why does Jetbrains separate their products into multiple IDEs ?


Please do me a favor and read the whole question before replying

I'd like to understand why Jetbrains develops multiple (almost identically looking) IDEs instead of having just one where each language is a plugin. wouldn't it make much more sense both developer and user wise since we wouldn't have to duplicate so much stuff ? inb4 "IDEA is what you're looking for", I know I can already e.g. install the python plugin in IDEA to make PyCharm obsolete, but my question is why does PyCharm exist as a separate IDE in the first place ? and why can't I do the same with e.g. KotlinJVM and KotlinNative so I don't have to manually copy all my settings and preferences between IDEA and CLion all the time?

There's no way Jetbrains hasn't thought of this, I'm sure they had a reason for this decision and I'd like to hear that reason.


Historically IntelliJ IDEA was a Java IDE first and more languages were added to it later, while Java remained inside the core, not a plug-in. It was hard to decouple Java specific features from the product and many users wanted less cluttered IDEs for different languages without Java specific features. IntelliJ platform has emerged and different teams started to work on the lightweight IDEs for the languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.

Only recently Java was refactored into a plug-in and the backend infrastructure for the paid plug-ins marketplace appeared. When this work is finished, we may consider providing a single IDE with several paid plug-ins so that you can build the IDE with the features that you need.


that sounds awesome, thanks for explaining!


What is the status of this?



Sorry, but there is no exact date when this model will be released.


Been wondering the same thing. The licence model is really confusing. It's annoying that you have to buy more than you need to get certain language support, and annoying to have to have several IDEAs that are practically the same. Everything else: awesome!


@Andreas Can you share your use case? I'll try to recommend the easiest way to cover it. 


Konstantin Annikov Thanks, but I think I got it covered. It's just that I recently needed to code some Dotnet, which means I need to download Rider. A whole new IDE, which again means I need the IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate license because I need PHPStorm for PHP & frontend ((Angular) which doesn't require Webstorm for some reason) as well. 


will be nice to see this and will definitely see huge intellij adoption, worked on projects that used both java and c++, frustrating switching between IDEA's, for commercial purpose, jetbrains can license plugin, that will not be a problem.


I just wanna chime in and say that I second this idea! 

I freakin love intellij products, but I work with lots of different languages and tools.  It would be nice to have a customizable super ide instead of the current situation.


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