Windows is losing the battle for developer desktops and Subversion is still king of SCM, according to the results of this year’s Eclipse Community Survey.
When the Eclipse Community Survey began in 2007, only 20% of those who took the survey said they used Linux as their desktop operating system for development. That same year, 74% said they used Windows for their desktop development machines. But this year, that number has changed significantly.
In 2010, 33% of those who took the Eclipse Community Survey reported using Linux on their desktop. Conversely, only 58% reported using Windows there. Even Mac OS X gained ground on Windows, growing from just over 3% of Eclipse users to over 7%.
Ian Skerrett, director of marketing at the Eclipse Foundation, said that the move to Linux desktops was the most significant change seen in this year’s survey. Last year, SD Times and the Eclipse Foundation cited Canonical’s Ubuntu for its lagging support of Eclipse, as the distribution included only version 3.2 in its software repositories. Last fall, Canonical updated its Eclipse distribution.
When asked if this had an effect on the numbers, Skerrett said, “I think the Canonical package has helped, but I think in general Linux is just being used more on the desktop, so developers are more inclined to use Eclipse on Linux.”
While Linux gained significant ground on the developer desktop, it remained fairly static on the server. Forty-six percent of users said they were deploying to Linux. That’s just a bit more than the 44% who said they deployed to Windows. Neither number has changed significantly since 2009.
Eclipse developers are very up to date, said Skerrett. He said that more than 82% of users are on the latest version of Eclipse. “I’ve always known the Eclipse community moves quickly to a new release, but 82% in less than one year is pretty impressive. If you are building products that target Eclipse users, providing support for older versions of Eclipse might not be that important,” he said.
SCM systems were also a part of the survey. Subversion came out far ahead of the rest of the pack, with 58% of overall SCM usage in Eclipse. CVS use continued to dwindle and sits at 15% for 2010. The third most popular SCM system was Git, with 5.8% of users. Interestingly, 5% of Eclipse users do not use any form of SCM at all.