Eclipse is decimating the IDE market

I’m a vim user myself, and I’m unlikely to switch, but I find this claim that Eclipse is fast becoming the dominant non-Visual Studio IDE interesting:

Here is my prediction: In five years Eclipse will be used in 70% of enterprise development regardless of the programming language (excluding Microsoft .NET languages). In 10 years, there will be a small cottage industry of commercial eclipse plug-ins but for the most part everyone who is not developing to the Microsoft platform, will be using open source Eclipse. In fact, I anticipate that Eclipse will invade non-enterprise tooling markets such as IDEs for embedded devices by that time. Like it or not, for the next 20 years the future of the IDE market appears to be Eclipse.

What is good here is that this dominant IDE is free software started out by a big bad company (IBM). What is somewhat surprising is that this is a client-side Java application though, we have to point it out, it doesn’t use Swing!

I think people feel the need for IDEs mostly because the languages or the API they use are not what they ought to be. A good language and a good API should not require wizards automatically generating code. But, sometimes, you have to live with Java or C++ and there, I agree, an IDE can be of some use. To some extent, vim is an IDE, though a light one that gets out of my way. I’m one of those people who hate code completion and wizards. In the good old days, we coded assembly code using hexadecimal editors, and we liked it!

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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