Eclipse Ecosystem

A blog devoted to promoting the Eclipse ecosystem

Monday, October 30, 2006

Free Online Poker Built with Eclipse

No, a SPAMBOT has not taken over my blog :)

Scott Blum (of Google GWT fame, not the fame) was at Colorado Software Summit last week and instantly won over audiences with a great example of GWT - the gpokr site.

I couldn't resist getting in touch with Ryan Dewsbury, the creator of gpokr and he said that the Eclipse code organization and debugging support for AJAX was a huge step forward for the project.

I was doing pretty well, right up until I flopped a flush and was beat with a better flush. Serves me right for playing a Jh-3h.

If your boss catches you playing poker, just tell them you're researching Eclipse and AJAX ;)

- Don

Friday, October 27, 2006

First Eclipse 5th Birthday Party - Keystone

We kicked off the Eclipse 5th Birthday Party celebrations at the Colorado Software summit on Thursday night and it was quite a due - about 80 people were there to wind down a very active week.

Pictures that Mike and I took are posted here on Flickr. Let's all tag any Eclipse 5th Birthday party pics we post to with the tag "eclipse5".

We are not going to win the prize for "Best Cake Design" as the Eclipse Logo was not all that well done, but it was a pretty darned good cake otherwise! :)

Happy Birthday Eclipse!

- Don

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Adobe Proves it - "Eclipse and Mac - A Natural Combination"

It's hard to argue with Apple Developer Connection when they said "Eclipse and Mac are a natural combination". 20,000+ downloads a month for Eclipse on MacOS gives that some creed as well. Moreover, there's 1248 people already signed to the Google Group dedicated to developing on the Mac with Eclipse.

As noted in Macworld, Adobe has just released trial version of FlexBuilder 2 for the Mac, built on Eclipse, and my contacts at Adobe Max this week said it looks really sweet (aside from an apparently fuzzy start icon, but I digress). I can't think of of a more glowing endorsement for "Eclipse on the Mac" than Adobe using it for a very important project like Flex Builder 2. Adobe released FlexBuilder 2 for Windows a short while back - also on Eclipse. Chalk one up for large scale cross platform deployment in action.

Kudos to Adobe.

- Don

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

links for 2006-10-24

Monday, October 23, 2006

links for 2006-10-23

Sunday, October 22, 2006

SUN Questions Eclipse Download Metrics

An interesting note from a recent InfoWorld story - Sun is publicly questioning if Eclipse download stats are accurate. I suppose the implication is that the Eclipse Ecosystem is a wild exaggeration perpetrated by the 150 member organizations upon the software world, but I digress.

Of course the download stats are accurate, and they're huge. Just to give you an idea of the volume we face, since July 1 there have been 1,515,718 downloads of the 3.2 SDK from on Windows alone (add another 15% to that for other platforms). Moreover, the download stats we talk about usually don't include torrents (34,000 since July 1 2006), they don't include member downloads (reported by members to be about 80,000/month), and they don't include the untold number downloads of environments built on the Eclipse platform (like BEA Workshop or LynuxWorks' Luminosity IDE). They don't include downloads and updates from the update manager either! Moreover, when we talk about downloads we usually (wrongly) just talk about the Java SDK downloads. In just the past four weeks there have been 24,887 downloads of the C developer tools on Windows alone. Downloads of the Eclipse WTP all-in-one (SDK + WebTools) are also significant.

Live realtime download stats are available to all Eclipse Committers. If SUN would like my help walking any of their committers through the steps for getting Eclipse download stats, just drop me a line.

- Don

Friday, October 20, 2006

links for 2006-10-20

Colorado Software Summit

So, I've said it before, and before that, and I'll say it again - Colorado Software Summit is the best Software conference I've ever been too. It's small, remote, in a great setting and attracts a great group of people. Moreover, Wayne and Peggy Kovsky have managed to keep the conference virtually "marketing free" for almost a decade. I realize this blog is a little too late to convince you to go if you aren't already, but seriously - put it on your calendar for next year.

For those who are signed up, we're planning an informal "Eclipse 5th Birthday" kick-off on Thursday night at the Tenderfoot lounge after Mike's keynote (should wrap up around 7:45). Anyone is welcome, just drop us a line (email is on the Birthday page). Cake and beers (and sodas) will be on tap.

If you're in the Denver/Boulder area, you're more than welcome to join us although I admit it's a heck of a hike for free cake and beer, but maybe worth the great chance to socialize with some fellow Eclipser's.

- Don

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Eclipse ahead of Visual Studio?

Sorry for the use of a question mark in a title, I took a page from Jon Stewart's marketing handbook.

But the question is a fair one. Microsoft claims to have three million Visual Studio developers. IDC says there are over two-and-a-quarter million Eclispe developers. That's not a big gap, especially when we're tracking over half a million downloads a month of the Eclipse SDK production releases.

Tim O'Reilly comments on Preston Gralla's question - "Why has Microsoft Abaondoned the Power User?" (apparently the O'Reilly guys also watch Jon Stewart) -- and we're hearing the same sort of sentiments coming from developers -- as tools become "slick" they risk loosing extensibility.

Eclipse projects are often labeled as not having a great "out of box experience" and as not being "slick" -- but are constantly lauded for customizability and appeal to power user features. We have not abandoned the power user and "Design for Extensibility" as a priority keeps Eclipse on that track.

- Don

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Three Things I've Learned working in Open Source

It's quickly closing in on my first year at the Eclipse Foundation and I have learned a heck of a lot. People keep asking me how working in Open Source is different than what I was doing before, and I seem to be zeroing down on three key points.

1. Do everything in the open. This was a really tough thing for me to adjust to. I was used to just doing stuff and asking permission/forgiveness later, or for controversial stuff just firing off an email to my boss and saying "here's what I'm going to do". I never got away with that here. If I told Skip, Mike, Ian, Bjorn (etc) that I was going to do something the response was swift and consistent - "Did you ask the add-in provider reps for ideas?" "Did you ask the comitter reps for ideas?" "Blog about it first and see what the community thinks." "You need to open a bug, contact this mailing list and/or post to this newsgroup to see what the community thinks."

2. Check the ego at the door. Why do things in the open if you aren't completely open to feedback, new ideas and critique. In fact, I think that's the whole point of doing things in the open, and a key reason that Open Source is successful. Wisdom of crowds. Some criticism will be really polite (and constructive), some criticism will be really scathing (and yet still constructive). You need to learn to see through the emotion, pick up on the key ideas and work constructively with it.

3. Prepare to have your good ideas used mercilessly by everyone. I'm here to promote the Ecosystem, so I love it when we have a good idea that gets picked up and leveraged by our members and supporters. But part of doing things in the open is that your detractors can also see what your plans are well in advance and will imitate you as best they can. It is flattering of course, especially when their resources, reach and skills just aren't there to pull the ideas off to the same degree.

- Don

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

links for 2006-10-17

Monday, October 16, 2006

links for 2006-10-16

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Eclipse member (and ESE Sponsor) Ericsson launched a beta of their Service Development Studio (SDS), and it's based on, of course, the Eclipse platform. I saw some demos of this earlier in the year and it looks darned impressive.

- Don

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

links for 2006-10-11

Best Eclipse Tutorials and Videos on the Web

Just received this link from Intelligentedu on the "Best Eclipse Tutorials and Videos on the Web".

- Don

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Media and in-kind sponsors for Eclipse Con 2007

If you'd like to be a media or in-kind sponsor for EclipseCon 2007 then please drop me a note. I'm easy to find as I'm the only donald who works for

- Don

Monday, October 09, 2006

links for 2006-10-09

Indeed, Eclipse Demand Continues has updated their job trend data through October, and it's great to see Eclipse trends doing well. The gap with Visual Studio continues to narrow, albeit slightly since May. Putting the "Java" moniker on Eclipse and comparing to Java IDE's, you can see Eclipse really pulling away.

- Don

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ich bin ein Eclipser

Eclipse Summit Europe quietly sold out last week and I'm literally heading out to the airport right now to catch the red-eye. I think the event is going to be pretty low key from a publicity point of view, but definitely productive. For me, it's going to be nice to hook up with some of the European ecosystem that I haven't had a chance to mingle with yet.

If you're going to be there - be sure to check out the sponsor network to arrange some times to meet. Although, I'm sure there'll be lots of opportunity for that to happen randomly as well.

- Don

Saturday, October 07, 2006

links for 2006-10-07

Thursday, October 05, 2006

links for 2006-10-05

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

links for 2006-10-04

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

links for 2006-10-03

Foundation Track at Eclipse Summit Europe

With an ever growing list of European members we are looking to do more membership and foundation activities in Europe. Eclipse Summit Europe is a great focal point for just such a thing. For example, the Requirements and Planning councils will be meeting throughout the week, the first time the Eclipse councils have met outside of North America.

Moreover, there is a "Foundation Track" throughout ESE that represents some of the information that can be found at a Members Meeting. Moreover, if you're a committer or from a member organization, be sure to drop by the members update on Wednsday afternoon.

- Don

Monday, October 02, 2006

links for 2006-10-02
  • Interesting note on SUN exodus of SOA talent back in the Spring to JackBE and that JackBE is basing their AJAX tools on Eclipse Platform.

Strategy as Ecology Article

If you're at all involved in the Eclipse Ecosystem from a marketing, management or business development perspective, you should make sure you've had a good read of the Strategy as Ecology article from HBR in 2004. Yup, it's $6 to buy the copyright and download, but well worth it.

One thing that really jumped out at me was the discussion on how to measure the health of your Ecosystem. Fact is, many of us measure health by numbers - how many members, how many downloads, how many posts, etc. But is that really a measure of health? It would be like saying "there are 4 billion more people on earth than 100 years ago, therefore we're more healthy".

Building on the ecosystem metaphor, the health of an ecosystem is better measured by productivity, robustness and niche creation. Productivity means how much value is being created in the ecosystem - taking raw materials (time, skills, tools) and converting them into something more valuable (better tools, applications, innovations). Robustness means how durable and able to adapt is the ecosystem to external events. Niche Creation is about the ability to expand the ecosystem with meaningful diversity. A great example of this is how quickly many vendors (members and not) have used Eclipse as the cornerstone of an AJAX offering.

Bottom line - we're striving and working on many ways to measure the health of our ecosystem. Raw numbers, although very impressive, only tell part of the story. Productivity, Robustness and Diversity (although difficult to quantify) are key.

- Don