It's no secret that mobile applications are becoming more prominent overall amid users moving en masse to handheld smartphones and tablets. Following this trend, mobile application development is gaining momentum within the Eclipse Foundation open source community, according to newly released report.
Findings about mobile computing and other aspects of software development and open source are featured in the Eclipse Open Source Developer Report, compiled this spring. The report surveyed 732 participants in Eclipse. In the mobile computing realm, 20 percent of respondents had developed mobile applications for both external and internal users, nearly double the approximately 12 percent of respondents that had done so last year. Overall, 43 percent have developed a mobile application and only 24 percent had no plans to develop mobile applications at all, a decrease from the 31.6 percent who had no plans in 2011.
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"Android and Apple iOS continue to dominate as the key platforms," said Ian Skerrett, vice president of Marketing and Ecosystem at Eclipse, in a blog post. Android was targeted by nearly 90 percent of developers building mobile applications while Apple's iOS was targeted by almost 80 percent. "It is a bit surprising that more developers are not using cross-platform frameworks. Sixty percent claim to use only the mobile OS SDK. JQuery Mobile (28.6 percent) and PhoneGap (17.9 percent) are the most popular mobile frameworks."
But only 4.1 percent of respondents reported mobile application development as their primary responsibility. Web and rich Internet application development held the top spot as the primary responsibility for 30.3 percent of respondents. The survey also finds more are planning for cloud computing and that 21 percent have deployed cloud applications. Still, about 48 percent have no plans to develop for the cloud, which is down from about 52 percent last year.
Elsewhere in the survey, Eclipse found that 54 percent of respondents contribute to open source because they want to "give back and support" open source. Sixty-one percent said corporate policies allow them to actively participate in open source projects, compared to 58 percent in 2011.
The survey also found that Git is gaining in popularity in the Eclipse software development community as a choice for source code management. Git/GitHub usage increased from 13 percent last year to 27 percent this year. Subversion, meanwhile, declined from roughly 52 percent to about 46 percent, but still remains the most popular code management system.
"For the first time this year we broke out Git and Github. I was surprised to see the vast majority of people specify Git (23 percent) and only 4.5 percent specify GitHub," Skerrett said. "This seems to show a lot of internal Git usage. Potentially a great opportunity for tool providers."