Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

The 2020 IoT Developer Survey Goes to the Edge

Our 2020 IoT Developer Survey is open until June 26, and for the first time, the survey includes questions about how developers are incorporating edge computing technologies into their IoT solutions.

With your input, everyone in the IoT ecosystem — original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software vendors, hardware manufacturers, service providers, enterprises of all sizes, and individual developers — will have a better understanding of the latest IoT solutions and service development trends and how these trends impact their strategies and businesses.

Completing the survey also gives you a unique opportunity to influence the roadmaps of the Eclipse IoT Working Group and the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group. IoT and edge technologies are intrinsically intertwined, and your choices for development tools, architectures, deployment technologies, security, connectivity, and other aspects will help ensure our working groups continue to focus on your top priorities and requirements for cloud-to-edge IoT solution development.

This is the sixth year for the IoT Developer Survey, and every year the survey results provide valuable insight into the requirements, priorities, and perceptions in active IoT developer communities. In 2019, we received more than 1,700 survey responses, including more than 1,100 responses from developers who were working on IoT projects in a professional capacity — a clear indication the IoT ecosystem recognizes the value of the survey results.

With your input, we were able to identify relevant IoT technologies, leading architectures, applications, and standards on a global scale. The 2019 survey also revealed that IoT development is expanding at a rapid pace, fueled predominantly by increasing investments in industrial markets. The results highlighted developers’ focus on IoT platforms, home automation, and industrial automation.

The IoT Developer Survey is distinct from, but complementary to, our IoT Commercial Adoption Survey. The IoT Commercial Adoption Survey goes beyond the developer perspective to find out what organizations are doing with IoT and their plans for production deployments. With the results from this survey, stakeholders including software vendors, IoT platform vendors, IoT solution providers, and manufacturing organizations gain critical insight into the right next steps for their businesses.

Take a Few Minutes to Complete the IoT Developer Survey

The IoT Developer Survey is the IoT industry’s largest developer survey and I encourage all developers in the IoT ecosystem to add their voice. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

You can access the survey here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Eclipse Theia and VS Code Differences Explained

After we announced the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0 and published a blog about it, we received a number of questions about the differences between Theia and Visual Studio (VS) Code and why we’re calling Theia “a true open source alternative” to VS Code. Here are some clarifications I hope will help people understand the differences between the two and the value of Theia.

In the Words of Microsoft

I want to emphasize that VS Code is a great product that is loved by many developers. This is the primary reason Theia adopted many of the VS Code user experience features.

But, VS Code is not truly open source. Microsoft explains it well in their VS Code FAQ: “…it is more accurate to say that Visual Studio Code is “built” on open source, rather than “is” open source…”

Purpose

The first thing to understand is that, at least for this release, Theia is not intended to be a tool that developers download and use directly. There isn’t even a developer tool download available from the Theia project.

Theia 1.0 is intended as a production-ready platform that any company (e.g. ARM, D-Wave, Gitpod, Google, Red Hat) or community (e.g. Arduino) who wants to provide their adopters with a modern developer experience can build from. The easiest way to see Theia in action is to try products such gitpod.io, or Red Hat Code Ready Workspaces, or ARM’s mbed Studio.

Licensing and Data Collection

Eclipse Theia is built, distributed, and used under the Eclipse Public License, a commercial-friendly open source license approved by the Open Source Initiative.

The VS Code repository on GitHub includes code that is licensed by MIT, but the VS Code distribution is released under a proprietary Microsoft product license. For most developers this is not an issue, as the tool is free, as in free beer. However, this approach means that it is difficult for companies and communities other than Microsoft to use VS Code in their own products. They require an open source platform which is free, as in freedom.

The Microsoft VS Code license also indicates the software may collect information about how the software is used and who is using it, and then send that data to Microsoft. The license makes it clear you can opt out of many telemetry data collection scenarios, but not all.

Vendor Neutrality

Eclipse Theia is freely available to everyone who wants to use it. There are no obligations to, or dependencies on, any company that has contributed to the code base or that uses it.

VS Code is a Microsoft product that is largely developed as open source, but is controlled by Microsoft. Anyone who relies on VS Code is then dependent on the future investment of Microsoft to continue supporting on-going development of the product. Theia is one of the most active and diverse projects at the Eclipse Foundation with steady contributions from ARM, Ericsson, Red Hat, SAP, TypeFox, and others.

Architecture

Theia builds on top of many of the core open source pieces of VS Code such as the Monaco editor, the extension model, Language Server Protocol and the Debug Adapter Protocol. But Theia and VS Code are architecturally different in two main ways:

  • Eclipse Theia allows developers to create desktop and cloud IDEs using a single, open source technology stack. Microsoft now offers VS Online for cloud development environments, but like VS Code, it cannot be used in open source initiatives such as Gitpod.
  • Eclipse Theia allows developers to customize every aspect of the IDE without forking or patching the code. This means they can easily use Theia as a base to develop desktop and cloud IDEs that are fully tailored for the needs of internal company projects or for commercial resale as a branded product. VS Code is a developer IDE only. It was never intended to be used as the base for other IDEs, extended, or further distributed.

Extensions

Theia uses the same extension model as VS Code, so any extension that works with VS Code will work with Theia. Unfortunately, the terms of use for the Microsoft Marketplace can only be accessed from Microsoft products. Because of that, Theia uses the open source extensions in the vendor-neutral Eclipse Open VSX marketplace. These extensions can be used by anyone, with no restrictions, whether they’re developing in Theia or in VS Code. Better yet, the code that implements the Open VSX marketplace is open source, and enabling self-hosted repositories within your organization is one of the stated goals of the project.

Get More Information

For more insight into the differences between Eclipse Theia and VS Code, read the Jaxenter interview with Theia project co-lead, Sven Efftinge.

To learn more about Theia and start using it, visit the website.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 5, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Open Source

Add Your Voice to the 2020 Jakarta EE Developer Survey

Our third annual Jakarta EE Developer Survey is now open and I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and complete the survey before the April 30 deadline. Your input is extremely important.

With your feedback, the entire Java ecosystem will have a better understanding of the requirements, priorities, and perceptions in the global Java developer community. This understanding enables a clearer view of the Java industry landscape, the challenges Java developers are facing, and the opportunities for enterprise Java stakeholders in the cloud native era.

The Jakarta EE Developer Survey is one of the Java industry’s largest developer surveys. Since the survey’s inception, we’ve received thousands of responses from developers around the world, including 1,700 responses in 2019 — a clear indication the Java developer community recognizes the value of the survey results.

Last year, we were able to share critical insight into the state of cloud native innovation for enterprise Java development globally, including expected growth rates for Java apps in the cloud as well as leading architectures, applications, and technologies. We were also able to share the community’s top priorities for Jakarta EE.

This year, we’re asking developers to tell us more about their next steps for Java and cloud native development and their choices for architectures, technologies, and tools as cloud native resources for Java mature.

With this updated information, platform vendors, enterprises, and individual developers in the Java ecosystem will have a better understanding of how the cloud native world for enterprise Java is unfolding and what that means for their strategies and businesses. And the Jakarta EE community at the Eclipse Foundation will have a better understanding of the community’s top priorities for future Jakarta EE releases.

The Jakarta EE Developer Survey is your opportunity to add your voice to the global Java ecosystem and we’re counting on our entire community to help us gain the broadest possible view of the state of cloud native technologies in the context of enterprise Java. Best of all, this year we’ve organized the survey so it takes less than 10 minutes to complete!

To access the survey, click here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

April 7, 2020 at 8:02 am

Theia: An Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code

With the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0, organizations and vendors that build cloud and desktop integrated development environments (IDEs) have a production-ready, vendor-neutral, and open source framework for creating customized development environments for both desktops and browsers. Theia is an all-new code base with independent governance from the Eclipse desktop IDE.

Theia delivers an open source, extensible and adaptable platform that provides all of the capabilities of VS Code but which can be tailored to specific use cases. It can also leverage all of the extensions available for Microsoft Visual Studio (VS) Code — one of the world’s most popular development environments.

Industry Leaders Are Adopting Theia

The Theia project was started in 2016 by Ericsson and TypeFox. In addition to Eclipse Che using Theia as its web IDE, many organizations of all sizes rely on Theia as the foundational building block for their development environments:

  • Arm Mbed Studio builds on the Theia IDE
  • Google Cloud Shell runs Theia as its editor
  • The default IDE for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces is based on Eclipse Theia
  • The frontend of Arduino Pro IDE is based on Theia
  • Gitpod’s development environment is based on Theia
  • SAP Business Application Studio (the next generation of SAP Web IDE) is based on Theia

Other prominent adopters include D-Wave Systems, EclipseSource, and IBM.

Last year, Theia’s momentum and adoption reached the point where the project team approached the Eclipse Foundation to host the project. With over 375 open source projects, we’ve established a track record of the vendor-neutral governance, processes, and the community building needed to further guide Theia’s growth.

Today, Theia is one of the Eclipse projects promoted by the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG), an industry collaboration focused on delivering development tools for, and in, the cloud.

Theia Goes Beyond VS Code

Theia is being developed by a diverse group of contributors, committers and supporting companies such TypeFox, Ericsson, Red Hat and ARM. With over fifty committers and contributors over the past three months, it is a fast-moving, welcoming, and open community where contributions are accepted from all.

Theia’s more than an alternative to VS Code. The main differentiator between Theia and VS Code is that Theia is specifically intended to be adopted by other companies and communities to build and deploy a modern web-based developer experience. VS Code is great, but it is only ever going to be a Microsoft product.

Theia is intended to be modified, extended, and distributed by folks who want to create developer tools that look as great as VS Code (including using the same Monaco Editor) and can make use of the VS Code extension ecosystem. Of course, it is licensed under the EPL 2.0, so it is easy for organizations or individuals to build and ship products using Theia.

Theia also provides important advantages that give IDE developers considerably more freedom and flexibility than VS Code offers. For example, Theia’s architecture is designed to be more modular and extensible than the VS Code so developers have a greater ability to customize their solutions for specific requirements. VS Code enables a great extension ecosystem. Theia goes beyond that and is designed to be modified and extended at all levels of its architecture.

In addition, Theia is designed from the ground up to run in both desktop environments as well as in browser and remote server environments. IDE developers can write the source code for their development environment once, then build a desktop IDE, a cloud IDE, or both, without rewriting any code. With Theia, it’s easy to move between desktop and cloud environments at any time.

Theia uses the Eclipse Open VSX Registry, an open-source alternative to the Microsoft Visual Studio marketplace. In the spirit of a true open source community, the extensions available in this free marketplace can be used in VS Code as well as in Theia.

Just the Beginning for Eclipse Theia

This first official Theia release confirms the technology is mature, stable, and ready for anyone and everyone to use as a foundation for their custom cloud or desktop IDE. Future releases will provide a desktop download for developers who want to use Theia directly as their development tool.

I want to sincerely thank everyone involved in bringing this important advance in open source cloud development tools to this critical point. With the excitement and rapid uptake that Theia has experienced, I’m sure this is just the first of many successful releases.

I encourage IDE developers to join the world-leading organizations that are already using Theia so they can start benefiting from its capabilities and flexibility.

To get involved with the Eclipse Theia Project and begin contributing, please visit https://theia-ide.org/.

For more information about the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group, view the Charter and ECD Working Group Participation Agreement (WGPA), or email membership@eclipse.org. You can also join the ECD Tools mailing list.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

April 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Real-World IoT Adoption

The results of our first IoT Commercial Adoption survey tell a clear story about what organizations are doing with IoT right now and their plans for production deployments. The goal of the survey was to go beyond the IoT Developer Survey we’ve conducted for the last six years to gain insight into the industry landscape from the point of view of a broader spectrum of IoT ecosystem stakeholders.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • IoT may well live up to the hype, if somewhat slower than expected. Just under 40 percent of survey respondents are deploying IoT solutions today. Another 22 percent plan to start deploying IoT within the next two years.
  • IoT investment is on the rise, with 40 percent of organizations planning to increase their IoT spending in the next fiscal year.
  • Open source pervades IoT as a key enabler with 60 percent of companies factoring open source into their IoT deployment plans.
  • Hybrid clouds lead the way for IoT deployments. Overall, AWS, Azure, and GCP are the leading cloud platforms for IoT implementations.

The Commercial Perspective Is Crucial

The survey asked respondents to identify the requirements, priorities, and challenges they’re facing as they deploy and start using commercial IoT solutions, including those based on open source technologies. The survey ran for two months last fall and received responses from more than 360 individuals from a wide range of industries and organizations. You can read the full survey results here, and I would encourage IoT ecosystem players to do that.

IoT Ecosystem Players Must Focus on Real-World Requirements

As our survey results revealed, each player in the IoT ecosystem has an important role in driving IoT adoption. Here are some key takeaways broken down by stakeholder group.

  • Software vendors should incorporate open source technologies into their solutions to give customers the flexibility and control they need.
  • IoT platform vendors should build offerings that support hybrid cloud environments to become more responsive to customer requirements. At least part of the reason multi-cloud adoption is still in its early stages is because — not surprisingly — the leading cloud providers don’t offer their IoT platform services on other cloud platforms.
  • IoT solution providers should be prepared for extensive and intensive proofs of concept and pilot projects before they get to the stage of full production rollouts. With companies reluctant to invest heavily in IoT before they’re confident in the return on investment, these practical and tangible demonstrations will be key to encouraging broader adoption.
  • Manufacturing organizations should implement IoT solutions that tie automation, asset management, and logistics together. The most innovative organizations will also rely on IoT technologies to improve their value proposition to customers, for example, by including preventive maintenance features on manufacturing equipment.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT

It will take a diverse community co-developing a uniform set of building blocks based on open source and open standard to drive broad IoT adoption. If you’re interested in participating in the industry-scale collaboration happening at the Eclipse IoT Working Group or contributing to Eclipse IoT projects, please visit https://iot.eclipse.org/.

As an added benefit of membership, Eclipse IoT Working Group members receive exclusive access to detailed industry research findings, including those from the annual IoT Developer Survey, which are leveraged by the entire industry.

The 2020 IoT Developer Survey is coming soon. If you’d like to contribute questions or provide feedback, join the working group mailing list here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm