Fewer Companies Contributing Back

Eclipse Community Survey 2010 Results

Jessica Thornsby

Survey shows fewer companies are willing to contribute back to open source software, than in 2009.

The results of the Eclipse Community Survey 2010 are now available – and it’s good news for Linux , DVCS and JQuery, but bad news for open source in general.

The results show that, of those surveyed, almost a third use the Linux operating system for software development. This is a 13% increase in Linux usage, from the 2007 Eclipse Community Survey. In contrast, Windows has dropped from 73.8% in 2007, to 58.3% in 2010.

Amongst Eclipse users who use RIA/Web Apps as their primary style of software, JQuery ranks the highest RIA framework. This shows an impressive build-up of momentum over the past year, with JQuery leaping from 5% adoption in 2009, to 26.9% in 2010.

It has also been a good year for DVCS, with both Git and Mercurial usage on the increase from 2009. At his summary post of Eclipse Community Survey trends, Ian Skerrett contrasts this growth in DVCS against the decreased use of CVS. “DVCS usage is growing; CVS is shrinking,” he states.

The survey revealed an interesting trend in Eclipse adoption, with 75.5% of respondents using Eclipse 3.5, and a further 7.1% using the Helios milestones. “If you are building products that target Eclipse users, providing support for older versions of Eclipse might not be that important,” Skerrett suggests.

On the negative, the survey found fragmentation in the methodology space, with over eighteen different methodologies cropping up as answers to the survey, and the most popular of those methodologies, Scrum, only clocking up a 15% majority. Also worrying, was the decrease in the percentage of companies who claim they’re willing to contribute back to open source software. In 2009, 48% said they would give something back to the community, but this is down to 35.4% this year. Skerrett summarises this as “obviously not a trend any open source community would like to see.”

Kevin Schmidt offers up a possible explanation for this decline in companies that use open source software and contribute back: “perhaps due to the economy and companies having to tighten their belts, use of open-source continues but there is no longer the resources to fully buy into the model and contribute back.”

The full results of the Eclipse Community Survey 2010, can be viewed now (pdf.)

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