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IntelliJ IDEA Goes Open Source

· Java Zone

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JetBrains has just announced that its upcoming version of IntelliJ IDEA, a Java-based platform and IDE, will be available in a free and open source edition under the Apache 2.0 license.  DZone talked with JetBrains marketing director, Ann Oreshnikova, about this game-changing development : "Many people know IDEA is great but have not been able to use it because of the price barrier. So we want to significantly grow the number of users of IDEA and the 'free' price will make that possible."

As for the timing of this announcement, Oreshnikova said that it took them some time to extact the IntelliJ platform and get it ready for open source usage.  "Open Source has really become mainstream and a proven approach to delivering software, so we want to leverage all the positive effects of open source and we think it’s the right time to do this now."  

IntelliJ IDEA 9.0 will feature two editions:

Community Edition:
   Free, Open Source
  • Supports Java, Groovy, XML, and Regexp
  • JUnit and TestNG testing
  • Subversion and Git support
  • Ant and Maven build integration

Ultimate Edition:   Personal license $249, Commercial license $599
  • Supports Ruby, SQL, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, etc.
  • Task management, Structural search & replace, and JavaScript debugger
  • Grails, Rails, Servlets 3.0, Hibernate frameworks available
  • Apache Tomcat, Glassfish v2 and v3 application server support
  • OSGi backing and PHP support.

The complete comparison between the two versions can be found here. The release of IntelliJ IDEA 9.0 is scheduled for late November.

The IntelliJ IDEA platform is now open source as well.   JetBrains CEO Sergey Dmitriev says his company has always been involved in open source with early access programs and issue trackers.   They've also developed open source plugins for IntelliJ IDEA.  "In brief, we're not changing direction — we're moving forward," he said.

JetBrains' path forward will have a significant impact on the IDE market since it is the last major Java-based IDE provider to go open source.  They will now a enter a playing field that includes open source veterans Eclipse and NetBeans.  Ann Oreshnikova had this to say about IDEA's new position:  "We suspect that the actual competition will just start with this announcement; formerly we were simply in different fields: free tools vs. a commercial one."  Oreshnikova says this competition will be healthy, "This fact should be beneficial for the entire community, because the stronger the competition the faster the innovation."

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