Tim Bray is talking about IDEs and their Projects.
He is definitely right about how project subsystems can be a pain in the arse. It would be really cool to have a project subsystem standard API which could be used in all IDEs…. and could be a bad lowest common denominator? ;)
The system could be based on Ant, or something more abstract (so you could use Maven or Ant or Anything else).
Mostly, I was surprised that Tim uses NetBeans. Do you have to if you work for Sun?