Platform Too

While there has been plenty of fuss about development tools for the Java platform, like Charles Ditzel I have been surprised how little comment has been made about the open source community success story which is the NetBeans Platform. The NetBeans IDE is just one example of a piece of software that can be made with the NetBeans platform - there are other examples, like the mobile network management software system that Nokia has built. Because it's 100% pure Java code, NetBeans provides an ideal base for this sort of success story - I remember back when it was launched one of the examples was of a hairdressing salon management system that was built from the NetBeans Platform.

This is especially cool because the diverse usage of the Platform means that a valuable synergy develops. Nokia's application and Sun's Java Studio Creator product have no market overlap for example, yet they contribute to each other's success because when Nokia finds a bug and fixes it, Sun benefits too (and vice versa) - it's the perfect example of the way that an open source commons allows different artisans in the 'guild' which uses it to create wealth (in the sense Paul Graham describes of making a 'good', not necessarily direct financial wealth) using their own skills while also enhancing the value of the commons to all other players.

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