Eclipse is gaining ever wider acceptance in the developer community – Borland/CodeGear is using it for JBuilder 2008, Adobe is using it for the Flex/AIR line-up and Web 2.0 developer Aptana is using it for Aptana Studio, Google for GWT and Android plus grandfather IBM uses Eclipse all over the place.
Not All Good News
However, a recent review of Eclipse done by Evans Corp , slices of which were featured at Infoworld, details the ungainliness that has accompanied the rapid expansion of Eclipse over the past 5 years. Also note what Eclipse leaders primary goal is – more 3rd party tools using the IDE:
“That Evans Data survey, which featured a variety of IDEs ranging from Visual Studio to Eclipse to CodeGear Delphi, had the Eclipse platform ranking seventh out of nine in ease of use and fifth out of nine in debugger capabilities. It ranked ninth out of nine in documentation, application modeling tools, profile tools, technical support, and sample applications. The Eclipse IDE came up eighth out of nine in performance of resulting applications.
But the Eclipse IDE did rank second in usage, first in its ability to integrate third-party tools, first in availability of third-party tools, and first in size and quality of its developer community.
Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich is undaunted by the findings. “Im not concerned about the numbers. Ranking low in tech support? Well, you know what? We dont do tech support,” Milinkovich said. There are, however, commercial avenues where users can get support for Eclipse, he noted. “
Eclipse Support Here
So with that let me introduce you to 2 vendors that offer tech support and developer forums and polished Eclipse products
Genuitec – MyEclipse covers primarily Java development stack for $30-150US per year
Aptana -Aptana Studio does the rapidly growing AJAX and Web 2.0 space for $100/year
Here are some other resources for Eclipse support:
Eclipse Wiki – broad range of topics using wiki
Eclipse as IDE – different blog approach
Eclipser – a Polish Eclipse support forum
Python/Jython with Eclipse – lots of useful help for Python/Jython users here
Spring Forum – a good forum for this popular add-on
So if you need Eclipse support, there are several resources available and growing. And in case
you think Eclipse is slowing down developing a wide set of 3rd party apps, take a look at Bioclipse that helps visualize and render complex bio and organic molecules.