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16 October 2009, 11:23

IntelliJ IDEA Java development environment goes open source

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Zoom IntelliJ IDEA 9.0 Beta
Czech software forge JetBrains has announced that, starting with the next release – version 9.0, it will offer its IntelliJ IDEA Java development environment as open source software. IntelliJ IDEA is to become available in two versions; a free and open source Community Edition, and a commercial Ultimate Edition, which will apparently be similar to the current version. In various polls IntelliJ IDEA, has been voted the third most popular Java development environment after Eclipse and NetBeans.

The developers have chosen to release the Community Edition under the Apache 2.0 Licence, which they also use for several other of their open source projects. The free version is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux; it offers various re-factoring, code inspection/help and debugging features that IDEA developers are likely to be familiar with. Furthermore, the Community Edition is designed to support testing with TestNG and Junit, version control via CVS, Subversion and Git, and building with the Maven and Ant build tools. The Community Edition will be available to download as a preview from today. The vendor has set up an open source page for the project's future community.

The Ultimate Edition also supports various web frameworks and additional programming languages, and offers more deployment functions than its free counterpart. On its website, JetBrains provides a comparison of the differences between the free and the Ultimate Edition. The commercial variant will cost just under 500 euros. A"Personal Licence" option costs just over 200 euros. Upgrading from the current version 8 is free.

Free java programming environments like NetBeans and especially Eclipse, have considerably restructured the Java IDE market over the past five years. During that time, previously popular development environments have been discontinued, suddenly offered free of charge or handed over to the Java community as open source code. Among them are environments such as JBuilder, OptimalJ and JDeveloper. Only IntellJ IDEA remained as seemingly the last viable commercial flagship, with a market share of about 10 per cent.


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