A cumbersome task which everyone who wants to join a software development project, opensourcy or enterpricy, is setting up the development appropriately. This is becoming more apparent due to the new programming and scripting languages and frameworks like Rails which pop up every now and then. We are getting somewhere (Maven 2)when it comes to making sure the source code compiles and runs out of the box. But the development environments still need to be downloaded, installed, and configured (allthough Maven can help here) and license keys entered.
However, there is hope! GMaven can produce a simple texteditor which can run Groovy code in context of an entire project, all dependencies inclusive, with the help of a Maven plugin run from the command line. More details in Smacking up a Groovy demo in less than 10 seconds.
I believe that it would be beneficial for development environment vendors to package their product as a simple stripped-down version of their software that can be packaged as a free alternative to bells-n-whistles product, as a Maven plugin or similar. The benefit for the software vendors is exposure and increased penetration in the marcet, as well as simpler installation. IDE plugins can lower the bar for introducing new developers to the project, and open source projects can benefit from recommending a free alternative for getting started.
So, Jetbrains, Eclipse and Netbeans; when can I get my IDE plugin?