IntelliJ IDEA is nearing its 14th birthday. We’ve gone a long way, but what’s next? What will drive product development for the next 5-10 years?
To keep up IntelliJ IDEA’s success as a commercial product and determine its future direction, we decided to consult independent professionals for assistance. We hired a reputable agency to run a worldwide market research study that polled developers of all ages, genders, cultures and professional backgrounds. The results are already in, and the team is happily working on the next version based on this study’s key findings.
‘Develop with Pleasure’ stays
Any moral purists complaining about the sexual undertones in our company slogan should finally throw in the towel. As the study showed, it does resonate rather intimately with the majority of our customers, so we will all “Develop with Pleasure!” for years to come.
New Lite Edition with in-app purchases
We’ve been thinking about this and discussing internally for a while now, but just couldn’t figure out exactly how it should work. Well, we think we’ve finally got it.
IntelliJ IDEA needs a new edition. Yes, two editions are just not enough. The choice is too difficult for too many people. Beginning with the next version we are going to introduce a new edition of IntelliJ IDEA (and later other IntelliJ-based IDEs) — IntelliJ IDEA Lite.
Key to the new edition will be in-app purchases. Yes, exactly, this is so simple yet so brilliant, we’re sure you’ll love it. In-app purchases are something all of us and our children are so used to with modern software that it should be very natural for everyone.
Feature Credits and In-app Purchases
It’s going to be simple. While using the IDE or other JetBrains products (coming later in TeamCity as well) you will earn a virtual currency, JetBrains Feature Credits (JFC). The more proficient you are with the IDE and the better you know it, the more JFCs you collect automatically. You will need JFCs to unlock premium features of the IDE like even faster indexing, additional code analysis routines, fully-automated refactorings, new color schemes, or promoting your build on the build server. If you need more credit, you can purchase JFCs for real money right from within the IDE.
You may want to start learning the IDE productivity features right away, so you are ready when we go live. Here are three things to get you started:
- IDE Productivity Guide, open it from the Help menu to see your current progress and what else you can learn.
- IntelliJ IDEA Code Golf plugin, to check your grasp of IDE features and compete with others.
- IDE keymaps. Get them from the Help menu too and learn them by heart.
It’s important to note that 3rd-party plugins will also be able to implement in-app purchases. If you’ve got a killer plugin, we’re happy to share the profits!
What is more entertaining that creating great software? Well, games of course. We all play games, no matter our age or gender. Games are not just time-killers, they stimulate our brain and help us solve more difficult problems while we play.
Right now we are working on an IntelliJ Game SDK that will make it easy for everyone to embed their games inside IntelliJ-based IDEs.
The new EAP build of IntelliJ IDEA already includes two games that you can run when you need to switch context or relax and let your brain find the solution for you:
- 1. The never-dying classic Digger. To run the game just select New File and start digging old-school.
- 2. 2048, a fresh killer game by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19-year-old Italian web developer.
Sign in to your IDE
To make IntelliJ IDEA even more personalized, you will now have an online profile that you will use to log in to your IDE. You’ll be able to compare your progress and achievements with the rest of IntelliJ IDEA users around the world and compete with them.
It was also a big surprise for us to find that so many people prefer to stay away from the number 13 whatever it takes. Not that we noticed any serious issues with upgrades or new license purchases, but we would like to offer everyone equal numerical opportunities. To that end, we’re renaming IntelliJ IDEA 13 to IntelliJ IDEA 14-1, effective today. The new EAP build is already using the new version number.
That’s the short version of the plan. We’ll be elaborating on the specifics in later posts. Stay tuned, and do let us know what you think!