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Eclipse Community Survey 2012

by Alex Blewitt on Jun 11, 2012 |

The yearly Eclipse Community Survey has been released for 2012, including a number of highlights from the results. Whilst last year's showed a nascent rise in Distributed Version Control Systems, this year's shows a much bigger growth in Git in particular.

Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at Eclipse, summarised the report as follows:

  • Git Momentum Continues to Grow
  • Maven Usage Accelerating
  • Spring and EJBs continue to be popular server frameworks. Equinox and OSGi increasing too
  • Mobile computing = Android + iOS
  • Developer motivation is driven by their belief in FOSS, learning new technologies and improving the project
  • Corporate policies towards open source becoming more positive

The raw data is available, either as Excel or OpenOffice files, and there's a presentation on SlideShare covering the main points.

The increase in Maven can be attributed to the M2Eclipse plugin, made available in last year's release train, and Tycho, a PDE build replacement plugin based on Maven.

The report also suggests that Windows is a significant development target; though only a single Windows option was given whilst multiple Linux distributions diluted the individual votes for Linux.

James McKay argues that developers can no longer afford not to take Git seriously, concluding with "It means that, as a diehard Mercurial fan, I have finally had to concede that Git has won." He also writes:

Git’s market share, industry-wide, is now 27.6%.

That’s more than I expected in the best-case scenario. Based on its growth rate up to now (it scored 12.8% last year and 6.8% the year before), I was expecting Git to score somewhere between 16% and 24% or so, depending on how well it is being received in corporate environments. If my thesis were correct, I’d have expected it to score at the lower end of this range. I thought that 25% was the maximum it could possibly score in the best case, and even then, that was highly unlikely.

(The news is pretty bleak for Mercurial, by contrast: it has dropped from 4.6% to 2.6%. Subversion is still at number 1 for now, but down from 51% to 46%. This is a smaller drop than I expected, but no doubt it’s being shored up by a trickle of late adopters migrating to it away from CVS. Nevertheless, it looks almost certain to lose its number 1 position within the next 12 months.)

He also wrote a follow up post covering the analysis of the data. He believes that it's the end of the line for Subversion:

However, it’s becoming abundantly clear now that the writing is on the wall for Subversion. For now, it’s still the most widely used option, and its decline over the past year may have been slower than I expected, but if current trends continue, it will be overtaken by Git industry-wide in about a year’s time. It is a very basic, spartan system even by centralised source control standards and its development is slow. No doubt it will take several years to die off completely (eight percent of developers are still using CVS, believe it or not) but it’s only a matter of time before you will need to plan for its end of life.

Whatever the case of selection bias, Git has become a clear popular favourite at Eclipse, with the majority of repositories at Eclipse now all Git.

Regardless of your choice of IDE, the data point raised by this survey suggests that Git is clearly going to rise, whilst other version control systems are on the way down.

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No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by peter lin

I use both subversion and git. My preference is subversion. GIT on windows blows hard. The windows clients suck and checking out GIT sucks, even with Cygwin. In contrast TortoiseSVN works great in windows with almost no issues.

Maven sucks, plain and simple. There's no redeeming value in maven and it should just die. There's better build tools out there today, so people should migrate to those immediately instead of put up with maven.

Re: No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by Pascal Jacob

User experience with Git on windows has considerably evolved in the past month/years. It is no longer required to install Cygwin! Just download and install the Git for windows - it contains everything needed for a quick start. It install in its own folder and does not transform your windows platform to an half linuxed hybrid machine. The default windows client suck for sure but you have choice: 4 windows client are referenced on the git home page (not counting Tortoise-Git which is not referenced). Try SmartGit (my preferred one) which is *free* for non-commercial.

Re: No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by Dean Schulze

What's the better alternative to Maven? Don't tell me Gradle. I looked at that a few years back and it has too much Maven in it to make it worth switching to.

Re: No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by peter lin

I've tried TortoiseGIT. The last version I tried sucked. Honestly, GIT works much better on linux. The downside is my primary development machine is windows, so it's just less than ideal. To me, the whole fork/merge model is a pain and I don't buy into it. That's not to say it doesn't work. It just not what I prefer.

Re: No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by peter lin

Ant works perfectly fine for me without all the headaches of maven repository non-sense.

Re: No subversion won't die off and maven won't continue to grow by Ben Tels

Regarding Git, I've only used it once very recently during a course, didn't think much of it and don't really care to know it any better. Git's main advantage over centralized solutions is support for feature branching. And I think feature branching is fundamentally a bad idea (it has its place in OSS projects, due to a lack of any better idea).

As for Maven, I couldn't disagree more. I've used Ant and you couldn't pay me enough to go back that way. Maven is to Ant what a full toolbox is to a screwdriver: it's far more, more versatile in its scope and reach and has more structure to it. Maven isn't Ant -- Ant is a scripting tool with a bent towards builds, whereas Maven is a technical project management tool that is useful in any scope from a single project to enterprise-wide and from just a single build all the way up to your continuous delivery pipeline.

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