why no perforce support in community edition?

Here's the funny thing: my company is very generous in paying for dev tools.  Most of the engineers are actually .net guys - they get premium MSDN subscriptions at like $4k per head.  And, as you can guess from the title, we use Perforce for all source control.  That's like another $800 per user or so.

My little dev group is working with Java.  We just finished a big release of our project and now it's in that lull where I think I could switch the group over to IntelliJ.  I used IntelliJ 4.5 back in university (hooray academic license) and I loved it.  All I did was ask (in my 3rd week working at this company) and they didn't even bat an eyelash and got me a 3-version subscription.  However, the project lead (and many others) use Eclipse because that's what they're used to.  They've been using it for years because they didn't work for an employer before that was willing to pay for dev tools.  As a result, they stick with Eclipse because that's what they know.  Now that you have this open-source edition, their biggest complaint is gone - there's a free version, they don't really have a reason to not try it.  So I wanted to switch the guys over.  But... we use Perforce.  I'm trying out the Eclipse project import, I'm writing a little how-to for my group, I'm willing to spend like the next 4 hours writing up how to use keyboard shortcuts for refactoring... but this lack of Perforce integration is killing me.  It just won't help with the workflow.  The other guys won't be able to use it, so I can't convince them to even try it.

I've got my 3-version subscription, but I'm actually moving to a .net group and won't be able to renew it.  But you could get another 4 of these in like 1 week once I get the other guys hooked.

C'mon JetBrains - you open-source it to get more users, but then you exclude those that work in environments that are willing to pay for licenses like Perforce? Don't you think this policy is hurting you a little bit?

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Hello KaJun,

Sorry, I don't quite follow your logic. If your company is generous in paying
for dev tools, why is it a problem to pay for IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate licenses
(which are cheaper than Perforce licenses)? If the 30-day evaluation license
isn't enough to get your colleagues hooked, you can contact our sales department
to get an extended group evaluation license.

Here's the funny thing: my company is very generous in paying for dev
tools.  Most of the engineers are actually .net guys - they get
premium MSDN subscriptions at like $4k per head.  And, as you can
guess from the title, we use Perforce for all source control.  That's
like another $800 per user or so.

My little dev group is working with Java.  We just finished a big
release of our project and now it's in that lull where I think I could
switch the group over to IntelliJ.  I used IntelliJ 4.5 back in
university (hooray academic license) and I loved it.  All I did was
ask (in my 3rd week working at this company) and they didn't even bat
an eyelash and got me a 3-version subscription.  However, the project
lead (and many others) use Eclipse because that's what they're used
to.  They've been using it for years because they didn't work for an
employer before that was willing to pay for dev tools.  As a result,
they stick with Eclipse because that's what they know.  Now that you
have this open-source edition, their biggest complaint is gone -
there's a free version, they don't really have a reason to not try it.
So I wanted to switch the guys over.  But... we use Perforce.  I'm
trying out the Eclipse project import, I'm writing a little how-to for
my group, I'm willing to spend like the next 4 hours writing up how to
use keyboard shortcuts for refactoring... but this lack of Perforce
integration is killing me.  It just won't help with the workflow.  The
other guys won't be able to use it, so I can't convince them to even
try it.

I've got my 3-version subscription, but I'm actually moving to a .net
group and won't be able to renew it.  But you could get another 4 of
these in like 1 week once I get the other guys hooked.

C'mon JetBrains - you open-source it to get more users, but then you
exclude those that work in environments that are willing to pay for
licenses like Perforce? Don't you think this policy is hurting you a
little bit?

---
Original message URL:
http://www.jetbrains.net/devnet/message/5255022#5255022

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Development Lead
JetBrains, Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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Hi Dmitry,

It's not the company, but the developers themselves who are a little reluctant to change.  There isn't a compelling reason to try the evaluation license because of the perceived amount of work to get our project set up and the possible risk of choosing against it, thus negating all the effort to try it in the first place. I was hoping to get the community edition set up and let them dabble in it for a while to work out any issues and then slowly expose them to refactoring support etc.  Maybe it's just us, but we are quite slow to adopt new technologies.  We had one of our functional groups actively trying out Perforce for about a year before we decided to switch the company over, and we were moving from Visual SourceSafe (an extremely inferior product).  If I had to make a rough guess, I would think my team might take about half a year to feel comfortable making a decision about an IDE purchase.

Basically I just wanted to rant about the lack of Perforce support in the community edition, because in our situation it really does make it unusable and thus not even comparable at all to the "it's ok, and best of all it's free Eclipse".  Is the thinking that "If they use Perforce, then they're rich enough to buy IntelliJ, therefore we should remove Perforce integration from the free edition because otherwise they must be cheap bastards for using the free version when they could easily buy a professional license" ?  I think the situation is more nuanced than that - some of our guys have been using Eclipse for years, starting with previous employers, and they're used to it.  It doesn't make them Eclipse fanatics or open source fanboys or anything like that - they just like it because it's free and they are comfortable with it and it gets the job done.  Apply that mentality for a couple years to these regular working guys and you might forgive them for not actively trying out different IDEs.  As they rise in their ranks, their decisions affect the working habits of newer, younger people coming in.  I was using (and suffering under) Eclipse for several weeks before I finally convinced my project lead to let me use my already-purchased IntelliJ.  But in essence the situation becomes one where "oh, he uses that one, he seems to really like it."  And then not much thought is given to it because everyone has work to do and the projects are already set up and running.

If I were to look at the demographics of potential IntelliJ purchasers, I'd think Java developers who also use Perforce would be among the highest likelihood to use a professional license of IntelliJ.  And these working-class guys tend to know and interact with people in similar professions and industries - there we start getting network effects.  If there are Java developers who use Perforce but don't use IntelliJ, then, as a business, wouldn't you want to concentrate most of your aquisition efforts on reaching these developers?

Basically, I don't understand why Perforce integration, which seems to be provided by a single plugin, is not included in the community edition.  The evaluation 30-day expiration is actually a turn-off, so my project lead doesn't even consider asking for an extended evaluation period, and the community edition is effectively useless with this lack of Perforce integration, so any thought to considering IntelliJ is easily dismissed despite my support for it.  I thought this new community edition would be a great way to introduce IntelliJ to my coworkers because I thought it would be at least functional and comparable to basic Eclipse (although  they seem to be packaging it in different ways too nowadays so it's hard to see what's what at this point) but then I find that it can't connect to Perforce... so essentially it's useless.  I've already spent many hours thinking about how to set up a code sample and features walk-through for my team, and I don't mind using that time because I love IntelliJ, but the worst part is I already told my team about this community edition and now I feel bad having to tell them "actually, there's no Perforce support" which I'm afraid will make it look worse because, as I've mentioned, they have been collectively using Eclipse for many years and there's a Perforce plugin for them which works quite fine.

If your product is IntelliJ, you may want to rethink this 30-day evaluation option.  A development tool is not a simple piece of software.  Perforce, for instance, can be used without a license and there's no feature limit except for the number of users and workspaces.  Another example is Oracle - apparently (I did not know this until recently) you can use all products they offer with full features and no limits - once you deploy to a production instance, that's when you start paying money.  Both Oracle and Perforce Inc make a lot of money (a Perforce Inc employee told us directly during our company training).  Honestly, I think that when people hear "30-day evaluation", they think it's like an indie video game or something - it's not a "serious" enterprise productivity tool.

If you're trying to expand your user base, you may want to rethink this heavily stripped-down feature set for the community edition.  If I look at it as a way to upsell people to the professional edition, then it's backfired in our situation.  We can't try it out, so we won't try it out.  If I look at it as a way to give to the open source community, it's a great gift - but the removal of an essential feature like Perforce integration is confusing.  Are you communicating to the community that they are supposed to provide it even though you already have it?  It's basically telling them to re-invent the wheel, which can actually be disrespectful to the time and effort of people who are accustomed to having access to source (it's called "open source" for a reason, right?).

I've written quite a lot - I think it's time I got back to work.  I'd like to finish with 3 thoughts, all of which I believe are completely and verifiably true:
1) People know exactly what they want.
2) People have no idea what they want.
3) The customer is king.

Thanks and Best Regards,
KaJun

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