Regarding default preferences, the “best” thing to do is to capture what preferences the users are tweaking using an automated usage collection system. Then one can produce a report showing, for instance, how many users prefer line numbers in the margin. If the stats really do favor line numbers, then the default setting should be revisited regardless of history. If the stats show the opposite, then the reports can be published, which should partly help to pacify those who incorrectly assume that their preference is representative of the majority.
From: cross-project-issues-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cross-project-issues-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mickael Istria
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: [cross-project-issues-dev] FW: [Doug on the Eclipse CDT] New comment on "Eclipse smells kind of dead"???.
I don't think an new web page would help much.
If you listen to most recurrent critics about Eclipse, all their hate goes to default Eclipse packaging (available bundles), default configuration (preferences, perspectives) and missing features (nested projects) compared to NetBeans or IntelliJ. However, most of them understand that the community is awesome and that it is easy to get support and that Eclipse is still the place where a lot of innovation happens. I never heard someone complaining about the downloads landing page.
So IMO, effort is to be done in providing a good IDE package with an improved default configuration -eg. remove some useless features such as CVS, show line numbers by default...-. Effort should be made in listening more to feedback of users and give more importance to their requests. How to know what they want? A solution could be to create a wide-audience survey where people would be able to describe the set of features they'd like to have enabled by default, and some basic choices for preferences. With these reports, it would give some clues about how to make the most relevant packages for the various use-case.