Interview with SVP Steve Mills (IBM)
Steve Benigan <benigan_steve <at> hotmail.com>
2002-05-01 02:12:07 GMT
InfoWorld interviewed Steve Mills recently concerning IBM's views on
He was questioned about Netbeans and his answers sound like he doesn't
know much at all about Netbeans. I thought that Sun and IBM were
talking about the issues but maybe not... unless word hasn't worked it's
way up to Steve's level...
"InfoWorld: So then how do you account for IBM essentially forking the
open source development environment by starting Eclipse instead of
joining with the Net Beans environment?
Mills: I didn't know that Eclipse was an anti-Sun movement.
InfoWorld: Certain people at Sun seem to think so. When you talk about
reference implementations, that was one of the purposes of the Net Beans
relationship in the first place. It sounds like that effort now is
muddied by the fact that there are two paths for open-source
contributions, particularly in the area of Web services.
Mills: No, I absolutely disagree with you. I don't see it that way at all.
InfoWorld: So how do you see the relationship between those two things?
Mills: There's nothing about Eclipse that's proprietary. There's nothing
about Eclipse that's not modifiable through the eclipse.org initiative.
And there's nothing wrong with offering up derivative works in an open
source full publicly vetted environment. This is like saying that all
invention done in the past is the invention that you're stuck with and
you can't create anything new. Eclipse is not an anti-Sun effort, and it
is not a proprietary effort. Eclipse.org has the opportunity to make
modifications, it's not something that lives under some rigid control,
my way or the highway.
InfoWorld:You're suggesting that Net Beans is an attempt to provide
minimum participation? I'm not sure I understand?
Mills: Yes exactly. What's wrong with introducing new things,
particularly if you introduce them in the context of providing open
source, and by inviting dozens of tools vendors to and take advantage of
what's there for the purposes of further extending the tools and
workbenches that they currently deliver. Clearly we're interested in
seeing an open tool environment that supports a wide variety of
platforms and does not lock anybody to Solaris and Solaris-based
tooling. We're equally interested in seeing the same scenario play out
in the world of Intel
InfoWorld: So you're suggesting that was the motive for starting
Eclipse, to provide that kind of pervasive environment across platforms,
and that Net Beans somehow did not deliver that?
Mills: Absolutely. Look, I'm a cross-platform software provider. I've
got to build applications that run on a whole variety of systems. I have
tools today and I want more tools that support that paradigm of
multi-platform, cross-platform. And I'm interested in not creating an
inherent lock-in to which platform you're forced to build on or which
platform you're forced to deploy on. That's what we're doing with
Eclipse, that's the whole purpose, to move away from the historical
multi-decade old legacy view that system vendors, such as IBM, only
deliver things that provide support from a tooling standpoint for the
creation of applications that run on their system"