Geertjan Wielenga, project manager for the NetBeans IDE, has submitted a proposal on Oracle’s behalf that would have the Apache Software Foundation take over management of the open source project. “Although NetBeans is already open source,” the proposal says, “moving it to a neutral place like Apache, with its strong governance model, is expected to help get more contributions from various organizations. For example, large companies are using NetBeans as an application framework to build internal or commercial applications and are much more likely to contribute to it once it moves to neutral Apache ground. At the same time, though Oracle will relinquish its control over NetBeans, individual contributors from Oracle are expected to continue contributing to NetBeans after it has been contributed to Apache, together with individual contributors from other organizations, as well as self-employed individual contributors.” The change would also convert NetBeans to the Apache software license.
Java founder James Gosling said the proposal was “a good idea” because it would make it easier for people outside Oracle to contribute to the IDE. Gosling, who has frequently criticized Oracle, added, “Oracle didn’t single out NetBeans for neglect, they neglect everything. Look at the way they’ve treated EE [Java Enterprise Edition]. I’m thrilled that the NetBeans community will now be able to chart its own course.”