JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA Goes Open Source & Misses the Point a Little

There was big news in the Java world this week.  JetBrains released their popular IntelliJ IDEA as an open source community edition.  While, this has been heralded as a great move (and to some extent I agree with that), I feel that JetBrains kind of missed the point a little.  Before I go any further, you should look at the Edition Comparison Chart.

If you look at the chart, you’ll notice that some of the features they need to really compete with the free (also open source) Java IDE has been stripped out and is only available in their pay for Ultimate Edition.  So if you download the free version of IntelliJ IDEA you won’t get Android development support, which is one of the main reasons I would have seriously considered IntelliJ.  But also there is no support of web development and the technologies involved in that area.  So no Ruby, PHP, HTML, or Javascript.  Basically, you get the ability to develop basic java applications and that’s it.  This might be okay for some people.  But the only reason I’m currently doing Java development at them moment is for Android, so the lack of Android support in the Community Edition means one simple thing: I won’t use it.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t.

I still think the availability of this Community Edition is important to the community, but I feel that they kind of missed out and that people are still going to look at Eclipse and Netbeans for their Java development, especially if they’re doing web development.  Both Eclipse and Netbeans are free and have large corporate pockets behind them (though Sun’s acquisition by Oracle might change that for Netbeans).  I know that for my personal development, I’ll still use Eclipse because I can’t get stuff I want out of the IntelliJ Community Edition.  I think that if JetBrains really wants to bring people to this new Community Edition, then they need to open up some of the web development stuff and also Android.  Android is free and open source so I see no reason to pay for an IDE to do development on that platform.

So, JetBrains, if you guys are listening, you need to add some features back into this Community Edition if you want to seriously compete with the likes of Eclipse or Netbeans.  Other than that, I commend you on this move, I think it’s a nice step in the right direction.

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2 Responses to JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA Goes Open Source & Misses the Point a Little

  1. anon says:

    The thing that annoys me most about them leaving out android support is that the original android plugin was also open source, so they moved it in-house and fixed it up so it would work with v9 (from v7 or 8 or whatever it was when it was open source) and called it their own…

  2. anon says:

    The thing that annoys me most about them leaving out android support is that the original android plugin was also open source, so they moved it in-house and fixed it up so it would work with v9 (from v7 or 8 or whatever it was when it was open source) and called it their own…

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