Oracle's NetBeans commitment in question

Oracle appears to be taking a don't-call-me, I'll-call-you approach to the NetBeans open-source tools initiative led by Sun Microsystems.

In a joint Oracle-Sun presentation on Jan. 10, Oracle acknowledged the importance of NetBeans, something Sun officials were quick to herald. But the endorsement does not necessarily mean that Oracle has any plans to develop anything based on NetBeans.

In fact, there seems to be some confusion as to what Oracle's endorsement means at all, if anything.

Sun President Jonathan Schwartz championed Oracle's backing of NetBeans in his blog last week. "We also announced Oracle's adoption and endorsement of NetBeans -- building on the groundswell of support we're seeing for NetBeans 5.0," Schwartz wrote.

But Thomas Kurian, Oracle's senior vice president of server technologies, dismissed the notion that Oracle has any plans for NeBeans. "We certainly think Sun's NetBeans initiative is important in the marketplace, and we're watching it very closely. But as of right now, Oracle is focused on JDeveloper and Eclipse and we have no plans to adopt either NetBeans or any of its technology. Any statements to the contrary by anyone else in the industry are not true," Kurian wrote on Oracle's Web site.

An Oracle representative reiterated Friday that the company is watching NetBeans closely, but that it is focused on the rival Eclipse open-source tools initiative and on Oracle's own JDeveloper tools.

Asked last week what, exactly, were Oracle's plans for NetBeans, Timothy Cramer, director of the NetBeans program at Sun, said the companies were exploring what Oracle might do with NetBeans.

Right now, it appears that Oracle's NetBeans endorsement may not mean much at all.

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