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Poll Result: Open Sourcing of IntelliJ IDEA Was a Very Good Idea

Posted by editor on October 30, 2009 at 8:22 AM PDT

The voting in this past week's poll suggests that the decision by JetBrains to offer a free and open source IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition was a good one. A total of 332 votes were cast, with the following resuts:

Do you plan to use the new IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition?

  • 5% (16 votes) - I use IntelliJ IDEA, but now I'll switch to the Community Edition
  • 6% (20 votes) - I'll switch to IntelliJ IDEA, now that it's free and open source
  • 34% (112 votes) - I'll probably try it out
  • 40% (134 votes) - No, I prefer another IDE
  • 11% (35 votes) - No, I'll stick with the fully supported IntelliJ IDEA
  • 5% (15 votes) - I don't know; other

The normal caveat: this is not a scientific poll, it's merely a survey wherein the voters chose to vote on a voluntary basis, etc. ...

16% of the voters said they use the fully supported version of IntelliJ IDEA; a little less than a third of those developers say they will switch to the Community Edition. However, dhvdev posted a comment addressed to IntelliJ users, advising them to "stick with what you know and avoid the community edition for web":

The Community Edition looks very familiar for those using the Commercial edition, with a few graphical color changes and some features removed. Most of the removed commercial features are for hardcore refactoring, testing, and developing with integrated web servers. The most frustrating removed feature however, is that the "Most Intelligent Java IDE" doesn't know what a Java Server Pages (.jsp) file is ...

Half of the 80% of developers who indicated that they currently use another IDE plan to at least try out the new IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, with about 15% of that group saying they have already made up their mind to switch to the Community Edition now that it's free and open source. This latter group was clearly the initial target for JetBrains. Their introduction to the Community Edition states:

We believe IntelliJ IDEA to be the best Java IDE on the market - and the world will only gain if more people start using it. That's why we decided to remove the main barrier - the price tag ...

The price tag is certainly something that blocked me from giving IntelliJ IDEA the attention it probably deserves. When you work significantly on Linux platforms for lots of years, the idea of paying for software starts seeming a bit alien. The idea of contributing to an open source project seems worthy, but the idea of actually spending money for commercial software where there are other high quality free and open source packages??? Hence, my earlier "surprise" that there were actually three "big" Java IDEs, not just two (Eclipse and NetBeans). In my "only free and open source counts" way of looking at the world, there were only two IDEs that mattered.

Of course, in my work in the data center, we employ high scale Sun servers, Solaris, and an Oracle database -- all pretty costly stuff. And I certainly don't think we made the wrong decision there (especially since the data center was designed in the late 1990s, when Linux and open source tools were really at a very different stage of development compared with where they are now).

I my view, it's great that a free and open source version of IntelliJ IDEA is now available. I commend JetBrains on the decision!

New poll: JCP

The new poll was prompted by the fact voting in the 2009 JCP Executive Committee elections will be ending soon. The poll asks "What's your view of the JCP's role in guiding Java's future?"


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Johan Karlsson has a new article on the Sun Developer Network, titled Powerful Logging in Java ME:

You have just developed your new cool MIDlet, the one that is going to rule the world. It runs like a well oiled machine on the emulator. But when you download and install it on your target device, the MIDlet seems to take ages to start up. Finally, you see the splash screen. Oh no! The MIDlet crashes and you get an error pop-up saying "Application Error," and the MIDlet shuts down. What happened? This is not the way you pictured it. Is there something that shows what really happened behind the scenes? ...


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