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28 May 2009, 18:50

Poll: 90 per cent are satisfied with the Eclipse development environment

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The Eclipse Foundation has published the results of the global Eclipse Community Survey 2009 in The Open Source Developer ReportPDF. The Foundation held the survey from mid-April to mid-May in order to get developer feedback on the tools and software that they use. The organisation wanted to learn how the respondents used open source software and how they interacted with the Eclipse community. Nearly 1,500 participants took part in the Foundation poll, of which 27.8 per cent were from Germany, followed by 15.7 per cent from the United States. Only 0.6 per cent of participants were from the United Kingdom. Approximately 80 per cent of the respondents worked for companies that are not members of an open source consortium.

A similar survey by IDC in 2007 showed that 46 per cent of respondents were allowed to use open source software, but were not allowed to contribute code – now that group has decreased to only 27 per cent. In contrast, the number of participants that are allowed to do both rose from 37 to 48.2 per cent. 15.6 per cent of the survey participants said that their company has a business model based on open source software, compared to only 10 per cent in the IDC study two years ago. Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed said that they were either satisfied, or very satisfied, with the Eclipse development environment.

According to the survey, more developers are moving to Linux. 26.9 per cent of respondents said that they use Linux as their primary desktop operating system, a 7 per cent increase over 2007. While still being the dominant development OS, Windows dropped 10 points to 64 per cent. Mac OS X usage increased from 3.5 per cent in 2007 to 6.9 per cent. Since Eclipse began as a Java integrated development environment (IDE), it's not surprising that 60 per cent of respondents use Eclipse JDT as their primary development environment, followed by 12.6 per cent using the Eclipse PHP Development Tools and 6.3 per cent using the C/C++ Developer Tools.

The dominant Source Code Management (SCM) system used by developers is Subversion (57.5 per cent), followed by CVS which comes in at 20 per cent. It's interesting to see how the popularity of distributed version control systems has grown over the last two years. Recently the proposal for EGit was accepted to develop tools for JGit, the Java implementation of Git, as an Eclipse project.

Ant is the most popular Build and Release Management tool at 33.4 per cent, followed by Maven (18 per cent) and Hudson (9.1 per cent). Among the respondents, Java is the primary development language at 76.6 per cent. 30.2 per cent of the respondents in the survey tend to develop server-centric applications, while 24.7 per cent focus on web applications. Eclipse plug-in developers come in at just under 10 per cent.

MySQL (27.7 per cent) and Oracle (27.3 per cent) are the top two preferred databases used for deployment. Oracle database users primarily use Java as their main development language and create server applications, while MySQL users use PHP as their main development language and create RIA/Web applications. The majority of respondents typically used Apache Tomcat (34.8 per cent), followed by JBoss (12.7 per cent) and IBM WebSphere (6.9 per cent).


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