Anton Arhipov is a Software Developer and Product Lead for JRebel, the productivity tool for Java developers. Anton’s professional interests include Java and related, programming languages and middleware. You can follow Anton on Twitter (@antonarhipov) and find him on LinkedIn (linkd.in/aarhipov). Anton has posted 18 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Java Build Tools Survey - Results

08.07.2013
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Here come the result for the last week's Java build tools survey. 675 people responded - thanks everyone who contributed!

The answers were not mutually exclusive and a good portion of responders selected several answers. I interpret that as "I use Maven at work and Gradle at home". Or maybe there are multiple projects that the guys are working on and the old projects aren't migrated from Ant to Maven/Gradle.

Anyways, here are the results:

480 out of 675 people indicated that they use Maven, which makes 71.1% out of all responders. Actually this number somehow matches my personal assumption about Maven share. Jason actually confirmed that this should be in line with the previous similar surveys:

Gradle was used 235 people out of 675, which makes 34.8%. I was quite surprised by the number and I think this is due that the survey was mostly published via Twitter - I have some followers from Groovy/Gradle community. While I do believe that Gradle is getting momentum as a build tool, I really doubt that its share is high in Java enterprise/legacy projects.

Ant (+Ivy) was mentioned by 114 responders and is at the third place with 16.9%. I think this number will be much much higher if we take only the legacy/enterprise projects.

Maven vs Gradle vs Ant

I think that there's no Maven vs Ant debate any more. Maven has won. Tooling support is (mostly) excellent and setting up a Maven projects in all major Java IDEs is (mostly) a no-brainer. There's definitely the Maven vs Gradle debate - there's plenty of details to debate about, which is better. But yet again, tooling support for Maven is the main argument why Maven is better. I think that without good IDE support Gradle won't overtake the build tools' market share, period.

BTW, I'll keep the survey opened for some time - maybe it will get more responses.

P.S. There's a good summary about the build tools at Rebel Labs, if you're interested.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Anton Arhipov. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Comments

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 8:40am

I don't understand why we continue creating polls that can't have any statistic value, in primis because there's no normalisation to remove bias - a thing that it's just not fixed by a large number of votes. We know that, we even write that, and then we still draw conclusion on them. Do we have forgotten "garbage in, garbage out"?

Anton Arhipov replied on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 9:05am in response to: Fabrizio Giudici

Well, the data still shows something. It is not perfect, I agree. The numbers depend on the channel, where the survey was promoted. 

What exactly you dislike about those numbers?


Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 9:59am

Anton :-) it's not that I like or dislike them. I might like to know that Maven is the predominant build tool for Java, but honestly I don't think that there's any meaning in those numbers. I mean, they can be even right, but nobody can prove it. Basically you made some reasonable comments about the possible over-estimation of Gradle and under-estimation of Ant. But if somebody came here and argued against this point, how one could reply? In the end, what difference do this poll with no normalization does with respect of you or me writing a short post in which we say "I believe that Maven is the most used tool"? 

Anton Arhipov replied on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 10:12am in response to: Fabrizio Giudici

Well, you don't have to be Nostradamus to say that Maven is most used tool. As you can read from the blog post I'm not saying that I've discovered any sacral knowledge there.

I'm not a data scientist to perform data normalizations or conduct surveys that would attract as many responds to make it relevant. I would love to see more votes, of course... did you fill in the survey? :)

At the end it was just fun to see how successful a micro-survey can be and it would have been unfair not to publish the results, wouldn't it? 




Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 10:39am

Anton, in fact the most interesting point would be to know the real distribution of Gradle. It seems to have momentum, but in the past many things seemed to have momentum, still they are a niche today. But this most valuable information is not there, as per your doubts.

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