NeXT versus Sun: a Comparison of Development Tools

"The tools used for developing applications on NeXT! and Sun" systems appear on the surface to be similar. Sun has many tools that serve roles similar to their NeXTstep! counterparts. On closer inspection, however the Sun tools are quite different.

Developers using both platforms have found that Sun tools lack essential, timesaving features. NeXT provides many features that can be used by applications with no additional work. Examples of these include standard dialogs, imaging, color and printer support, and a host of others. On the Sun these features are difficult (or, in some cases, impossible) to implement.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Sun’s tools are not object oriented. None of the toolkits are designed to work with an object oriented version of C. Customization of Sun’s tools is not done using any known Object-Oriented language. In some cases customization is not possible.

In addition, interfaces on the Sun are inconsistent and rudimentary, and perpetuate the notion that UNIX-based applications are hard to use. NeXTstep Applications are:
• Easy to use
• Richer in features
• More modular and easier to maintain
• Delivered in less time

Booz•Allen & Hamilton, a nationally recognized consulting firm, recently finished a study comparing NeXTstep to other platforms.1 They found:

Over 82% of the developers and programmers surveyed ranked NeXTstep higher than other environments they had used (Sun, Macintosh ", MS-DOS ") in all major areas— development environment completeness, application quality, maintainability, and development time. . . .

100% of the respondents with Sun and NeXT workstation development experience stated that the ease and speed of development using NeXTstep was better than their experience with Sun workstations."

For the entire white paper see:
NeXT versus Sun- a Comparison of Development Tools