As I'm looking at Eclipse IDE related comments on Twitter every day, I see many comments about Eclipse IDE "look ugly", "look unclean", "look messy" and things like that from many people, whereas most people I know are using Linux find Eclipse IDE nicer than competitors.
I would strongly blame the Windows theme for that. We've got a bug pending *for 7 years* about the workbench active parts hard to figure out ( https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=325937
), which was fixed on the Linux theme with good feedback. Proposals were made to improve the Windows theme, but were declined for some reasons (which are IMHO way less important than having users feel comfortable with the theme).
If we want to consider UX as one of our main area of work, we need to get it fixed. The theme is the 1st thing a user sees after splash screen. If it is not very usable, then it gives the impression everything sucks.
Unfortunately, all my attempts to fix the Windows theme did fail to pass review, so I don't know how to do it. I believe at that point, it's important that we as a theme commit in fixing this bug and making the Windows theme nicer and -as it's not so easy as it seems- that we establish a collective plan to tackle this issue.
The first question would be: who among the active contributors is using Windows and would be interested to work on that (by incremental steps) ?
The 2nd question would be: how can we know we're making progress? Do some of you have some colleagues on Windows being Eclipse *IDE* users who could provide feedback?
The 3rd question would be: how can we know when we're in a good enough state?