NetBeans Day in Shanghai

The NetBeans story is a tough one to tell here in China where Eclipse is the "embedded" IDE in the enterprise. NetBeans Evangelist Joey Shen introduced NetBeans Day this morning--in Mandarin--so I caught up with him after the talk to ask him about the perception of NetBeans here in China.

"Well, in the university, programming students used to be taught Java by using the command line. Sun's been teaching the teachers NetBeans, so these days students are learning how to program in Java using the NetBeans IDE."

But the story changes when they graduate and go to work in the enterprise. Joey said, "Eclipse has been here for quite a while, so we're trying to get people to take a look at NetBeans there, after the university. But if you want the whole firm to change . . . well, we still have a ways to go, even if it's perceived that NetBeans is better you have to get half or more to agree to make the switch."

So what's different, what's better about NetBeans? See the interview with Jeet Kaul I reported on two days ago, when the Shanghai media was here. And Ed Ort did a great job summarizing NetBeans benefits in his NetBeans Day blog entry from Milan. Read about it here.

There are about 100 developers here for NetBeans Day, even though Sun Tech Days attracted about 1000. But they're a very interested group of 100, paying close attention as Michael Li describes how to do Web 2.0 with NetBeans--in Mandarin--so I'll catch up with him later to ask about what the developers are most interested in, but I already know what one barrier is--the language.

Chuk Munn-Lee told me yesterday that, "Sometimes technology adoption is limited by the lack of localization. We need NetBeans with Chinese characters. And of course another thing is that the documentation is in English, and not available in Chinese, even though more people today learn English in China even than in America. We still need to localize documentation and programs, at least until all these English-speakers grow up and become programmers.

Links

Carla King reporting from Tech Days Shanghai.

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