Happy 5th Birthday, Eclipse

With 10 times the monthly downloads of its closest open source rival, Eclipse has helped revitalize Java on the desktop and spawn a billion dollar ecosystem. Today the popular development platform celebrated its 5th anniversary with birthday parties around the world... (poll included)
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor on

The Eclipse Foundation celebrated the 5th anniversary of the popular open source development platform today. It was November 7, 20015th Birthday when IBM first released Eclipse as an open source project. At the time, the contribution was valued at $40 million, but has spawned over a billion dollar ecosystem according to some estimates.

The fast growing Eclipse community marked the event with over 30 birthday parties in locations around the world, from Bangalore to Boston, and from Portland to Paris. (I went to the one in Durham NC that was organized by Chris Laffra - one of the authors of The Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs - but was a bit too late for the prizes or the open bar).

"It's been one heck of a ride", says Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich. He credits the Eclipse community of developers and users for Eclipse's success. "I am constantly amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that comes from all of you that make up the Eclipse ecosystem. You are what keeps Eclipse the happening place it is."

Despite (or perhaps, because of) intense competition from rivals such as NetBeans, the Eclipse train shows no sign of slowing. For example, according to figures obtained by ZDNet, Eclipse SDK downloads are averaging about 10 times the equivalent number of NetBeans downloads per month. And that may only be a fraction of the true number. "We do know there are many more downloads that originate from other sources like bittorrent", says Eclipse Director of Ecosystem Development Donald Smith, "and we couldn't even begin to imagine how many downloads come from packaged applications built on Eclipse".

For more Eclipse birthday coverage see Planet Eclipse. What do you think of Eclipse and its competitors? Vote in the poll below and compare your answer to your peers.

[poll id=5] 

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