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IntelliJ IDEA questions

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I have a few questions on IDEA:

1. Have you ever been tempted to release a community edition to compete with the free IDEs?

2. Plugins - how much do you rely on the community to build in functionality via plugins? If a plugin hits a critical mass in terms of usage, do you adopt it into the official IDEA code base? Also, if an existing feature of IDEA is provided better by a plugin, would you move to the superior version or improve the original?

3. When I first started using IDEA I was doing a lot of GUI work and there was no GUI builder present - at that time, GUI builders were generally, if not universally, terrible so I was more than happy to hand-code my work. What made you decide to add a GUI builder?

4. Have you established a point at which you're not prepared to go past in terms of functionality to reduce potential bloat?

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Hello Steve,

1. We think that the personal, academic and open-source license options provide enough low-cost ways to obtain a license for IntelliJ IDEA. We do not think that releasing a community edition would be beneficial to the company.

2. We do rely on the community significantly. Some of the plugins included in the IntelliJ IDEA 6.0 distribution (in particular, InspectionGadgets and IntentionPowerPack) are developed and maintained entirely by community members, while a number of other plugins were started by the community and then taken over by JetBrains. As for versions improved by plugins - I don't think we had any cases of either. In some cases we're happy with a plugin existing in parallel with the core functionality. For a good quality plugin with acceptable license terms, we would certainly consider integrating it if it provided a major improvement for some core feature.

3. We feel that a GUI builder is considerably more productive for creating, and especially for maintaining any non-trivial user interfaces, compared to hand-coding. There's a lot of UI in IntelliJ IDEA, so we use the GUI builder a lot ourselves.

4. I don't think there is such a point. We're gradually working on moving functionality out of the core and into plugins, so the users concerned about bloat will be able to simply turn off the plugins for features they won't use.

Thanks for the interesting questions!
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