Thursday, October 15, 2009

IntelliJ IDEA open sourced

JetBrains has just announced that they've released the IntelliJ platform as open source! This is great news, as I've always maintained that IntelliJ IDEA is significantly better than all the other Java IDEs, and their main disadvantage was price, and the second biggest weakness was Eclipse's ability to let users add support for new languages. At one stroke, JetBrains has undercut both of these problems and enabled many more people to make use of the platform.

I only know what I read in the announcement and the FAQ, but it appears that JetBrains has done this for the right reasons, and probably in the right way. Their goal is to increase adoption of the platform, and to encourage third-party developers to work with IntelliJ rather than competitive products. They have kept some of their technology proprietary in order to be able to continue to run a business, and they're focusing on the larger enterprises that they make most of their money from. This is reasonable and proper.

The license they're using is Apache, which is very open and provides no significant restrictions on re-use. I'm very happy about this.

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