Making Eclipse the Linux IDE

Last week, LinuxWatch and eWeek published an article ‘Linux developers considering move to Eclipse‘. The article summarizes a breakout session at the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. The result of the session was:

[….], it was decided to start making Eclipse, the open-source development platform, the Visual Studio for Linux.

To me this is a great example of the Eclipse ecosystem in action. A group of people from different organization, in this case the different Linux distros and the Russian Academy of Science, have identified a need and are now collaborating together to make it happen. This is how innovation happens on an open platform and in an open community.

btw, I think they are well on their way to making Eclipse the Linux IDE.   The Linux Distros Project has been great catalyst for this and I think CDT and the PDT project are helping drive this forward too.

2 thoughts on “Making Eclipse the Linux IDE

  1. A good indicator in how the Linux community perceives Eclipse is the activity found on IRC. The Linux community lives on IRC. Eclipse’s presence on IRC has been growing quite a bit with having more people idle in #eclipse. Most of the questions are coming from Linux and C guys. A big thing I think Eclipse needs to do is to make it easier to build Eclipse from source. That’s one of the biggest issues I see with people on IRC.

    “Why is it so hard to build Eclipse from source?”

    Linux guys like to build things from source. Some time ago I think we made a decision to treat source as just something we package for browsing convenience. This attitude needs to change so we can make our Linux adopters happier as they like to build things from source.

  2. Building the SDK isn’t *too* bad. The native bits cause problems and of course Orbit doesn’t help with its OSGi-ification, but in general it’s not too bad. The biggest problems we have are: 1) mozilla/firefox moving target and 2) platform coverage. These hard-coded os-ws-arch triplets are a giant PITA.

    Building plugins and features, however, is another story. I don’t know if it’s just that PDE Build isn’t as well known as it should be or not, but building third party stuff is a nightmare. Ben Konrath can probably explain better than I can but I think I speak for everyone when I say that it’s a barrier to getting packages into the distros when it requires help for all newcomers to build their favourite plugin/feature. We’re ramping up our package count in Fedora but the fact that no one creates “proper” (call it “traditional” if you want) source zips/gzips makes it difficult to start with. Couple that with the lack of a simple ./configure; make; make install and you’ve got a lot of questions and copying of scripts. Unfortunately everyone always just seems to end up using the same hacks and forgetting about it until the next package or update comes along.

    As for Linux adoption in general, we need to ramp up the use of the CDT. I’ve also been getting some questions about PyDev recently since python is so popular these days.

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