driven by profit... I'm sure that was their goal. A smaller company is _forced_ to make a quality product, though, in order to survive. Big ol' sun can afford to produce an inferior product because of market presence. MS does it ever day. So, Sun is evil and no better than MS. They're jsut a few years behind in the consumer markets. My advice is to stay away from their products and concentrate on truly open projects like Linux, Koffice, KDE, and, uh... gawk. sKroz
  • I haven't seen this article posted on Slashdot yet, so I thought I'd mention it. However, I've been off for a few days, so might have missed it.

    Anyway, according to this InfoWorld article [], "Sun will release" a Java 1.2 port for Linux in "early 2000" with the Blackdown porting group. Not big on details, and Sun haven't done a press release. It's not clear if Sun will be making it available to download from it's site, but that's the implication. However, the article also states that this release will include Sun's nice HotSpot compiler.

  • I just installed in on a 2xPII/333 w/128Mb running NT4SP5, JDK1.2.2

    It takes around 25 seconds to start up but the memory usage before I do anything is 36Mb.

    Loading the MemoryView example pushed the memory usage to 49Mb.

    It certainly isn't lightweight on resources, and performance feels a little sluggish (but not annoyingly so) but the features look good.
  • I used to do java development on a pentium 133 with 64 Mb. It was fast enough for me until I started using swing (beta versions at first). The problem was the amount of memory (i was working on a NT computer that also functioned as a webserver and fileserver), once the application had loaded, the response was pretty good. Interestingly performance dropped significantly if we used a JIT. This is probably because of the overhead in class loading.
    It's not so much the megahertz that counts but the amount of memory you have. At my work I have a PII 350 with 196 MB. I upgraded the memory a few months ago because of sluggish performance with Java apps. 196 Mb is of course plenty.
    Generally I don't notice much performance difference with my PC at home (PII233, 64 Mb) unless the application is rather big (such as netbeans).
    I think for netbeans, anything between 64 and 128 Mb should be sufficient.
  • When Sun first announced that they were dropping Java Workstop and Java Studio, this was a good thing because it provided incentive for other companies to provide the tools. Now sun has all of a sudden jumped back into the tools market. I'm sure it's no coincidence that JW was dropped and Netbeans aquired in this short a span of time. I know I personally would be more satisfied to see Sun concentrate on the Java itself and delivering it's write once run anywhere promise on more platforms. It would also help improve java's image as an "open" standard if Sun leaves tool development up to the companies that do it best.
  • yes, you misedd it :). It was posted on monday.
    No offense, you had good intentions, but the post doesnt deserve score 2.
  • This is a bit late considering that Java 1.3 has been released for NT already.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We'll see how happy you are about Sun when a bunch of evil, Sun paid thugs swoop out of the sky in their black (with purple trim) helicopter, land in your backyard, break into your house while you sleep, take your linux box, force you to start using a SunRay, rape your dog, pee on your lawn, toilet paper your house...

    ...sheesh, that Sun MicroSystems sure is an evil company. My advice is to stay away from their products and wait for a true OSS product, like when Micorsoft open sources Win2000, which is going to be like, any day now I think.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When will people finally realize the Beast from Palo Alto's only goal is to force your children to look at homosexual pornography on a SunRay. I have it on very good authority that Sun's next purchase will be our own star, the Sun! And that they plan to burn their logo onto it's surface.

    My advice to you is not to purchase any of their consumer products. I'm serious, we need to send these monsters a message loud and clear! Don't eat any more Sunchips, don't drink any Sunny Delight, and for heaven's sake, don't send your children to Sunday school! In fact we should just rename it linuxday and at least one day out of the week will be open source!
  • This is ridiculous. Java and Linux are orthogonal to one another. Java can, should, and does (to an unsatisfying degree) run on Linux as well as it runs anywhere else. Java is at best a very weak argument for Solaris, especially given the fact that JVMs/JITs are generally faster on Wintel than they are on SPARC/Solaris.

    Java is a language, a set of tools and APIs, and a run-time environment which can run on any OS. Linux is just one of the operating systems that can support Java. They are not equivalent in any meaningful way.

    The Java model should in principle be warmly accepted by the Linux crowd - why all the hostility to Java? I think we're all agreed that portable apps and code re-use are a good thing, and that complete binary compatibility makes it possible to do things in network computing that aren't otherwise possible. (To the flamers - I realize there are other ways to do some of this, I also recognize none of them has all of Java's strengths. Whether you like it or not, you have to admit that Java is cool technology, and comes closer to realizing the "write once, run anywhere" dream than anything else. (And it's a lot better in that respect now than it was a year ago...))

    Why not, instead of flaming, work to make Linux the best darn Java platform out there? It could be.

    Personally, I'd love to be able to run the exact same apps on my nextgen Palm, my company-issue Windows laptop, and my home Linux box. We're not all that far away from that now.
  • company.
    When Microsoft goes and aquires a company everyone goes...oh great, they now steal my "....XXX".

    Well, I'm bitterly dissapointed. Netbeans has done so well with their java development tool. Has sun actually done much with java now?
    Their JDK is superceeeded by everyone else's.
    Hotspot was purchased.
    Java Workshop was crap and cancelled.
    Now Netbeans...
  • After forking out up to $1million for being a Java Licensee - and then seeing it given away under the community license this must be a real kick in the teeth.

    This not quite true. They are not giving away licenses. You still have to pay. The difference is that you don't pay until just before you're ready to ship a product.

    I guess now the netbeans "open" IDE API will become more of a standard now.

  • by TummyX ( 84871 )
    Sun does hate linux. I guess the article mentioned Linux cause it's in fasion to do so.

    Netbeans is the leading Java based IDE for Java development. Meaning it runs on ANY Java platform. Linux is one of the tens of java platforms out there. Sun is buying Netbeans....not cause it works on Linux, cause it's an IDE that's written in Java and is popular.
    It just happens to work on Linux...tho very slowly (blackdown is dead i think).
  • Well, actually Java2 is moving very slowly outside Sun simply because everyone is working to make Java 1.1 fast.
    By superceed, I meant in speed etc. Obviously Sun is the only one who is allowed to make changes to core java classes as well as the VM. Unless they're bold like Microsoft - well, you see where it got them.
  • Yep, I downloaded it a while ago, and can't use it cause it's too slow (mmm J++ :))...but I really really like everything else about it.
    I was even considering buying a new CPU just to run it.
    Oh by the way, bever try it on 32MB, it'll take 1/2 an hour to load :).

  • Actually, something that annoys me about Netbeans is the lack of an MDI option.

    I like MDI when developing cause I don't want my desktop and icons lerking around between icons. You can imagine how much you'd want to kill yourself if you accidentally click on netscape while trying to click on some part of your code.

    I prefer MDI to SDI when doing development. Although, it might change as soon as I get my second video card and monitor :)~~~~.
  • Oh, and by the way, you can set Visual Studio to MDI or SDI.
  • Perhaps it is the realization that very little of what Sun does is aimed at Linux that really annoys the crowd here.
  • It seems to me that "One has to wonder what Sun's in the mood for next" seems to have gone pretty well unanswered. Is this not just a case of fighting fire with fire? When there's not much room in the compartment, you have to barge your way in, whether Linux or cream cheese or anything else (along with its fans) exists. Sun seems to have just discovered it has elbows.
  • I've had the same experience. For the most part, I personally think that it's interface is fantastic. In a lot of ways it beats Borland hands-down (nice code browser, professional interface, wonderful plugin API). However, this is the only app that makes my box (256 megs of RAM) seem like a 486. And after having used JBuilder, I find it VERY difficult to work with any GUI builder that has those *DO NOT DELETE!* sections. I like to be able to WORK with my code, not stare at it.
  • OK, I was looking for the last version of JavaWorkshop , and now i'll keep my actual version in order to wait for NetBeans. That's it :)

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