Jun 19, 2010

A Numberic Retrospective of Pulsar Galielo release

Now that Eclipse Helios is just around the corner, and the hectic days of getting the release ready is over, I thought this would be a good time to look back at what was achieved on the very first Pulsar release. Predictably, I took a moment to harvest the download statistics of the Eclipse Pulsar Galielo simultaneous release to come up with some numbers that are easier to consume.

If you are not familiar with the download statistics of Eclipse, these numbers represent the downloads that went through the Eclipse.org infrastructure. That means, if you have downloaded Pulsar directly from a mirror site without the mirror redirection from eclipse.org, your download is not counted in these numbers. Unfortunately, these numbers do not include the p2 installs and updates either, because Pulsar did not enable p2 download statistics on Galileo release. This is something we are fixing on Helios.

Here is some notes about the Pulsar. Eclipse's mobile development packaging is called Pulsar. On Galielo release it provided mainly the tools for MIDP development. So it is safe to assume that these download numbers reflect mostly an audience of MIDP developers. Eclipse Mobile Tools for Java (MTJ) is the project that produces the development tools for JavaME development. Although the main distribution of MTJ is through Pulsar, MTJ also produces downloads that are independent from Pulsar. The downloads for MTJ’s direct downloads are not part of this report and the MTJ 1.0.1 release did receive an additional download of 18927 to date.

As you can see from the above numbers win32 is by far the most popular development platform for Pulsar. It is probably even more so than other Eclipse packages because the platforms supported by the mobile emulators are still limited. Also you will notice a drop on the number of downloads between SR1 and SR2 release. I guess, without any evidence, this is because many of the SR1 users updated through P2.

A look at the top 10 countries for the downloads reveals that a huge majority of the Pulsar users are from China. I was expecting to see China as the top country but the gap between China and other countries really surprised me.

The overall numbers indicate that despite all the excitement around the Android, iPhone application development, MIDP still has one of the largest mobile developer community on earth.

Pulsar's  first year reach performance seems to be quite satisfactory. I expect a slightly better reach with the Helios release because Pulsar is better known by developers this year. I do not expect a big jump though because Pulsar does not yet provide a well integrated solution for mobile development other than MIDP.