There has been a lot of noise in the blogsphere lately about JDeveloper vs. NetBeans over the last week - especially after the last update to Oracle's Sun FAQ that added a paragraph about Netbeans.
As an Oracle Employee I can't comment about anything that relates to this deal, but I would like to comment about one of the points that some Netbean-bloggers have been raising - and this is their claim that the number of Netbeans users is way bigger than those using JDeveloper.
I'm still trying to figure out how they came to this conclusion.
Some of them claim they haven't encountered many people who use JDeveloper - I guess this all depends on where you are hanging out. I'm guessing the picture they see when hanging at Sun conferences, such as JavaOne, is a little skewed. after all at the Oracle conferences I attend - I seem to meet a lot more JDeveloper users :-).
Hunting down reliable third party statistics on the breakdown of the Java IDE market is no easy task, but here are some numbers that might cast a question mark on those claims:
One independent survey of the Java IDE market was the SD Times Survey which last ran in 2008. It showed NetBeans at 24.4%. and Oracle's JDeveloper at 20.4% usage.
I would hardly call this a huge difference in the size of the community.
Now lets look at some more up-to-date statistics
Indeed job search shows more demand for JDeveloper compared to NetBeans out there
Another way to check the health of a community is to look at the traffic on its forum
Looking at traffic on the Netbeans forums - it seems like they get around 10-15 new threads each day on their user forum and even less than that on the Java EE forum: http://forums.netbeans.org/javaee-users.html
JDeveloper gets around 80 new threads on our forum on an average day.
I won't draw any clear cut conclusions here - I'll let you do that for yourself now that you see some other numbers.