Which Intellij product?

A startup team I am advising  is going to program in Scala, Python, DJango and Web (HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery, Angular).

I see that there are three Intellij products - Intellij Idea (Scala), PyCharm ( Python and Django), and Webstorm (Web tech)?

Do we need to buy and use three different editors or can just one suffice?

If we use one, which one do we use and what do we lose compared to functionality of all three?

6 comments

I myself would just buy all three quite honestly. Here's my reasoning.

Either you're making money or you're writing code for your own personal use (or perhaps something that you hope will one day make money). In the first case, the number of hours you save having tools as good as these pays for itself in like, literally a day. Over the course of a year it's a total wipe out in terms of value, and efficiency.  For example, the lack of bugs owing to programmer error is a huge boon to developer productivity. A lot of bugs, perhaps most, are really indirectly due to poor tooling; opaque relationships in the code are hidden from the programmers (yes, even though they created them) and the tool doesn't help you view them and understand them. This is a subtle point many people miss in the rush to "free". With "free" tools you pay in time and you pay in customer satsifaction and you pay in your feature release schedule and you pay in terms of what you can plausibly accomplish in a certain time frame (or at all) and you pay in terms of frustration, which carries its own, very real long-term costs to you personally.

If OTOH you're not making money, (I think this is the distinction) then the price of the tools is well within reach (personal licenses) and still very well worth it. If cash is just an issue you could go for the community edition in IntelliJ- it's not cripple-ware in any sense, it's just not geared towards enterprise needs (my understanding)  and get the other dedicated tools and then see if you don't conclude that the extra money for the ultimate edition of intellij is really worth it.

THere aren't many places in life where you get to have the best money can buy. You don't own a Ferrari, a Lear Jet, a private island or have box seats for Lakers games, however, in this little corner of human activity, actually, you can afford the best thing on the planet money can buy.

My 2 cents.

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Thanks. I am really liking Pycharm as I use it. Earlier I used some popular text editors. PyCharm definately can increase my productivity.

Not considering the costs,
1) Does PyCharm include all functionality of webstorm?
2) Does Intellij Idea (Scala) + Python plugin + web plugin is equivalent to Intellij  Idea, pycharm and webstorm seperately in functionality and productivity and usage?

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IMHO, buying all three would be a huge waste of money. IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate is a super-set of all the other IDEs, namely PhpStorm, PyCharm, RubyMine, and WebStorm. (AppCode is the only one not a sub-set of IntelliJ IDEA.) The other IDEs use the IntelliJ framework, but limit what plug-ins are available. (Almost all functionality in the IDEs are plug-in based.) So IntelliJ IDEA with the Python plug-in has all the functionality of PyCharm, and more. Likewise, IntelliJ IDE with the PHP plug-in is equivalent to (and better than) PhpStorm. And IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate already has the JavaScript and other various Web development plug-in installed, so it can do anything WebStorm can do.  The one caveat in that is that the plug-ins for IntelliJ IDEA might lag behind a little compared to the flagship IDE for that technology. So a new feature might be available in PyCharm for a brief period before it is ported into the plug-in.

So in the end, if you are going to be developing in multiple languages, IntelliJ IDEA is the way to go. In other words, the answer to Question #2 is yes. In fact you would have more productivity with IntelliJ IDEA than the other three purchased separately since you would can do everything in IntelliJ IDEA and thus use one application (and project configuration) rather than switching between IDEs. And if you bought PyCharm and WebStorm along with IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, you would be paying for two IDEs that would just sit there since you can do everything they do in IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate with additional free plug-ins.

This question comes up frequently. I really wish JetBrains would put something on their website that compares the products and explains this better.

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Thank you everyone. I tried Intellij Ultimate with Python Plugin.

1) I find that everywhere it reminds you that it is a java ide. Java based configuration options everywhere.
2) I disabled most unncessary plugins still it felt rather slow and bit cluttered as compared to Pycharm

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There's another point. In theory, I could have for some time now , say some years,  have gotten by with the community edition. Mostly because my focus is so narrow, I don't end up using the extra features. Maybe I will in the future. But I still elect to pony up each year for a license. That's because there's a real risk for me if one day jb calls it quits. Then my landscape looks like Netbeans and Eclipse, two products from two behemoths which offer them up, or 'support them'  as a loss-leader tactic to further their domination of an industry.   Not only are these two 'products' not as good , the companies behind them do not share my values in important areas such a software patents  laws here in the U.S. , a fact which Googling those company's names and that issue will quickly reveal.


So,for me, I have competing values. I want to save my money, always, but I also need for there to be good things in a reasonable world, one in which I can aspire to be something more than a programmer-serf permitted only to eke out a living farming on intellectual property someone else owns. ... so there's that.

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