Jetpack Survey Report

Survey 2 – “Developer Tools and Needs”

In trying to understand the make-up of our developer community it is important to know about the tools folks use, the developer platforms they work with, and the areas developers need more help. In this survey we dug a bit deeper into development platforms you prefer and your thoughts on the communities that drive them. Enough banter, let’s get to the results –

Which platforms do you currently develop applications for?

Client-side web languages really shined here, followed by Windows-focused platforms and Java.

Which platforms do you find are the best in terms of community, documentation, and ease of use?

The ease-of-use results were very close to the developer platform usage results from the first survey question. When comparing developer platform usage results to ease-of-use responses, the platforms that ranked the highest were Open Social, Facebook, OS X, and Flash, the lowest ranked platforms were XUL, iPhone, and Chrome Extensions.

What do we need to focus on?

Qualitatively, the concerns that topped the list for what could be improved with the development platforms mentioned in the survey closely paralleled the responses for the question “What else can we do to encourage and nurture new add-on developers?”. Developers felt that the following areas (ordered from most important to least) needed greater attention: A good IDE, adherence to standards, better documentation, overall ease-of-use, and API coverage. This is largely in keeping with a similar question from our last survey and is something we will consider as we plan future phases of the Jetpack project.

A Firefox Add-ons Marketplace?

The idea of Mozilla creating an add-ons marketplace was generally well received, nearly 75% of respondents ranged from Somewhat Interested to Very Interested in participating in such a program.

The Takeaway

Though responses were generally positive, there were many areas that community members feel need improvement. Stay tuned for the Jetpack Project’s upcoming Add-ons Builder SDK 0.5 release, it extends the API coverage of the platform and comes with better, more comprehensive documentation.

– Daniel Buchner, on behalf of the Jetpack team