I've downloaded IDEA build 661
I already have plenty of JREs:
- the one that comes with Microsoft Windows
- the one that I got from Sun (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.1/download.html)
- the one that is bundled with Sun's JAVA SDK (JDK) (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.1/download.html)
Now I also have the "special" JRE that is provided by IntelliJ (http://a972.g.akamai.net/7/972/8166/v0001/jetbrains.download.akamai.com/8166/idea/idea661-jre.zip)
As a matter of fact, I didn't have to use (download) the JRE from IntelliJ in order to run IDEA, using the following procedure instead:
a) Copy the "jre/" directory from the JDK install (or the JRE stand-alone install) to IDEA home.
b) Copy "tools.jar" from the JDK to "jre/lib" in IDEA home.
c) Copy "javac.exe" from "/bin" in the JDK to "jre/bin" in IDEA home.
These guidelines were provided by "Mike Aizatsky", from IntelliJ, as a tip to avoid downloading IntelliJ's own JRE. (I can't find the forum post anymore, otherwise, I'd give a link here)
Well, it works fine. In other words: IDEA works fine with the standard JRE (and some standard SDK components) installed in a specific location (IDEA home).
I understand that JetBrains has got support concerns and therefore provides its own JRE (or "JRE/SDK installation") in order to avoid time-consuming user troubleshooting.
I quite agree with the fact that it's better spending time on fixing "real" bugs in IDEA rather than providing support for users who can't get IDEA to run with their own JDK.
On the other hand, IDEA is a Java application, and as such it should run on any platform as long as a JVM is available. (see WORA principles)
IDEA needs tools from the JDK but IDEA users are developers (and customers by the way), therefore they have JDKs on their machines.
After all, it's just a matter of minimum requirements: JDK 1.4.1_01 (comes with both SDK and JRE).
So my point is: a majority of users already have the latest JDK, and they would like to use it to run IDEA. Instead of copying part of their JDK to IDEA home (or installing IntelliJ own's JRE package, which results the same), we would like to be able to point to our existing JRE/SDK. We would save space on the hard disk and avoid redondancy.
Like any Java-app, IDEA needs a JRE (JVM) for it to run. A pointer to the correct JRE (correct version) can be provided in "IDEA.bat", the current startup script.
Then, a nice SWING dialog could invite the user to tell IDEA where to find the SDK components ("tools.jar", and "javac.exe")
IntelliJ could still provide a lighter package for users who really don't want to have the latest SDK on their systems. But at least, it wouldn't have to be located in IDEA home and therefore be part of the application. It would just be convenient for some users.
This sounds rather simple to me and according to most of the posts I've read in this forum, users (current or future IntelliJ's customers) seem to be very concerned about having to install one "specific" JRE for IDEA.
As someone said in one of the posts: "Customer is always right". Well, at least we would like our feedback to be taken into account for future releases.