41 comments

sergei_ivanov wrote:

What I personally would appreciate is if the various plugin components from the "Ultimate" edition were offered separately at a reasonable price. That way I'd install a Community edition and install the extra paid-for components that I do actually need, instead of paying for a bunch of stuff I shall never use. The Ultimate edition could then essentially be a discounted all-inclusive bundle of plugins (cheaper than buying separately, in case you do use lots of different technologies).

The danger I see with that model is the risk of the best selling individual plug-ins will end up getting all the focus of future support and enhancements. Sales numbers far too frequently trump all other things, including logic, when it comes to deciding where to invest development time. What happens when plug-in X is a high seller as a standalone plug-in. Maybe its popular with a particular segment of the development market (i.e. non-enterprise or corporate development). Meanwhile Plug-in A, B, and C are popular with the enterprise market who buy the Ultimate edition. But few if any of these plug-ins sell individually. Even though say 80% of the IDEA user group depend on plug-ins A, B & C, the sales data does not reflect this. The sales/marketing team could force more effort and development time on plug-in X which in reality is only used by say 10% of the user base. I don't know the internal workings of JetBrains. But I've seen this pattern happen at far too many shops and products on the market not to be concerned that it might happen with IDEA.

Also, what is a reasonable price for a plug-in? I've paid more for some standalone tools than I have for IDEA (personal upgrade price) that I later stopped using when IDEA added a plug-in for it. So IMHO, if all you need is Spring support, $249 or $149 is reasonable. At the upgrade price, that's 41 cents per day (or 57 cents per business day) to make your life easier and your code better. And as an added bonus, you get dozens of other plug-ins for when you need them later. Give up one can of Jolt a day and you're there with room to spare.

IMHO some people (in this thread) are really missing the point on the open sourcing of IDEA. The benefits are we can now see the source code to aid in our writing plug-ins. And we can potentially fix some of the bugs or minor annoyances that are small, but significant to us, but that JetBrains (understandably) hasn't had the resources to address. We as a user community need to stop worrying about what we aren't getting for free. IntelliJ IDEA (Ultimate) is a phenomenal IDEA at an incredible price. It kicks the pants off of IDEs costing 3 to 10 times what IDEA costs. And IMHO the free ones out there are totally unusable. JetBrains has simple decided to offer a new free introductory "lite" version. Nothing else has changed other than that. You get what you pay for. A quality IDE with the great cohesiveness can simply not be produced for free.

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Your points are valid, but the same logic can be applied to the current model. That is, IDE support for 'emerging', 'experimental' and 'niche' technologies and frameworks is being funded by sales of the IDEA as a kit. On the one hand, it helps to expand the user base, on the other hand, it diverts resources from supporting core functionality or more established frameworks, technologies and languages. And, to a certain extent, I would rather pay for a commercial Spring plugin in an anticipation that the proportion of the plugin sales income would be spent on better Spring support, than e.g. fund support for some fancy new stuff that only a bunch of enthusiasts will eventually use. There are "paid for" plugins for IDEA, and we used to buy them, and we were completely happy in the end, I don't see how such scheme is inherently flawed.

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Nathan wrote:

I think that is why I don't like that Jetbrains put 100% of all their
java features (refactoring, inspections, etc.) into the community
edition -- because that means probably very little effort is going to
go into improving the java support.
--- Original message URL:
http://www.jetbrains.net/devnet/message/5247298#5247298

But remember, it's being open-sourced, so you now will have thousands of
developers out there able to fix the bugs and implement the features you
refer to.  If IDEA CE was being given away for free but remaining closed
source I'd share your sentiment, but making it open-sourced means that
all those little niggles that have been sitting around in the backlog
for so many years now actually have a chance to be fixed.  I
think(/hope) the future is actually brighter for core java support, not
more bleak.
N.

Yes, there is now more opportunity for others to make fixes or enhance the core java support if Jetbrains doesn't have the time, but making it open source isn't magically going to marshall 1000 developers to dredge the IDEA Backlog swamp and mining the IDEA Feedback rockpile.

Maybe Jetbrains should have users vote on top 100 backlog and feedback issues, and then have a contest to see who can fix the most.

But even if developers submit patches for IntelliJ Community edition, Jetbrains developers are still a bottleneck because they have to integrate the patches into the product. And if you are using IntelliJ Ultimate, you have to wait until they  merge the patch into IntelliJ Ultimate release branch.

Also, unless this announcement changes the status quo, most opensource developers will stick with Eclipse.  From what I've seen of IntelliJ Community edition, it is not even equivalent of plain vanilla Eclipse J2EE edition (not counting some of IntelliJ's advanced refactorings and inspections), so I don't expect to see hordes of developers  switch.  I can't remember all the times I had some other developers (that use Eclipse) in my office and I show them some time-saving thing IntelliJ does, and they say "neat, maybe I should try IntelliJ", and then they go right back to their desk and Eclipse.  Once developers learn one IDE, it's very hard to get them to switch unless there is a really strong motivation. Even if I tell them it is opensource and free now, they probably won't switch.  I know before I switched to IntelliJ, I stuck with Emacs JDE for a long time, but the capabilities in IntelliJ were so advanced compared to Emacs JDE,  it forced me to switch.  With IntelliJ Community vs. Eclipse J2EE I don't see such a big difference.  Jetbrains would have easier time getting developers trying out newer languages like ruby, groovy, etc. to try IntelliJ.

If Jetbrains did something bolder like supported all languages in Community edition, then that might change the equation, as that undercuts myeclipse significantly, and some might switch, but it would be slow uptake. Maybe Genuitec (http://www.genuitec.com/about/) should be paying Jetbrains hush money to keep IntelliJ J2EE edition out of sight inside IntelliJ Ultimate edition.

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I agree that suddenly having a lot of devs able to fix bugs won't necessarily mean that they actually get fixed, and like you say, it's likely that Jetbrains will continue to be a bottleneck. After all, it's been possible to develop plugins for a long time now but it's been such a frustrating experience that very few stick with it. I'd potentially be interested in fixing a few of my pet bugs, but I would need some direction. I hope that Jetbrains invest at least some time in doing some limited mentoring for people interested in fixing bugs - if I could choose a bug, be given at least some idea of where to look to fix it and some idea of how it might be done, then I'm more than happy to do it if I have time.

As for the division beween community and ultimate, I don't see that they could do it any other way. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get it all for free but I also don't want Jetbrains to go out of business and what you get for what you pay is excellent value IMO.

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Note that there is no such thing as "Ultimate release branch". CE and UE versions are built by a single build process from the same code base.

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Colin,

I'll be happy to try some mentoring. What bug would you like to work on?

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Hi Dmitry,

Great, I'm pretty flat out right now, when I get  moment I'll think about what I'd like to add and let you know. One thing that springs to mind is support for the JCIP annotations, that as far as I can tell didn't make it into Maia.

Cheers,
Colin

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++1  Managers love the sound of 'Professional' editions because it makes them feel they're in charge of 'real professionals', but 'Ultimate' editions make them nervous that they're wasting precious budget by splashing out on unnecessary top-of-the-range software... and these days, the finance dept. is looking over their shoulders too.

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Does anyone else find it rather ironic that after years and years of complaints about all the features that Jetbrains adds for each new release causing so much bloat and they have no interest in using the features and why not just concentrate on the core of a being a good Java editor that everyone is complaining that there aren't enough features in the free version?

I'm not sure how I feel about his move. Hopefully it will remove a mental barrier for people to try out Idea, letting more people discover why we've always felt bad for Eclipse and NetBeans users. I'm excited to look through the code base (though also intimidated), but I've paid for Idea since 2.5 and don't plan on changing that.

In any case, good luck. Hope the experiment works out.

--Tim

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Good on the guys on this move.

Makes no difference to me as I've been using IDEA since 2.0 and all the professionals will need the commercial version.
Happy to pay for this most excellent quality.

But welcome to the newcomers who may start off with the basic version and then step up.

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Original message URL: http://devnet.jetbrains.net/message/5282899#5282899

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