Monday, March 25, 2013

Crowdfunding PyDev / LiClipse status

So far, the experience on the crowdfunding has been really positive. In 10 days of funding, there are already 168 funders and 41% of the basic funding goals have been reached!

Also, it was nice to gather feedback and talk to many PyDev users out there.

Regarding PyDev, reactions were pretty positive, but regarding LiClipse, they were initially a bit mixed.

On the dark theme, it was either a love or hate reaction, but just to note, although that's one of the major points of LiClipse, it will definitely not force you to use a dark theme -- it'll be an opt in, not opt out -- and I  expect that part to be the easy / fast part in the proposal :)

As for the languages support, initially it was a bit more neutral (with some ups and downs), and I think initially I did a bad job on explaining why I think that was needed, so, I've updated to explain the 'why' part too :)

Note that as a result of talking to PyDev users, I did change the funding a bit too: there's now a special perk (named PyDev Knight) which empowers users who enjoy PyDev and only really care about a better Python support and not a dark theme or other languages (even if related to Python, such as Django Templates, Mako, etc).

So, I can only thank everyone so far for contributing and spreading the word on the funding!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

PyDev funding and LiClipse?

I got some feedback related to the creation of LiClipse and its relation with PyDev in the current crowdfunding proposal (, so, I'd like to explain how I believe things fit together.

1. So, is LiClipse a fork of Eclipse?

Definitely not. The idea behind LiClipse is having 2 things:
  • A way to theme Eclipse itself better and have some other UI improvements (I'm truly annoyed by not having what I'd consider a professional dark theme in Eclipse right now, so, I'd like to take those matters in my own hands).
  • An editor which should be able to support lots of languages out of the box. Think something closer to other all-purpose editors -- as opposed to IDEs -- such as Notepad++, Vi, TextMate, Sublime, etc. i.e.: the idea is supporting lots of languages out of the box, so, the idea is having it resembling formats such as ultraedit wordfiles or TextMate language files.
To be clear, the idea is not to replace the more advanced editors inside Eclipse for each language, but to provide a lightweight way to deal with any language -- usually you work with 1 or 2 main languages, for which you'll have the plugins you need, but sometimes, when you just want to open a file in a language  you work seldomly and may not need/want to install a bulkier plugin, LiClipse would be a good addition to your toolbox (LiClipse is a short for "Lightweight Eclipse" BTW), and for me, not having this is a major shortcoming of Eclipse itself (and it may be an alternative for people who want less features and more speed).

Also, that should be doable without having to create a fork of Eclipse (although some theming issues may need to be resolved at Eclipse itself -- but on those parts, things should be fixed at that level, not on LiClipse).

2. How does that relate to PyDev?

Well, PyDev is very tightly bound to the environment it works on (Eclipse), and I'd like to solve some of the issues I see in it to improve its ecosystem as a whole, which IMHO is something I see needed for PyDev and Eclipse itself to keep moving forward.

3. But won't that divert too many resources out of PyDev itself?

For this proposal, my plan is spending my time 50/50 (I don't think LiClipse is a major undertaking -- all the pieces are out there, it's mostly a matter of stitching them together), although during that time, yes, it'll divert some resources from PyDev, but as I think that having it is very important for PyDev itself (as well as other language), I see the issues being tackled as very serious shortcomings of Eclipse which hinder the adoption of Eclipse itself (thus affecting PyDev directly).

4. I still think LiClipse is not a good idea and would like to support only PyDev.

Please e-mail me with those thoughts. I really believe LiClipse is needed for PyDev to keep getting traction, but if you feel that's not the case, please, please share your thoughts with me.

Also, just to make things clear, if the funding at does not succeed, I won't really be able to support PyDev itself anymore (personally, I really want it to succeed, but I see the funding as the community speaking, so, if after 10 years working on it the PyDev community doesn't see it as a worthy goal or doesn't trust me enough to support me on LiClipse while properly maintaining PyDev, well, I really need to hear it and move on -- as a note, until now, I see the funding as a huge success, getting to 10% in the first day, so, if everyone keeps helping a bit there, it'll be awesome :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Keeping PyDev alive through crowdfunding

Ok, I just started a crowdfunding project (at for the continued development of PyDev (and improvements on Eclipse overall).

In this post, I hope to shed some light on why this funding is needed.

First, a little bit of history just to give some context: I've been developing PyDev for more than 10 years already (wow, I just realized that as I started the campaign) and it's definitely a pretty successful project (if it's not the most used Python IDE, it's definitely among the top ones).

So, backtrack a few years...

PyDev started doing success and I created a commercial extension to enable me to work more time on PyDev itself. After some time, Aptana acquired it and I joined them. Unfortunately, Aptana itself didn't turn out very well: it focused on its main product (the IDE) without generating any revenue from it, while trying to make side projects worthy enough to cover for everything (but those side projects weren't successful enough for that).

Enter Appcelerator: it acquired Aptana out of the need to provide a deeper integration for its main product (which is Titanium). So, for some time, it did back up the PyDev development (along with the other languages), but in the end, their main product is Titanium and the tools around it, so, PyDev itself wasn't seen as relevant enough to be kept supported (to be clear, they're still hosting the homepage and downloads, but not backing the development itself). As such, in the end of the last year they stopped supporting its development.

So, that's where the project is at now: it's (IMHO) a pretty successful, but unable to generate revenue for its continued support. Given this scenario I decided to create a crowdfunding project to ask for the community to provide resources to make that happen.

In the funding, I expanded its reach a bit, on what I think are the main issues with the PyDev environment right now. So, the idea is focusing on a nicer dark UI, usability, speed and memory and providing a way to easily have other editors out of the box in a lightweight implementation (Python is pretty strong in the web, so, one of the weak points right now is actually not the Python editing itself, but related web languages, such as CoffeScript and JavaScript).

So, please help in funding (and sharing) at to keep PyDev going strong!