The Coming Eclipse of Visual Studio

3 minute read
Angela Natividad avatar
In a winter survey of 'round about 400 programmers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (collectively the EMEA region), Evans Data Corporation paints a surprising picture of developer habits and preferences, including Integrated Development Environment (IDE) popularity.According to the winter findings:
  • 42 percent of EMEA developers use XML in their efforts
  • AJAX -- known by some as the info-arch killer -- conveys the highest technology growth rate with a 12 percent increase
  • Java frameworks are perceived as the most critical aspect of Java development.
  • Java project refactoring efforts doubled, suggesting that Java best practices are still very much evolving
The survey found that use of open development platform, Eclipse, more than doubled, making it the first IDE to seriously challenge Microsoft's popular Visual Studio tool.This is no doubt a disappointment for for Microsoft, and follows other recent bad news about the popularity of their programming technologies. But there's no need for tears yet; Visual Studios remains the de facto IDE for most engineers, even as the number of developers using Eclipse reached close to 30 percent of those surveyed. Adoption of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform -- a subset series of Eclipse plug-ins used for developing rich-client apps -- is perhaps the most striking. The survey found this extension making rapid gains. And EDC analysts project uptake to continue aggressively, tripling over the next two years.Evans Data president John Andrews noted, “These results are reflective of the overall market adoption we are seeing for Eclipse adoption globally […] The addition of the Rich Client Platform provides the developers a great advantage being able to write an application once and it will run on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.”Naturally the Eclipse Foundation was in good spirits over the results, which, according to executive director Mike Milinkovich, “confirms Eclipse's growth globally as the platform of choice for developers.”That may be a bit optimistic to state at this juncture, but there's no denying the success of the effort, nor the power of the community that's lined-up behind it.The platform has traditionally been used for Java development, but increasingly it is a favorite among PHP and C/C++ coders too. If by now you're dying to road-test Eclipse, get started with a few basic downloads.For a complex application with many components, the install, update and add-on process has been made remarkably painless. In addition, the large body of extension projects cover the spectrum from secure FTP to object modeling to Subversion and CVS integration and are often the most compelling motive behind developer adoption.Evans Data conducts regular, in-depth surveys of the global developer population.Their syndicated research aims to identify the technology trends that drive successful product and IT management.

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