New Eclipse Download Page

May 17, 2016

The Eclipse Board of Directors has asked the Eclipse Foundation to redesign the eclipse.org download page. The current download page is focused on the existing Eclipse packages and projects that are compatible with the Eclipse Platform. However, in the last number of years the Eclipse community has grown in diversity and now includes may projects that don’t necessarily fit into our packages or even the Eclipse Platform. Therefore,  the goal of a new download page is to reflect this growing diversity and showcase this diversity on our most important page.

Given this direction, we have created a draft of the new download page. The design of this new page was completed with the following objectives/assumptions:

  1. It is assumed a large majority of the visitors to the download page will be looking for technology found on the current download page. Therefore, we need to make it clear and simple for individuals that want to download the Eclipse JDT, Eclipse JavaEE tools, Eclipse CDT, etc.
  2. Our focus on installing the existing Eclipse packages is to encourage individuals to use the Eclipse Installer. It is our hope that in 12 months the current package download page will no longer be needed. The current package download page will remain the same and will be linked from this new page.
  3. We need to limit the number of options on the download page so it doesn’t become overwhelming. The goal for the new design is we don’t have more than 20 different options on the page.

 

As you will see the new download page has 3 main sections:

  1. Tool Platforms

Our challenge is we now have multiple platforms for creating/integrating tools. For the Eclipse Classic, our strategy is to point everyone to the Installer. For our download page, we will only promote the Installer and not individual downloads of packages or projects.

If a tool is not accessible from the Installer, we will evaluate the inclusion on the download page based on the following: 1) Project is a platform for integrating developer tools, 2) project has a download ‘tool product’ that can be used by a developer immediately after the installation. 2) project is not available as a plugin into the Eclipse Classic platform, 3) project is following the EDP :-)

  1. Runtime Platforms

We have a number of projects that are not tools but application/runtime platforms for running applications. A Runtime Platform will be defined as a project that includes a runtime container, like Eclipse Jetty, Eclipse Equinox, etc.

  1. Technology Communities

It is important we promote our Working Groups and other technology communities within Eclipse. Working Groups are a critical part of the Foundation strategy so we need to include them on our highest traffic web page. For Working Groups or communities to be included, they will need to have a maintained download page with at least 3 different downloads that include 3 different Eclipse projects and following the EDP.

I think the new page looks great. It is modern, simple and achieves all the goals. Thanks for Eric, Kat, Matt and everyone else at the Foundation for doing a great job.

Let us know what you think. Please leave your feedback on this bug.


Can open source solve the too many IoT standards problem?

April 22, 2016

An important issue in the IoT industry is the plethora of IoT standards that exist today and new standards being created. The current situation for IoT standards has been described as a ‘Trainwreck for IoT Vendors‘ and the implication being IoT solutions are going to be pretty dumb. In the recent IoT Developer Survey, interoperability was one of the top concerns, so it is definitely been on the minds of IoT developers.

If we look at why there are so many IoT standards, there are many answers. The simple fact is that all standards are not created equal and some solve very different problems. Many of the different standards exist at different layers of the stack; just like the Internet. There is also lot of innovation required in the IoT industry to enable many of the use cases,  for example, LPWAN. We also have to remember IoT is not new. Lots of industries have have massive investments in equipment that uses an existing standard that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Those are some of the valid reasons for the different IoT standards. Of course, they are many not great reasons; as the saying goes ‘standards are like toothbrushes, everyone wants to use one but not other peoples’. XKCD captures the spirit of the worst possible situation for a new IoT standard.

standards

It is time we accept there will be a plethora of IoT standards. Some will become more widely adopted than others, some will fail but we will never get to the ‘one IoT standard to rule them all’. It is just not realistic.

However, we still need to solve the issue of interoperability. There are many use cases of Things/Devices that communicate using different standards but will need to communicate in a consistent manner. It seems to me the only way this interoperability challenge will be solved is in software and ideally open source software. We need an open software platform that enables the standards bazaar and not try to create a cathedral. Kai Kreuzer, Eclipse SmartHome project leader, has published a great video on this topic for Home Automation.

Interoperability is not going to be solved in standards groups. It is going to be solved with running software. Open source IoT platforms are going to be the bedrock for the IoT industry. There is just no other way it will work.


Profile of an IoT Developer: Results of the IoT Developer Survey

April 14, 2016

Today we release the results of our second annual IoT Developer Survey. Like last year it provides an interesting insight into how developers are building IoT solutions.

This year the Eclipse IoT Working Group partnered with IEEE IoT and the AGILE-IoT research project to expand the scope and respondent pool for the survey. Thanks to this partnership, we had 528 participants in the survey, up from 392 last year. The partnership also allowed us to analyze the data to look for any significant difference between the different IoT communities.

As with any surveys of this nature, I encourage readers to see these results as one data point that should be compared with other data and industry trends. These results will have certain biases but I do believe these results identify some interesting trends in the IoT industry.

Key Trends for IoT developers

  1. Companies are shipping IoT solutions today. 46% of the respondents claim their company develops and deploys an IoT solution today. Another 29% plan to do so in the next 6 months. This is a clear indication the industry is maturing quickly.

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  1. Security continues to be a key concern. It’s not a big surprise that security continues to be the top concern in IoT. Interoperability is the second key concern. I do believe we are on the way to solving some of the interoperability issues with projects like Eclipse Hono, Eclipse Smarthome and Eclipse Kura. I also think some of the work the AGILE-IoT project is doing will address these issues. However, it still seems the IoT industry still needs to focus on security. It is a difficult issue that needs to be solved.For companies that have deployed a solution today, performance is rising to the third key concern. It is not clear what the performance issues are, but it is something that warrants more investigation.

concerns

  1. Top IoT programming languages: Java, C, JavaScript, Python.  Not surprising to see these languages as being the most popular for developers. I do find some people question the use of Java in IoT. The Eclipse IoT community has a number of Java projects, so there is some bias in the results toward Java. However, even when removing the respondents from the Eclipse IoT community, the top 3 languages are C, Python and Java.

languages

  1. MQTT and HTTP are the dominant message protocols.Without a doubt MQTT has become a pervasive and widely used protocol for IoT. HTTP being the other protocol.
    The other messaging protocol supported in the Eclipse IoT community is CoAP. It did not receive as much support, but it does appear to have support in certain industries. For instance, the use of CoAP increases if the respondent is in the IoT Platforms or Smart Cities industry. The fact IoT Platforms are supporting CoAP is expected and a good thing. It does seem Smart Cities industry is using CoAP but I am not sure where or how. If anyone has details, please leave a comment.As an aside, the success of MQTT is a testament to IBM’s strategy to standardize MQTT at OASIS and start the Eclipse Paho project. It really is a perfect case study for using open source and open standards to gain broad industry adoption. For example, 1) MQTT is now supported by IBM Bluemix, Amazon AWS IoT, MS Azure IoT, plus every other  IoT middleware platform in the market, 2) the new Arduino board is also using MQTT to communicate with their cloud, and 3) Eclipse Paho and Eclipse Mosquitto are some of the most popular and active projects at Eclipse. MQTT is everywhere. Well done IBM.

protocols

  1. Linux is the dominant IoT operating system. Over 70% of the respondents claimed they use Linux for their IoT operating system. The next more popular section at 23% was No OS/Bare metal. In the last number of years, a number of new IoT operating systems have been introduced (ex. ARM mbed, Contiki, RIOT, Zephyr) but the adoption still hasn’t materialized. It seems many companies are using Yocto to create their own Linux distro for their IoT solution. It will be interesting to watch how these other operating systems grow in comparison to Linux.

os

  1. Amazon leads in IoT cloud services. Not terribly surprising Amazon came out on top as the top cloud service provider. However, Private/On premise was a close second so I think this is an indication that IoT cloud services is still in its infancy. What did surprise me was that Microsoft Azure was number 3 in the survey and does even better when a company has a deployed solution. This seems to reflect MS Azure’s heavy emphasis on IoT use cases.

cloud

  1. Open source is pervasive in IoT. I strongly believe open source is critical to the success of the IoT industry. Therefore, I was encouraged to see 58% of the respondents are actively engaged with open source. I think it is a great statement on the work we have been doing at Eclipse IoT to create an open source community for the IoT industry.

 

Trends between 2015 and 2016

This is the second year we have done this type of survey so I was curious what has changed between 2015 and 2016. Interestingly enough, not a lot has changed. Many of the trends and highlights mentioned above are consistent with the 2015 results. This consistency would appear to confirm that the results are a good reflection of how developers are building IoT solutions.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. We definitely appreciate your input. The complete results are available on slideshare and the raw data in xls and ods format. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.


EclipseCon Wrap-up: Eclipse Che, Microsoft, and much more

March 11, 2016

EclipseCon 2016 was an exciting week of great technical sessions, announcements and lots of hall-way conversations.

Here is a summary of the highlights:

Announcing Eclipse Che

We did a major announcement of Eclipse Che project. Tyler Jewel, Eclipse Che project leader and CEO of Codenvy, did a great job as the opening keynote for EclipseCon and presenting his vision of the future of IDEs.  The key concept about Che is the universal workspace.

Thanks to InfoQ for recording Tyler’s keynote.

An important part of the Che announcement was the support from some significant vendors, including:

 

Microsoft Joins the Eclipse Foundation

The other big announcement was Microsoft joining the Eclipse Foundation as a Solution member. This is big news for the Eclipse community and demonstrates how Microsoft is really changing their attitudes toward open source and Eclipse.

The loud round of applause from the EclipseCon attendees shows that the Eclipse community really welcomes MS participation. It also turned out to be hugely popular on twitter. The above tweet was re-tweeted over 180 times.

IoT Announcements

I really enjoyed the IoT Summit. It was a nice mix of Eclipse IoT project and other IoT topics, like the ThingsNetwork, Apache Spark, etc.

Some of the IoT related announcements include:

 

Overall, an exciting but exhausting week. It will be nice to enjoy my vacation next week.:-)


Open IoT at CeBIT

March 3, 2016

In two weeks, CeBIT, one of the world’s largest tech trade show, will begin. As you would expect, this year CeBIT will have a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). In Europe, especially Germany, IoT is very focused on the Industrial IoT and the Industry 4.0 initiative, so this will be a big deal at CeBIT.

The Eclipse IoT Working Group will be well represented at CeBIT. Mike Milinkovich is  giving an ‘Open IoT’ keynote talk on March 15 in Hall 13. Benjamin Cabe will be demoing Eclipse IoT technology in the Eurotech booth.

In fact, Eurotech is showcasing at CeBIT the power an open IoT strategy can have for company. Eurotech is a huge supporter of the Eclipse IoT Working Group and leads the Eclipse Kura project. They have also been actively involved in open standards like MQTT and OSGi.  Their commitment to IoT open source and IoT open standards has allowed them to create a significant partner ecosystem and showcase at CeBIT, including Red Hat, Hitachi High-Tech, BitReactive, Eclipse, OSGi Alliance, Om7Sense, Misurio, ELCO, and FSI.

For IoT to be successful, the industry needs to break down the proprietary silos that still dominate IoT solutions. A commitment to open standards and open source is how companies will win and grow their markets. If you are planning to attend CeBIT, check out the Eurotech booth in Hall 13 to see an open IoT strategy in action.

 


Participate in the IoT Developer Survey 2016

February 11, 2016

We are pleased to launch the 2016 edition of the IoT Developer Survey. This year the survey is collaboration between the Eclipse IoT Working Group, IEEE IoT Initiative and the AGILE Project.

The goal of the IoT Developer Survey is to better understand how IoT developers are building IoT solutions. The survey looks at a number of issues such as experience level, types of applications being developed, technology being used and perceptions of open hardware, open source and industry leaders. Last year we did a similar survey and the results provided an interesting snapshot of the IoT Developer community.

The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete. We hope anyone who has experience with IoT will participate and provide their feedback. The deadline to participate is March 25.

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The buzz around Eclipse Che

February 9, 2016

Just over two weeks ago the Eclipse Che project released a beta version of their Che 4.0 release. We published an article introducing Eclipse Che in our Eclipse Newsletter so readers can learn more about the highlights of Che.

The feedback in the community has been pretty exciting to watch. On twitter, people are certainly creating a buzz about the future of the IDE.

 

InfoWorld is calling Eclipse Che the launch of the cloud ide revolution.

The Eclipse Che GitHub repo has 1500 stars and 200 forks.

There have been over 100,000 downloads of the Che beta so people are trying it out.

The buzz is certainly growing around Eclipse Che. At EclipseCon in March you will be able to experience Eclipse Che first hand, including Tyler Jewell’s keynote address on the Evolution and Future of the IDE. If you are interested in the future of cloud IDEs then plan to attend EclipseCon

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