A Decade of NetBeans Community

1998-2008: My Observations

If I look back to evaluate the decade of NetBeans evolution I must emphasize the growth of the NetBeans community not only in terms of absolute number of active users but also in terms of participation in the project and contributions. I remember that when I started as QA Engineer, 8.5 years ago there was one guy from community helping with JavaCVS library and now?

Plugin Portal, NetCAT and Dream Team

There are 400+ plugins from community, 500 people participated in NetCAT programs so far, thanks to community volunteers we have now fully moderated high volume mailing lists, other volunteers certify community plugins and manage content of the Plugin Portal Update Center.

Many people blog about NetBeans, our Dream Team members evangelize the product, others write books about it or simply test it and provide us with their feedback.

Vibrant Community, Traffic on Mailing lists

There are people giving us patches to help us fix bugs because they don’t like only complaining about them. So in my opinion the NetBeans project has gained a vibrant and energetic community over the years.

Now let’s prove that in numbers-

Did you know?

There are over 500,000 unique subscribers in our public mailing lists? Let’s for example focus on our most important mailing list nbusers@netbeans.org.

According to the picture above we can see that in September 2000 there were 487 messages exchanged while 8 years later in September 2008 it was 1871 e-mails.

Of course, we also track download statistics. To date NetBeans was downloaded by almost 25 million users either as a standalone product or via bundles. As we can see in the chart below the growth of NetBeans downloads is obviously enormous.

Downloads by Version Releases

Dramatic Increase In Participation

The last fact I wanted to highlight is a dramatic increase of people who not only use NetBeans but in addition to that dedicate some time and effort and report issues into our bug tracking system.

The stats below shows unique reporters from community and how many bugs they reported during the past 10 years.

  • 1999
    • 11 reporters
      • 840 bugs
  • 2000
    • 254 reporters
      • 1215 bugs
  • 2001
    • 881 reporters
      • 3819 bugs
  • 2002
    • 882 reporters
      • 3437 bugs
  • 2003
    • 871 reporters,
      • 2885 bugs
  • 2004
    • 1297 reporters
      • 5805 bugs
  • 2005
    • 1650 reporters
      • 6487 bugs
  • 2006
    • 2331 reporters
      • 5205 bugs
  • 2007
    • 2929 reporters
      • 8911 bugs
  • 2008
    • 2819 reporters
      • 9312 bugs

Ten times on Tenth Birthday

And again if we compare these numbers we notice 10 times increased participation. Ten times! Can you imagine a better way to celebrate the 10th birthday of NetBeans? I can’t.

I often ask myself, why are they doing all this? What is their motivation? It’s very encouraging to realize they all contribute it for free. In my humble opinion all of the above leads to one conclusion: We must be doing something right here!

Thank You

Well, I am Jiri Kovalsky (Jirka) and I was invited recently by Varun Nischal (one of our most active and passionate NetBeans community members by the way) to contribute a post for his blog. Those who know me also know that I don’t have my own blog so while this is an absolute honor for me it’s also an absolute premiere!

Fortunately, Varun didn’t specify any concrete topic which helped me overcome the initial hesitation. I assume nobody is going to read a plain post without any useful content so I decided to do some data mining and share with you my findings about NetBeans community.

Jirka, thank you so much… Its an honor to have your first ever blog entry on my blog… Also, thanks for supporting my ideas and encouraging me to work towards Wiki-markup Editing support in NetBeans.

Once again, we sign off saying, Happy Birthday NetBeans! 🙂


Jiri Kovalsky is currently the NetBeans Technical Community Manager working at Sun since 2000.

He is not only the liaison officer for the NetBeans Dream Team but also for many activities like the NetBeans Innovators Grant contest. To the community, Jiri is probably best known for coordinating the NetCAT quality program.

List is certainly long 😉

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4 thoughts on “A Decade of NetBeans Community

  1. “Tell me sweet sweet lies….”

    Here is the reality check on dice.com

    1) search with “NetBeans”: 79 results
    2) search with “Eclipse”: 1190 results

    More then half of the “NetBeans” jobs are not related
    to NetBeans i.e
    “IDE tools such as Eclipse, NetBeans ”
    “Must have experience using development tools
    such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ, etc.”

    Result: maybe 40 true job offers for NetBeans are
    available.

    Looks very bad. Maybe your user-statistics are a fake.

  2. Hello Hubertus,

    are you serious? Do you really mean I made those numbers up? Did you try to verify them before questioning my statements? Except numbers of active users that we calculate from server log files, both nbusers archive [1] and IssueZilla [2] are public!

    [1] http://www.netbeans.org/servlets/SummarizeList?listName=nbusers
    [2] http://www.netbeans.org/issues/query.cgi

    To be honest with you I was disappointed by your comment. If you look at Google Trends [3] you will notice that NetBeans and Eclipse are aligned for more than a year now. Don’t you also believe Google?

    [3] http://www.google.com/trends?q=netbeans+IDE%2C+eclipse+IDE

    Do you know that there were people in the past who didn’t believe that Earth was rounded?

    Best regards,
    -Jirka

  3. Pingback: NetCAT 6.5 Weekly | Final Report « N, Varun

  4. Pingback: A Tribute to Sun Microsystems » Decade of NetBeans Community

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