"Many people have their eyes on NetBeans as a possible indicator
of whether Sun will embrace open source for other Java products, or
even components of the Java language itself."
"One of the most interesting places where open source and Java
technology overlap is a little integrated development environment
(IDE) known as NetBeans. NetBeans' path to open-sourcedom was a
circuitous one. In 1996, a group of Czech students set out to
author an IDE in pure Java. The idea was to take the best features
of Delphi and create an easy-to-use, cross-platform environment
where code could be edited, tested, and debugged. They called their
"Enter Czech entrepreneur-engineer Roman Stanek. Encouraged by
meeting with Internet visionary and venture capitalist Esther
Dyson, Stanek was on the lookout for a good idea to capitalize on.
He stumbled across the Xelfi group on the Web, struck a deal with
the developers, founded NetBeans with his own money, and then
received funding from Dyson."
"The company remained lean, releasing several versions of the
IDE and supporting the latest in Java technology, such as Swing,
Servlets, JDBC, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and XML. The IDE was built
to be compact, robust, and easy to use and install. Sales offices
were opened in Silicon Valley. But the company was hard-pressed to
turn big profits, given the economics of software tools and Java's
client-side behavior. Because the product was written in Java, it
was slower and required more memory than native-code IDEs. Also,
other development tool vendors - most notably Microsoft - could
afford to give their products away cheaply, or even for free."
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