I was recently at lunch with a friend going over my latest piece of software with him (over Mexican food) when he looked at the IDE running on my laptop. He was very surprised to see Netbeans rather than Eclipse, I was equaly surprised since this is a well informed CTO/consultant who I respect quite a bit. How come a person who is up to date enough to discuss Ruby on Rails with me (and is even familiar with the specifics of the demo) doesn’t know how far Netbeans has come?

While the Netbeans team has come a long way in their marketing and evangelisem since the days of 3.x (all the marketing in the world couldn’t help a piece of crap like 3.x) especially thanks to the new web site and the work of  some great bloggers ( http://cld.blog-city.com/netbeans_and_eclipse_comparison__web_apps__no_contest.htm ) there is still a problem.

This isn’t a big problem though, most of the hard work is already done the product is ready for prime time (especially 5.x I’m working with it right now and it rocks), the web site is informative and there is a strong group of dedicated core users. Now the work is to bring in the masses, arguably this is the easier part it just needs some money and legwork… The elevator music flash demo for Java Studio Creator was great, I was amazed at peoples responses they have never seen this before. The problem is with people like myself is that I assume (unintentionaly) that everyone reads and sees the same things I do, the problem is that people in Sun know how well their tools work and they assume that people are informed of the progress made. Most people out there don’t know this and its time to get the message across and be agressive and my solution is:

Start advertising in Eclipse web sites! Be polite don’t attack, ofer a decent alternative and humor. Better yet advertise in Microsoft developer tools jornals and web sites. Hell MS advertises on Slashdot and those guys know the score when it comes to PR and advertising, borrow a page from their book.