I am always excited to see two communities that find a common interest and collaborate together. A great (yet extreme) example of vertical and horizontal communities that converge is the Eclipse/Jetty project, starting with basic integration points the two communities are now associated as Jetty’s core is hosted by the Eclipse Foundation.
Eclipse and PHP Are Now (Officially) Best Friends!
What it takes for two horizontal communities of the size of Eclipse and PHP to be "best friends"? Except of course for motivation of these communities to be improved.
- Recognition - The Eclipse community understands that PHP developers are major section of its user’s base, and therefore takes actions. At the very first days of Eclipse, PDT was available as a plug-in that could be installed over Eclipse platform and other dependencies. With the release of Galileo, Eclipse recognizes that people enter to the Eclipse world because of PHP and releases an Eclipse PHP flavor that is created exclusively for the PHP community, exactly as provided to Java, C++ and Web tools developers.
- Commitment – The two communities grow together. When one makes a move, the other takes an action as well. When PHP has made the intent to deliver its new major version, Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) has been adapted by supporting the new PHP 5.3 language features with an early release. Another example, since PHP is an extensible language providing a way for developers to add extensions to its core, Eclipse PDT enables those people who extend PHP to extend it as well, with API for type inference and code completion.
- Adoption – According to the latest Eclipse Community Survey "Eclipse IDEs are the most popular primary development environments among respondents; Eclipse JDT (60%), Eclipse PHP Development Tools (12.6%) and C/C++ Developer Tools (6.3%)." This means that for each 5 developers that use Eclipse Java IDE, there is one Eclipse PHP developer and a half C/C++ developer. Comparing these results to the 2007 community survey where PHP was not listed among the 5 top Eclipse IDEs.
It seems that we are (close to) reaching our goals to make Eclipse and PHP best friends.