Eclipse Community has their say

Git and Maven usage rising, says Eclipse Community Survey

Chris Mayer

That time of year has come round again – time for another Eclipse Community Survey, with some very interesting findings

Now very much embedded into the Eclipse annual cycle, the results of the Eclipse Community Survey 2012 have been released, with some interesting key trends noted from Eclipse developers.

Around 700 developers completed the full survey, which has been carried out annually since 2007 (bar 2008) and in the interests of being open, Eclipse have published the results of the Open Source Developer Report in full ([xls] [ods]) for you to cast an eye over.

First and foremost, let’s get the unsurprising results out of the way. Windows remains the premier choice as deployment operating system with Eclipse folk (66.5% to Ubuntu’s 34.3%) whilst Java continues to dominate the language side of things, with 76% saying they used Java the most in their development environment. Tomcat is far and away leading the application server battle (nearly 35%) but Jetty usage doubled in 2012, echoing findings from ZeroTurnaround’s Java EE survey – so perhaps we should keep an eye out for Eclipse’s Java-based HTTP server.

Now on to the trends that really caught our attention. As Eclipse projects move to Git, it appears that Eclipse developers are following suit with 27% of respondents saying they used the en vogue source code manager, a big jump from last year’s recorded 13%. Perhaps we shouldn’t be totally surprised by this, with Eclipse doing a good job of notifying everyone of the change – but it definitely reflects a change in the tide, with Subversion’s dominance on a very slow wane, despite them being top in this category.

In the build and release section, Maven gained ground on Ant, although this can be put down to better integration with Eclipse, according to Vice President of Marketing and Ecosystem at the Eclipse Foundation, Ian Skerett. 

Looking at future important areas within the Eclipse ecosystem, it appears that slightly more enterprises/developers are finally preparing themselves for the cloud, but not yet enough to count cloud as a popular move. Only 21% of Eclipse respondents have deployed to the cloud. Mobile however is thriving, with 43% already playing a part and Android and iOS taking the lion’s share of developer’s attention spans.

Moving on to the more personal motivation questions, it appears that developers have the following reasons for developing in their own time:

  • They enjoy learning new things when programming in their free time (74.2%)
  • Keep skills sharp (71.1%)

Learning and responsibility were key drivers for being part of open source. As expected, most of those asked buy into the ‘giving back’ aspect, with 54% stating they participate to support open source and 36% due to their belief in the FOSS ethos.

It’s also becoming clear that enterprises are now switched on to the benefits of open source, no longer seeing it as a bigger risk as it once was. Which can only mean good for foundations like Eclipse. For more findings from the Eclipse Community Survey 2012, check out the report embedded below.

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