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IntelliJ IDEA Goes Open Source

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JetBrains has just announced that its upcoming version of IntelliJ IDEA, a Java-based platform and IDE, will be available in a free and open source edition under the Apache 2.0 license.  DZone talked with JetBrains marketing director, Ann Oreshnikova, about this game-changing development : "Many people know IDEA is great but have not been able to use it because of the price barrier. So we want to significantly grow the number of users of IDEA and the 'free' price will make that possible."

As for the timing of this announcement, Oreshnikova said that it took them some time to extact the IntelliJ platform and get it ready for open source usage.  "Open Source has really become mainstream and a proven approach to delivering software, so we want to leverage all the positive effects of open source and we think it’s the right time to do this now."  

IntelliJ IDEA 9.0 will feature two editions:

Community Edition:
   Free, Open Source
  • Supports Java, Groovy, XML, and Regexp
  • JUnit and TestNG testing
  • Subversion and Git support
  • Ant and Maven build integration

Ultimate Edition:   Personal license $249, Commercial license $599
  • Supports Ruby, SQL, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, etc.
  • Task management, Structural search & replace, and JavaScript debugger
  • Grails, Rails, Servlets 3.0, Hibernate frameworks available
  • Apache Tomcat, Glassfish v2 and v3 application server support
  • OSGi backing and PHP support.

The complete comparison between the two versions can be found here. The release of IntelliJ IDEA 9.0 is scheduled for late November.

The IntelliJ IDEA platform is now open source as well.   JetBrains CEO Sergey Dmitriev says his company has always been involved in open source with early access programs and issue trackers.   They've also developed open source plugins for IntelliJ IDEA.  "In brief, we're not changing direction — we're moving forward," he said.

JetBrains' path forward will have a significant impact on the IDE market since it is the last major Java-based IDE provider to go open source.  They will now a enter a playing field that includes open source veterans Eclipse and NetBeans.  Ann Oreshnikova had this to say about IDEA's new position:  "We suspect that the actual competition will just start with this announcement; formerly we were simply in different fields: free tools vs. a commercial one."  Oreshnikova says this competition will be healthy, "This fact should be beneficial for the entire community, because the stronger the competition the faster the innovation."


Nicolas Bousquet replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 3:42am

"Ultimate Edition:   Personal license $249, Commercial license $599
  • Supports Ruby, SQL, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, etc.
  • Task management, Structural search & replace, and JavaScript debugger
  • Grails, Rails, Servlets 3.0, Hibernate frameworks available
  • Apache Tomcat, Glassfish v2 and v3 application server support
  • OSGi backing and PHP support."

I understand that you want to keep commercial version with more features, but open source IDE like eclipse support theses kind of functionnalities without the need to spend a single $.

Maybe you support is far greater, but to be honest, i will not give your IDE a try if i can't have all I want for free.

At this time I am pretty much satisfied with my IDE. I certainly understand that i could have a better IDE if my company accepted to ay for it. It would be really great.

But it's not the case, and because these so many things that will give much more productivity boost that my company don't want to buy, a commercial licence for an IDE is one of the last thing i will ever try to obtain.




Jaroslav Bachorik replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 4:02am in response to: Nicolas Bousquet

This is such a lame excuse ... Does your company give its services or products for free? Do you code just for fun?

 Creating a usable IDE takes hell lot of time. And unless some big corporation backs the development (Eclipse with IBM, NetBeans with Sun) there is no way the IDE can survive as a free product. At least not with the prevailing attitude to leech as much as possible. "Just give me the damn enterprise class IDE for free and I will use to sell my consultancy or whatever, and don't even bother me with the OSS crap of contributing back".

What open-source means is that the sources are freely available to view, use and modify. Nobody stops enthusiastic developers to create free alternatives to all those paid-for features.And enthusiastic testers to thoroughly test it and enthusiastic doc writers to write frst-class documentation. All of them for free, probably quitting they day jobs just in order to be able to make someone happy he doesn't need to pay for his working tool...

Nicolas Bousquet replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 7:40am in response to: Jaroslav Bachorik

You don't understand my point.

I understand that it is logic to pay for a good IDE. I totaly agree with that. It's not me you have to convince.

But some IDE like Eclipse are free. So we use it. You can say we are soon of bicth but most company pay for something only if there have no choice.

You can blame my company. It's fun. But totaly useless.




Geoffrey De Smet replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 5:57am

Great news!

Roy Bailey replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 6:15am

Great news. But I suggest JetBrains look into micro payments for the additional features.

I'd like to have the SQL support, but paying $249 to get this would be unacceptable. However, I would consider paying up to $30 for a couple of additional features. Done right, IntelliJ could provide similar micro-payment income for plug-in developers, which would probably increase their time and attention on the platform.

But as eclipse and other products provide these features for free I think it will struggle to attract many hard-core users. Though it will attract casual users and raise IntelliJ's install base, if only to improve awareness of this great alternative.

Rogerio Liesenfeld replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 6:58am

I decided to purchase my own IDEA personal license years ago. I upgraded it several times since then, and never regretted it. It was worth the investment.

What people don't realize is the cost of not using a better Java IDE. I have always been the only IDEA user in the team, while everybody else used Eclipse. The difference in code quality, mostly because of the vast number of code inspections in IDEA, was obvious to everyone. I would typically open a source file created by another developer and start fixing lots of warnings that only IDEA could show; sometimes actual bugs were revealed. They once tried to use Checkclipse, but it didn't work well.

Well, this has been my personal experience. I only hope that the Ultimate edition doesn't get more expensive, though.

Priya Ranjan replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 6:58am

This is good news, it should have been done long time ago. Unfortunately Intellij had tremendous competition against Netbeans and Eclipse and so it has to go beyond these IDE's to survive.

Alexander Ashitkin replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 9:08am

Community edition doesn't support tomcat. WTF, jetbrains? Why do not disable svn and git? I think it's just wrong - common ide features MUST be provided in community edition.

Cobus Bezuidenhout replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 9:17am

I have been using IntelliJ for most of my developer carreer, and would DEFINITELY pay the licence to get additional benefits of PHP and other supporting languages. IntelliJ is like the MAC... it just works!

Vedran Sabol replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 9:47am

Just downloaded the beta and gave it a test drive... one can also see it as a leaner and meaner Idea version, without the ballast of supporting who knows how many different frameworks, servers, script languages and what else not. Who can live without those features is rewarded by first class Java SE support, outstanding usability and some very smart functionality - for free :)

It is true that other free IDEs can do significantly more and will do some things even better, but where this tool still shines brighter is really the pleasure of smooth Java coding.

Arek Stryjski replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 11:52am in response to: Nicolas Bousquet

most company pay for something only if there have no choice

Well my experience is what companies pays when it make economical sense for them. Some will use old free tools, but other will buy new and expensive one.

I hope there will be always market for more advanced products/programs/IDE and for cheep/free one.
I will be not happy to be forced to use only discount shops, even if sometimes I choose to use them.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2009/10/16 - 3:11pm in response to: Cobus Bezuidenhout

Nope like the mac that just works, On Linux the Intellij GUI blows. Netbeans GUI on Linux just works but intellij is horrible. They still have to fix many stuff. I use intellij but Im getting to think to go back to Eclipse.

With Eclipse I can use tomcat, HTML, PHP, Python, Java, JSP, JSF and so on without pay anything. Of course if I want more advance stuff I can pay some plugins but the point is the intellij community edition does not bring nothing to compete to the free eclipse, it does not have the basics as html and tomcat or even jetty what is that?!.


Anthony Goubard replied on Sat, 2009/10/17 - 3:15am

The importance is not what language/framework an IDE support but how good it supports it (features/ease of use).

 I certainly welcome the gesture from JetBrain and I think a lot of students will also do.

Hantsy Bai replied on Sat, 2009/10/17 - 8:08am in response to: Otengi Miloskov

You can still use your eclipse , and miss the most intelligent IDE in the world.

Not support tomcat or jetty? It supports maven, this is the answer.

UI is horrible? IDEA ui is OS neutral which I like. NetBeans ui is good on Windows and better on Mac OS, but it is the worst Swing UI application under Linux (It can not be applied on the GTK theme properly, and it is also problematic on Swing theme, either is buggly).

IDEA has the magic code analysis feature, how about eclipse and NetBeans. In Eclipse, if you want to own equivalent feature, you must buy the expensive Code Pro,  there is no solution in NetBeans. Do not tell me the basic code specification check by checktyle, pmd, findbug.



Hareton Hunter replied on Mon, 2011/03/21 - 7:44am

I used to love IntelliJ IDEA - it was the one thing that made coding in Java fun. I even used it for a year after switching to Ruby - despite its complete lack of support for Ruby. But I'm trying it now, and I can't say I'm impressed. There's a forest of plugins, the preference pane is bewildering, it doesn't look as slick as it used to, Mac keybinding don't work, and it's extremely slow. I'd like to say, hey, what happened to doing one thing (editing Java) and doing it well? But, well, were talking about an IDE here. I guess that's just not in the cards. Even so, I'd love an editor with realtime code analysis and those fantastic "suggested actions" for dubious code, without all the cruft associated with version control, html/css, javascript debuggers, database viewers, and so on...

Lance Rohn replied on Thu, 2011/06/23 - 10:08am in response to: Nicolas Bousquet

What individuals don't understand will be the price associated with not really utilizing a better Java IDE. I have usually been the sole Concept consumer within the team, while everyone else utilized Eclipse. The actual difference Paint Sprayers within signal high quality, mostly because of the vast number of code inspections in Concept, had been obvious in order to everyone. I would typically open up a source file created by another creator and start repairing lots of alerts that only Concept could display; sometimes actual insects had been revealed. These people as soon as tried to use Checkclipse, but it didn't function nicely.

Thomas Sand replied on Wed, 2011/10/26 - 10:48am in response to: Anthony Goubard

I agree with you, the language is really not that important as long as you know how to use it. The support is much more important and unfortunately not all languages have good support.I personally used Ruby for a long time but the support was awful so I switched to IntelliJ IDEA. 



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