Thursday, February 02, 2006

Battle of the IDEs

(Jan Liband from Encirq told me that I had not included the scale...Whoops, it was included in the original version...but not here. Sometimes you are too close to the data. Scale is 1-5, with 5 being the top score. Also, proprietary IDE is not ment to be a loaded term.)

Here is some data we collected last year, some of which was used in an Electronic Design article in January. As part of our surveying efforts, we ask developers to rate various IDE tool sets. In the survey these IDEs are listed by product name and vendor. In this case, we rolled up the specific IDEs into three categories.

1. Pure Eclipse SDK
2. Proprietary IDE (example: Tornado, etc.)
3. Eclipse-based IDE (example: Workbench, etc.)

The vendor experience rating may not translate well to downloading an SDK off the web but, of course, developers had no trouble in coming up with an opinion. We will take the data as it was reported, with some reservations about what it might mean.
What does the overall data mean? It appears that the developers we surveyed believe you can add value on top of an open source IDE and, that in some cases, those IDEs are superior to the traditional proprietary approach to IDE development.