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Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) help increase programmer productivity by automating much clerical and administrative work. Thus, it is of great research and practical interest to learn about the characteristics on how IDE features change and mature. To this end, we have conducted an empirical study, analyzing a total of 645 ldquoWhat's Newrdquo release note entries in 7 releases of the Eclipse IDE both quantitatively and qualitatively. It is found that majority of the changes are refinements or incremental additions to the feature architecture set up in early releases (1.0 and 2.0). Motivated by this, a further analysis on usability is performed to characterize how these changes impact programmers effectiveness in using the IDE. We summarize our study methodology and lessons learned.