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Introducing the Fleet Public Preview

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Since the initial announcement of Fleet, we have had an overwhelming amount of interest from all of you, with over 137,000 people signing up for the private preview. Our reason for starting with a closed preview was to be able to process the feedback in a gradual way. We want to thank each and every person who took part in this private preview, and we also want to apologize to everyone who didn’t receive an invitation. Fortunately you no longer need to wait.

Fleet is still in its infancy, and there is a significant amount of work ahead of us. However, today we’re announcing the first public preview of Fleet, which is accessible to everyone. The reason we’re opening up the preview to the general public is twofold. First off, we don’t think it’s right to keep everyone who signed up waiting any longer, but individually inviting so many people doesn’t really make sense for us. It’s easier to make the preview publicly accessible. Secondly, and most importantly, we’ve always been a company that has developed its products in the open. We don’t want Fleet to be any different in this regard. 

Before you download it, though, please review the rest of this post, since there are a few important things you should know.

What Fleet is

For anyone who may not have heard of it before, Fleet is our new distributed polyglot editor and IDE. It has been built from the ground up using our IntelliJ Platform on the backend and a brand new UI and distributed architecture. For more details check out the Fleet product page.

What to expect now

Since the list of technologies we’re planning to support is quite long, we’ve prepared a chart that displays the languages and technologies that Fleet currently offers support for, along with each one’s status. This should give you a good understanding of what to expect. 

However, we’d like to remind you that Fleet is still in its early days, and some things may not work as expected, even if they’re listed as supported. If you do encounter issues, we’d very much appreciate it if you could log them. The easiest way to do so is via the Send Feedback option in Fleet’s Help menu.

It’s important also to highlight that we’re not intending to replicate our existing IDEs. As such please do not expect to see the exact same functionality with Fleet that you would get with one of our IDEs, such as IntelliJ IDEA. Even as we continue to work on Fleet, not all of the features of our IDEs will appear in it. Fleet is an opportunity for us to provide a different user experience for developers. Having said that, we do want to hear your feedback on things you feel Fleet is missing, such as specific refactoring options, tool integrations, etc. Our existing IDEs will continue to be developed, and we have a lot of plans for them, including performance improvements, a new user interface, remote development, and more. Finally, Fleet also uses the intelligence from our existing tools under the hood, so none of these tools are going anywhere!

What is coming

In the coming months we’ll be working on stabilizing Fleet and addressing as much of the feedback we get as possible. At the same time, we’re working in the following areas:

  • API support and an SDK for plugin authors – Given that Fleet has a distributed architecture, we need to work on simplifying the approach for plugin authors. While we guarantee that we’ll be providing a platform for extending Fleet, we do ask for a bit more patience in this area. 
  • Performance We want Fleet to be performant in terms of not only memory footprint but also response time. There are numerous places we can still improve performance, and we’ll be working on them. 
  • Themes and keymaps – We know that many developers are used to their existing editors and IDEs and often miss their old keyboard bindings and themes when they move to a new one. We’ll be working on adding support for more themes and keymaps. We’ll certainly be working on Vim emulation, as well.

Getting started with Fleet

To download Fleet, you need to use the JetBrains Toolbox App

We are preparing a series of short videos that can help you get started. Make sure you subscribe to our channel. Even though the experience is pretty much the same regardless of the technology you use, we’ve divided them into separate videos based on language. Also make sure to check out Fleet’s documentation if you run into any issues.

We’re still at the beginning of a long journey with Fleet, and we hope you’ll join us for what will be a great adventure! 

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