By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-09-08 Print this article Print

. 1 Alternative to Microsoft"> Milinkovich said Eclipse stands as "the No. 1 alternative to Microsoft in size and scope" in the development tools space. However, the community plays a major part. "The value of the community is proportional to the number of functioning relationships between the people and groups within the community," he said.
As a case in point, Milinkovich said there are more than 70 Eclipse project leads, more than 740 committers, 25,000 Bugzilla users and more than 2 million Eclipse users.
And adoption of the Eclipse platform is worldwide. The United States is the leading adopter, with 19 percent of the overall adoption of the Eclipse platform. China follows with 14 percent; Japan and Germany both have 9 percent; France has 5 percent; Brazil has 4 percent; and India, Canada and Korea each have 3 percent, Milinkovich said. Eclipse provides an "architecture of participation" and offers low barriers of entry to newcomers, he said. Also, new add-ons are first-class citizens. "What is ingenious about Eclipse is that everything within Eclipse is a plug-in," he said. And "its laissez faire; you can never, ever pick a winner." Eclipse plans to release annual project updates. Click here to read more. Milinkovich showed an open-source maturity model developed at Carleton University, in Ottawa, that shows open-source adoption going from 0 to 5. At 0, a company is in the "denial" phase. At 1, the company is in the "user" phase. Level 2 is the "collaboration" phase, 3 is the "champion" phase, 4 is the "strategist" phase, and 5 is the "aggressive" phase. "In our experience it roughly takes a year to move an organization one level up," Milinkovich said. Another key ingredient in the Eclipse Foundations secret sauce is governance. Governance matters, Milinkovich said. "Everyone is equal at Eclipse," he said, indicating that no one company has veto power. Other key elements include quality and predictability, he said. While quality matters, predictability spurs adoption, he said. "For the last three years in a row, Eclipse has shipped more and more software at the end of June—this is absolutely not by accident," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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