Interesting new project in Kickstarter to fund EasyEclipse for Java that is summarized as “Streamlined Java IDE + Funding model for the Eclipse open-source ecosystem”
This motto gives you already a hint about the twofold goal of the project:
Improve the Eclipse IDE for Java
In particular its integration with these technologies: Java (with support for Java 8), Maven, Ant, Git, SVN, CVS, XML, HTML, CSS together with the development of the following functionalities (from the project page):
- Guided installation wizard – to make it easy for you to create your ideal IDE. No need for additional connectors or update sites.
- Launcher bar – to provide a consistent and quick way to access the most frequently used views.
- Global search – a one-stop-shop for all searching activity.
- Minimalistic toolbar
- Cleaned-up menus – The contextual menus will be sanitized .
- Additional Code templates and preferences (e.g. for JUnit, Mockito, reading / writing files, etc.) so you can save the boilerplate and focus on your code.
- Tips and tricks
- Feedback plug-in -a plug-in that makes it easy to send feedback and error logs.
Contribute to the core Eclipse open-source components
EasyEclipse is NOT going to be free (nor open source) but they commit to devote some of the money earned from EasyEclipse licenses to pay EasyEclipse personnel or OSS committers to improve open source components.
According to this reddit discussion this is an option blessed by at least some of the people behind the Eclipse Foundation as a way to get additional funding to improve core Eclipse IDE components.
And all this for “only” an initial funding of 120.000 CAD
ICREA Research Professor at Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (UOC). Leader of the SOM Research Lab focusing on the broad area of systems and software engineering. Home page.
I would say that out of all the proposed improvements, lack of a global search feature is the only major pain point. Also, I was under the impression that Eclipse already integrates just fine with things like Git, Ant, etc.
In my mind, EasyEclipse raises two questions:
1. Are we heading towards a freemium business model for Eclipse?
2. Is the Eclipse OSS community not healthy enough to introduce these changes on its own? (some of them seem more like minor features)
I guess we’ll find out sooner or later.
Indeed Eclipse has integration for Ant, Git, Maven. However no special care is given to the workflows and integrations. As such when all things are added together with many other plug-ins, the resulting experience is far from being ideal. Some people are ok with it, some are annoyed and leave Eclipse in favour of other IDEs.
EasyEclipse does not aim at changing how Eclipse is made available from the Eclipse foundation website. Eclipse IDE has always been free and will always be free.
Because the Eclipse platform is no longer funded like it use to be, the problem tackled by Easyclipse is to find a sustainable way to fund the Eclipse ecosystem. The proposed approach consists in creating a distribution that focuses on Java and removes the wrinkles usually encountered with Eclipse (e.g. the complaints found on IhateEclipse.com).
Yes, this means making users pay, but the real target are corporate users because they are the one who have the most to win by giving an awesome tool to their developers, and saving them frustration with the tools.
In fact I think that by using the features proposed a couple times (install wizard, global search, better preferences, etc), the time saved will quickly overcome the product price.
I completely agree with you when you say that the Eclipse user experience for Java developers is currently in need of an update. That is, in my view, one of the main reasons why devs are switching to IntelliJ in droves these days. So you definitely have a market opportunity there.
I’m also sorry to hear that the Eclipse platform is not funded as it should be (I was not aware of that). It’s a shame really, since so much great work has been built around Eclipse throughout the years.
Anyways, best of luck with your project!