Eclipse: the best thing that happened to NetBeans

SAN FRANCISCO--When IBM launched the open-source Eclipse programming tool project, geared initially for writing Java software, the project gained rapidly at the expense of Sun's rival NetBeans project, by most accounts.

But Eclipse, despite its Sun-unfriendly name, has been a boon to NetBeans, particularly with the new version 4.1, Sun President Jonathan Schwartz said in a meeting with reporters here at the JavaOne trade show trade show.

"Why is NetBeans so good? One word: Eclipse," Schwartz said. "We got a big boost of competitive energy."

Programmers like options, he added. "There's no one hammer for all nails. Developers more than anything else like choice. There's never going to be one desktop, one handset, set-top box or one tool suite."

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