Few weeks ago I was talking to Jiří Kovalský about NetBeans and its 1,000,000 active users and I asked him to check whether it is possible to have the number of active users by month or not and today he got back to me with a nice chart showing number of active users for each month since Jan 2004. Jiri is NetBeans community manager and also he is the first person in the NetBeans team I get acquaintance long ago during NetCat50.
Here I attached the chart and then I will do an short analysis of what the chart can represent.
Now a brief overview of the chart:
- NetBeans team started to count the active users in Jan 04
- During summer and new year eve there is a decline in the number of active users each year and as overall number of users growth, this decline can be seen more clearly.
- Number of active users is increasing continuously.
Now I want to merge the above chart with another table which is different NetBeans versions release dates.
- The last line in the bar is for June 2011, The July numbers are not calculated yet.
- It took NetBeans two years, until Jan 2006, to get 200,000 active users at the beginning but the growth in number of active users was accelerating from the beginning as chart suggests.
- In its next 3 years, from Jan 2006 to Jan 2009 number of users increased by 400,000 to a total of 600,000 active users which means the user growth accelerated quite well. This is the post NetBeans 5 ear when each version’s changelog had quite a large number number of bug fixes, performance improvements and new features.
- The biggest increase in the number of users in duration of one year can be seen between June 2010 and June 2011 with about 200,000 users. This is the second year that ORACLE was in charge of Sun and its products.
- It looks like that after NetBeans 6.9 the number of active users is increasing faster than before and the reason is clearly the stability and performance improvement in addition to tons of new features in the core and support for PHP and C++.
As a long time user of NetBeans IDE I should say that NetBeans has come a long long way to become the IDE that we use in our daily jobs nowadays. The number of features introduced in the IDE and the number of bug fixes is enormous. You can find and try NetBeans 4 or 5 and compare it to NetBeans 7 to understand the huge distance between these two.
NetBeans seen several shifts in its direction specially during netbeans 6 time when More languages were being supported in IDE and diverse set of SOA and XML development features were being included in the IDE. Then Again another shift happened and all those features and language supported were dropped and NetBeans team put more effort into the core to make the core more stable and feature rich which as you can see in the chart has payed off pretty well.
The 1,000,000 active users number is not just a number, it shows that a vast, versatile and living community is behind NetBeans IDE as users, contributors, and the core development team. Long live the good community and the good IDE.