A Snapshot of What Matters to The Eclipse Community.

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A Snapshot of What Matters to The Eclipse Community.

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The Eclipse Foundation has released the results of the annual Eclipse Community Survey. The fact that the survey is annual provides the opportunity to spot trends; highlights include an increasing adoption of Git and Hudson/Jenkins, more inclusion of the cloud in developers' plans and the continued popularity of mobile app development.

The level of satisfaction with Eclipse across the community is quite high, with 51.8% satisfied and 39.4% very satisfied. This is a very high approval rating, increasing by about 3% on 2010 figures. Congratulations to everyone involved!

The following are the key statistic that I took from the report - you can read the full report here.

Developer Tooling

As you might expect in an Eclipse survey, the majority of developers use Java (75.7%), with C/C++ and PHP lagging futher behind with 14% shared between them. Windows continues to be the most popular operating system for development.

The adoption of Eclipse seems to be in line with the release trains - most developers seem to jump onto the latest version, while a small percentage use the milestone builds to keep up with the latest developments.



One of the most interesting question to ask any developer is what source control system they use. My own choice continues to be CVS, because of the excellent tooling available in Eclipse  - seems like only 13.3% agree with my train of thought, because Subversion is ahead by a mile with 51.3%. Git and GitHub are gaining on CVS with 12.8%. This time next year we're sure to see Git in a higher position, if it hasn't taken over completely. The Indigo release train contains EGit 1.0, which is bound to result in an increase in the amount of Eclipse developers adopting Git. 


 Ant and Maven continue to dominate as the build management tools of choice for developers: Ant still has 48.2% share.  Hudson / Jenkins also has a huge following, with 32.2% of developers using it (for comparison, Cruise Control only has 4.6%). 


Mobile Development

Probably as a result of the tooling available in Eclipse, the most popular target platform for mobile applications is Android. But iOS isn't far behind - Xtext's Applause project may be encouraging Eclipse developers to cross-compile for both platforms.

What Other Type of Applications Are Eclipse Developers Creating?

There's a pretty even spread between Server ,Web and Desktop applications, with each at around 25% of the share. For server-centric applications, most developers are using Spring. Spring's popularity continues to increase - last year it was at 19.7%, and this year it has risen to 24.3%. 

JQuery has a huge following in the web developer crowd, with 30%, putting it way ahead of GWT at 8.4%. Surprising considering the wealth of GWT tooling available in Eclipse. 

For desktop applications, most Eclipse users are utlizing SWT/RCP (53.4%), with 25.9% using Java Swing. 

Model Driven Developers

One of the strengths of the Eclipse eco-system is the amount of options available to those who want to get into model driven development.  I would have expected more than the stated 30% of developers to be using modelling  tools. Of those users, 50.2% we using model driven development to generate code and 36.8% were using technologies like GMF and Graphiti to generate graphical representations of their model. 

Survey Participants

A total of 624 people completed the survey, which is down on previous years.  It's interesting to note that the country with the most respondants is Germany, at 18.1% with the USA at 16.8%. This is no surprise - the Eclipse ecosystem provides a wealth of model driven software frameworks and tools. And Germany is, without doubt, the leader in adoption of model driven software methodology. 

When it comes to the type of people that responded, over half were programmers, 14.9% architects; the rest a mix between managers, consultants and students. 


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