Are Modern IDEs Boring?

IDEs – What Does the Next Decade Have in Store?

Jessica Thornsby

“I miss the heyday of the IDE wars,” says Mik Kersten.

Mik Kersten has posted a blog lamenting the lack of commercial
competition in the current IDE market. “I miss the heyday of the
IDE wars,” he says, arguing that since IBM open sourced Eclipse,
Java developers have come to expect their IDE to be free, resulting
in a decrease in activity within the IDE market. In his opinion,
the initial commercial competition between companies such as
Borland and Microsoft, directly resulted in the development of
refactoring, structured editing, GUI builders, and more.

“The base IDE feature set has now been standardized and
commoditized. In other words, it has become a lot more boring,” he
says, “vendors have to pull zany moves like running a thin subset
of IDE functionality in a web browser” – presumably a reference to
Orion. Moving forward, he expects IDE innovation to focus on “nice
tweaks and features as you would expect with mature tools like cars
or can openers,” but key functionality such as code editing,
debugging and deployment will only be solidified, and tool
innovation will start to occur on top of the IDE platform. He
predicts these tool innovations will revolve around collaboration
features, as he believes developers spend just as much time
collaborating on code, as they do hacking it. Consequently,
developers will come to select their IDEs based on the number and
availability of third party extensions, rather than the IDE feature
set itself.

Kersten also predicts that the next decade of development will
focus on the ability to personalise your IDE experience, with the
integration of Agile, ALM and task-focused workflow. Although this
may not sound particularly exciting, he stresses that it will still
positively impact on developer productivity.

comments powered by Disqus