NetBeans Community Growth, Revisited
By Roman Strobl on XI 12, 2006
People often ask me for quantitative data about the growth of NetBeans. Probably the best way to measure the growth of NetBeans community are the Update Center visits. Each IDE has a unique ID and connects to the update center on startup to get updates. We can measure these users (except for those behind firewalls, restrictive proxies or those who disable the update functionality). We make sure to measure only active users (if you don't use NetBeans and don't connect to the update center anymore, we won't track you - hence the drop off during summer months). More info about the tracking is in my last blog entry on this topic.
Here is the most recent graph:
Unique update center visitors
We've been tracking the unique update center visits for quite a while, so we can make some observations:
- The numbers are growing, from 63.063 in Nov 2004 to 261.341 in Oct 2006
- There are dropoffs during summer months when many people go on vacations
- After every release the numbers get another boost - they start to grow rapidly again
- Most people migrate to newer versions of NetBeans within several months
- The graph finishes \*before\* the release of NetBeans 5.5, so we can expect even more rapid growth than in last 3 months on the graph
- The numbers are by no means complete numbers of people in the NetBeans community. According to Evans Data Corporation study the estimated number of NetBeans users is about 900.000 worldwide - the difference can be explained by the fact that some people are behind firewalls, turn off their update center or don't use the IDE all the time (we only track them when they currently use the IDE).
- What's important is not the exact number of users but the slope of the curve. By monitoring this data we get very good feedback about the success of NetBeans releases.
- Number of downloads of NetBeans since it was opensourced: 11.5 million
- Number of hits on netbeans.org during Oct 2006: 57 million
- Unique subscribers to all NetBeans mailing lists: 520.000