Foundation is IMO the only organization which is able to be efficient at listening to the "market" of IDEs
I strongly disagree with this statement. There are many organizations as well as companies out there that can perform this equally efficient if not better. In fact, there used to be a company in the past. Also, anything the Foundation does is an investment
as well. Simply put, in the end someone has to pay for it.
BTW, when doing competitive analysis I also disagree with an earlier argument that some ide isn't free and therefore doesn't count. There are a bunch of people out there that would rather spend a two digit amount for something that helps them get their
work done more efficiently.
Anyway, just looking at the raw numbers, the issue is obvious. There were *a million* commits in the "eclipse" project (what I consider "platform") within three years back in 2004. It was only a good third in the last three years (2010-2012).
Those commits went into a lot of things truly important for innovation higher up the stack (SWT, Text, JFace, Resources). SWT has been in maintenance mode since important committers left. Oracle is investing a lot into JavaFX. There is some shift towards
the web. There is a lot innovation happening at Orion. Also, the diversification into areas such as M2M, Polarsys, etc. help the Foundation maintaining a steady interest in the Foundation model. But what does this mean for the IDE?
Frankly, I think Orion is too early. There is still much attraction in native IDEs. We all have good ideas to improve the Eclipse IDE in ways we can. I've put energy into a proposal to address the preference issues within the packages. There is progress
on this end. I've also put quite a bit energy into improving things in the past as well. There is only so much you can do as a single contributor not even working full-time on things. But I got frustrated along the way. Too much of the platform is still dominated
and controlled too strictly by that one single company. Contributions got turned away because of the "lack of resources" argument and associated maintenance costs long term. To some point those arguments aren't completely invalid. I'm at a point of being resigned
when it comes to contributing to the platform.
Without a team that is sufficiently funded for an interesting time period, it's only the small steps we can do. I'm wondering if those small steps will be enough for the IDE to have a future. Well, being a German I am actually more concerned than wondering
but I consider this a better thing than not caring at all. I really appreciate the time and energy people are spending on this discussion.