Eclipse: Sun still welcome to join

With enterprise application development largely dividing into two camps -- the Java-derived Eclipse faction on one side and Microsoft's .Net on the other -- it would seem that Java founder Sun Microsystems would align itself with the Eclipse Foundation. But Sun remains outside Eclipse, although an open invitation remains to participate in the open source tools organization.

Sun remains committed to its own NetBeans open source platform, announcing new initiatives pertaining to it while Eclipse sells out its annual EclipseCon technical conference here this week. Attendance is at 1,400 persons, according to Eclipse.

Negotiations to have Sun join Eclipse in 2003 fell apart. Sun at the time said it was not offered "an equitable share in mutual development."

"There's no conversations going on but they are always welcome to join Eclipse," said Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich on Tuesday.

Sun is sticking to its guns.

"Sun believes that competition for the Java tools ecosystem is healthy for Java developers. We continue to advocate and support the NetBeans project and IDE. Sun has no plans to join Eclipse at this time," Sun said in a prepared statement also released on Tuesday.