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Eclipse rated last on developer tool survey

Jun 14, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Eclipse was the third most commonly used IDE (integrated development environment) among 1,200 developers surveyed worldwide by Evans Data Corp. However, in terms of user satisfaction, Eclipse ranked dead last, behind nine commercial IDEs and Sun's NetBeans IDE.

The study focused on the top 11 most-used IDEs, which, according to Evans, are (in alphabetical order): Adobe/Macromedia Studio 8, Borland Delphi, Borland JBuilder, Eclipse, IBM Rational App Developer, IBM WebSphere Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, NetBeans, Oracle JDeveloper, Sun Java Studio, and Sybase PowerBuilder.

Microsoft's Visual Studio was the number one most-used IDE, used by 31.7 percent of the survey's respondents. Next came Adobe's Studio 8 (acquired through its acquisition of Macromedia), at 11.8 percent, and the open-source Eclipse tools framework, at 11.2 percent.

Participants in the survey rated each of the top 11 IDEs in the following categories:

  • Compiler/Interpreter
  • Debugger
  • Editor
  • Make/Build Functions
  • Documentation
  • Application Modeling Tools
  • Web Design Tools
  • Sample Applications
  • Profiler
  • Compiler Performance
  • Performance of Resulting Applications
  • Ease of Use
  • Ability to Integrate 3rd Party Tools
  • Availability of 3rd Party Tools
  • Quality of Technical Support Options
  • Size and Quality of Developer Community

In “overall rankings,” a composite score based on the above list of features, Eclipse came in dead last, just behind Sun's NetBeans IDE. Regarding the open-source IDEs' low ratings, Evans said:

The two open source IDEs, NetBeans and Eclipse, received the lowest scores, but this is due to their open and evolving nature. Open source applications are by nature dynamic and evolutionary. While they initially have a disadvantage to applications that are carefully researched, designed, architected, and produced by vendors that stand behind their products with support and service, the force of the community behind them will look at weaknesses as opportunities and they will be addressed in innovative and most likely powerful, ways. We expect to see both NetBeans and Eclipse improve their rankings in the next version of this survey.

IBM's Rational Studio Developer was ranked first, overall, just ahead of Microsoft Visual Studio.

Further details on the survey, “Developers' Choice — IDE Scorecard — Definitive Rankings of the Top 11 IDEs by Over 1,200 Developers,” are available from Evans's website, here. An executive summary in PDF format is available for free download with registration, and the full survey is available for purchase.

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