Don Box has an interesting set of Predictions for 2005. Every one of them is thought-provoking and well-framed. There is one, though, that I have to push back on: the surface prediction (#2) is that “Sun will embrace Eclipse”. The deeper issue here pops up a sentence later, when Don talks about “unifying on a common tool platform”. Well, as I (and everyone else who attended) learned at the “IDE Shootout” event at the last Java One, the Java IDE landscape is like a messy, vigorous, noisy, public marketplace. Each of the big IDEs is here for the long haul; and it’s not just Eclipse and NetBeans. Don’t forget Emacs, JDeveloper, and the IDE with the most fanatical fans of all, IntelliJ IDEA. Unlike the Windows world, where Visual Studio is all that really matters, what we have here is an ecosystem, a market, a place where competition and evolution happen. There is absolutely zero chance that the Java world will ever “unify on a common tool platform”. Which is A Good Thing.

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December 29, 2004
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