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How JetBrains Lost Years of Customer Loyalty in Just a Few Hours (bytecrafter.blogspot.com)
430 points by rograndom on Sept 4, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 490 comments

What bugs me about this is when I asked them about the change on Twitter and they kept trying to blow smoke up my butt about how it's better for everyone.

Their first response was that it's cheaper than before. Except it's not. Did they think I wouldn't actually go look at the prices?

Then they said it's better because you can jump in and out at will. Only need Product X for a month? Only pay for a month. Which is fine, except I've never heard of a developer who would do that.

This move wouldn't bug me so much if they were just honest about it. If you're doing it because you need the money or it makes your life easier or whatever, then fine. I don't like it even so, but I could deal with it. But when you try to convince me it's better for me, while treating me like a fool, I start to have a major problem with the whole thing.

> Their first response was that it's cheaper than before. Except it's not. Did they think I wouldn't actually go look at the prices?

Uh - their "everything" price is $20/month = $240/year (or $200 for the annual plan)

(All renewal at current license price)

PHPStorm - $129

PyCharm - $99

ReSharper Ultimate - $600 (no renewal price)

If I were to purchase that with their old license it would cost me $828, with the new plan I only pay $240. And those are just the tools I have an immediate need for (I do Python, PHP, and C# on an almost daily basis).

$20/month for their full suite of tools? Count me in.

When I first found their tools - I was like "ehhh I don't know - I'll stick with Eclipse/Netbeans etc". Eventually I tried IntelliJ, PHPStorm and PyCharm and they have been the best IDEs I've ever used. Trust me I'll advocate open source when I can - but after all the issues I've had with Eclipse and Netbeans I almost just totally switched to vi.

Yeah, Eclipse has the Linux GUI curse.

Linux users expect the GUI to be unusable so they split into the camps who (i) think Eclipse is the bee's knees or (ii) use vi.

The difference between IntelliJ and Eclipse is like night and day -- Eclipse fans think the plug-in feature is great but install one too many plugins and your Eclipse will get sick with pluginitis.

I recently had to use Eclipse again, after 5+ years of Emacs mostly coding sessions, and boy it was tough. I kept thinking it's just one IDE, and others are better, thinking about IntelliJ. Heh.

ps: people, take a look at Emacs, it really is nice, and only needs 8MB cough

> I kept thinking it's just one IDE, and others are better, thinking about IntelliJ. Heh.

I usually don't endorse a product or service (different tools for different tasks and different people etc) but at least try out IntelliJ. I'm pretty sure there is a reason why Google decided to dump Eclipse in favor of IntelliJ as their officially supported IDE.

You may be able to crank out code faster using vi and/or emacs - but an IDE will be more advanced to tell you mistakes that could mean a world of difference. You don't know how many times I've seen people make simple mistakes writing PHP with vi that could have easily been avoided using an IDE.

My English is often cryptic, it was flattering towards IntelliJ. Since long ago they wrote very useful code either infrastructure (their caching mechanism) or UX (thorough keyboard bindings).

What kind of errors did they fail to catch ? vi/emacs rely on external checkers, I don't know what IntelliJ uses, if they have an in-house fully fledged AST analyzer or if they reuse community made ones.

> ps: people, take a look at Emacs, it really is nice, and only needs 8MB cough

As an Emacs fan, I feel obligated to, ahh, unpack this reference.

EMACS: Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping. A Humorous Expansion of the name from when eight megabytes of RAM was more than you had, bucko.

These days, I'm sure that, if you really worked at it, you could get an Emacs process to take up as much RAM as the Chrome tab you just opened to look something up on Stack Exchange.

Some times emacs has perf issues, but Eclipse overhead is really too much for me to enjoy. And the UX is miserable, all this OOP, OSGi plugins and frameworks for this leaves me meh.

I am a complete newbie so my perspective is inherently flawed but I am wary of installing anything on a Debian machine that I can't just get using aptitude (sudo apt-get install foo).

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it possible to create a Debian repository server at Jet Brains that I can add to my aptitude sources list and then install Intelli J and stuff from the conventional command line interface? Why does Jet Brains insist on doing things the Net beans way with opening a web browser and downloading a binary every time?

Fwiw it's worth learning how to use the excellent Debian Alternatives [1] system to install stuff not in the repo's. Download the precompiled binary, or download the source and compile it, put in $HOME, /opt, or wherever you want, then use update-alternatives to soft link it into the standard system directories (/usr, /usr/bin, /usr/local, etc). You can manage and toggle between multiple versions of the same software that way, including the repo version, and lots more benefits, see github readme below.

Intro: https://www.debian-administration.org/article/91/Using_the_D...

Example setup scripts: https://github.com/byrongibson/scripts/tree/master/install/h...


Not just that, but they've closed numerous bugs as "wont fix" & blamed them on the linux ecosystem. On Ubuntu, I've gone through some very annoying bugs like the IDE randomly freezing every 10-15m and needing to be restarted, even after removing openJDK & installing the official Java, and all the other annoying things they suggested.

I dislike them as a company because they claimed to support Linux, took my money, and then blamed my choice of OS when things broke. If they don't want to support linux, fine, but they shouldn't say that they do on the sales page, then act to the contrary.

Funny, because neither Pycharm or CLion have randomly frozen for me in Linux. Sounds like they support Linux in my case!

There's a big difference between "it works for most people on linux" and "we support our product on linux"

> I am wary of installing anything on a Debian machine that I can't just get using aptitude (sudo apt-get install foo).

I don't think that is really an issue (anymore?) - I've installed deb packages manually and compiled stuff from scratch. The only problem you could run into is if package A from the Debain repos requires Version X.1 - but you installed some random deb which installed Version X.2 - you might get into dependency issues. I've found backports to fill this gap.

In fact the Jetbrains stuff is self contained so you need to bring your own JRE and run it from the folder that you extracted it to.

It opens web browser in Debian?

On Fedora, it just downloads a patch, applies it and restarts.

The pet peeve of mine is, that it downloads a patch, restart, then it finds out it has updates for plugins too, downloads them and restarts again.

It would be much nicer if Jetbrains had a yum repository for both IDE and plugins and would download delta rpms. Just like Google Chrome does.

> It would be much nicer if Jetbrains had a yum repository for both IDE and plugins and would download delta rpms. Just like Google Chrome does.

Yes, it'd be nice if we had repositories for yum and apt-get.

Also, I understand that most of the time it just downloads a patch, and restarts but the first install is still a problem. It shouldn't be that way.

Eclipse is has the cross-platform GUI curse. :-)

In that example, you have someone working regularly enough in PHP, Python and .Net (Resharper) to appreciate the JetBrains tools. I'm sure it happens, but it doesn't seem to be the usual case to me.

edit But looking at the pricing page ( https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox/ ), a pure C# dev could just get "ReSharper Ultimate" for £79 Per year, or "ReSharper" for £71 per year, which I think is not much different from the current price?

I code php, java, python regularly. My team of two code php and java regularly and a little python. We have a small resource starved team. May not be normal but it is for us.

All of those languages are already covered by IntelliJ Ultimate. So your net cost in this new scheme is roughly the same as before, except if you don't renew your IDE stops working.

I'm glad it's better for you (really!).

But they shouldn't present it as better for everyone when it's clearly not.

He is specifically refuting your argument that the new model isn't cheaper than the old model.

And I'm accepting that but pointing out that it still applies to many.

Yes you are but you are providing no concrete examples of that. I'm interested to hear your examples?

I have a feeling that the people posting here on HN that are against the subscription may only be a small percentage of their user base.

Personally I don't upgrade - because I don't need to. But if given the subscription I probably would if the price was right. Take Office 365 - yeah you can pay $200+ for a full offline copy but you have to do that for every version (and the whole keeping track of your media). Or just pay $99/year and get a perpetual license + extras + online installer. I know there are a number of people who are like "open office does everything I need!" - and that's great but just wait until you need to work on a document with another person who is using office 20XX and open office doesn't support the subtle formatting in that version yet. I know of a large company that tried switching to open office - they couldn't do it because open office didn't format many documents correctly.

> Uh - their "everything" price is $20/month = $240/year (or $200 for the annual plan)

If you need that.

The individual products are more expensive with the subscription plan if you buy a license starting 1/1/2016

With the previous model you could just stop paying them and keep using your current version of the software. With the new model stop paying them and you are locked out.

I want DRM-free IDEs!

Wait, what? The only product I use is Resharper... I was paying $119 an update before, now I'll be paying $240?!? Yeah, that's not a good deal for me. There's no amount of skewed math I can apply that makes $240 less than $119...

Here's the pricing policy:


The $20 is for all products, Resharper alone is $11.90 a month or $119 a year.

It used to be you would stop getting updates but could still use the product at its frozen (for you) point. For example, to re-examine an old project (even if you might not want to do any fresh builds on an outdated platform).

Can you still do that, or does the tool "die" for you altogether once you stop paying?

P.S. Assuming underlying OS compatibility, which would probably eventually break unless e.g. also frozen in a VM.

P.P.S. It was a couple of years ago, and during a promotion, but I got the "whole enchilada", plus a year of updates, for a bit under $100. It was a 50% off promotion, as I recall, so the non-sale price would have been under $200. [Or maybe it was just a bit over -- either way.]

I understand concerns about revenue stream; nonetheless, I have to agree with some others here in... more or less detesting such "subscription" pricing/licensing models.

Among other things, I have some old, old systems and programs that work just fine, as long as I keep them isolated e.g. from the big, bad Internet. I don't want stuff that dies unless I perpetually feed it, even just for historical purposes.

I've also been a Safari online book library subscriber, and I've started to regret not simply instead spending the money to buy ebook versions of the titles I'm most interested in.

In areas where I have a stronger personal interest in long-term and historical access, I am growing increasingly tired of and leery of the "subscription model."

After 30 days of a failed payment [1] or 30 days without contacting JetBrains servers [2] it will only allow you to open their software briefly before "the product will gently notify the user and will allow some time to connect to the Internet before asking to close the application".

[1] https://sales.jetbrains.com/hc/en-gb/articles/204344871-Does...

[2] https://sales.jetbrains.com/hc/en-gb/articles/204348441-What...

In other words the software requires perpetual rent to keep working [even as is]... that's not cool at all.

> does the tool "die" for you altogether once you stop paying?

It dies. Or at least, this is what they have announced, obviously we will only be able to test from December.

Have they? Where have they said that?

kileywm has this to say about that:


So previously $119 would buy him infinite years.

And now $119 buys him a single year.

Sounds like a downgrade to me?

no $119 would buy him one year of updates, and he could choose not to update in the future if he didn't want to. If he chose to update on a regular basis, then he would still need to pay $119 every year

Also, under the new regime, the moment he stops paying, the IDE stops working. Previously, when you stop paying,you'd be left with a working-but-outdated version. This is definitely a downgrade

Do you have anything that says that's specifically what happens? Cause their FAQ says that when your subscription expires, you can continue using the last version that was released when your sub expired.

Where did you read that? The closest I could find was "Does the new model demand that I have Internet access?" [1] in which it states that it requires an internet connection every 30 days to authenticate and if it cannot then it will close the application. I'm guessing that also means if it does auth but sees an expired license, it would also close the application.

[1] https://sales.jetbrains.com/hc/en-gb/articles/204344871-Does...

> Cause their FAQ says that when your subscription expires, you can continue using the last version that was released when your sub expired.

Would you mind mentioning the question in the FAQ which states this? Everything I've read so far (notable this question: https://i.imgur.com/u7Y7otq.png) suggests the software cannot be used when a subscription is not being actively paid for each month.


And he'd get to use the product indefinitely, without updates, for that initial $119.

Now, his software gets turned off.

and he could choose not to update in the future if he didn't want to

Yes, that's what I mean by downgrade. This choice was taken away from him.

I'd read it that I would lose my "update" model and I'd have to go back to paying the full outright price again if I decided to skip an update.

Resharper ultimate is $11.99 a month or $119 a year.

I switched from RubyMine to emacs and got a significant productivity boost. YMMV, but I don't think I'll ever use an IDE for a dynamic language again.

PHPstorm was excellent when I, a Ruby developer (among other languages), had to adopt a PHP codebase. RubyMine was less impressive, especially with all the enhancements available for Pry and IRB. RubyMine couldn't find method declarations or infer types the way PHPstorm could.

So, I stick with Vim for Ruby, but don't rule out IDEs entirely for other dynamic languages in a pinch.

I agree, it is cheaper but there are some of us that simply have no way to force, convince or otherwise cajole our employers to adopt a service license model. I have designers on staff using old Adobe products due to this same problem. JetBrains isn't going to magically convince management to open their wallets for monthly fee's. If this goes through, I'm boned. Stuck trying to make shitty IDE's work like jetBrains products. Not a happy day.

The problem with SAAS pricing for previously bought software is that the conversation changes from 'Pay us for this great bit of software, then pay us again when we make it even better', to 'Pay up or all your years of work goes away'.

It's a fundamentally different relationship.

Agreed. The incentive to make it better becomes less because users are on the auto-pay plan. Whereas they have to prove themselves worthy of the upgrade otherwise.

A typical move to subscription based pricing LOWERS costs to the consumer, but the company gets the benefit of more predictable recurring revenues. That makes the pricing JetBrains puts out a little bit of a head-scratcher.

Starting from zero, their pricing is lower over a set number of year. They got rid of the initial "hump" and in turn made the annual amount higher. I didn't look too closely but I guess the cost evens out over a 3-4 year subscription span. For a business this is actually going to simplify accounting I would think. It's no longer a cap-ex with a maintenance fee, it's just rental so all pre-tax.

My guess is that overall their spreadsheeting makes this even out based on how customers have been paying.

The fringe bits (loss of permanence, ability to install a home copy) will disproportionately hurt solo/small business folks and hobbyists. The very people that have been their champion getting their software into enterprise dev teams.

I don't understand why they don't go to the rental model with optional one-time permanent license add-on.

So like hypothetically 100$/year rental and a 100$ supplement for permanent license. Basically option into the current deal. They can even make the sum total greater then it used to be. Like 120$/year rental + 100$ permanent license supplement.

> Starting from zero, their pricing is lower over a set number of year.

Starting from zero the prices are the same or higher. The worst offender, Webstorm, from 49€ first year and 29€ next years to 99€/year from the start

PyCharm is 40€/year more expensive from the second year


I suspect your comment would get fewer downvotes and still be useful if you dropped the jab at the parent commenter's math abilities.

It wasn't meant as jab at his math skills, but our math skills. Companies offer predatory monthly rates and we gobble it up, much to my dismay.

Edit: my ISP, for instance, will happily charge me $7 a month for an $80 router that I won't upgrade for 3-5 years. Who does that?

> Who does that?

A company that knows that people will blindly say "Hey, if I only have to fork over $7 a month instead of finding $80 plus tax, plus gas, plus the inconvenience of going and finding a router myself, and configuring it so that my network works, seems like a good deal" and they purchase the rental - even though $420 for an $80 (plus tax and inconvenience) router is a terrible deal.

Then you get the types that have a box full of routers at home or know that if they purchase for $80, then in a year, it's paid for itself and everything else is gravy.

Everyone's just trying to get their nut.

I imagine they're stumbling thru this viable business model notion, just like everyone else.

Cut them some slack.

I frankly don't care about the price. Developers need to get paid. I hope they figure out something fair (reasonable) with modest profitability, so they can enjoy vacations and have hope of someday retiring.

If I ever stop renewing (or subscribing), I can just use the community version.

Contractors that work with different clients using different languages? You've never heard of someone that works with different languages at different times?


Why not just use IDEA ultimate and install different plugins per language?

I tried, it's not the same. The dedicated tools are better.

Not to mention, I see less incentive now for Jetbrains to make the IntelliJ plugins on par with the standalone, language-specific IDEs.

Also, it doesn't support all the plugins for each language, only some languages.

@toyg (not sure why I can't reply to you so I'll reply to me instead) - really? I've never tried them. I thought Intellij was the same with the appropriate language plugin. Maybe I'll give some of them a go...

(aside: HN blocks replying to your replyer for a short while to discourage heated exchanges. If you wait a bit the reply button will show up.)

I dunno what it's like now, but there was a time when, among other things, IntelliJ could not open a project created in rubymine. They were providing ruby support as a plugin and it was considerably broken, for about six months.

> Their first response was that it's cheaper than before.

It is cheaper if you are using a number of their products. It's the same price for the individual products I'm currently using. Net for me is that it's cheaper.

> Which is fine, except I've never heard of a developer who would do that.

I don't code in Python or Ruby every day, but when I do, it's usually for a specific project, and having PyCharm or RubyMine at a low price point and in an environment that I'm familiar with is nice to have. I wouldn't want to buy the IDE outright, but the lower price point is more attractive.

I think JetBrains miscalculated just how much people like the current licensing model.

I liked their first model - I paid for it and just used it. The current model, with the yearly upgrade premium, I tolerated. I felt it was a scam (are they going to publish an update in the next year so I get my money's worth? Probably not) but I could deal with it.

This new model doesn't work for me at all. As someone who bought his own license, used it at work, and got 3 employers to switch to it -- this doesn't feel right. I am reminded of Altova. They turned their $120 XML editor into a $999 enterprise behemoth. I haven't recommended them in over 10 years.

I agree with all your points. I have used jetbrains products for 15 years so I feel sad that this is how they are going to lose me and other customers. I was hoping they would come with an IDE for golang and I would buy that as well. Now, this is a big disappointment.

So your license price jumps from $89 to $120/yr and now you're no longer a customer? Do you not think their tools probably make up for that $120/yr in terms of your productivity?

If you struggle with Netbeans or Eclipse for an hour or two with something IntelliJ does easily, you've already paid for your license.

I don't understand arguing about peanuts; pay it the trivial increase and get on with the show of making real money. No wonder why so many startups fail.

I think (for me anyway) the problem isn't the price at all. It's the fact that if you let your subscription lapse you CANNOT use the product.

In my case (small business) we have months of very low activity. Now if I let my subscription lapse then I lose access to the software and it becomes more expensive since I wouldn't have the existing customer discount anymore (presumably).

I would easily pay double what I'm paying now _but_ on the existing scheme where I can upgrade when I want to, not when I'm forced to.

You need to use their tools. Jetbrains needs to pay the bills.

Your profit margins prohibit you from purchasing new licenses at $120/yr (it's a business expense, so it's even cheaper).

Your business model seems more suspect than anything to do with Jetbrains.

pixard said:

> I would easily pay double what I'm paying now _but_ on the existing scheme where I can upgrade when I want to...

If he upgrades every other year, then JetBrains's revenue per year works out to be the exactly the same as in their subscription model. In the subscription model, if he has a down month around about the time when his JB subscription payment is due, he loses access to his tools. This could kill his business, which would -in turn- shut off the money faucet to JB.

> (it's a business expense, so it's even cheaper)

Does JetBrains have a business license that's cheaper than $120/year? If they don't, then $120/year is still $120/year, whether or not a business is spending the money.

> Your business model seems more suspect...

Do you run a business? Do you know anyone who does? There are good months and bad months; cash flow is almost never steady. Indeed, it is likely this very fact that is causing the JB people to switch to the subscription (AKA "Let's get a guaranteed revenue stream!") model of billing.

so don't fucking use it. if it's literally not valuable enough to justify 100/yr, just let it go and use eclipse or notepad or something.

Pixard said:

> I think (for me anyway) the problem isn't the price at all. It's the fact that if you let your subscription lapse you CANNOT use the product.

(emphasis mine)

So pay yearly and make sure at the annual accounting meeting to renew your Jetbrain subscriptions because they are the ultimate infrastructure for your company?

My comment was tailored to address killface's dramatic lack of understanding [0] of pixard's statement. :)

[0] Indeed, he appears to have failed to read and/or comprehend the first two sentences in pixard's comment.

I don't care about the difference between $89 and $120 in the cost of a tool.

I do care about the difference between license and have it to use indefinitely and continually having to pay to use the product.

Notice how your comparison isn't apples to apples, because the one price is in dollars and the other is in dollar years.

I want to upgrade when I want to. I don't want to be forced to upgrade just to continue using the product! This is main grouse.

> * I felt it was a scam (are they going to publish an update in the next year so I get my money's worth? Probably not) but I could deal with it.*

Surely under the current model you can just not pay for another year until they release an update you want access to?

.. but then you lose the 'renew' discount and have to cough up full price when the update eventually arrives.

So the complaint is that, because you choose not to regularly renew the software, you don't get the discount that comes with it? That sounds kind of entitled, honestly.

It goes against decades of tradition. In the past, the upgrade was offered at a discount to reward your customers for staying with you. It also reflected the lower acquisition cost for that release -- since you didn't have to spend any marketing dollars to find them.

Their policy was saying "We appreciate your loyalty, but only for the next year then you'll have to go back to paying full price." But the year didn't start on the renewal date, it was back-dated to the anniversary of the original purchase date. Which meant if you didn't renew on time, you weren't getting a full year .. maybe only 8 months. It was a money-grab, but one I could tolerate.

I made sense if you think about paying for updates in terms of paying for their work. If you wait 3 months and then get 12 months license for updates you effectively got 15 months for a price of 12. They may be hesitant to offer that to you on a discounted price. I think it makes perfect sense.

The 3 months were spent using the previous version, so you didn't get the benefit of the improvements in the upgrade. But this scheme means you paid for them anyway.

Anniversary date: March 1st Upgrade announced: June 1st You get around to purchasing the upgrade: September 1st You get to use the new version for 5 more months (until March 1st) before your upgrade premium expires.

You didn't "use" the new things but you get them now. They've spent 3 months developing stuff which you now want basically for free. Think about it as paying for work, it takes time to develop features, say 1 feature a week. You didn't pay for 3 months, they added 12 things. You now get them without paying if you were to get 12 months since renewal. It really is no wonder they don't want to offer that on a discount.

Your 1 year upgrade starts from when your last license ran, not from when you paid for the upgrade. So if your license ran out in January and you bought a 1 year upgrade next June. That upgrade would only last until next January, not next June.

No you can't. Under the new model if you stop paying, it stops working.

I said current model, not new model. (But other replies to me say that isn't the case with the current model either.)

I was with Adobe during their change (as a tech evangelist meeting a lot of users), and watched it play out from both directions. And setting aside questions of pricing, one thing people overlook is that a subscription plan is a much, much better way to make software than selling annual or biannual updates.

The problem is that for a mature product, yearly sales cycles create a toxic incentive to focus engineering time on flashy demo-friendly features, at the cost of spending cycles on performance, stability, workflow improvements that benefit power users but don't impress salespeople, and so on. It's a recipe for bloat - cutting out a flashy feature never helps sales, so they stick around even when they're not useful.

I don't know anything about JetBrains or their software, or whether the above is an issue for them, but FWIW I think most of the Adobe teams are making better tools since the change, and it's due to having the feature priorities in the right place.

> Yearly sales cycles create a toxic incentive to focus engineering time on flashy demo-friendly features

I understand that argument, but what incentive does DRM with a killswitch create for the software company, if its customers must pay in order to keep the product running at all? Might it not create different perverse incentives, for example trying to close the ecosystem in order to make a switch a painful experience?

Or in other words: What incentive to improve the software (other than the threat from competitors) does subscription DRM provide, if you can just collect the rent, because the cost of switching is too high anyway and the customers are at your mercy?

Very fair point, and believe me I heard it from a lot of users. My answer is (was), the pressure to improve has always been from competitors, and that doesn't change under a subscription model. I know people tend to see Photoshop as an endless monopoly, but actually tons of rivals pop up and get users in significant numbers (e.g. Sketch), and they do it by being lightweight and flexible. And if Photoshop just kept being huge and adding on ten more huge features per year it would inevitably become a relic, if not by losing old users then definitely by failing to attract new ones.

Not to dismiss your point though - it's absolutely possible that the company gets complacent and stops innovating and collects rent. I just don't think anything really stops people from ditching Adobe if that happens. In this sense I think people overestimate the tools' intrinsic value and underestimate the value of the updates each year. That is, I like Photoshop better than its competitors today, and I felt the same way three years ago, but between a three year-old version of PS and its competitors today I'd switch in a second, and I think many others would too. In other words, the only reason PS maintains its monopoly-like dominance is that it's kept innovating, and if one side of that equation changes the other will too.

With that said, playing devil's advocate against myself, one big argument against what I'm saying here is lock-in from file formats like PSD - if people subscribe and make PSD files, the risk of losing work if they switched tools removes some of the pressure on Adobe to innovate. At the time of the CC switch Adobe said they would come out with some way to make sure people don't get locked out of their files, but I don't know if anything happened with that or not. A lot of tools support PSD these days so maybe it's not a hot issue but I think it's worth keeping in mind.

Sorry to go to such length but I hope that answers your question.

What about pay for a product + 1 year of updates and then if you want it you can pay for another 1 year of updates? It seems it doesn't create the problem you mentioned because as people buy on different days there is no cut-off point you would be incentivized to wait with updates to.

What an incredible whinge and whine.

Why are people so resentful about paying money for their incredibly useful primarily development tool?

Often while I'm using PyCharm I'm awed by how powerful it is and amazed that JetBrains has the resources, time, brainpower and money to write it. And that's not worth a few bucks? Sheesh.

Seriously, it's a trivial amount of money and if you or your company can't afford it then you like this should go and use free alternatives.

Loving the tool enough to use it but hating on a company enough to declare it's lost all its customer loyalty makes my blood boil.

Also, how does this guy elevate himself to the all-knowing position to declare from his personal opinion how much customer loyalty JetBrains has actually lost?

I want the companies who make great software to make money and keep doing it.

This guy should just go use a different product that he doesn't have to pay for. It's not necessary to trash JetBrains on your way out the door.

Few, if any, people are complaining about paying money for the tool. I don't know where comments like this are coming from.

What I, and most, are complaining about is the fact that they are turning their offerings into "rental only" software (a disturbing trend in the industry).

I have no problems paying JetBrains, and I do, every year, even for duplicate product offerings whose functionality is included in the main IntelliJ product because I love them so much.

I have a problem with rental only software that will stop working the second I stop paying you. I will no longer be a JetBrains customer if they do not bring back a perpetual license offering, and I have told them so.

See my other comment [1] for why customers are allowed to complain.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10170759

This isn't about paying money (we'll pay the money), this is about whether the software will just curl up and suddenly die on you, while you're on the hook to meet a deadline where minutes count.

I really doubt that JetBrains will allow your IDE to just stop working without any advance warning.

They reserve the right to do just that. In the case of sudden, unexpected company collapse, they may have no choice but to kill all their software at once. That is the hazard.

Unless you have a rock-solid contract with stiff penalties, software rental is a highly risky proposition.


I do not like the idea of paying a monthly fee BUT I do buy the license annually so its not a huge difference to me. If this keeps JetBrains in business its fine with me. This is such an insignificant cost for a tool that I use all day, every day.

Moving to a subscription model for 1 thing is okay, perhaps 2, or even 3. But with every company gradually moving to subscription models, it is emptying out our wallets every month and removing more and more of our income to maintain the status quo.

From my own perspective, and I know this doesn't apply to all, but I cannot imagine I'm the only person with this viewpoint, I'm sick of other developers saying things like: "You know what? For the amount developers earn, $X is a small price to pay." You're right, $X for a single piece of software is a small price. But when you add the cost of your MSDN license here, your JetBrains license there, your Xamarin university/license, O'Reilly Safari License, PluralSight license, Apple Developer License, the Mac required to compile/publish for iOS and countless other licenses, software and hardware purchases to do our jobs - all of which are gradually moving towards month-by-month subscription models with excessively large combined annual overheads, it cuts more and more into your budget... and not to forget that the income you make doesn't just pay for an ever revolving cycle of tools to maintain your competitiveness as these arguments seem to forget [unless you're still living in Mom's basement and all your income is expendable or can feed the endless software-as-a-service lifestyle]. It's also used to ensure that your kids get a good education so they can make their own valuable contributions to society; that you're able to live comfortably and not worry about where your next meal is coming from; that your family is safe and secure and well prepared for the unexpected; medical plans; retirement plans; mortgage; vehicle payments; the list goes on... all of which costs money - every month!

I'm growing tired of companies feeling like they can reach into my pocket month after month and take every spare penny for "services rendered." At what point will people turn around and say "Enough's enough! My money is mine!" I'm happy to buy products when they move me forward, but I hate paying monthly subscriptions on the off chance that you're going to provide an update that may [but probably won't] benefit me in the longer term.

As a company providing software, I'm not purchasing you as a service. I'm purchasing your product. When I work for a company that pays me every month, I'm selling myself to them as a service - to do their bidding and write the code they want. If I'm to pay for you as a service, then the money I'm paying you had better be providing what I need to do my job more effectively, just like if I pay a cleaner to come clean the house, I'm not paying for them to develop makeup products that benefit their other clients while I don't wear makeup. I want the option of buying the product that does help me do my job more effectively and then I'll hold on to the rest of my money and allocate it where that is the case.

So would you rather pay a one-off fee for a JetBrains product and have no maintenance and support for it?

And by that I mean not even access to their public forums and for their devs to stop posting on Stack Overflow. Because that's the reality for most one-off purchase products. You'll get minimal over-the-phone customer support if you're lucky.

Not sure why you see it as a product that doesn't fit a subscription model. These devs have to constantly put in a ton of work to support this kind of product.

And like other comments have pointed out, if you don't see the value, there ARE free alternatives. It's your call. Ultimately if JetBrains have in fact got this offering wrong then customers will say no and JetBrains will lose out.

I rarely go looking for customer support for anything except on Stack Overflow. 90% of the time, community driven forums are way more helpful for most products than the original company... most developers give of their own time there by donation, to give back to the rest of the community that feed that cycle. I like that I can give back there, just as I can receive help. If Jetbrains suddenly required that their developers boycott such forums, I would wager it would be a downward spiral for loyalty to them.

I'm not knocking Jetbrains here, so don't take this like a personal gripe at their company. I've been a faithful purchaser of Resharper for a number of years and will likely continue. I'm quite happy to pay for software, and I pay for thousands of dollars worth of software and licenses every year to do my job. Developers have families to feed. I know, I am one and I have one. But I don't expect to write a piece of software that makes your life easier and say - hey, by the way, you can have that software for $10 a month and when you stop paying me, it stops working.

I don't mind paying for a support contract if I feel I need one, but that should not be the default model for the software. I'd rather pay for the software outright and then if I feel I will need support, pay for a support contract too. But I don't want to be told "the only way to 'purchase' our software is via a perpetual rental agreement."... as someone said below somewhere - that's how poor people stay poor.

What is being sold here is effectively the same as a perpetual support contract that comes with some free software... which stops working if you stop paying for the support contract because you decide you no longer require support...

They had a model where I got some support for X months (12?) for the cost of the license. When that license ended, I got no more support, but the software kept working. If I don't need the support, and am happy with the version I have, why do I need to keep paying in perpetuity for new features and service I'll never use?

I'm fine if they want to introduce new licensing options, but pulling the old perpetual license model bothers me. Raise the perpetual price if you want to guide more people to monthly/annual, but let me keep a perpetual license that doesn't stop working when I quit paying.

The problem with JB not accommodating the sentiment isn't just "Jetbrains will lose out" - many current and future users will too.

The business plan that you or your company wrote probably includes "Pricing plan: subscription, revenue bazillions!"

If you don't like it, take your ball and go home.


I think if you cant pay for 20$ s a month for your fav tool that you use to earn money, maybe switching jobs might be a better option

> What an incredible whinge and whine.

What a bullshit way to start your own complaint. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people complaining about this.

> Why are people so resentful about paying money for their incredibly useful primarily development tool?

It's not about the money, it's about the principle. Poor people rent things. That's how they stay poor. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and couldn't go buy some eggs from the supermarket until you joined their club for 100$ a month? You'd go to another supermarket. What if you couldn't buy a car, only lease one?

> Loving the tool enough to use it but hating on a company enough to declare it's lost all its customer loyalty makes my blood boil.

Have you ever heard the saying "You have to love someone before you hate them?" Does that saying also make your blood boil?

> Also, how does this guy elevate himself to the all-knowing position to declare from his personal opinion how much customer loyalty JetBrains has actually lost?

Because he's talking about himself and his own loyalty to the company?

> I want the companies who make great software to make money and keep doing it.

OK. But if people disagree with the pricing model and it drives away customers, that's not going to work either and no amount of your own whining is going to stop that.

> This guy should just go use a different product that he doesn't have to pay for.

Yeah it's a good solution. I think that's what he said he'd do in the last paragraph. Many of the comments here and on his blog echoed the same thing saying that they'd use Eclipse or NetBeans instead.

> It's not about the money, it's about the principle. Poor people rent things. That's how they stay poor. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and couldn't go buy some eggs from the supermarket until you joined their club for 100$ a month? You'd go to another supermarket. What if you couldn't buy a car, only lease one?

Wow, you've just explained so well why I feel uneasy about all this switching to subscription payments for locally install-able software.

I mean, there isn't that much change, and it's even cheaper upfront, but... there's something about it. Not being able to own the stuff you're using every day (and depend on) is that it. It just kinda feels that you're owned instead.

> How would you feel if you woke up one morning and couldn't go buy some eggs from the supermarket until you joined their club for 100$ a month?

Sounds like the local co-op; turns out they sell better products and generally provide a better shopping experience...

>But if people disagree with the pricing model and it drives away customers

If you change a pricing model (and it's not cheaper) you'll get a ton of complaints no matter what you do. Their model will work fine.

I'm with you. It especially bugs the hell out of me to see this attitude coming from other software developers. I've never complained about having to pay for someone else's software, because I really hope other people will see fit to not complain and buy mine. This is our livelihood here. We can't all be independently wealthy open-source developers.

Read the cogent comments more closely. Folks aren't concerned about the cost of the software. They're concerned about the built-in killswitch. Most folks in the thread will pay 2->4x more than they are paying now for a perpetual license to a particular version of the software. They're also more than happy to pay that same amount for future versions of the software, but on a schedule that they dictate.

If you're considering making a tool a critical part of how you do business, you need to be able to rely on it forever.

If you rent that tool -and don't have a rock-solid contract with stiff penalties- the lessor may chose to suddenly discontinue, or dramatically raise the price of that tool. Or their company may suddenly go under, taking access to all of your rented software with it. In any of those situations, you'll be left scrambling to find a replacement for something that once was a critical part of your business.

I do too, but many of us hate the subscription model. To go from having a certain level of autonomy to feeling like little more than a peasant in JetBrain's little software fiefdom...

That is the problem with these models. Perpetual licensing grants the user independence... subscription licensing holds your tools hostage unless you pay up. $25 for adobe here, $20 for jetbrains there, pretty soon $20 for windows, $20 for office, $20 here $20 there $20 everywhere... it adds up. Maybe all of these companies will stay in business... if the software was sufficiently popular. If not, then POOF

It didn't used to be that way. It doesn't have to be this way. Some of us prefer to pay once.

That said, JetBrain's previous model was pretty shitty too... if you wanted to sit out a couple months and wait for the next version before renewing your license, those fuckers would backdate your purchase so it began on the last day of your previous license. Jerks...

Frankly, I support this.

We need to pay more for software, not less. The Freemium model is killing products because you can't make any money from writing programs anymore unless you get a huge homerun. People only want to pay $0.99 for a program that took months of man-hours to write. $5.99? Fuck it, that's too expensive!

IntelliJ is magic to me. It's a wonderful piece of software, and I generally do not like Java. But it has transformed the entire experience.

Companies like JetBrains needs to be incentivized to write this kind of software, and innovate on it. They're not going to if they have leeches that use the free version in perpetuity. And if they change to a subscription model, then good for them.

If you use IntelliJ in a professional context, and you make a decent wage, a large part of it is because of IntelliJ, so you should pay up. $200/year is nothing compared to other things people spend money on like Starbucks, DirecTV, gas, etc.

This. This whole thread is people saying how great IntelliJ is, but damn them for changing their prices. I can't believe how short sighted people can be when confronted with even the smallest change. Jetbrains needs to make money both to stay in business and to continue to innovate with their products, that is a fact. Prices on things go up over time, why should software be excempt? Would it be better if they put in ads and sold your personal data to pay for it? With constant uproar or using the consumer as the product you would think that folks would relish supporting a software company with their dollars instead.

Besides, this pales in comparison to a yearly MSDN license and that new fancy macbook every couple years, or even that morning starbucks fix.

Most wouldn't mind a price hike. But the outlook that in a few years the tool I rely on for my projects will not work anymore is unacceptable for most developers.

> the tool I rely on

Then don't stop paying for it.

Meanwhile, its not like they are holding your data hostage. Apart from your customized settings in their IDE you can always access your project files with another IDE or editor.

> Then don't stop paying for it.

If a tool is good, I will happily pay a large one-time fee for it.

Unless there is literally no other choice, I -personally- will not rely on a tool that may cost me an unbounded amount of money in the future. In a subscription model, four things are pretty much always true:

1) When you stop paying your recurring fee, you lose access to your tools.

2) The rate you pay is subject to change at any time.

3) If the company decides to stop offering a given tool, you lose access to it, regardless of how much you relied on it and how unsuitable any replacement tooling is.

4) If the company folds, you've a 50/50 chance of losing legal access to the tools that you "paid for" forever.

I understand that a constant, guaranteed revenue stream makes a company's financial planning easier. Unless I have a contract that makes rock-solid guarantees and imposes penalties that far more than cover my losses for breaking them, neither paying in advance for software upgrades, nor renting tools that will become a vital part of my projects makes any sense at all.

Is it written in stone, that Jetbrains and their tools will still exist in a few years? And that the then current version will be able to open my ancient project files?

Not really, but our benevolent God has ordained that, especially if it becomes abandonware, versions without license check will be available on plenty of internet sites.

> The Freemium model is killing products because you can't make any money from writing programs anymore unless you get a huge homerun.

This isn't Freemium. This is the equivalent of Buy-To-Play. You are paying for the product. Paying quote a lot, in fact.

And unlike an MMO, there's no servers to run, just possible bugfix updates.

If software developers expect to be paid well for their talents, the cost of software has to increase.

And it's not just bugfix updates, it's new features and innovations.

But previous model catered for that: you buy a tool and x months of developers' work. If you want to buy more work (updates) you pay again. The incentives are nicely aligned here. With the rental model they aren't because you will have to pay for 20 years even if they stop developing the software. This trend is disturbing. It really is similar to not being able to buy an apartment, a car or a kitchen knife.

With all the goods I want to pay you for your service/time/offering and then maybe pay again if I like what you provide and want more of it. I don't want a financial relationship with you when just because I bought something you made I need to keep paying for it even though you don't need to work on it anymore.

What's next? Laptop as a service where you get upgrades every year but if you don't pay up they take it away from you?

You are confusing an subscription-based IDE with software-as-a-service.

Do you even use IntelliJ? You don't lose anything except access to the IDE. You can always switch to Eclipse if you don't want to pay. You lose NOTHING except the convenience and power of IntellJ, which is why you pay for them.

If the loss of access to IntelliJ is not a large one, then why would one ever pay to use it? :)

I, and many others in this thread, are happy to pay for a perpetual license to a particular version of software. We are also happy to pay for future versions of that software, if future versions are even vaguely worth paying for. We are not happy with making rented software that contains a built-in killswitch a critical part of how we get our work done. [0]

[0] kileywm found some JetBrains FAQ answers that indicate that if your license cannot be verified for 30 days, or your license payment is 30 days overdue, JetBrains's software will refuse to function: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10171998

IDE's have their own learning curve. We invest time in learning IDE software in order to be more productive. When we lose access to IntelliJ the knowledge we gained is worth significantly less than it was and now we have to go and spend time learning another IDE. We are also now less productive so we spend more time working to make up the difference. Time is money.

Renting computers has always been pretty popular at the enterprise level. I believe there are a few steps trying to bring that model into the consumer market.

If they expect to paid well; they should make software worth buying and price it properly. In the subscription model, they're still (likely) under-pricing but now they don't have to keep with features and innovations -- because if they do nothing, and you don't pay, you lose access to everything you had before.

>they should make software worth buying and price it properly

They do make software worth buying, and I have already stated that I believe it is priced properly NOW.

Wrong. You don't lose access to your files, your code, your data. You only lose access to the IDE. If they stop innovating, the great thing about this model is that you can leave immediately to another competitor that likely is copying all their feature.

How is this a defense of this model from the customers perspective? In the old pricing model, if they stop innovating I can just stop paying for it and stay with the version I have. This is good for me. And I have actually done this -- I own PHPStorm and while I've bought a yearly upgrades in the past this last year I did not. I'm not doing as much PHP work and most of my PHP work is legacy. Thankfully I own PHPStorm instead of renting it for almost the same price.

With this new model, I wouldn't be happily moving to another competitor, I'd be forced into it immediately. I would paying nearly the same amount but instead I don't own anything.

Imagine this scenario :

Big company sees Jetbrains income / username; buys Jetbrains. Decides to cut costs, lets a few devs go. Income doesn't change but profit rises. Let a few more devs go. Switch to minimum viable development model. Customers are locked in to access their work, don't really care about updates because they already like the product. Gradually customers drift away. Not enough revenue for minimum viable product, close it down. All customers can't access files "too bad".

You hit the nail on the head. Yes it is a price hike.. At the amount of money software developers make annually, $240 annually is peanuts. Especially since it will be pretax for the company (or the self employed individual). Jet brains offers free community editions and hasn't indicated that it will stop doing so. Use that if you cannot afford the $240. Or just get the one product you are interested in for half the price. Think of the productivity improvement you get and decide if it justifies the price.

I think this is a tremendous deal for polyglot or multi platform developers and a mild price hike for specialist programmers. If you think the new price isn't worth the software, don't get it. I think it is.. in fact I think the kitchen sink license is worth a lot more than the $240 they are charging frankly.

Programming gets easier and more accessible every year. Here's some other industries that wished their skills were worth more even as they became generic or commoditized:

- scribes

- blacksmiths

- http://www.sfgate.com/jobs/slideshow/14-jobs-that-don-t-exis...

I would like to encourage everybody that does not like the new licensing scheme of JetBrains to band together and produce either an open source product that is as polished so it can be used for free or, alternatively to take this apparently huge business opportunity and run with it.

I never quite understood what makes people that make 100's of thousands of dollars per year so cheap that they would balk at paying a few hundred $ for their main tool of choice.

Looking at a moderately tooled up wood or metalworking shop you'd be looking at a very large multiple for the main tools + accessories without a hope to make the kind of money we can make in software.

Many people are quite happy to pay for their tools, what they do not want is to be forced into a situation when it is pay for the tools this month or lose access to them.

Jetbrains could have avoided all this negative backslash by keeping the current licencing scheme in place and adding the subscription service as an option.

Again, think of it like buying a DVD over renting it on Netflix, most likely Netflix would be the cheaper option as with the exception of children's movies most movies/shows are not watched more than twice/thrice.

However we want to feel the ownership of something.

We do not want to be told that we must pay $5 for this exquisite hammer this month or be forced to go back to a 3 year old hammer.

To continue the analogy, most woodworker's tools are 1) well over three years old, and 2) have consumable components which cost well over Jetbrain's highest subscription cost every year.

Not to mention, once purchased, a woodworker won't get upgrades to their tools, or have problems with them fixed as part of their ongoing cost.

Consider it a contribution to a team whose tools you obviously enjoy, to ensure both that updates keep coming and you're not stuck with a three year old tool because Jetbrains couldn't afford to stay in business.

If the problem is low revenue, they should just raise prices and be honest about it.

I mean, if you're already paying £100 for an IDE despite the wealth of free alternatives, you do it for a reason: because it's worth it. There might be a price point where it stops being worth it, but it's likely not £120 or even £200. You're already competing with free, so price is likely not much of a differentiator already.

Instead, they try to achieve a relatively modest increase by shoving a forced and fairly unjustified SaaS model down their existing customers' throats. That leaves a bad taste, so to speak. Instead of driving sales with innovation, they now drive it with fear (your tool will stop working! pay now!).

> they try to achieve a relatively modest increase

Looking at their (current) pricing model for this, it seems like a drive for more predictable income, instead of additional profit. The ability to depend on getting X dollars per month makes it a lot easier to hire employees on, and justify working on the products.

And for many folks, Jetbrains will be getting less money out of them, since they're offering quite a deal for anyone who works with more than one of the products.

> fairly unjustified SaaS model

Except that they are providing constant, incremental upgrades to their tools as part of the model. That alone acts as fairly strong justification for a subscription model.

> Instead of driving sales with innovation, they now drive it with fear

Anybody who fears being unable to pay a $20 monthly bill is very unlikely to have paid $200 up front for the tool in the first place. Double that for any company who fears this new cost; they're already ponying up over ten grand per employee, another $20 isn't going bankrupt them.

To go back to the woodworker analogy - the woodworker who can't afford to replace the worn blade in their bandsaw has bigger problems than the monthly cost of consumables.

Anybody who fears being unable to pay a $20 monthly bill is very unlikely to have paid $200 up front for the tool in the first place.

I avoid subscription software not because of the price, but because if I stop paying or the company goes out of business the software stops working. Say I completely change industries, then ten years later I want to go back and look at my old projects. If I was using a subscription (IDE|audio editor|DAW|video editor), I won't be able to preserve my historic work.

For some proprietary formats (such as Microsoft Word, PDFs, or photoshop PSD files), this is absolutely the case. However, when it comes to code, the format is _unicode text_. There's very little danger of losing your code to the sands of time because a company whose product you used to write that _unicode text_ went out of business.

Of course, businesses are realizing danger and are publishing specs to their proprietary file formats as well, so even in 50 years someone can re-create a document which would have previously been lost. For example, https://www.adobe.com/devnet-apps/photoshop/fileformatashtml...

An IDE is not just a text editor. There is a nontrivial amount of configuration that goes in a build system, and the IDE takes care of some of it. Having to ditch the IDE often means having to manually reconfigure a good chunk of the build system, as well as tracking down the exact version of build tools the IDE was shipping with in a particular release.

And this just for IDEs. Intellij also ship a lot of tools (youtrack etc) which may or may not be replaceable without significant data loss.

Note that YouTrack and other tools are not moving to subscription licensing, only the IDEs are.

Pretty much everyone has their project set up to be able to build via an external tool for CI anyway. I'm really not seeing the lock-in argument here, except that moving back to Eclipse would be painful for a lot of people. But I don't see why you would go through that pain now if you're currently happy with what you get from JetBrains for the money that you're paying.

Also, my hammer won't phone home to Lowes every month to make sure I have a valid subscription to hit things with it.

Your John Deere tractor will...

The world is changing, for better or ill. And we're at the forefront of what's driving those changes.

> Jetbrains could have avoided all this negative backslash by keeping the current licencing scheme in place and adding the subscription service as an option.

Thats what Visual Paradigm did with their Visual UML product.

>I never quite understood what makes people that make 100's of thousands of dollars per year so cheap that they would balk at paying a few hundred $ for their main tool of choice.

You make an assumption that we developers make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. That may be true in some places and for some fortunate people but it's not true everywhere.

Besides, the main complaint I see here is that the subscription model makes all your code assets hostage to JetBrains' fortunes, since the moment they go out of existence all the software you depend on stops working. People are not balking at the thought of paying a few hundred dollars for a tool - they are, in fact, asking for the opportunity to do just that.

I think it's the idea that their favorite lathe maker no longer lets them buy a lathe., only rent. If you stop paying for your lathe, someone comes into your shop and disables it.

They would tend to own a lot of these tools. As in their spanner or their CNC mill does not phone home and then stop working if they fail to keep paying the monthly rent on it.

It would be possible for people to fork the community edition (https://github.com/JetBrains/intellij-community) and try and rebuild the most popular ultimate features.

How would you feel if your favorite machine tool manufactures decided that they would no longer sell you machine tools - only rent them?

How about if cars could no longer be owned, just leased?

This is why people are upset, not because they begrudge tool vendors getting paid.

They've posted a response on their blog:

"We announced a new subscription licensing model and JetBrains Toolbox yesterday. We want you to rest assured that we are listening. Your comments, questions and concerns are not falling on deaf ears.

We will act on this feedback."


I really hope they do act, I love their products but this new subscription model annoys me.

Thing is - their current model was sort of a dumb semi-forced yearly upgrade anyways. "Oh WebStorm 8 is out already, didn't we just buy 7?" etc.

True, and I failed to explain myself properly, I have no issues with the price, only with the fact that if I stop paying I can no longer use the product, not even in the version it was when I stopped paying, but since they say that are listening to the feedback maybe there will be some compromise on that.

The problem I have with subscription model for my tools is this: It removes the option for me to decide to not upgrade because the improvements are not worth the cost.

Note that I have been upgrading my license most every year, but chances are I'll just make do with what I have next time around.

If the current pricing model isn't viable for them, I'm sorry, but it is not my problem. It's already the most I pay for any tool I use, and I have found it worth it so far, but coercion into a subscription model just doesn't work for me.

Not a great move by JetBrains.

> The problem I have with subscription model for my tools is this: It removes the option for me to decide to not upgrade because the improvements are not worth the cost.

That's fair. But at the same time, that presents a problem they mentioned. In order to get those sales, they had to worry about big features that would get people to buy. Bug fixes and performance improvements are things people want, but it doesn't make people buy. So you are stuck: you want to make a solid product, but bug fixes don't make sales. So where do you put the effort?

> If the current pricing model isn't viable for them, I'm sorry, but it is not my problem.

You say that, and I know what you mean, but it is your problem in the sense that any software you pay for, you've invested time and workflow into. Moving off IntelliJ products isn't easy unless you haven't been fully utilizing their tools (at least, I can't imagine easily moving off). I'm generally wary of paying for products that I'll rely on because of reasons like this.

For myself, I'm fine with the change because the value they provide is substantially higher than what they charge, and frankly, the subscription model (which again, amounts to the same price I'm paying yearly now) hopefully means less hassle when actually renewing my license.

> bug fixes don't make sales.

Has anybody ever tested that hypothesis?

Haha, fair point. But anecdotally, the comments I've always seen regarding upgrades ask about features. Even here in these threads.

Would be difficult to test this theory though. I've never seen software that doesn't include some level of new features in big releases. Could you convince people to pay for a normal upgrade that didn't include any new features? I seriously doubt it.

> It removes the option for me to decide to not upgrade because the improvements are not worth the cost.

The blog post stated this as a reason. They want to focus on quality instead of features to sell upgrade licenses. I was a bit put off that statement though since I expect bug fixes as part of my original purchase price.

Yeah, that's bullshit. I'd gladly pay for a maintenance release with only bug fixes considering the quality of the latest versions has tanked. I've already done it for the last two version of PHPStorm (each which has been more buggy than the previous with no great new features).

> I was a bit put off that statement though since I expect bug fixes as part of my original purchase price.

You should expect that. But when it comes time to purchase the upgrade, would you do it ONLY for future bugfixes? Or for new features?

Most people would upgrade only if there were new features, because otherwise they'll just use their older version with whatever bugs it has that might not even effect them. JetBrains is a business after all...

I see a lot of whining in this thread. If you think that an increase of $100/year in the price of a tool that you use every day, for, say, at least 5 hours daily as part of your job as software developer as a meaningful price increase, than the cost of your IDE is not close to being your biggest problem.

Even taxi drivers invest more money than software developers in the tools that they use every day, and software developers make quite a bit more money than taxi drivers.

The price is not the problem. I simply do not want to rent the tools I use. I want to buy them.

So if instead of $100/yr they had raised the price to $500 but you "own" the software, you would have been okay with that?

$100-$500 is a bit much, but I'd have been happy with some increase (10%? 15%?).

A modest increase, with a discount for moving to a subscription model (like they're trying to do) would have appealed to all camps, imo. Professionals recognize these are good tools, and want to support them, but not necessarily in a 'one size fits all' SaaS model.

Instead of $199 intellij ultimate license, saying "Buy a perpetual license for $229, or a SaaS model for $149/year"... I would probably still opt for perpetual (at least some of their products), but having the option is important, imo.


It's absolutely about the price. If I told you you need to rent them, but the price for renting for the next 15 years is negligible, I don't think you'd have a problem with renting them. Now our only disagreement is on what constitutes "negligible".

No it isn't. I would pay twice as much as I did for PyCharm, but I want software that I can control which doesn't phone home to the mothership to see if I have the privilege of being able to use it for that month.

I don't want to open the travel laptop I keep stored for when I'm away from home in an airplane or the middle of nowhere and be interrupted because I can't contact a licensing server or whatever such bullshit.

If they want to raise prices, that's fine. But renting tools that are not hosted on the web, for myself and lot of other people, is just a big no-no.

You're complaining about bugs you haven't encountered yet. If the software simply defaulted to working when it couldn't contact a licensing server, would that resolve things?

That would be a pretty weak DRM implementation, and unlikely to be used in the real world.

(Or... How many people pay for WinRAR?)

Licensing servers are not DRM.

Having the tool ping a server every week doesn't make the tool any harder to crack, and cracked versions obviously don't ping the server, so there's no reason whatever to be draconian about what happens when the check doesn't go through.

At least that's the approach they took at Adobe. IIRC the tool worked normally for up to a month without pinging the server, and after that showed warnings but kept working for a while. The times may have changed but idea was to err as far as possible on the side of lenience, because anyone using a version that pings the server is by definition a paying customer and not a pirate.

I take your point regarding phoning home. I also think that's a problem.

But really, you can't blame software providers. In the old days they'd all do the one-off purchasing model, and then they would all starve to death because people don't want to pay for software. So it's no wonder they're going for a model which is actually proven to work, which is a subscription.

Why not? I have paid consistenly for yearly upgrades, and I'm sure a lot of people can too.

I want shit that works, unconditionally. If JetBrains can't give me that, I'll start looking elsewhere.

No it is not about the price, it is about my dev tools needing to call the mother ship every month to make sure I am still a valid user.

Just keep the option for a perpetual license thanks. Even if it means increasing the cost, I am fine with that. I just don't want to rent my tools as a professional.

Besides calling home, what motivation do they have to improve their tools under the subscription model? Upgrades have to be appealing enough to bother paying – built-in motivation to produce a superior product.

With subscriptions, they don't have to improve the software; it's guaranteed revenue as long as one wants to use the tool. Eventually a competitor might step in and create something better, but until then you're stuck paying whether or not the software is improving.

A taxi driver will buy a nice pair of comfortable shoes and then keep them forever. The seller will not come around every month asking for money and threatening to take back his shoes if he doesn't cough up. That's what a different type of "business" does.

A taxi driver will need their car fixed periodically at their dealership. If they don't pay up, no car.

You realize the norm is that the taxi company owns the car right. Drivers rent it

Just like my computer needs upgrades and fixes as well :)

Except a small fixup on a car can cost about as much as an entire computer.

Seriously, someone on HN equating SAAS to extortion...

Much like the OP talking of not being able to do development if your employer fails to approve the payment in time. Resharper is nice and all but you can actually write C# without it. (I know PyCharm etc might be harder but the article was about Resharper).

> someone on HN equating SAAS to extortion

I'm getting a bit of an extremist regarding SaaS, I'm happy to admit it. It's just that, the more it gets shoved in all sorts of businesses it doesn't really belong, the more I realize is just a form of very modern rent-seeking.

When a product-making business moves to a forced SaaS model, it's basically admitting defeat: it says the market does not value their work enough to profit from innovation alone, so from now on it will extract rent from established customers. That is depressing and exploitative.

I'm happy to have the option to turn my product-buying into a recurring event; but at the end of the day, in most cases I want to buy products, not to subscribe to a book-buying club. This because products change, in some cases for the worse. PyCharm in a few years might drop support for Python 2 (or something equivalent); why should I not be able to run an old installer I paid for whenever I need to work with Python 2 ?

I fear sooner or later somebody will file a class-action suit, and a lot of people will be sorry.

Stuff like this and Adobe's efforts aren't really Software as a Service - at the most it's just Software License as a Service. You still download, install and run it on your own hardware.

The value of actual SaaS is that the expensive management of the software has been taken off you hands.

Indeed. A better term would be DaaS, "development as a service": you stop paying, they stop developing the tool for you. That would still imply that you can keep the software as-is in perpetuity if you stop paying though; otherwise it's basically ransomware.

I'm pretty sure cool-RR is referring to the fact that most taxi drivers lease their cabs from the cab company, not the pair of comfortable shoes they invest in.

Its not the price, it is that if I write some software in an IDE, I want the capability to push a bug fix out two years later without having to "subscribe" again. This will just further contribute to bitrot.

>taxi drivers invest more money than software developers

Citation needed.

>software developers make quite a bit more money than taxi drivers.

You are assuming that everyone who develops software is employed as a software developer. There is fine work done by hobbyists and independents.

>> taxi drivers invest more money than software developers

> Citation needed.

Pretty sure that for the price of a car, including maintenance, you could pay for a nice workstation and multiple monitors with lots of "expensive" software on a subscription model.

> You are assuming that everyone who develops software is employed as a software developer. There is fine work done by hobbyists and independents.

If you're developing open-source software, you can probably get a free license for many IDEs. If you're both a hobbyist, don't want to release your software as open-source, and expect to be given top-rate tools for a cheap price...

>Pretty sure that for the price of a car, including maintenance, you could pay for a nice workstation and multiple monitors with lots of "expensive" software on a subscription model.

Most taxi drivers don't own their own car. The person that owns the car and own the medallion taxes the driver, typically but not always, a percentage of the drivers income[0].

[0]: http://work.chron.com/much-fare-taxi-drivers-keep-22871.html

An increase of $120 is a 100% increase in what we were already paying. Perhaps $120 wasn't reasonable... and given the amount of functionality it adds to Visual Studio that it now seems like I can't live without, perhaps that's a fair assumption, but a 100% increase in cost with such little warning... that's not cool at all!

I think the critics are missing one huge benefit: Most of their licenses are bought by companies. A company that buys a perpetual license now has no reason to upgrade unless the developers complain and prod; a company that buys a SaaS subscription enables its devs to upgrade to the newest versions as quickly as they want.

For most of JetBrains actual corporate users, the upshot of this is that they'll never need to bug their managers to buy the new version, or suffer on years-old versions because of corporate inertia. That's a big win.

I think it depends on the company.

For a larger corporation where the act of managing pools of licenses is a significant expense and literally everything the business does is managed in terms of contracts that must be maintained via regular payments, this makes a whole lot of sense. Even if the licensing model costs a bit more on paper, it's probably still cheaper to them because of saving the cost of having someone spend time physically managing all those individual licenses every time someone switches projects or enters or leaves the company.

For a smaller company or indie shop I'm not sure it's the same story. The calculus above depends on economies of scale to work out.

As an owner of a company, business continuity-destroying dependencies on SaaS is the opposite of a big win.

Nope, we just had to shut down our corporate evaluation of phpstorm because our org does not allow us to purchase locked in products with shut off mechanisms.

That place actually sound like a nice place to work :) Im used to getting: "We need a 5 figure support contract from one of these 5 vendors".

The most developers will never need to bug their managers because a subscription based solution is a no go for the financial department anyway. Corporations do like getting blackmailed as much as a indie developer.

Most of the large organizations I've dealt with are fine with this because they like having someone to call for problems. “subscription” is the same as “support contract” for the accountants and that's something they're very used to: it converts an unknown risk of an expensive outage into a predictable annual expense.

This is also known as having a "Throat to Choke" in IT circles.

That's not necessarily the case. Corporations also love pre-tax operating expenses much more than depreciating capital expenditure. A lot of "cloud business" is moved by this simple accounting reality, rather than any technical benefit: renting AWS time might cost more than buying a server, but because the server is depreciating cap-ex, for your CFO it's actually the cheaper option.

Miracles of finance, eh.

Miracles of tax distortion, you mean.

I always hoped that one of these let's force everyone into software subscriptions-actions would become such an embarrassment that companies will think twice about doing this.

Given how much I like IntelliJ (and liked JetBrains until they pulled this off), I'd be a bit sad if they would be that example.

I am still hoping for a quick follow-up announcement that they have listened to their customers and decided to keep the old licensing model as-is. If not, I cannot trust them anymore. How do I know that they won't change the rules of the game again with just two month's notice?

(Note: I am not principally against subscriptions, though I do think the model puts customers in a weaker position. Just offer people an alternative, or give them plenty of heads-up time.)

I'd point out that "software subscriptions" and "software keeps working even if you don't pay" can both be in place.

For something like this, it's not a half-bad business relationship; the incentives are well aligned for everybody.

For something as fundamental as build software, I'd be nervous about committing to anything where whether I can use the software I already have in two years is in somebody else's hands. I really want to be able to squirrel away complete build environments and know I can build the thing I sold two years ago again if I have to release a "my business may die if I don't" update. Remember, in two years, the "somebody else" may not exist to give me permission. Then what?

The incentives here aren't so good if access to the software is actively being removed for non-payment... the vendor is extracting small values from their customers by forcing their customers to take hidden, but actually quite staggeringly enormous, business risks.

Polishing and bug fixes cost money, but nobody wants to pay for that. People only want to pay for new shiny features.

If IntelliJ doesn't get money because developers think "old version is good enough for me", then there is no money for bug fixing and for keeping the product alive. It would end up as abandonware like most apps on the iPhone App Store.

I'd guess the IDE have now reached this "fully featured" milestone where most developers don't care to upgrade. So IntelliJ has to switch to a subscription model to survive.

So we users have the choice between paying a subscription or having the IDE end up as unmaintained software due to lack of funds.

IntelliJ can't put out a new paid "version 15" which has bug-fixes only. People would be unhappy about that too.

I feel that the core IDE has degraded in quality over the past years because the releases were feature-driven, and I'd be happy to see IntelliJ refocus on quality instead of quantity.

"Polishing and bug fixes cost money" and should be factored into cost of development and price of the product...

> I'd guess the IDE have now reached this "fully featured" milestone where most developers don't care to upgrade. So IntelliJ has to switch to a subscription model to survive.

Sorry but this doesn't make any sense to me and I doubt IntelliJ's sales are putting the company in any danger.

Even if they couldn't come up with new features, the programming languages and frameworks keep evolving and the tooling needs to catch up with that. But I can come up with a hundred things to improve from the top of my head, so I'm sure they can too.

Half the reason I haven't updated is that JetBrains hasn't been polishing. I'd pay for that, happily, but bugs sit unfixed for years while JetBrains rolls out entirely new (and similarly buggy) IDEs.

I wonder if that's part of the reason to move to subscription? To improve funding for that area?

If you operate on perpetual licenses you have to support that software and find a way to get people to purchase again - via new features etc etc

If you operate on subscription licenses you don't have to do anything at all. There's no need to improve the software in less tangible ways or provide new features since people will have pay for what they current have regardless.

This is a great model for Jetbrains but it's a poor model for consumers.

> Polishing and bug fixes cost money, but nobody wants to pay for that.

You pay for that when you buy the product - it comes with a year of updates.

I want more than a year because:

1) New OS releases might require fixes to IDEA's embedded JVM.

2) There's still a lot of bugs left after the first year.

The ONLY reason that I have bought the past 2 updates is to get bugs fixed, but so far it has been for the worse.

A company can't live forever on one-time payments. It needs a continuing income, otherwise the most sensible business decision is to close shop.

This was a solved problem: simply buy another Jetbrains 'upgrade' and you get fixes (or upgrades) for the following year. Subscriptions should be entirely optional.

> A company can't live forever on one-time payments.

Which is why they've been charging for updates outside the year. You yourself provided them two recurring payments with no need for a subscription model to prompt it.

"I feel that the core IDE has degraded in quality over the past years because the releases were feature-driven, and I'd be happy to see IntelliJ refocus on quality instead of quantity."

I couldn't agree more. The latest versions have a ton of bugs that were not present before. Some of the IDEs are totally unusable for certain tasks like debugging. I don't think they will focus on fixing bugs and they haven't introduced any great features, IMO, in years.

This isn't even Software-as-a-Service. Most companies that offer SaaS are HOSTING the software and thus incurring ongoing monthly costs. The Service part is that the purchaser doesn't have to install the software on their own machines, pay for nor update servers, etc. Selling rights to use [but not own] software on a monthly basis should be called RtpS - Rent-to-pwned-Software (cause you're pwned, you'll never own it)

JetBrains produces a continuous stream of improvements to all of their tools, previously they would have to artificially hold some of the bigger changes back to justify the next big yearly version number increase. With subscriptions, this is no longer necessary, everyone can have the latest and greatest right away.

And I do hope the next logical step is to offer an optional fully hosted service that has feature parity with something like WebStorm. There's cloud IDEs out there, but they're lacking when compared to JetBrain's tools.

Yeah, but the "right" way to do it is to disable updates on license expiration, not just turn off a product you might have paid for since 2010.

Maybe the best thing to do would be an initial payment worth, say, 6 months, followed by monthly renewals; if the renewal does not go through, updates stop. This would be closer to the current model, but would still switch most revenue (renewals) to the SaaS model.


I'm happy enough to pay a subscription for intellij since the price seems about the same (oh actually they're putting it up by £20 or £30 per year after the first year). I'd rather get frequent updates, but since I've already bought it outright twice (upgrading when I feel I need to) it seems a bit lame to just pull the plug should you ever take a break.

Some of the comments propose granting a perpetual license after 1 year of subscription. I would go for that.

I want to agree but the problem with that on this is that it can be gamed by buying one month, using that until a feature entices you, and then buying another month.

At least you'll have paid for 6 months right away; and if you lapse, when you go to renew you pay for another 6 months upfront.

If you're going to all this trouble just to skimp £100 per year on your main development tool you're probably the type of customer who will simply not buy into a SaaS model anyway, so there is no point in chasing your pennies.

You could unofficially make the "skimping" into the reduced price option, removing the current "personal" licenses and removing complexity. Cheap "Personals" will pay a 6-months fee once a year or less, losing updates, and "Companies" will happily pay full whack (because they value predictability and opex vs capex) for the full monty. Win-win, and nobody gets hurt in the feelings.

Which can be anti-gamed by charging $50 for new installs then $10/mo for each consecutive monthly renewal


"previously they would have to artificially hold some of the bigger changes back to justify the next big yearly version number increase"

I get that. Perhaps they should or could have just sold the current latest version as is for a bit less and then whenever the next big release comes out offer a prorated upgrade amount to those that feel the new features are worth the additional upgrade amount. Their model, withholding features so they could package them into a huge update, was hurting themselves and their customers.

What's to say they don't start pulling IntelliJ with other/more products? That is, to stop or slow down development/improvements and now milk a cash cow?

Clarification: They could have sold a working perpetual license without the 1 year of upgrades. When they have an upgrade they have an prorated upgrade path/cost based on when you purchased your current license/product.

Some SaaS "hostings" are paper-thin, like Adobe or Steam. They are glorified FTP sites.

Ha, yes. As a daily user of Creative Suite, the 'cloud' benefits are fairly feeble.

The file hosting is handy, but we already use Dropbox and Google Drive. The other features seem like they could have been incorporated into the desktop apps but were pulled into the cloud to make it appear more worthwhile.

I can see how moving shrink-wrap software to a subscription can be good for the company – reliable income streams, no longer having to worry about headline features to get people to buy the next version – but (especially in Adobe's case) it's hard to see it as anything but a cynical attempt to milk customers for every last drop before the whole thing crumbles.

Former Adobe evangelist here. In my opinion, what you said about headline features is the crux of the matter. Under the subscription model engineering's only job is to make the user happy, so they can focus on performance or stability when needed, but when you sell a new box each year their main job is to make sales happy, with new demoable features. The result is always bloat.

Whereas the "cynical attempt to milk money out of customers" angle is, IMO, not nearly as relevant as people expect. I mean, everything a for-profit company does is an attempt to milk money out of customers in some sense, so when Adobe (or JetBrains) sold shrink-wrapped boxes I assume they set the prices at whatever their models showed was the maximum people would pay, and presumably they chose the subscription prices the same way. I expect it's much of a muchness.

As for the SaaS stuff (storage, etc), I just see that as little extras that become possible once each install is tied to a user account, so the company tries them out to see if they work. But it's not like they're supposed to be so amazing that they justify the switch. (views my own, not those of my former employer, etc.)

> so when Adobe (or JetBrains) sold shrink-wrapped boxes

... they didn't have this wonderful option of bashing customers on their virtual heads and break their products if customers forgot to pay rent. It just wasn't an option, when it all started. Now it is, and here we are. The internet sometimes is just bad for people.

I don't follow, if JetBrains wants to rent software how is it the internet's fault? If the fact that the internet provides an enforcement mechanism is the issue, I'm sure cracked copies will get around that...

> before the whole thing crumbles.

Are there any alternatives to adobe on the horizon? I'm asking because I'd like to know. All I know of is affinity designer and pixelmator.

The field is wide open at the moment. It's an interesting time - there hasn't been so many options in a while.

For Photoshop alternatives there's Pixelmator, Acorn and Affinity Photo.

For Illustrator there's Sketch, iDraw and Affinity Designer.

All we need now is a good InDesign alternative.

Sketch is an alternative to Photoshop and Fireworks for UI design.

I'm with you on Adobe, but Steam is a whole different thing, even leaving out its OS aspirations. Probably most importantly, it's free -- I think of it as an unusually heavy e-commerce site that needed me to install a bunch of stuff to get it to work. Kind of like if Netflix let me watch stuff offline, but only if I put their Chrome app on my computer: It's a client for accessing their platform.

Steam cloud save (play on the living room, continue in the bedroom), friends (with game integration like invites), anti-cheat, automatic update, video driver updates, in home streaming, fps in game overlay. Definitely not a site.

Steam isn't really SaaS as much as a platform. It supports eCommerce, the logistics of delivering product on a massive scale (even if said product is bits instead of boxes), and some social networking on top of that.

I purchase a lot of commercial IntelliJ/WebStorm licenses for my company. Previously, the cost was $499/y for new employees, $299/y for existing employees. Now it looks like it will be a flat $319/y for everyone. Eh, I'm OK with that. Now there's also upfront volume discounts, whereas previously you had to talk to sales. In some ways it's simpler for me, and the pricing is in line with other per-dev SaaS costs we have. Consider what you pay for a software Engineer and the productivity gains, personally it's a no-brainer for me. It's the best Java, Scala, Python, JavaScript etc. IDE by far.

With this change, I hope JetBrains takes the opportunity to switch from the big-bang yearly releases to just a continuous stream of improvements. In some ways they've already been moving in the this direction, they've added some pretty great improvements to point releases this year (React/JSX, TypeScript etc. comes to mind). This will eliminate release timing anxiety on both sides (customers optimizing when the best time to buy is, and JetBrains deciding if releasing major new functionality now vs in the next big-bang release), and lets the company ship improvements as fast as possible.

The social cost of subscription-based offers can be enough to make users forfeit good products.

If a developer convinces a manager to buy a perpetual license of IntelliJ, mission accomplished: the developer will be able to use IntelliJ forever. Persuading the manager to spend more on IntelliJ by making a convincing case that an upgrade is worth the money is an optional campaign, reserved for a favorable moment (e.g. when being able to use a new feature would be very valuable) in a vague future.

If a developer convinces a manager to buy a yearly subscription to IntelliJ, the developer should expect to start using Eclipse after one year due to a cost reduction effort. Persuading the manager to spend more on IntelliJ is difficult (no expected updates), urgent (the software stops working rather than sliding into obsolescence) and a recurring unpleasantness.

Moreover, JetBrains makes the sort of luxury products that are bought when money is abundant and regretted (but still used and enjoyed) in times of poverty; forcing customers who cannot pay right now to eliminate JetBrains products from their daily workflow instead of keeping them as happy users and waiting for when they'll want to spend again is a gratuitous demolition of goodwill.

I've used Eclipse for development at my current place of employment for years. I recently tried the JetBrains product and loved it, so I started pitching to my bosses that this will improve productivity blah blah blah. I can still do my job without it, and pitched it 2 months ago and have still not gotten approval (but haven't got said no to either) and it's a good year money wise, so the upfront cost is nothing to us. Now I would have to do this annually, even during down years? It's easier just to stick with Eclipse.

If your company is that tight when it comes to developer tools, maybe you should consider alternate employment.

I'm sure there are development shops that are that tight with a buck, but I've never worked at one. In my experience, once a recurring cost is baked into the run rate, it's easier to get it approved for the following year than it is to get an unforecast license purchase made during the year.

If you're working for a shop where a $200 annual expense for a dev tool is a deal-breaker, I shudder to think of how the rest of your work life is (free drinks, food, merit raises, etc).

(I acknowledge ahead of time that my comments are based on US employment.)

On the initial blog post there was a suggestion for a very good compromise which I would happily accept:

Add a minimum duration to the subscriptions. If you cancel the subscription after that minimum duration, you can keep using the products you have subscribed to, but you don't get any more updates (like it is now).

If you want to re-subscribe, you can, but the minimum duration starts to count from 0 again.

This would give me the safety net that if worse comes to worst, I'll still be able to use the IDE(s) in some fashion while it still guarantees Jetbrains the fixed income which gives them the freedom to finally work on bug fixes some more, instead of needing to add killer-features all the time.

This is a psychological issue for me.

I gladly entered JetBrain's "cattle pen", and pay yearly for the privilege of being "trapped" there. Whether I might want to leave doesn't cross my mind, because I like it there.

Now they're adding security at the gate. I still don't want to leave, but now it's obvious that I'm trapped. It just feels different, and I don't like it.

I think a lot of people are encountering this same issue -- myself included!

To be fair , it worked quite well for Adobe products ( most of them are now using a monthly subscription scheme ) despite all the dissatisfaction voiced by some customers at first. It is both good for Adobe and good for the competition. In fact allowed some challengers to be profitable when everybody pirated Photoshop before as 95% of people using it only took advantage of 1% of Photoshop features. It will be a good opportunity for alternative products such as Eclipse or Netbeans to evolve and get better.

The reason why it works well for Autodesk and Adobe is the fact that they have a defacto monopoly in their fields. My boss doesn't like the fact that they have a subscription scheme but we have one for Adobe Cloud because there isn't another way. That is not the case for an IDE. I really like PyCharm and PHPStorm but I can (and also would) drop them in a heartbeat.

You will always find some (edge) case who can profit from these kind of schemes - an amateur photographer for example with Adobe CC or somebody who uses all the jetbrain tools - but there are a lot of cases that are a different and really don't have any benefits of using SAAS.

In Flanders we have a saying that goes a bit like this: "all small things makes on big thing". The personal problem that I have is that if I would add all those "inexpensive" subscriptions of services it will add up very fast to a point that it is becoming really expensive. I don't buy all software in a single month or can even wait for upgrading if an older version is good enough for me, with SAASS that is not the case.

But I have the same opinion that this race to convert all commercial software to SAAS will be beneficial for OSS alternatives. Personally I would even go as far as donating (or crowdfund) (for the same amount that I would give to jetbrains) to an OSS project, if that means that I would get an alternative that I don't need to "rent".

It's been good news for Serif. I've bought a grand total of 4 non-games on my Mac, Serif's Affinity Photo & Designer being 2 of them so I didn't have to pay Adobe for things I'd only use intermittently (Intellij being a third).

I don’t know how it is on other platforms, but Adobe’s move to a subscription model has brought a flurry of far cheaper plain-old-purchase alternatives to OS X. Off the top of my head:

PS Alternatives: Acorn ($25), Pixelmator ($30), Affinity Photo ($50)

Illustrator alternatives: Sketch ($99), Affinity Designer ($50), iDraw ($25), Canvas Draw ($99)

And you know what? All of these options are far lighter than the Adobe behemoths while providing all the most relevant functionality and looking and feeling like real Mac apps instead of half-assed ports, all while taking advantage of the best part of the OS. Here in SV people I know in design are switching away from Adobe in spades.

If companies like Adobe can’t exist without subscriptions, maybe it means that large software companies that produce gargantuan beasts of applications are going out of style. Small indie teams producing lean, maintainable, focused apps are the way forward.

Adobe photoshop has pretty much a monopoly. IDEs do not.

I have built their open source community edition, from source, and it is very serviceable. I prefer to pay for the ultimate edition but I could do my work with the open source version.

Yearly subscription pricing seems OK to me, with some allowance for giving companies adequate notice to re-subscribe.

It seems likely that JetBrains moved to this model because their current revenue model doesn't allow for enough runway to allow them to make updates as needed or grow the business. So from that perspective changing to a model where they continually get money helps them stay in business.

Where they 'went wrong', if you could call it that, is that they forced developers down this new path without allowing us to 'dip our toes in'. It would have been better to open this up as a separate way of paying for their products alongside the current model, and then in a year or two simply switching over.

IMHO the "dipping toes" was the switch to the current model, which they did 4 or 5 years ago. It was a clear attempt at moving from shrinkwrap to SaaS. The constant stream of reminders in-product, on blogs, twitter etc was a strong hint that they'd really like you to pay something every few months. They were much more forceful than the average software vendor. This is why I wasn't really surprised by recent news.

As a hobbyist developer (I use PyCharm with a personal license, but I don't actually sell anything), I'm basically in the "screwed" camp. I thought it was about time for me to upgrade, but now I'll just keep using my current copy forever. I'm sad, because the tool is great; but stopping it from working when the license expires, rather than just disabling updates, is really a low blow. It signals that they don't think their upgrades are worth paying for (which in some cases is absolutely true, a lot of recently introduced PyCharm features are of no use to me whatsoever), and that they've stopped innovating and are now just rent-seeking.

I've not needed any of the new PyCharm features in about two years - but I've still purchased the new versions. In fact, as I work for an open-source company, my PyCharm license at work is free. I buy the personal license for home even though I don't work on non-free software... because I want to support JetBrains.

You are absolutely right. As someone who uses PHP, Python, JavaScript and a little Ruby, I had purchased IntelliJ so I didn't have to renew multiple licenses each year. If they had just come out with their "All Products" subscription service at $149/year, I would have signed up for it immediately.

I don't like their proposal that I must forfeit my perpetual license to IntelliJ to take advantage of the lower price and that if my subscription lapses for any reason I'll be forced to pay an extra $100 a year!

Where JetBrains went wrong is in spreading themselves too thin on too many development fronts, letting products like IntelliJ languish with few significant features added and far too many bugs unfixed, and then deciding the solution to a lack of effort on these products was to switch to a subscription model so that all of their customers would pay for the updates whether or not they're worth paying for.

It seems to me that where JetBrains went wrong was building every language supported as a separate application. According to their announcement post the stated goal of was to deal with the customer ask to get easier discounts on multiple language products or to move from one language to another more easily. To JetBrains the solution was apparently to switch to SaaS, which kind of makes sense, but from my perspective maybe they should have just consolidated some of their product efforts?

The subdivision served multiple purposes: it increased revenue by segmenting the market, and it allowed for a level of specialization that was difficult to achieve with a single tool. For example, some of the PyCharm stuff requires hacks that most Java developers wouldn't want in their IDE, and I honestly wouldn't want to deal with any Java stuff if I can avoid it.

At the end of the day, the announcement is just corporate speak for "we need more money more regularly, so from now on you're going to pay rent; to make it a bit sweeter, rent includes use of swimming pool and sauna, which you may or may not need". Most businesses switching to SaaS don't do it for the customer, they do it for themselves.

The Ultimate version of IDEA seems to support all languages at once.

It does through plugins. The language-specific IDEs are updated with language features earlier than the plugins for IDEA and they have simplified project creation/management. For instance, it's a lot easier to setup a Python project and choose your interpreter/packages in PyCharm than it is in IDEA.

Not quite - it doesn't support ObjC/C++/C

This _feels_ pretty accurate. As a user of PyCharm, PHPStorm, and recently YouTrack, and in my experience, all the products either lack support for current trends (ES2015 for instance) or are riddled with bugs (YouTrack). YouTrack in general shocked me in the rough edges / lack of sane integration with SCM.

I disagree, at least for PHPstorm new features are cutting edge and don't exist in competing products.

Everyone I've talked to wanted a slight pricing model change with JetBrains, myself included, but nobody wanted a subscription service.

It is just that, often you find yourself wanting PHPStorm, and PyCharms, but that's it. A simple buy one-full-price-half-off-second scheme would have got people like me to say, "yeah sure, let's buy up PyCharms this weekend. Why not?"

And the thing is, they didn't even solve the issue people wanted.

Yes, you can buy everything for US$19.90 per month.

Or you can buy PHPStorm+PyCharm for ($7.90+$7.90) = $15.80

So, under the new model, it's still cheaper to just buy two full-price licenses. There's no discount for the 2nd product.

As someone who jumps between PHP, JavaScript, Python, and a tiny bit of Ruby, I have been using IntelliJ so that I don't have to buy and upgrade multiple IDEs each year. I really miss the simplified project management of the specialized IDEs. I would gladly pay $149/year for their "All Products" package (maybe even the $199).

Unfortunately, there are a few dealbreakers with their proposed model that will have me re-evaluating my development environment:

1) Losing the grandfathered pricing if my subscription lapses. I can swallow paying $149/year for the All Products and would do so, but I don't want to feel like a hostage where I'm stuck paying more if I take a month off of using the IDE.

2) $149/year is pretty reasonable, $199/year a little tougher to swallow, $249/year is a no-go.

3) As mentioned, I made a $200 investment in an IntelliJ license with the expectation that I would upgrade each year at $100. Now I'm forced to convert my existing perpetual license into a subscription where I'm held hostage to keep the lower price or I lose access to my product if I cancel the subscription after converting the license.

4) Losing access to the software if my subscription lapses. If the prices were more reasonable (like those of the grandfathered prices, but permanent without the hostage situation) then I could deal with the fact that I need to pay to play. But I feel like we're paying a premium price (albeit for good products). I like the idea others have floated of getting a perpetual license after having paid for a full year subscription.

Their "subscription" model was basically a year of small issue maintenance and 1-2 major versions. They spent more effort expanding into new markets than they did maintaining and improving existing tools. I don't really anticipate them spending any more time on tool improvement despite the cash grab.

I don't like companies that hold my development process hostage or treat me like a serf. I get that they want to stop maintaining old versions. But allowing people access to the full range of builds within their subscription (with maybe a slight exception of providing the next "stable" build after expiration) and some contract lingo should cover that.

Rental has its usage, but it's not for everyone.

To analogize this, imagine the perfectly cromulent subscription model of printed magazine delivery. You pay $X, and they mail you a new wad of glossy paper every month. If you don't pay $X, you just don't get new magazines. You can still read all the old ones. Remember National Geographic? Remember how your grandfather kept huge stacks of them that were all only an awkward elbow away of toppling onto the floor? Presuming you could locate it in the stacks, you could re-read the article about Elbonian mud-rakers as often as you pleased.

If you subscribed to JetBrains's magazine, you pay $X, and every month they give you a new magazine, and take back the previous month's issue. If you stop paying, they would come to your house, confiscate your latest issue, and then search the premises to make sure you weren't keeping any older issues, or any photographs or copies of them. If you want to read something, it'll just have to be something else, like RMS's free gnewsletter.

What JetBrains is doing is not switching to a subscription model. They are switching to a DRM-enforced rental model.

Subscriptions are ideal from products that are consumable or otherwise ephemeral. Television shows or newspapers or foods or coupons or pharmaceutical drugs work for that. Things that are used once and discarded are perfect for subscriptions.

Rental is good for things that have a low marginal benefit in comparison to their upfront costs, such that it takes a long time to recover that initial investment. You rent a hotel room for a night or two. You rent a car when you fly to another city. You rent a pneumatic excavator when you only have one hole to dig. You rent things that you do not intend to use enough to justify paying their purchase price.

With respect to a tool of the trade--something you buy to help you make more money--you emphatically want to own that, rather than just rent it. That's a great argument for using open-source IDEs. Even the previous model was just a perpetual license with a limited-time upgrade option. The person who wants you to forever rent the tools of your own trade is not doing so with your own best interests in mind.

The author claims that indie developers will be hit who let their licenses lapse due to limited income as well as forgetful corporations who forget to renew. I always found the reasons for these issues was because everyone's licenses expire at different times and it was hard to track (even with budgeting as an indie developer). If it is moved to a monthly service model, I think these issues would actually improve.

You do realize that they haven't really changed their pricing model, right? They just changed how it's presented. It's always been a subscription if you want new features in an IDE (which most people do). I pay like $100/year for PHPstorm upgrades, and it's well worth the cost given the benefits that one receives from using the software (mostly in terms of productivity).

Yes, renting software is a skeezy model. Yes, they should still allow people to purchase perpetual licenses (which, for the record, you can still do until November). Yes, this could have been communicated differently and with more notice.

No, it's not the end of the world. A company has to make money, and at the end of the day, I'd much rather give my money to Jetbrains than many other companies because I know they make excellent tools that facilitate my ability to produce excellent software.

Sorry, but they have changed their pricing model; the previous model provided a perpetual license with a year of updates, and the new model is simply rental, which access terminating once you stop paying.

I don't rent my tools.

So don't. There are plenty of other tools out there that you can use. Did you previously pay the yearly fee to continue getting upgrades?

Now you paying not for upgrades, but the fee to use. No payment - you can't use it.

My point is, if you were paying the yearly fee before so that you can get upgrades, you were paying a subscription anyway. Yes, you could still use it if you didn't pay, but you paid. Why do you care?

You don't seem to understand how the choice defines the relationship.

Imperfect Analogy Time

Imagine a deli that you go to every morning. It's the only one in the neighborhood, but they make great bagels, so you don't go out of your way to find a new deli.

Now imagine the deli adopts a subscription pricing model -- no other options. If you want food from that deli, you have to subscribe month-to-month. If you don't want to subscribe, you have to walk 5 blocks out of your way to go to a different deli.

You decide to subscribe because you were going there every morning anyway.

Over the coming months, however, the food keeps getting worse. The service grows poor. You wind up waiting longer for your food. But you're invested in the deli, and it'd be a hassle to leave, so you put up with it.

Eventually you bail, of course. But for a number of months, you were stuck in that gray area in there in which the deli can take advantage of the fact that, if you drop your subscription, you'd have to have expended significantly more effort and time to come up with an alternative.

Unlike a deli, tools are a lot harder to replace.

Keeping prices the same while providing less for the money is still a change in the pricing model.

Before, the choice after a year was to pay for an upgrade or keep using the old version. Now the choice after a year is to pay for a renewal or find a new tool entirely.

Did you previously pay the yearly fee to continue to get upgrades?

The main difference is what happens after year term expires:

- old model: you keep using latest version you paid; no new updates;

- new model: you stop using the tool


So leasing a car for 1000$ per year is the same as buying a car for $1000?

Apples and oranges. Neither situation leads to constant improvements and upgrades to the thing you're paying for.

".. constant improvements and upgrades .." == marketing vomit.

I wonder how many developers will stop promoting their products to other developers based solely on the subscription model? I know I would.

Also, I never would have tried their products if they were already on a subscription model. That would have been a showstopper for me. I may continue to use them now, because I'm already hooked. However, they'll probably lose a lot of potential customers who'll never give them a try just because of their pricing model.

JetBrains makes an astoundingly great product in IntelliJ -- so many features and integrations that just simply work. It is so rare to find a product this sophisticated yet elegant and reliable. I want more companies and products to figure out how to deliver software like this, with the same quality and power as IntelliJ. Then maybe I'll start complaining about pricing models, etc.

In the previous thread on the announcement I expressed some concerns (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10165919). An employee responded:

"I see this is turning into a conspiracy theory ) Fortunately, there's a little thing called competition that prevents raising rates at will without facing the consequences, and JetBrains is no exception: we're no monopoly"

So the message first was "We did this for YOU!" and then quickly became "Hey! You can always go elsewhere..."

Doesn't sound like something they did for my benefit.

A lot of JetBrains employees speak English as a second language, and can come off a bit too harsh and direct at times, so you have to give them some leeway when trying to read between the lines.

Just... never trust a business that says "we're doing this for you, beloved customers". They are not. Even if they did it to make you happy, it would simply mean they profit from your happiness in some way. A business does things to make a profit and expand, nothing else. JetBrains are doing this because they feel they have to, likely because of cashflow constraints; everything else is just corporate doublespeak.

That's misinterpreting the response - he was saying that they were not going to jack up prices arbitrarily. 'You can always go elsewhere' vs 'We aren't aiming to screw you over - you can always go elsewhere.' - there is a big difference.

Fair enough. Both of those interpretations are a very different message from "Look at the nice thing we did for you"... which was my point.

I wonder if we're only getting to see one side of the issue here. How does enterprise react to changes like this?

Could JetBrains perhaps compromise: Offer the current licensing for individual/independent developers, but the subscription model for enterprise licenses? Businesses are more likely to consume multiple products than an indie developer.

What do you guys think?

At this I'd like to remind folks that Emacs has been around for over 3 decades and isn't going anywhere. Don't trust a single company with your most essential tools.

That's why I prefer open source tools.

JetBrains IDEA Community Edition IDE is open source, someone should fork it and add the various language plugins (many of them are open source too).

>, and most customers upgraded every year.

Is this statement actually true? Is it educated guessing or has it been substantiated by JetBrains?

(Not trying to argue. Just want to know substantiated facts.)

The article is full of unsubstantiated claims, though I agree with the author in principle.

There's no way for us to know unless Jetbrains shares their renewal percentage rate. In a similar business I was exposed to, 60% was considered pretty good. It wasn't exactly the same type of product, so I could be way off here.

It's really odd how the C# community took ReSharper to heart so easily and somewhat irreversibly. The amount of C# developers out there now that will literally turn down a job offer if ReSharper is not used at that shop. It is also the #1 complaint of even higher-end C# devs as to why they would never move to F#... because there is not ReSharper for it. Duh. It's sad they can't see that ReSharper is merely a symptom of a poor language; to work around all its flaws.

What flaws in the language does Resharper overcome? Does a language exist that causes you to never need to refactor code?

Have you ever used ReSharper? It is far more than just a refactoring tool. It is basically a set of extensions for Visual Studio that somewhat entirely transforms the VS experience. It could be described as pseudo-productivity tool for Visual Studio more than merely a refactoring tool.

With that said, refactorings in C# code (like Java) are quite often incredibly repetitive which is why ReSharper exists: to ease that pain. Quite often it is alternating a property to a field, and vice versa. Or auto-implementing a new constructor parameter with a null checker, field or property setter, readonly detection etc. It's just boring repetitive rubbish that the language has delegated onto the programmer rather than simply improve the syntax. There is a common expression about C# (admittedly, often perpetuated by those whom have moved on from C#) which is "In C#, you have to do everything three times."

ReSharper has a type of code linting built into it which can be rolled out to the whole project team. This is cool and all. But it would have been better if the language ecosystem itself agreed upon a stylistic standard and provided a code linter for it. Then allowed that to be added in as a build step. C# shops are possibly too lazy for that though. It's all about the IDE baby!

And that ultimately is the USP of ReSharper. A product for lazy developers. It's no wonder they charge quite handsomely for it.

My main use cases for ReSharper are:

1) Auto-formatting 2) Integrated Unit Test runner - not great, but still better than the built-in VS one 3) Go to Implementation - takes you to straight to the actual class implementation(s) of the interface member you clicked on 4) Auto-disassembly when you hit "Go To Declaration" on a referenced DLL

Only automated refactoring I use is the built-in VS stuff for renaming identifiers. I have no idea why you'd alternate between fields and properties - most people just use properties unless it's a private member. Auto-implementing a constructor is A) something VS can already do out-of-the-box (snippets) and B) not really necessary a lot of the time since there's object initializers now. And I have no idea what you mean about "readonly detection" since 'readonly' is a first-class keyword.

> It's just boring repetitive rubbish that the language has delegated onto the programmer rather than simply improve the syntax.

You realize it's a living language, right? There was admittedly a lot of boilerplate in older versions due to strong Java influence. But C# has had type inference (i.e. 'var' keyword), anonymous types, lambdas, auto-implemented properties, and extension methods since C# 3 was released in 2007. C# 4 (2010) added co- and contravariance for generics, late binding, and optional & named parameters. In 2012 they added async/await with C# 5.

And now C# 6 has static type import, lambda-bodied methods, inline null-check operator, first-class string interpolation, and a bunch of property enhancements that remove even more boilerplate.

I'm dying to know what else you would add to the language.

Wow. This is terrible. I'm a user of a few of their products (PHPStorm, PyCharm, IDEA, and RubyMine), two of which I've paid for and gotten upgrades for in the past on a fairly regular basis. I've extolled Jetbrains and praised the to such great lengths you'd think I was an evangelist for them. But now, it seems like it's time yet again (something I though was over after discovering Jetbrains) to find a proper IDE.

Their products have been going down in quality. In the latest PHPStorm for example, I've had serious problems with the debugger not working and it rewriting my code to put many lines into one (fun!). Jetbrains hasn't released a new feature that I use on a constant basis for two major versions (multi-cursor is debatable, but certainly not a daily-basis feature). I seriously regret upgrading PHPStorm simply because I wasted $129 on a product that's worse than the previous version in every single way. I asked, but was not offered a refund. Not only that, but prices have already doubled in the last couple of years, with new versions being $200 instead of $100 as they used to be (and sometimes they'd have discounts like the End of The World Sale in 2012 when they were selling PyCharm for $25 and upgrades for $12).

Jetbrains, IMO, is close to failing to provide quality software and now we get this insanity. The only thing I can hope for is that someone takes this great platform and start writing plugins for these languages that are better than Jetbrains (was hard in the past but shouldn't be so now and in the future) or creates another IDE platform (Eclipse need not apply).

I really love JetBrains software and use IntelliJ daily, and this initially had me really annoyed.

However, after looking at the detail, I'm intrigued. I have a personal IntelliJ license that's a couple versions old, and an even older AppCode license. For $149/year I can get the latest of all of the products. Do I need them all? Maybe not, but I want them!

I for one will strongly consider that subscription, even if I wish I still had the option to buy a perpetual license.

Personally, they had lost my goodwill already with their old upgrade policy. If you bought a license on 01/2014, it expired on 12/2014, and you didn't need the product again until 04/2015, the upgrade you purchase in April begins on 01/2015, retroactively beginning after the end of the previous license. So you don't get the full 12 months they charge you for. When I realized that it was the end of my support for them.

Why would it work another way? You are paying to extend your old license, of course it carries on from when it finished. If you want a year from the present moment, that's not an extension, it's a new purchase. Otherwise, no one would extend until after a new release came out once it ended.

> Otherwise, no one would extend until after a new release came out once it ended.

That's only a problem if your renewal price is different from a new license.

This is the Oracle model, by the way. Say you buy Oracle with its compulsory support package, then you stop paying (because you don't need or want support, you're not going to upgrade etc). If at any point in the future you decide you'd actually like to buy the new version, you'll have to pay retroactive fees for all the time you skipped renewing. It's... not really nice.

In this sense, a switch to clear per-month pricing is actually welcome; it's just the "disabling stuff you paid for" that grates.

> Why would it work another way?

Because I shouldn't have to retroactively pay for a period I didn't use a product and the natural thing for me to assume was my status as a previous customer/license holder was what enabled me to an upgrade with the advertised "year's" worth of upgrades? Because that's how upgrade licenses work for other software products? (Windows/Office, other stuff I've used.)

They can define a license however they want, it's just up to me whether I find it worthwhile, and I didn't.

But at least in those days I had the option of continuing to use the older version after it expired.

So you'd rather they packaged all the updates into big yearly versions you paid for all at once, rather than getting things as they are done? That sucks.

If you still want updates as they come, either they are free if you own the version (in which case, you feel cheated if you buy a version then a new one comes out soon after), meaning people will avoid buying the product until the new version comes out.

With the year of upgrades included, it works. Now, in your case, you want to have your cake and eat it too - you still benefit from the upgrades the software got while you were not using it. You were not paying for using the software (that's the new model), you were paying to receive updates, so you either pay continuously for them at a reduced price, or pay for a new year when it runs out.

In fact, what is kind of crazy is what you are saying is you only want to pay for the software while you are using it, which is exactly the new model. You want to use the version you have forever, get all the updates, and also not pay when you don't use it. How is that going to be a sane business model from the other side?

Hey, sure, it's not worth it for you - that's your call, but what business model would actually be good enough for your standards?

Is it crazy when Windows does it? I paid for Windows 7, I didn't want to get Windows 8 when it first came out. Later on Windows 8 was improved. I was eligible for upgrade pricing because I owned Windows 7. You can argue that this is too customer-friendly if you want, that's subjective. But you're acting like my expectation is unusual or unprecedented, which is wrong.

Microsoft is desperate to push people to upgrade, because the value of a new version is non-obvious to most and the normal upgrade path is getting a new PC. They are making a choice to do something that is worse for them in some ways because having people using the newer versions is very important to them (as proven by them flat-out giving away 10).

My first reaction to this is gritting my teeth. But I went and looked and did the math. And I noticed that current users with a perpetual license (the "old" licensing model) can upgrade to the new pricing for the old renewal cost. EG:

    PHPStorm renewal $49 (personal)
    PHPStorm SaaS $49/year (from existing license, doesn't change)
    PHPStorm SaaS $79/year (promo)
    PHPStorm SaaS $99/year (after Jan 31st 2016)
> Yearly plan special offer for customers who have purchased a perpetual license. Offer to be redeemed no later than Jan 1, 2017.

For the terms of that upgrade: https://sales.jetbrains.com/hc/en-gb/articles/204249752-What...

> 1. The offer is available to customers with or without upgrade subscriptions regardless of the subscription status, provided a customer switches their existing licenses to the new model before January 1, 2017

> 2. The offer only applies to switching existing licenses to the new model. Purchases for additional users will fall under the standard pricing

> 3. Once the offer is used, the special price is available indefinitely until payments are canceled or paused.

Emphasis mine.

Looks like an irritating change, perhaps, but for existing customers you can lock your price in at its current renewal rate for the smaller products. The downside is that you will be renewing yearly, because if you pause the payment your rate might change.

JetBrains is in a tough market where they charge for what other competitors give away for free. They do so by making awesome products but doing that takes money and resources. If you want them to continue to invest in making the worlds best IDEs, you should be cheering this decision. They charge a pittance for such products.

Seriously, for the price of IntelliJ ultimate, most programmers will earn that in 2-3 hours of work. Your paying 2-3 hours of your time for a product that saves you hundreds of hours, and helps you earn a high white collar salary.

I just don't get people who whine about the pricing of their tools. Have you looked at the costs of video production, 3d and 2d art programs? Profession music creation software? Or any enterprise software for godsakes?

JetBrains has fought hard to survive and thrive in a cut throat market where most people use free tools and don't want to buy anything. They make a premium product and sell it for less than a cheap smartphone you upgrade every 2 years.

Maybe they can please people who want the false comfort of ownership by boosting the price of the non-rent edition.

As an interesting perspective, I don't know a single person who pirates any JetBrains software. All the programmers I know use their software exclusively and pay for it.

I can name many people who pirate all sorts of video production, 3d, and 2d art programs.

As for myself, maybe I'm a curmudgeon, but I try to avoid paid software at all costs. I used Sublime Text briefly, but switched back to vim when I found a good combination of plugins (caveat: I do little programming).

Ironically I just switched back to Eclipse Mars from Intellij. Intellij is an awesome product and for certain development environments it hands down beats Eclipse... but if your just coding in a JVM language (Java, Scala..) Eclipse Mars is pretty decent. For me It really was never the features that made me want to use Intellij but the simple fact that shit never seems to get fixed in Eclipse version after version.

Eclipse Mars is better than previous versions but there are still ancient bugs:

Mac OSX scrolling: https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=366471

Font Line Height (thank you Atom for supporting this) https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=26765

I have like 10 more bugs that I wish I could pay to have fixed. Intellij had this problem too (but lesser) and I really wish a company had some sort of pricing option to have certain bugs/features fast tracked. Eclipse takes donations and Intellij purchaes but you can't specifically say hey I will give you $1000 if you just fix xyz bug/feature. I know there are services that do this on opensource projects... I just wish that companies did it as well.

Speaking of Atom I just created an Eclipse Color theme that looks like One Dark syntax https://gist.github.com/agentgt/fcaf75eb8acf92e08926 . Combined with the Dark widget theme (yes Mars seems to have made this better) it really looks pretty decent on Mac. Its nice because I use Atom for frontend work so I have consistency theme wise.

I have like 10 more bugs that I wish I could pay to have fixed.

Are you aware of Bountysource? https://www.bountysource.com/ While I believe the audience size for it isn't super large, it's also conceivable that you could post a link to the Bountysource as a comment on the Bugzilla issue, at which point your incentive becomes more visible.

I don't know if you were just using a number as an example, but $1000 will likely get you some real traction on a bug - provided, of course, that the upstream project (Eclipse, in this case) will accept the work.

Note that Eclipse supports donations directly:


Be wary of random donation sites that are unconnected to the host organisation - the chance of any real money flowing back upstream on average is zero.

I'll try bountysource for sure but others have tried (with I believe other bounty services and in some cases paypal) and for some reason have not gotten traction. In fact one of the bugs I linked to (mac scrolling bug) some one offered a bounty but the bounty links seems to have disappeared. I'm not sure if the Eclipse foundation has a policy against it. I would imagine they would prefer you donate instead.

It would be interesting if there were some sort of custom white label bounty services for organizations like Apache and Eclipse where contributions are complicated in terms of regulations, licensing, donating, consistency and general policy... Apache and Eclipse don't even store their code on github so I would imagine they might have issues with a bountservice.

For ReSharper users, some decent open source alternatives are Refactoring Essentials (previously called NR6Pack) and Code Cracker:



Thank god Eclipse has gotten very usable in recent years.

Really? I mean I used Eclipse for years prior to VS and IntelliJ. IntelliJ wins hands down. This pricing model though.... upsets me.

I don't know how people use their ides, but I have had no problems with eclipse and feel plenty productive with it. Writing java code in my case. It has autocomplete and that's pretty much what I need... Great support with workspaces and multiple modules (I have about 50-100 "projects" in one workspace, and you can use filtered views also if needed). An it has a faster more responsive UI and better fonts thanks to eclipse's SWT, java's UI-toolkit is sluggish and horrible fonts. Also idea seemed to be indexing a whole lot of stuff the whole time... Eclipse just finds the stuff you need with no fuss indexing (it does indexing of course but it's barely noticeable)

As someone managing a small software edition company and selling yearly subscription licenses, I can totally get their business decision. Otherwise, you get the "Microsoft Word 97" effect, when people still use the same old software for 15 years, never upgrade, and complain about your software.

Having a recurring revenue is the best way to be able to manage a company, because it gives you a better view for your next years' budgets, and you can more easily plan investment and hirings.

What is wrong, is probably how jetbrain seems to change their pricing and businell model far too often, lacking direction, and pretending it's for the customers (it's only very indirectly for the customers benefit). Besides, I wouldn't mind paying whatever they want if they would just improve their release quality so that I don't get afraid of breaking my project everytime I update.

Yeah, if you didn't see this coming, you haven't been keeping up. Their yearly upgrades? It's no coincidence that intellij 14 came out in 2014, 13 in 2013...

If you have kept up versions as I have, it's practically no different. If this means we get features sooner rather than waiting for a whole major version upgrade, I'm happy.

Yes, Adobe had a big clusterfuck when they did it, but you know who hasn't had as big of one? Microsoft Office. I subscribe to their office 365. 10 bucks a month for 5 computers, the whole office suite. I'll happily pay that.

And besides, there's always the community edition if for some reason your 120k/yr job doesn't let you afford 100 bucks per year...

People just have a meltdown anytime anything changes... chill the fuck out for a few minutes and let's see what happens.

Intellij has no choice but to do this. Otherwise they lose revenue.

They have mature software products and people are not going to renew the license every year for a minor update. Most of their products are so mature that you can buy them once and never look back.

So how do they make up for this one time sale? Switch to a subscription model and convince users it's in their best interest.

Frankly, I don't care about paying money every month; IntelliJ is worth the price. However, I never update software unless there is a major bug or major features. Updating software is always a gamble and if you customize it, it often requires additional work (deprecated plugins, invalid keymap, new bugs etc.)

I hope they get this right and find the right business model to stay afloat without ruining the relationship they have with their customers.

I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest this was driven by the CFO trying to provide better predictive earnings to their shareholders. It may also enable them to plan developer recruitment better but this feels very shareholder driven.

Personally, Webstorm is exceptional and worth every penny.

> Webstorm is exceptional and worth every penny.

Webstorm was heavily discounted compared to the other specialised IDEs (mostly because other specialised ones included Webstorm's features, at least before AppCode and CLion)

That has been rectified, Webstorm is now 99/year and completely worthless (since RubyMine, PHPStorm and PyCharm give you Webstorm + a "server" language for the same price)

"server" language? You may have heard that Javascript is doing rather well these days ;)

And you may have tried to understand the point rather than look for places where you could land a snide comment. Alas, you chose otherwise.

Well I'm not sure why you would put "server" in quotes.

Because they're not solely for web servers, and because as you so astutely noted javascript can be used in a server role.

I think Resharper is in trouble. This licensing change, the new "refactoring" features in Visual Studio 2015, and the lower barrier for new tools to be created due to Roslyn are all going to have an impact.

Will there still be a Community Edition? (Free, with reduced capabilities.)

Yes, our free products (IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm Community Editions, dotPeek) are not affected by these changes. They'll be available as before.


Not for phpstorm

There has never been a community edition of phpstorm.

But in the future CE might stand for Crippled Edition.

What I don't get is why a developer would ever use proprietary software in the first place. I code—it's what I do. I want to tools to be excellent, certainly, and I don't want to have to spend a lot of time fixing them where they aren't, but I want to be able to improve them for my use cases. Who else in the world is as capable at knowing what I need as…me?

If you use proprietary software, you're at the mercy of the vendor for features and, as this shows, for pricing and pricing model changes.

Please... some of us need to get work done and are perfectly happy to pay someone else to give us good quality products.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's worth doing yourself.

> ...some of us need to get work done...

There are whole ecosystems of developers and teams getting work done and building companies (including some of the biggest companies in the industry) without these applications, so they clearly aren't necessary to "get work done."

Never said it was necessary. Sorry if I implied that. Just don't see the point of the original post claiming how it never made sense.

Why not pay them to do it for you and also keep the ability to do it yourself, should you ever need it?

Because I have exactly zero interest in deviating from what I should be focusing on (my business, my product, my clients, my revenue stream) to go dork around with a text/code editor.

Doing so, in the context of a real working business with clients, projects, timelines, deadlines and deliverables would be irresponsible if you can simply pay a company for which that product IS their product and business to deliver what you need and support it.

I can see messing around with FOSS as a hobby but unless you are a huge company that can afford to lose clock cycles to your devs playing with FOSS or a medium size company for whom FOSS is a a business it just doesn't make sense.

The vast majority of software developers across all disciplines (there's a huge world outside of Silicon Valley, Web Dev and Mobile) have exactly zero need or interest in deviating from their mission to go fix their tools.

This is the same reason the vast majority of software developers (again, think outside web folk) have exactly zero interest in vim. It is an utter waste of time compared to point-click-go-go-go.

> Because I have exactly zero interest in deviating from what I should be focusing on (my business, my product, my clients, my revenue stream) to go dork around with a text/code editor.

You can improve your productivity (i.e., increase your revenue) by improving your tools.

A blacksmith makes his tools; a developer should be want to extend his environment.

> unless you are a huge company that can afford to lose clock cycles to your devs playing with FOSS

It's not a loss: it's an investment which pays dividends.

> The vast majority of software developers across all disciplines (there's a huge world outside of Silicon Valley, Web Dev and Mobile) have exactly zero need or interest in deviating from their mission to go fix their tools.

I have exactly zero interest in hiring or working with someone who is uninterested in improving his productivity.

> This is the same reason the vast majority of software developers (again, think outside web folk) have exactly zero interest in vim. It is an utter waste of time compared to point-click-go-go-go.

Both vim and emacs are far better and faster at moving structures of code around than the vast majority of GUI editors. Better and faster means…more revenue for less effort. And it's fun!

No idea why this is being downvoted. If you ask me, it's irresponsible not to invest in your tools and productivity. If you don't, you're wasting your employer's time and money. A bit of time "dorking around" in Vim will pay huge dividends over time.

Give it a shot. Open up `vimtutor`. It's easier than you think!

Interesting. You see, to me you are wasting our time and money if you do not realize that the time devoted to code entry is insignificant when compared to other aspects of a non-trivial project. It's like putting $300 racing tires on a Toyota Sienna minivan. You can quote all kinds of skid-pad numbers and amazing high speed capabilities, yet you'd be focusing on the wrong problem. You can go much faster by getting a better car with less expensive tires.

I know a good percentage of HN members are focused around web development. Please stop for a moment to understand there's much more to software engineering than the web. Much more. Your view of reality is decidedly skewed.

I'll give you an example. We've been working on a system that has required over a year of real R&D and thousands of man-hours before we understood how to solve the problem. The software development phase will take about a month or two. And a good chunk of that is debugging, reevaluating assumptions and testing. Nobody here cares one bit about what we use to enter the code (in various languages) comprising this system. It isn't a factor.

Of course there's much more to software engineering than entering and editing text, and you'll need to make a judgment call based on your priorities. I do more than web development, so I don't think your "web dev bias" applies to me. I merely find disagree with your absolutism:

> It is an utter waste of time compared to point-click-go-go-go.

If you don't have free time to devote to learning an editor, then that's fine. I was referring to those who spend most of their time programming (i.e. at an editor/terminal).

As an aside, I'm not sure why you keep mentioning web development. Of all the things that I do, web development requires the least amount of code. Other things have vastly bigger codebases. But yes, if most of your time is spent doing R&D, then you won't benefit much from improving your engineering tools.

> I'm not sure why you keep mentioning web development.

Only because I think it is fair to say that a large portion of HN's members are in web development rather than, say, robotics and aerospace which is a significant portion of what we do.

> But yes, if most of your time is spent doing R&D, then you won't benefit much from improving your engineering tools.

Let me add a twist to this, only because I think it got lost somewhere.

I am not opposed to better tools. I simply want to pay for them and let others who's business it is to focus on making better tools create them for me. My job isn't to become an expert on a code editor's source code or our FEA tool's code base. My job is to use these tools and others to develop the products our clients want us to develop.

So, yeah, I will gladly pay --and we do pay tens of thousands of dollars per year-- for the right tools, with the right performance, the right support and the right feature set. If we need something special and it can be done with some easy scripting, sure, absolutely. Otherwise I prefer to communicate needs to our vendors and hope they see the need to address these pain points.

We've had at least half a dozen cases of software providers sending members of their development team to our office to spend time learning about issues we found and how to fix them. One of them was a team of software developers from India that made the trip to try and figure out why their CAM software was crashing end-mills on our Haas vertical machining centers and churning aluminum like it was butter with the 20 HP spindles.

Our mission was to make parts. We made that happen one way or the other. It took them --while being fully versed in their own code-base-- a week to find the problem and another month to fix it and go through regression testing. It probably would have taken us three to six months to do the same thing (had it been open source) while completely deviating from our core mission.

On another occasion we devoted three months to write this application that automated component creation for an EDA tool we were using. The tool had shortcomings. Thankfully it had an API that, of all things, could be accessed through Visual Basic. We talked about it and decided to fix it by creating an external tool in VB.

It took one engineer three months of total dedication to the cause to write the code and produce a working tool. And it was great. What used to take three hours could now be done in 30 minutes.

That seemed like an example of resources and time well used. Except, as the EDA tool company issued updates our tool would break and we very quickly found ourselves chasing our tails constantly fixing our code. It was the old "when you are up to your ass in alligators" story.

Six months later we decided it was a far better to jettison the EDA tool and buy a better tool instead. That was the right decision. We should have made that decision nine months earlier rather than completely deviate from our core business to fix someone else's problems.

I have more stories like that one. I am not saying what I say to be difficult, I have the scars to prove which business and engineering decisions are right and wrong, not in absolute terms, of course, but in the context of the task at hand.

You are confusing matters and overstating productivity factors. Editors, yes, including vim, have nearly zero impact on the timeline for any non-trivial project. The time devoted to all things outside of typing code dwarfs any gains had by counting keystrokes with vim. It's an illusion of the first order.

Now, good tools, such as the JetBrains tools can have an impact that has little to do with productivity. We do hardware and software development. It is useful to have a tool that has the potential to feel like you are doing pair programming by helping you along. Why? Because if you are popping between Verilog and Python with a range of other languages across server, desktop and embedded while using multiple tools and IDE's you start valuing tools that can help you context switch. And, no, I do not want to waste time messing with source for the two dozen tools we use on a regular basis. And, no, in this context vim has no real measurable value whatsoever.

My guess is you might disagree. And that's OK. If your context is web development you simply don't have enough of a view of the rest of the tech ecosystem to understand. If you've never run a tech business you will not have had the financial feedback loop that allows you to understand these issues. I can improve productivity by a far larger margin by providing every workstation with three large monitors, lots of memory and making sure people work reasonable hours and don't burn out than through some magical editor that also requires my engineers to even as much as look at source due to shortcomings.

In fact, I can, and have, improved productivity dramatically by having everyone work half days on Fridays while being very flexible with daily schedules and liberal with vacation times. As an example, I had one engineer ask me if he could take a few days off to go to a concert in London. I said "send pictures", paid him for the time he was away and did not take vacation days off.

We are a team, we know what our mission is and we get shit done. We are not factory workers counting keystrokes per second. We are knowledge workers, which automatically means we spend far more time on things other than typing code.

Of course, you are free to do as you wish.

> The time devoted to all things outside of typing code dwarfs any gains had by counting keystrokes with vim. It's an illusion of the first order.

Editors are, or should be, the sole tool necessary to sculpt a system. Using poor languages, yes, there's a lot of ritual outside of coding which is necessary. With powerful languages, the design is the code and the code is the design and it all lives within an editor.

The editor is the interface to the documentation; it's the interface to the running system; it's an interface to the debugger; it's the interface to the world.

> Because if you are popping between Verilog and Python with a range of other languages across server, desktop and embedded while using multiple tools and IDE's you start valuing tools that can help you context switch. And, no, I do not want to waste time messing with source for the two dozen tools we use on a regular basis. And, no, in this context vim has no real measurable value whatsoever.

Which is why I use emacs, which is able to provide a seamless interface between server, desktop, laptop and embedded environments, in which context switching simply doesn't have to be necessary. Emacs provides a whole heck of a lot more than vim. Vim is a powerful editor; emacs is an ultra-powerful environment.

Yes, it's also important to have large monitors, lots of memory and a great work environment. And kudos to you (honestly) for providing that.

> We are knowledge workers, which automatically means we spend far more time on things other than typing code.

Which is why I use a tool which enables me to work with units of knowledge, not just letters and symbols.

> Editors are, or should be, the sole tool necessary to sculpt a system.

Absolutely not true. My guess is you are a web developer.

I am not going to spar with you. Engineering is a world that goes way beyond web development. I urge you to consider there's far more out there than what you might have been exposed to. To think that everything starts and ends with a text editor is a bit myopic.

rebootthesystem, you have simultaneously some of the best and worst views on productivity I have ever heard. You seem to understand human factors around burnout and work quite well, but completely misunderstand an engineer's relationship with his or her tools. It is precisely because we are not unskilled factory workers that we can and should each individualize and tune our tools to our liking. I would hope that you at least don't forbid the use of editors such as emacs or vim.

I don't forbid anything at all. All decisions are made as a team. And all have to be justified. I own the company. I am not the king. Yet, with this a given I have yet to run into a single engineer who's suggested we use vim extensivey. It does see use while supporting servers and that's about it.

Don't get me wrong, a nice IDE can be a pleasure to use. Does it make a significance difference in ROI or project timelines? Not at all. If we are working on an IMU for an aerospace project the time spent on the editor is almost a rounding error.

I think a lot of people on HN view the world through web development lenses. That is most certainly not how the rest of the engineering world works. For example, when doing muliti-GHz PCB design you can quite literally blow WEEKS of work if you make a mistake. Weeks. And so the idea of fretting over keystrokes per second or amazing refactoring tools --in that context-- is nothing less than laughable. And that's why, in my world, nobody has ever come up and said "you know, if we took a couple of weeks to get good at vim we could rock this thing". It hasn't come-up because, in our context, like I said, code entry is a rounding error. Nobody cares because it does not matter.

Its one of the reasons why I'm using OSX instead of Linux on my main machine. I do dual boot, but i always come back to OSX for work related stuff. So much easier to install Office 365 (Company Version) and use it directly locally. I could use Linux, and access Office in the Corp VDI session, but i hate the lag. So, in the end, for work, I have learned to pay for the product upfront and then play around during the weekends :)

> in the context of a real working business with clients, projects, timelines, deadlines and deliverables

Sounds like FOSS with a support contract would also be appropriate. They might sell you a warranty and indemnity too. Plus your business would have a much better disaster recovery plan if you're not reliant on DRM dev/build tools. Further, selling your business and/or productizing your internal tech can be simpler with FOSS.

> It is an utter waste of time compared to point-click-go-go-go.

Clicking = moving your hand from the keyboard to the mouse. So it's actually point-click-go-back-to-keyboard-go-go-go when it could be type-go-go-go (or go-go-go-go, if you prefer) . I use vim and when I help colleagues that use phpStorm, they seem slow as fuck. Since they have a sidebarmenu, they don't think about their fuzzy matcher, they don't split their display to show 4 files instead of just one and keep navigating through tabs they did not really mean to open.

> Because I have exactly zero interest in deviating from what I should be focusing on

I don't get it. Even if you have no interest, why would you willingly give up the option? All other things being equal, wouldn't you want the ability to do it? You'll get a great product, you'll pay someone else to take care of it, and, should you ever want to fix it yourself or take it to someone else to fix it, you can do that too?

Why are you so aggressive against the notion of being allowed to do anything you could possibly want?

Not aggressive. I am simply stating my position based on thirty years of running a range of tech businesses. Others can do as they wish. And they do. And the overwhelming majority of software developers have exactly zero time or interest in deviating from their work to mess with tools source code. Some percentage will customize via macros and relatively minor scripts but virtually none go so far off course as to spend non-trivial time hacking source.

Language such as "exactly zero", "dork around", "mess around" sounds aggressive, as if people who decide to hack on their tools were beneath you. When you say "utter waste of time" on people who do enjoy working on their vimrc or init.el or whatever, it sounds like you think the person themself is a waste of a person. When you mention how many years you have, you sound pompous, as if you were stating your opinions as facts (years of experience can't be wrong!).

It sounds aggressive even if you don't intend it to sound that way. There are ways to other ways to express your opinion without sounding this way.

Here, let me try to show you what I mean:

"I am not interested in modifying my tools. I would rather pay someone else to do it. If you are spending time modifying your tools, then that is time that could have been better spent on another task. I have many years of experience, which have convinced me that the right way to spend your time is on your product, not your tools."

Note the lack of dismissive language such as "absolutely zero" or "exactly zero" or "waste of time" or "I am simply" (this last one is another attempt to present opinions as facts).

You are going out of your way to ascribe meaning where it doesn't exist. Not sure what to say.

When I say "I have exactly zero interest" it means exactly that. If it offends you the problem isn't mine.

I havent really seen that many instances where this happens.

If you're paying, you also get support - in fact this is a very common structure for open source products where you pay for a service contract. In this case you're paying for them to do it and have the ability to make updates, but since you're paying them to do, they end up doing it.

The situation of interest is when they are no longer interested in doing it or change the terms of the contract under you... which is what is happening right now with Jetbrains. Wouldn't you like to have a way out when they do that?

I dont see the big issue with Jetbrains: the product is still available, still works, is still supported and pretty much costs the same. It's just a pricing model difference. And you can still develop without it so it's not a critical tool.

And if it's really such a problem... then stop using it? I dont know what else to say. What exactly is at risk here?

The reason is that we're capable of multiplication and comparison.

$240 per year / $200/hour = 1.2 hours that this thing needs to save me each year to be worth paying for. I don't think that I could rewrite ReSharper from scratch in that amount of time. I know from long use that it will save me that much time each year.

It's the simplest money I'll spend all year. It would be if my bill rate were a tenth of what it is.

IntelliJ and PyCharm both have open source cores, and are leaps and bounds ahead of every other IDE out there. (I use eclipse a lot for work, and there is a reason I use IntelliJ at home).

In our business, we're building software -- not software tools. I give my engineers full reign to determine what tools they use. For our build vs. buy evaluation, we don't have a need to modify or extend tooling beyond their existing capabilities (I find the JetBrains plug-in model fairly decent.) We use a lot of JetBrains tools in our operation.

It all comes down to build/buy assessment, because build still costs money. JetBrains has a price point that puts a tight margin on that build decision.

You are right about being at the mercy, but I have not used free software as good as the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE for development.

I've heard many people say exactly that (or even that VS is simply the best IDE). I somehow fail to see why would anyone say that.

The whole solution/project model seems to be optimized for something that does not make much sense to me.

The UI is mostly unusable on small screens.

Integrated editor feels somewhat weird to me (I'm probably too addicted to emacs' electric-indent, but even then).

Thus I may see some reason to use VS for .NET projects (VS being the "native" IDE), but I completely fail to see why one would use VS for C/C++ (which is even exaggerated by various quirks of MS's compiler, like not supporting C99 and different versions of stdlib that sometimes can be used at same time and sometimes can't).

For me, the small screen is not an issue, because I typically develop on as much screen as I can muster.

As far as the editor, there are some good attempts at code completion from other systems, but I have not found one nearly as good as Intellisense. That is coupled with the jump to definition and declaration.

Also, the integrated debugging and some of the edit and continue functionality is amazing.

> I somehow fail to see why would anyone say that.

can you really not even comprehend how there's one person out there that would make a choice different than you?

I use php storm because it works really well out of the box. > I want to tools to be excellent, certainly, and I don't want to have to spend a lot of time fixing

Thats what drew me to the JetBrains product line. The default functionality and polish feels good compared with eclipse which is what I usually use when I'm in java. I still jump into emacs for some file editing because it feels right. But eclipse still seem strangely odd to use (that could just be the whole java toolchain thing). I spend a certain amount of time on learning the tools and learning how to configure. The curve on emacs/eclipse configuration is steep. oddly I donated for me emacs / eclipse since I use them enough.

> If you use proprietary software, you're at the mercy of the vendor for features..

Something I kinda knew, even as a paying customer, but this change really brings it home. Especially since we now have to keep paying to keep using.

sometimes the proprietary software is better at what it does, which outweighs other drawbacks

Yet another reason for me to stick with Eclipse.

When will people realise that true & complete OSS is the only answer.

When it stops being a massive PITA to use...

I HATE Eclipse, it's a massively bloated POS IMHO and I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole. Eclipse is what drove me FAR away from IDE's until a friend recommended JetBrains to me and I found how awesome it was.

OSS fanatics drive me up a wall. I don't have unlimited amounts of time to customise something a ton just to make it useable. I'm not going to make my life harder on purpose so that I can sit on my high horse. I want to get things done not be constantly futzing around with display drivers, font rendering, icon sets, endless pages of customization, etc. Do you have full control in OSS? Yes, but the defaults normally suck.

I want something that takes me to 80-90% on day 1, I don't care if I can take it to 100% in OSS (it normally starts at 20% at best), it's simply not worth my time. Now given 2 products, one closed and one OSS that perform equally or close to equally well out of the box I will lean towards OSS but I'm not going to go out of my way to use it just so I can tout my neck-bearded-ness. Money = Time and I'm not interested in wasting the "non-renewable" one of the two.

Note: none of this applies to servers, linux is the only thing I'd ever consider using on a server. This is primarily aimed at OSS programs and OS's (Open Office or whatever they are calling it now, Eclipse, Linux on the desktop, etc)

I'm with you in terms of productivity/results etc. I remember when I started with a new team that were all Eclipse. I gave it my all. I really did. No doubt much of it came down to familiarity but there was something about it that I couldn't jive with. It seemed to introduce concepts/abstractions that didn't need to exist. It crashed a bunch. There were more steps involved with everything. I had pick up after it. It was slow. Then I said, you know what? I can't hack this, I'm going back to IDEA. Suddenly it felt like I was in a ferrari rather than a trabant. Fully accept that a lot of that was down to me not being a particularly fast learner, that I was used to IDEA in the first place etc.

I'm happy to pay Jetbrains three times the amount I pay to continue with it. This deal is great for me because I wanted to use PyCharm and CLion, and have historically used Rubymine, and the amount I have to pay to have everything isn't that far off what I pay already.

I consider it money well paid to be able to be more productive. Understand other people feel differently... it's nice to be idealogically consistent and beholden to no-one. That's worth a lot to many.

Doing professional Java dev with Eclipse since '10, never had any serious issues with Eclipse. IMHO, the biggest Eclipse-related issues I've had were with dodgy 3rd party plugins.

I find that people who "HATE" Eclipse passionately often don't understand how to use it properly. E.g... why is it taking a long time to build? Well, you enabled "Build automatically" in the project settings of your 900KLOC project...

Anyway, I've had this debate many times, I have no interest in having it again. I am just happy Eclipse works well for my needs, so I have no reason to worry about IntelliJ, SaaS licensing or whatever.

I would just encourage people who are unhappy about the changes to give Eclipse another shot -- who knows, maybe you will like it the second time around.

I get burned by proprietary software way more often than I do by Free Software.

We use a subscription model at Fogbeam, but here's the twist: all our software is open source, and you're free to use it as you like, with or without a subscription.

So why buy a subscription at all?

Because you get the kinds of things big companies care about: certification, maintenance, support, indemnification, somebody to sue if things don't work, a vendor to shift blame onto if the shit hits the fan, a discount on professional services work, perpetual upgrades, priority access to influence the roadmap and direction of the product, etc. Subscriptions are also a win for customers in that (depending on the details) they may be able to pay for a subscription out of an operational budget, rather than needing to go to some committee and get approval for a large one-time capital expenditure. And with subscriptions you are paying a portion of the cost in future, inflated, dollars instead of today's dollars.

Of course, like any vendor who does OSS, we run the risk of having a lot of people using our software and never paying, but that's just something we accept.

But here's the thing... we don't sell development tools - IDEs and the like. Our stuff is backend/middle-ware that costs in the tens of thousands of dollars and up (for companies with thousands of employees, anyway), which makes things like worrying about capital expenditures more of an issue. At the kind of price-points you are talking about for IDEs and what-not, I'm not sure the advantages of a subscription (from the customer POV) really carry much weight.

I would like to see the software contract that includes indemnification for the software.

We don't have the final wording all worked out for all of that stuff. We've been pretty focused on product stuff for the past while, and only recently got to a point where we have a product actually available for sell, and we're still working on contracts / licenses and all that. But what I can tell you is that our approach will probably look a lot like what Red Hat does[1].

Basically, it's a guarantee that if you get sued for using our software (patent infringement, whatever) then we protect you from any fallout from that.

[1]: http://www.redhat.com/en/about/open-source-assurance

So you're not really indemnifying the software use itself, that's where the confusion came from.

I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're making there.

We defend the company from issues using our software, arising from a 3rd party's IP claims. We wouldn't defend them if they used our software as part of an effort to hack into the Facebook's user database and stage a massive identity theft scheme.

software use

as in, problems that occur from actually using the software. As opposed to IP claims which is typically over the source code, not the software itself.

For example, if you write a realtime scheduling component that Toyota ends up using in their vehicle software, and someone dies due to a problem with the realtime scheduling, you do not protect Toyota from the resulting lawsuit.

Is there any good Java IDE for emacs?


Now, I've not really used Java, so I have no experience with this package.

Last time I touched java (a year ago), malabar-mode (https://github.com/m0smith/malabar-mode) was the most feature-rich environment for doing java in emacs. However, it couldn't cope with the complex build system for the project I was working on, so I ended up using intellij instead (if malabar-mode had worked for this project I would have preferred to stay in emacs).

I'm not sure about IDEs, but if you install Evil mode you get a pretty awesome text editor.


> Fuck off.

We've banned this account for repeatedly breaking the HN guidelines.

You can integrate eclipse into emacs.



Very cool.

emacs and a real a IDE, together at last.

The problem for any company providing a workflow solution is that if you solve the customer's problem by providing a stable workflow then there is no little for the customer to upgrade. Their workfolow is profitable, and the solution is analogous to a band-saw in a wood-shop: a fixture.

On the other hand, upgrading to a new version with new features is a risk. When none of the previous version's features changed, there's still the reconfiguration cost...and usually previous version features do change if for no other reason than UI. Even a compelling new feature entails the disruption of changing processes.

Ideally, the best long term strategy for a tools company is a subscription model that pushes no features and results in more or less the same profitability for their customers in the end: for example by exactly offsetting the gains from features with the cost of switching. The sweet spot is technical progress accompanied by business stasis. AutoDesk is the master at this...they started moving toward subscriptions almost twenty years ago. They got away from selling platforms and focused on features, and their customers are all locked into yearly cycles of disrupting their workflow and looking to features for redemption.

They need to do a better job explaining the licenses.


I can't find anything that explains the difference between the individual vs. company/organization licenses.

Are these still single-developer licenses?

Why does a company have to pay twice as much as the individual license?

That's just silly. I'll have my devs buy their own licenses and reimburse them. People are not stupid, you know? Because these licenses expire on a monthly basis there really isn't a reason for a company to "own" the product.

With the prior licensing scheme it made sense because the product never expired. You could continue using it even if you didn't need the upgrades. You were, in fact, purchasing an asset. Not too different from buying a set of wrenches for your toolbox, they might not be the latest in a year, but they work just as well.

With this setup there is no reason whatsoever for a company to pay double monthly fees. That's just silly. I'd like to see someone justify a reason to charge a business twice as much. Please don't say "because you make a profit". This is like Ford charging you twice as much for an F150 because you buy it through your business.

Regarding the company/organization license: Does one license allow one developer to work with, say, IntelliJ while another uses PyCharm? I have not ask. Again, there's precious little on the website to explain the terms and conditions of each license.

If you're reimbursing personal licenses, it's actually violation if EULA [1]

[1] https://sales.jetbrains.com/hc/en-gb/articles/200544871-5-Ca...

I am not. We already own permanent licenses for what we need and do not intend on moving to the monthly plan under current conditions.

I am simply pointing out people are not stupid. Doubling the monthly cost just because it is a business can't be justified and this is bound to lead to people gaming the system.

Again, pick a service, say, gardener, and have them charge you twice as much to mow exactly the same size lawn just because you are a business. What will happen is they'll be treated to a big "fuck you" and someone else will get the business.

Someone needs to tell me what they deliver to a business user that supports charging twice as much. There's certainly zero difference in the already questionable level of support, so, where is the justification?

To me that's bordering on being offensive.

It looks like they're going to review the changes:


Personally I would find the pricing more reasonable if the "individual developer" licenses could be used by small businesses and freelancers.

This isn't new, well for intelliJ at least. I bought IJ 12x, and was a little saddened when they changed to the sub model. However it's still a great tool and i prefer it over the others, therefore still use it. It just means i'm forced to use the community edition, or EAP.

Loyalty is as good as the product; if another product comes along and makes my life easier i would switch.

I'm an indy developer who travels & works at various places in the world. I'm often working a place deep in the jungle, where there is some electricity but no internet. Not being able to work if I don't connect to the internet within 30 days will indeed decrease my happiness with JetBrains big time :(

Perhaps if they have a model where after you've had a solid 12 months of subscriptions behind you, you can stop and use the last good versions you had, that would fix the issues people are complaining about.

That would lose you the 'renewing' discount, but it wouldn't stop the concern about the IDE's not working.

Community Edition is still totally awesome for what it is right?

In the .net Environment Visual Studio and frameworks change fast enough that we are 1.5 year upgrading resharper ultimate already. I don't see this as a big issue. Pricing is appropriate and seems better for individual developers than it was prior.

That's really too bad.

I actually used and liked WebStorm at one point. I've since switched to Atom, but I still occasionally miss some of the more advanced refactoring and navigation features that indexing and static analysis made possible.

Every time JetBrains released a new version of WebStorm I usually try to take a thorough look through the release notes and sometimes become tempted to give it another try.

But this new subscription model has managed to completely kill any enthusiasm I had left for WebStorm and other JetBrains products.

As a side note, I really hope this doesn't mean Cursive is going to have to switch to the same subscription model.

It seems there is a simple solution. You pay the subscription monthly, until after 1 year you own the current version. If you stop the subscription at that point you don't get rolling updates or SLA support.

So once again the people getting the best deal will be the pirates :(

I suppose that we are at JetBrains market saturation levels - everybody is using their IDEs, so they just don't sell as many new licences to fuel growth.

I think their all-you-can-eat subscription deal is pretty good value. I use Intellij Ultimate but I have messed around with Appcode and Rubymine in the past and wanted to give CLion a go. I remember a while ago thinking 'surely they do some all you can eat package' and finding they didn't. This has answered it.

Realise that the same model doesn't work for everyone but the subscription deal for all-you-can-eat is damn good.

Pretty tough to pirate their products in the first place, and I imagine "phone home" type applications will only make it harder.

Especially when they already have a community edition in place, I think more people will use that.

It's probably tough to pirate their products in the first place because there isn't much of an incentive to crack them. It's not like a Call of Duty release where kids with no money the world over want the product. This is a tool for professionals, the kind of people who can shell out a couple billable hours worth of cash or get a license from their employer.

From what I have seen it is pretty trivial (at least if you were around in the 90s)

> everybody is using their IDEs

And I think that's a shame, because I prefer NetBeans over IntelliJ. I've used both, and IntelliJ's Maven integration is just terrible.

Please elaborate, I havent used Netbeans for a while but it really sucked compared even to eclipse. Also never had any problems with maven integration on IntelliJ.

IntelliJ likes to maintain two build systems. It has its own project files that keep track of dependencies and how to build things. Changes made to the POM have to be imported into IntelliJ's project format, if you build or run something in IntelliJ, it's not necessarily the same build Maven would perform, because IntelliJ is invoking java and javac itself without going through mvn.

NetBeans, on the other hand, uses the POM itself as its project file for everything it can. All dependency information exists only in the POM, and NetBeans reads it directly. What little bit NetBeans needs that doesn't go in the POM goes in nbactions.xml (e.g. main class, path to JVM), which is very small and minimal, and there's no duplication of data between the two. The NetBeans project file is just the tuple of (pom.xml, nbactions.xml). I've encountered many instances where IntelliJ and Maven get their dependency trees desynced, and while sometimes it can be solved by re-importing the POM, other times it can't, and resolving it becomes this huge hairy nightmare.

Better yet, whenever you initiate a build or run anything in NetBeans using a Maven project, it simply invokes mvn through a shell. You can see in the output tab the exact Maven command line NetBeans ran, so you can duplicate it or send it as instructions to collaborators who don't necessarily use NetBeans.

I have to use IntelliJ at my current job, and I find myself just using it as an editor and building by manually invoking Maven on the command line myself (and the company has our own system of scripts for running our Java projects).

Maven is a first-class project format in NetBeans, whereas IntelliJ still needs to create its own project structure and metadata. So it seems less than ideal from that perspective. But having had to use IntelliJ for a while, I'm now comfortable with its way of handling Maven. I understand why it is the way it is: IntelliJ is a multi-stack IDE, whereas Maven is a Java-specific project format. IntelliJ has a project format that works across all their IDEs (except AppCode) and IntelliJ is just an all-in-one IDE, not just a Java IDE.

I 100% agreed with you until I tried to run NetBeans on a MacBook Pro Retina (current model, fully specced out). It's so terribly slow at that high resolution.

Jetbrains charges way too little for such a ridiculously good product.

Microsoft recently did the same thing, requiring you to sign in with a Microsoft Account to continually re-activate Visual Studio (90 days, I think). So now, even with an MSDN sub, after it expires, you don't get the software. Rather significant change. Though, with BizSpark and other programs it will probably only impact larger companies.

Plus when customers view changes like this as unfair or unethical, they suddenly find themselves caring a lot less about using a disassembler and changing some jumps.

No company that believes in what they're doing announces a major change on a Friday, before a major US holiday. That's what you do when you want the reaction to die quickly.

I'll be renewing PyCharm this week, but will likely start brushing up on Eclipse/PyDev for next year. I find the idea of software disabling itself disgusting.

I hate this model in general just because I can't just pay a larger amount once and have it forever.

Aside from that, this reinforces my coding minimalism. I don't have a need for all of these weird extra things that just make "life easier" about 5% of the time while screwing with normal typing 95% of the time (in my case at least). I am perfectly happy with standard visual studio and notepad for anything that isn't .net.

> I've seen companies who forget to renew their licenses promptly or who have long and convoluted processes to approve the expenditure. I guess, under the new model, development grinds to a halt until the purchase goes through.

That sounds like a problem with the company practices and policies and not Jetbrains. I'm pretty sure that would affect other things in the company as well (such as stalling to pay an internet bill or something).

And this is one of the many reasons why I've not used paid IDEs. I feel bad for everyone over a barrel with JetBrains because they've dedicated so much of their time developing in their lovely IDEs (many of my co-workers use their products.)

This is not to say that a SaaS model is necessarily bad... it's just that, as a user, one is now beholden to the whims of a company for what is perhaps the most critical part of their work flow.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Stallman - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.en.html

If someone at JetBrains is reading this: Having 2 licenses paid and planned to renew when I decide what great.

This, not so much. Officially looking for alternatives.

Yeah, really bad....b4, we had a choice of when we would upgrade, if it's worth it, was there enough innvovation, etc. now, 'you' are forced to keep paying for upgrades, even if you don't need them right away, or want to just skip one. Sucks really bad...As a longtime user 10+years, I'm out...ransom does not play well with me.

It's hard to make an argument that loyal customers are lost. Don't they by definition renew the license every year anyway? If not, still no one is lost - existing licenses don't magically expire. This change affects only potential new customers who are not renewing every year for some reason.

Note that the title says 'customer loyalty'. I think IntelliJ et al. became popular through word of mouth of developers (that's how I started using IntelliJ and I recommended it to many others).

If those developers go from 'IntelliJ is great and the JetBrains people rock' to 'IntelliJ may be great, but JetBrains is scammy', it may be bad for growth.

Of course, one can assume that they calculated in some protests + losing customers.

> If not, still no one is lost - existing licenses don't magically expire.

Converted and new ones do, so previously loyal customers who don't want to lose their perpetual license… can't upgrade their editor ever again.

There's a significant attitude difference when you pay for upgrade every year because the product is improving or when you have to pay so the company doesn't pull the killswitch in your tooling.

JetBrian used to have to improve the product significantly every major release so that people would pay for the new version. Just want to point out that by changing to the new subscription model, they no longer have that drive.

Of course there are still other reasons for innovating their product, it's just one less.

Hmm, time will tell. I've been using IDEA since 2008, but switched to WebStorm a couple of years ago because I wanted to get the new JS features and extensions sooner (and didn't need the Java Enterprise bits).

As someone who upgrades WebStorm within an hour of a new version being released, I'm hoping the new subscription model will mean they push out improvements whenever they're ready, rather than waiting for a major release to showcase.

Totally understand the angst on here about the IDE not working if you cancel your subscription, but I guess I'm already in that mindset from using services like Linode and BrowserStack.

As a serial upgrader, the WebStorm subscription price looks okay. Over the years, I've considered the IDE more of a co-worker than a tool (should credit Hector the Inspector as a great Wingman). If you're billing for your hours I still think the product is a no-brainer, but understand this would be a frustrating development for a more casual user.

Right. In an alternate world where you had to pay Intel $20/month or they'd brick your CPU, I'd expect their rate of improvements to be much lower.

So if JetBrains goes bankrupt and the license servers go down then we all have a month to sort out a new IDE

This was inevitable. Businesses want month-to-month licensing and now I expect JetBrains will see solid growth driven by their business customers. I would rather see a cashed-up JetBrains acquire - let's say - Xamarin than the opposite outcome, which would be an unmitigated disaster.

Meh, the only real issue there is the phoning home. The other issues he points out seem pretty contrived.

JetBrains rep here.

"Phoning home" is actually not new. We've introduced JetBrains Account as a way of authorizing a product instance (as an alternative to license keys) for a couple of years now.

Current student licenses work exactly the same way, as well as a part of classroom and OS licenses AFAIK. A lot of current personal and some commercial licenses are managed through a JetBrains Account as well.

With the new scheme, JetBrains Account will simply gain more usage than now, hard-coded license keys will eventually go away, but a license server option for environments that have restricted Internet connection will be provided the same as it is now.

Now, there might be certain additional steps we might need to take to ensure license delivery in certain scenarios but we'll be handling this as we receive specific problem reports.

Thanks for the reply! It's actually not an issue for me at all, my comment was more about the legitimacy of the OP's arguments.

We use PyCharm and love it. Could we do without it? Yes, of course. The tool makes a number of things more convenient but it isn't indispensable. That said, I'd hate to see it go.

One thing that has always bothered me about JetBrains is the "personality" of their support. It is isn't good. We haven't needed a lot of it, maybe 2 or 3 incidents since PyCharm came out (we adopted right away). Yet, there's a bothersome lag in support (I am not talking about international time zones) as well as a lack of quality. It's almost --but not quite-- condescending in feel.

I do understand there might be language and cultural differences at play here. I also have experience with German companies (not just software). Their approach to customer service can be very dry and very different from what you might experience in the US. I am guessing the Czech Republic might be similar.

I know these are generalizations that could be way off base. In the case of JetBrains, if the product was not good we would have stopped using them purely based on the substandard support.

As far as paying monthly. No. Thanks. I want my software to work and work reliably. If I chose not to upgrade for a year or two, these tools need to work. A monthly plan with 30 day call-the-mothership is a non-starter for me. I will not, ever, buy into something like that for my business. I want less overhead, not more. And I don't want a situation where if things are tight for a few months we lose half of our tools. Buying into something like that would be a really dumb decision on the part of a business owner or manager.

I look at something like MS Office. We purchased licenses back in 2007. We have not needed any of the new features. And so, our 15 or so licenses work just fine for what we need to do and we do not need to spend another dime to use the software. From a business perspective that is the right way to use tools and the right way to make purchases. You do not want to bleed money on a regular basis for software updates you don't need or updates that don't make enough of a material impact to justify their cost.

Anyhow, I hope JetBrains reconsiders. We have been looking at some of their other products but will not even consider them if they are converted to monthly subscription products. If they insist on taking this approach I suspect products like SublimeText will see a boost in adoption. Yes, not the same thing, but not the end of the world and it is a really, really good product with a very friendly license.

They gave me a free version of WebStorm because I'm a hobbyist open source developer. I love it, but I'm obviously not going to pay $80 a year. Does anyone know if they're going to continue having some kind of free option for non-corporate use?

We've never had a free option for non-corporate users. We provide free licenses for Students, OSS projects and certain other groups. In addition, we give discounts of 50% for start-ups. All of that will continue.

I'm a student with an OSS project, so that's good to hear. As long as you have this great policy about OSS, I can't complain!

I know exactly why this is happening. It's the same for adobe: cracks and hacks.

The keygen for jetbrains currently unlocks ultimate mode on all products for 100 years. It's not hard for your average script kiddie to find.

Bummer. Been using Intellij for almost a decade. Will give Eclipse another try.

Moving to a subscription model for 1 thing is okay, perhaps 2, or even 3. But with every company gradually moving to subscription models, it is emptying out our wallets every month and removing more and more of our income to maintain the status quo.

From my own perspective, and I know this doesn't apply to all, but I cannot imagine I'm the only person with this viewpoint:

I'm sick of other developers saying things like: "You know what? For the amount developers earn, $X is a small price to pay." You're right, $X for a single piece of software is a small price. But when you add the cost of your MSDN license here, your JetBrains license there, your Xamarin university/license, O'Reilly Safari License, PluralSight license and countless other licenses and software purchases to do our jobs - all of which are gradually moving towards month-by-month subscription models with excessively large combined annual overheads, it cuts more and more into your budget... and not to forget that the income you make doesn't just pay for an ever revolving cycle of tools to maintain your competitiveness as these arguments seem to forget [unless you're still living in Mom's basement and all your income is expendable or can feed the endless software-as-a-service lifestyle]. It's also used to ensure that your kids get a good education so they can make their own valuable contributions to society; that you're able to live comfortably and not worry about where your next meal is coming from; that your family is safe and secure and well prepared for the unexpected; medical plans; retirement plans; mortgage; vehicle payments; the list goes on... all of which costs money - every month!

I'm growing tired of companies feeling like they can reach into my pocket month after month and take every spare penny for "services rendered." At what point will people turn around and say "Enough's enough! My money is mine!" I'm happy to buy products when they move me forward, but I hate paying monthly subscriptions on the off chance that you're going to continue provide updates that may or may not benefit me in the longer term.

As a company providing software, I'm not purchasing you as a service. I'm purchasing your product. When I work for a company that pays me every month, I'm selling myself to them as a service - to do their bidding and write the code they want. If I'm to pay for you as a service, then the money I'm paying you had better be providing what I need to do my job more effectively, just like if I pay a cleaner to come clean the house, I'm not paying for them to develop makeup products that benefit their other clients while I don't wear makeup. I want the option of buying the product that does help me do my job more effectively and then I'll hold on to the rest of my money and allocate it where that is the case.

Biggest problem I have is the need for a live Internet connection. We do all our work in an offline dev environment.

Now trying to get some licensing server installed in an Enterprise environment is a PITA.

vim remains free and free

Meh, $19 a month for all their products sounds like a steal to me. I currently use many of their products and upgrade every year so this actually saves me money.

My main IDE right now is VS12 but once a week I use Webstorm for like 2 hours. Does anyone knows a good alternative to it? Preferably an IDE not a TextEditor.

I'm one of those who really loves IntelliJ and helped introduce it in our company. What happens now? One pays more and owns nothing.


I'd love to see a sentiment breakdown of % of usernames in this thread who agree vs. disagree on this basic issue. Does a tool exposing this exist?

I'd be surprised if we don't get a good response from them out of this.

It is astounding to watch a company shoot itself in the head so publicly.

Well, looks like I'll be doing some upgrade purchases very soon...

Looks like Atom and related packages are about to get a lot more users.

Intellij is one of the few IDEs that it is worth paying for.

At least it's no so expensive.

* IDEA was 200 + 99/year, new license is 149/year (more expensive from year 3)

* PyCharm, RubyMine, PhpStorm, AppCode and CLion were 99 + 59/year, new license is 99/year (more expensive from year 2)

* WebStorm was 49 + 29/year, new license is 99/year (more expensive from year 1)

Things have gotten significantly more expensive across the board, and if you don't need the new version or can't pay for it… you lose your IDE.

The new licenses are absolutely terrible for holders of individual licenses.

I use a lot of Jetbrains' IDEs and have for years: ReSharpe, dotCover, etc., WebStorm, PHPStorm. I also have Rubymine but probably won't need it after the license expires. I use the first three often enough that I'd keep renewing the license to keep up with versions.

The use-it-all yearly price is cheaper, plus I can try their other IDEs. (Looking at you AppCode!)

Seems like a win to me. I heard about the change through the OP, which filled me with dread. Then I went to their website, which filled me with relief.

I've always found their IDEs worth the price.

Here's the rub (and the danger of SAAS). This falls into some heavy psychology so: tl;dr you're a human being, you're going to choose what you think is a deal but you aren't going to jump through the hoops to get it, you're going to be screwed.

Here's the science: So taking a simple example. Joe is a damned fine php/javascript developer. He is in a decent demand as a private contractor. Joe LOVES Jetbrains' tools. He uses youtrack to keep his work in line, he uses PHPStorm as his php ide and WebStorm for his javascript and has TeamCity handling CI.

He gets the news that this is coming in and sees the fanfare and the pricetag and is like "wow! way to go jetbrains! $19.90 a month for ALL of your tools or $199 a year?! I mean that's only slightly more than what I'm paying now for my renewals at the yearly rate and I'd get all of their tools...." but Joe doesn't have time to look into it Joe is a busy contractor, work is coming in fast and furious now and besides, his current license doesn't expire until March. Nothing to see here.

Well winter comes and work slows down as it does during the holidays, except this year it doesn't pick up in the spring. It's dead slow. It's the end of February and Joe's considering getting well...a "Joe Job" when the phone rings and it's a client with a fat contract to put him back on track. But the project needs PHP version 5.whatever-the-hell-the-new-hotness-is and PHPStorm only supports up to 5.old-and-busted. Time to download the updates! Oh crap, his license is expired. Wait didn't he see something a while back about nw licensing options. He certainly doesn't have the $178 dollars it's gonna cost him to upgrade PHPStorm and WebStorm right now and he REALLY needs it to do this project that's going to get him back on track. So he checks the pricing. Hrmmm $24.90.....wasn't it $19.90 when I looked before. Oh, it was a promotional. Damn. Joe doesn't have $24.90 either, maybe he can just buy the updates for the products he uses. Oh look it's only $9.90 for phpstorm and $9.90 for webstorm for the month...oh wow but together it's MORE than he used to pay for his renewals! What's going on JetBrains?! He used to only pay $178 a year to renew both products but now it's $198. Well that's a no go. So Joe decides to do the month to month thing and when the check clears from this job he'll just update to the full year! So 20 bucks and a couple downloads later Joe is in business. Wow this new version is great! The Jetbrains devs still have their stuff together even if their business people don't. He knocks the project out of the park. Well a month passes and Joe sees another ding on his credit card for jetbrains....oh yeah he should switch that subscription. He'll get to it later. Well a year goes buy. Another winter and another slow spring and another big project to bail Joe out. Only this time Joe doesn't have the 20 bucks to renew that month. Well no big deal Joe can just fire it up and use the old version he doesn't need the latest and greatest. Except, Joe can't. The subscription has expired and so has the tool. And so like a shallow friend when the money ran out so did Jetbrains and left Joe without the tools he needs. All told over the year, Joe spent $237 dollars on a product he used to spend only $178 and had nothing to show for it.

I realize there are some things Joe could have done better, bad business practice etc. but this could very well happen and does all to often. Sure there are alternatives but the goal of a good business isn't supposed to be to force you into the arms of an alternative...you might get comfortable there.

There sure is a lot of complaining in this thread. But guess what: JetBrains makes the best tools in town, and the new pricing model is totally reasonable (and even beneficial for many folks.)

So, most people writing long screeds are just going to pony up and forget about it in a few months.

Basic risk management will forbid to just pony up.

The whole post feels like someone took away the "free lunch". C'mon, we can understand the need to find a business model that works, right? I am having a hard time believing that they're changing just for the heck of it.

Besides, They have a free version of IntelliJ, making the ultimate edition and other languages (for which there are probably more, and free, alternatives) support as "premium".

If their tools are that good, maybe they're worth the money and $119 per year sounds pretty much like peanuts for anyone that is trying to make money.

It's my personal opinion that one only gets complaining rights if one doesn't use Gmail, one doesn't subscribe to NetFlix, one doesn't use Spotify, ad nauseum.

JetBrains is making a business decision. That's what businesses do. Their current Community Edition is open-source. Anyone is free to pick up where they left off. That is an enormous contribution they've already made to the community. You make your consumer decision. They make their business decision. This is the implicit but very real relationship any customer of theirs has chosen to be in.

I personally don't agree with their decision. But, I'm not running their business or working their jobs. Before going all "They're Google Reader'ing Us.", just ask yourself, do you use Gmail? Are you willing to continue their work on the Community Edition?

edit: to clarify my examples.

The services I referenced where chosen as examples of alternatives to options such as hosting one's own email or using existing perpetually or open-sourced licensed products (Gmail), a company that drastically revised it's product offering (NetFlix), and a company who's founder destroyed the business model of purchasing a c.d. for life by making mp3's user friendly and then went legit by moving to a SaaS model (Spotify).

As others have pointed out, one can still purchase a perpetual license through November, so JetBrains is not only not stealing back the product they sold you, they are also giving you time whether you'd like to make this transition with them. If not, simply do not purchase their product in the future. To expect JetBrains to do otherwise (maintain their business model) is to tell them how to make very basic decisions about how they run their business and live their lives. That, I think, is bad.

tl;dr: They didn't steal anything. Don't tell people how to live their lives.

I pay for Spotify. I don't like JetBrains' decision.

Walk me through why this removes my right to complain. I don't get it.

I don't like JetBrains' decision because using their software represents a large investment in time and effort to learn it and get set up to use it. That investment could then be destroyed at any time if they go out of business, or if they decide in a few years that their prices need to be 500x higher. This is important to me because building software is how I eat.

Spotify is click and go. It's just music, and there are about a thousand other services where I can get music if Spotify goes kablooie. Worst case I have no more streaming music, and I can continue to eat even if that happens.

So do explain, how does paying for the latter mean I can't complain about the former?

1. If they "go out of business" you will save money with the new model, because instead of paying for a year of the license in advance, you are paying by month.

2. Nothing in their old model prevented them from raising prices. Not sure how you think switching to a monthly subscription model changes that.

i.e. your entire premise, that this is an investment of time and money, really has nothing to do with JetBrains' switch to a subscription model. In fact, they would probably be more likely to go out of business if they stuck with the old model, so this protects your investment.

Complaining because you don't think you can afford it is an understandable position. Your points, however, are entirely irrelevant.

I think you're missing the fact that with the old model your purchase keeps working forever, you just don't get updates. With the new model, your purchase stops working when the subscription runs out.

If they went out of business or raised prices in the old model, I could keep using the version I purchased for as long as I wanted. With the new model, my software turns into a pumpkin and my choice is either to keep paying whatever they want to charge, or switch to something else.

You can use the open source community edition of many of their products forever...

If that's the solution then I guess I might as well get started with it now.

Edit: oh, exactly one of their products has a Community Edition. Guess that's not much of an option after all, unless that's the one product you need.

It's definitely not all their products, but it's definitely higher than one too - PyCharm and IntelliJ both have Community Editions.

You're right. I was going off their "all products" list:


I guess it's not "all" products.

> 1. If they "go out of business" you will save money with the new model, because instead of paying for a year of the license in advance, you are paying by month.

Oh, it's much worse than that. With the old licensing model, if JetBrains went out of business, you'd be left with an antiquated IDE that works. Under the new model, you'd be left with nothing because the IDEs need to call-home and verify against a licensing server. Who knows what happens when the licensing server gets decommissioned (I guess you could ask EA customers).

If they actually went out of business, I'm sure they'd to something to remedy the situation.

I like JetBrains & am a fan of their products (I'm a paying customer). I'm sure they are good people with good intentions. However, I'd rather not have this unnecessary complication - it wasn't broken before.

> If they actually went out of business, I'm sure they'd to something to remedy the situation.

That all depends on how they go out of business. They could too busy fighting other fires to write a patch that removes license-check, or it could be a hostile takeover with the subsequent "we are discontinuing $PRODUCT from next month" announcement

But what? We'd all like them to push out one last update that makes everything free, and I'm sure the odds of that are decent. It's not guaranteed, though. What if the assets get bought up by somebody who wants a quick turnaround on his money, and sees jacking up the subscription rates as the key to success?

It's my personal opinion that one only gets complaining rights if one doesn't use Gmail, one doesn't subscribe to NetFlix, one doesn't use Spotify, ad nauseum.

That does not make sense. Spotify et al. were like that from the beginning. You know what kind of deal you are getting. JetBrains is changing the rules of the game completely, with very little heads-up time, for people who might be deeply invested in their products.

It's comparable to what Adobe pulled off: they knew that most people did not have a choice, so they could force it on them. Luckily, the IDE landscape is a bit more healthy, so I expect that a subset of their customers will flee to other IDEs.

On top of that, it's the difference between monthly costs for the company. Netflix, Spotify and Gmail all have monthly costs in terms of storage space, bandwidth usage, server maintenance, etc that users are directly affecting. You're paying for the content to always be available, to be available quickly and to not have limits on what you can and can't access.

Desktop software on the other hand has no direct monthly costs other than phoning home once a month. You could definitely argue that iterating development costs should be factored in here, I can't imagine that being a deciding factor in moving completely to this business model. I'm sure if they offered a low cost monthly subscription and a perpetual license option, they wouldn't have any issue offsetting development costs. At this point, they could even raise the price of perpetual license (hell, I seem to remember paying $200 for mine). I'd gladly pay an increased price with the knowledge that my software wouldn't stop working, especially given how many hours of productivity I gain by using their software.

>> the IDE landscape is a bit more healthy, so I expect that a subset of their customers will flee to other IDEs.


I dropped most of Adobe's products after they went to a subscription based model. The only product I still use is Photoshop and I'm planning on dropping that later this year so I can move 100% to Linux.

For the record, over 95% of the front-end devs I know use Sublime Text for their IDE.

Not so sure about that. JetBrains has excellent products. So, sure, people can flock to other tools, but they aren't necessarily better tools.

I have gotten so used to using ReSharper, I'm probably 30% less productive without it.

I just have to add, I just tried to install ReSharper 8.1 in VS 2015 (since I bought 8.1 last year), and it doesn't work. So yeah, JetBrains is already doing these Jackass-like slimy tactics with their perpetual licensing, when there isn't really any reason why they should restrict it to VS 2013.

It looks like even when you purchase a ReSharper license, the software will work for about a year. So subscriptions aren't that much worse.

I use IntelliJ, phpStorm and pyCharm all on a regular business. But I work for a university and just assume that the subscriptions won't lapse. That may be a bad assumption given that I control the departments budget and it would come out of my allocations if the cost go up. Mixed feelings on this change. But I really like the three products I use and will continue to use them.

If you regularly use/upgrade lots of their products then this new scheme should work out cheaper. The people who potentially lose out are the people who only used one of their cheaper products and people who go several years without upgrading.

Or, if you are on their flagship product (IntelliJ IDEA). Sure, you save a whopping 10 Euro per year. But suddenly, you have a subscription rather than owning a perpetual license. Sounds like a bad deal.

If you work for an university you should probably be able to use the education license, which is free.

Not free for internal use just for classroom. Discounted and a pain to get them to give us the discount.

I wonder how you actually got to that % number.....

I took the base 2 quotient of the Bear Claw Constant and divided by the number of Winter Solstices since the age of the Pharaohs. :)

How exactly do you think more "heads-up time" would improve the situation? Either you are gonna stick with JetBrains and their product, in which case heads-up is irrelevant, or you are gonna switch to a competing product, in which case heads-up wouldn't help either: you will still need to learn the new product, regardless of when you switch.

If you want to stay on a perpetual licenses for a little longer (to see how everything pans out), you now have to buy it within two months and not at your planned upgrade term, otherwise you lose that option.

Another benefit of more time would be that in a corporation where purchases are not as simple as pulling the trigger, you have some time to do the paperwork to get the subscription approved, while still continuing in the current update scheme until then.

You still need to learn the new product, but if there is heads up time, it's easier to adapt your existing projects to that new product.

> How exactly do you think more "heads-up time" would improve the situation?

The delta would be marginal. People just love to complain about change.

Let me actually clarify what you are saying for you, as I see this sentiment quite often and it drives me nuts.

You are saying that as a paying customer, one is not allowed to question any product or service offering they pay for (or even will potentially pay for as a potential customer). One is not allowed to suggest improvements. One is not allowed to state that if the company would modify the offering in some way, then they would again become a paying customer. One's only choices are to pay for the product/service as is or walk away and keep quiet.

One is also not allowed to mention to friends/acquaintances/colleagues that they are dissatisfied with the overall value of a product or service, or indicate that they do not believe the overall value to be worth it. As before, one's only choices here are to give good recommendations of the product/service to others or to not say anything at all.

"Take what we offer or walk away quietly and never speak of this again, those are your only choices."

This is essentially what you are saying. Are you sure that is what you want to be saying?

This makes no sense whatsoever.

All of the things you listed are services that run on servers that cost money to run.

JetBrains' IDEs are downloadable software that we pay for and exists in perpetuity.

I also have no idea why you're referencing the community edition; the people complaining are customers that pay for JetBrains' non-OSS software.

All these threads complaining about JetBrains decision are actually debating what we as customers should do. I think you missed that point.

We give JetBrains a chance to change it's mind by this public outrage, and if they don't listen – many people will switch.

They should be happy that the customers are complaining, it gives them a chance to consider their concerns. I just usually walk away without warning if I'm unhappy with a product, customers like me force businesses to do a lot of detective work to find out the reasons for bad retention.

> I personally don't agree with their decision. But, I'm not running their business or working their jobs.

What if you discover many other customers also don't agree with this decision?

In that case it seems fair to write it down and provide feedback to the company making the decision.

The more immediately obvious comparison is MSDN. Anyone who's using ReSharper, at least, is already almost certainly subscribing to MSDN.

I'm not. Why would I subscribe to MSDN? I used to have a paid for VS Pro, now I use Community.

Yeah, MS has been moving in the opposite direction and making more and more of their developer tools free or nearly so.

For companies managing the licenses for their employees, this is a great change. It's especially true for those who have a few primary languages but occasionally get contracts or have projects in other languages. For those with staff sizes in flux -- employees coming and going, contractors in and out, interns on board for part of the year -- only being responsible for the number of seats actively in use is extremely helpful, too.

Managing licenses for teams is time-consuming and frustrating. When I worked in the MSP world, convincing our clients (for whom we were essentially the IT department) that they had to buy an extra seat or upgrade everyone license or reminding them that, "No, you upgraded Sally to v5 but the Intern's system has last year's v4 license, and you have to shell out $X00 right now or they can't work" was a _constant_ issue. Creative Cloud and Office 360 made everything better, I expect this to have the same effect for dev teams.

You can do this already though. Right now, my team has a license server URI they type into their editor, and when we're using the software it grabs a license slot from the server. If that employee left the company they just wouldn't use the license anymore and there's no cleanup work.

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