Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
I've been helping a co-worker and 4 year veteran of JBuilder get started with Eclipse. He decided to make the switch after the Eclipse presentation at the RTP-WUG . His first impressions were that Eclipse does everything that JBuilder does and that Eclipse will kill all other IDEs. I was not at all surprised by his reaction.
After seeing that presentation, it is pretty easy for me to imagine a scenario in which there are two dominant IDEs in the world: Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse. In this scenario all IDEs other than Visual Studio will either wither and die or rehost their best parts as plugins inside Eclipse. Eclipse is extensible and pluggable to the core. It is not an IDE and it is not just an experience either, it is a universal and multi-progamming language tools platform. On top of that it is open source (you can't get more pluggable than having the source ;-).
This scenario explains why both Borland and TogetherSoft are on the Eclipse board of stewards. They see the wave coming. Board member Rational has already released an Eclipse based product (which supports both Java and .Net) and even old school programmer's editor maker and board member SlickEdit, Inc. is considering hosting inside Eclipse.If you look at the volume on the Eclipse newsgroups and the rapidly growing number of plugins, you can see the momentum. For the moment, the IDEA guys may have a better IDE, I really don't know, but they've got to be worried about and planning for the Eclipse dominates scenario.