Is Eclipse fading away into the abyss?

As I read the Eclipse responses to the 2011 survey one thing that really stood out was the activity (or lack there of) in the number of respondents. The US continues to be second or third in the past two years with regards to number of respondents (maybe we are just lazy). I also would have thought, from a site which claims over a million hits per month that there would have been more than 624 people taking the survey. The survey count dropped from 1696 respondents in 2010 to just 624 in 2011 – I don’t think that’s a good thing for an open source community.

We believe a reason for the lower number of respondents is that some popular developer news sites in Germany and France had previously promoted the survey but did not promote the survey this year. This is evident by the decreased participation rate
in Germany (26% in 2010 vs 18% in 2011) and France (15% in 2010 vs 7% in 2011).

This year, the playing field seem to be leveled between Germany, France, and the United States with regards to survey respondents. But, as stated, the lack of promotion may be the cause. The US was at 16.8%, Germany reigns at 18.1% and France took a beating with only 6.9% of the respondents and India gained some ground to 5.6% – up 1.6% from last year.

Based on geographical area, Europe represented 58.9% of the respondents, North America 21.6%, and Asia 14.3%.

I also found it interesting that JQuery continues to win the popularity vote amongst developers for RIA frameworks:

Click to make larger


And a real shocker is the number of developers choosing Windows over the other platforms this year:

8 thoughts on “Is Eclipse fading away into the abyss?

  1. I am not sure you can actually conclude anything from the platform graph as it doesn’t provide the question which was asked (unlike all the pie charts). Even with the question, you would likely have to provide an additional qualifier to distinguish personal use from corporate use which is massively windows based.

    statistics …

    • I think many of the results are badly presented too. For one thing:

      “For the first time since beginning the survey, we saw an increase in the number of developers choosing Windows as their preferred operating system for development.”

      The questions asked on the survey were of the form “What is your primary operating system for…” – I’m forced to use Windows at work. I choose to use OSX and Linux when I can, but my primary operating systems are, sadly, Windows based. Care should be taken when misrepresenting what was said. More care should be taken in the way the questions are written too.

      • @james I wrote the survey and I agree care should definitely be taken when representing the results. Any survey has a biase and room for interpretation, so I recommend that people use this survey result and any survey result as individual data points that may or may not point to trends.

        As for the question, I specifically did not want to ask ‘what is your preferred operating system?’ I wanted to know what people use (by choice or not). If I want to know preference, the question would certainly have been worded differently.

  2. Bob,

    I think you are reading far too much into the survey. Conflating respondent numbers to a survey with ‘Eclipse fading away into the abyss’ seems a bit of a leap. If there were significant decrease in our download numbers or our membership or the plugins on marketplace or number of projects at Eclipse or our web site traffic, then I might be interested. It could just mean people are tired of filling out surveys.

    Ian Skerrett
    Eclipse Foundation

    • @Jean – the platform graph I believe is developers that use Eclipse IDE. Either way, this went to the entire Eclipse community – which is primarily developers.

      @Ian – yes I do realize that, hinting the U.S. is probably just lazy. I personally do not understand why the numbers are roughly 1/3 from last year. Maybe as part of the survey we should be including things like downloads and hit counts to show the community is still in tack.

  3. I don’t understand either but the US has always been poorly represented in the survey. This is not new and I also don’t think it warrants the title of your blog.

    • That’s probably true Ian but over the past couple of years I have been pretty frustrated with the Eclipse community on several levels and to be honest I do see the participation weakening. Maybe a post like this will get people to be more involved in the community and not slack off with surveys and contributions.

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