Eclipse Community pulse check: Git rules in 2014

Lucy Carey

Annual survey reveals supremacy of Git and Maven in the community, as well as a lingering air of disappointment.


Following an annus horribilis in 2012, last year, Eclipse faced a battle on their hands to win back the hearts and minds of a legion of users still smarting from the woefully mishandled Juno release. There was a lot of pressure around the release of Kepler, but, if this year’s annual Eclipse Community survey results are anything to go on (full doc here), the crowd appears to have given a general thumbs-up to the software, with 66.8% of respondents stating that they’ve now adopted it.  

Still, with only 7.3% staying put with Juno, that may be more of a testament to the failings of the previous release than anything else. Overall, dissatisfaction lingers, with 5.8% of users commenting that they were either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the technology. On the other side of the coin, 81.1% of users were satisfied or very satisfied with Eclipse, though that’s a mere 0.1% up on last year’s figure.

In terms of modish tools and technologies in the community, for the first time, Git has triumphed over Subversion as the top code management tool used by software devs. Continuing its downward slip from its glory days when over 50% of coders claimed to use the tool, only 30.7% of respondents named Subversion as their tool of choice, with a further third (33.3%) pledging their allegiance to Git. Furthermore, 9.6% cite GitHub as their code management option of choice, reflecting the overall trend for the dominance of Git.

Other takeaways were that, for the Java-loyal Eclipse community members surveyed at least, JavaScript is an appealing second language option, with 56.2% of respondents citing it as their second choice. Speaking of Java, 9.2% of the community have migrated to version eight of the platform, 59.2% are still on Java 7, and close to 25% are using Java 6 or even earlier versions of the platform.

On the  build and release tools front, Maven and Jenkins continue their run as top tools. In a reflection of wider industry trends, Gradle has jumped from being the favourite of 4.5% to 11% of users. There’s no clear reason for this leap in popularity but as Oliver White notes, maybe it’s that Java developers, just like anyone else, want “well-designed tools that are built–or at least maintained–by professional support organizations.” Whatever the reason, Gradle, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on you over the next year.

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