Tool vendor’s often offer their own “integrated development environments” (IDE) as a productivity enhancement. Many times, these are indeed a big part of their value proposition and they fit that purpose quite well.
There is one segment of IDE’s that should be delegated to the free market: text editors.
As an example, I’m familiar with InstallShield, a product that creates installers for Windows applications. InstallShield offers the ability to create custom scripts. This scripting language is high-level, but supports local variables, functions, function returns, etc.
The InstallShield scripting editor is weak. Many IDE’s offer editor plug-in’s that allow common editor function such as a VI interface. Developer productivity is enhanced as common functions remain at your fingers!
Given that many other IDE’s have successfully solved the editor plug-in problem, the problem is no longer a moon-launch. A custom IDE text editor is certainly no longer a value-add proposition. It’s just time to out-source this to the free market: open source or otherwise.
Developers should consider editor plug-ins during IDE evaluation also.