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JetBrains Moving Its Dev Tools To Subscription Model 141

esarjeant writes: For many Java developers, IntelliJ has been our predominant IDE. JetBrains is looking to make their tools easier easier to buy and use by switching to a subscription program. Their plan is to have people pay a monthly/yearly fee for access to the tools instead of upgrading when they're ready. Fortunately, if your subscription lapses it looks like you'll have 30 days to check all your stuff in. How does NetBeans look now? Many members of various developer communities are pushing back against this change: "For a developer with an unstable income, it might be perfectly fine to stay on an older version of the software until they've stashed enough cash to afford the upgrade. That will no longer work." JetBrains has acknowledged the feedback, and say they will act on it.
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JetBrains Moving Its Dev Tools To Subscription Model

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  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @12:38PM (#50462725)

    This is just another example of greedy, rent-seeking behavior, trying to force users to pony up cash on a monthly basis forever and ever and ever...heaven forbid you ever get to actually own anything ever again.

    • Pity, IntelliJ was on my list of considerations. Now I am rethinking that prospect.

      • It looks like individual licenses are still available. Why not go ahead and purchase it and maybe an extension?
    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @01:31PM (#50462987)
      in early 2000s. They had an invoicing package designed for print shops. The software was very popular. Apparently just about every print shop in America used it. The software was easy to use, install and maintain. It never broke and didn't need updates The company that made it is tits up. After they were done selling it to all the print shops out there there just wasn't anything left for them, and there weren't enough new print shops to sell to (what with the chains like FedEx/Kinkos muscling in).

      Yeah, it's rent seeking, but I don't really see an alternative for a company that makes utility software. It's damned hard to get people to pay for it...
      • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:19PM (#50463151) Homepage

        I find it hard to believe a software company with the talent to make software so robust and well written that it never needs updates couldn't come up with another blockbuster product to continue making money.

        Also, if the product never requires updates, wouldn't that mean that if you're paying a subscription fee you're basically flushing money down the toilet? The money's not being used to fund new versions of the software, you're just paying the developer for something you already own for eternity.

        • If you luck into a niche it's easy to well for a while. Being a competent programmer doesn't mean the money never stops. And making a useful product doesn't matter if you can't get users to pay for it. I'm not defending rent seeking, I'm just saying I don't think utility software companies can survive without it. You can't just keep cranking out new software. It take a lot of time and resources to get a new product off the ground and it's easy for it to flop.
          • So instead you deserve to make money forever on the one product? That's just as fucked up as copyright, where both you AND your children simply must be paid for a work. Otherwise, there's no point in creating it.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              So instead you deserve to make money forever on the one product?

              Uh. Yes?

              If you don't like it, you're free to make an equivalent, competing product and sell it outright or give it away. If the terms of the agreement don't fit your business model or preference, you can choose not to use the product.

              • Well, it seems a bunch of people are just fine with dropping your product. Just like I plan on not re-upping with JetBrains when my support term expires next year.

            • I didn't say they deserved it, just that I don't see an alternative
        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I've found that the smaller the niche market, the smaller the developer, down to the point where some niches it's like a guy who used to work in that line of business who wrote some software for it where none existed and found it more lucrative to sell it than to stay in the business.

          There's always the chance "the guy" was in his 40s when the ball started rolling, he had near zero overhead and made enough where he could retire early. Thus, no need to come out with a new product or make the dialog boxes rou

        • as a happy user of their other product - pycharm, i don't understand the concept of not needing updates in an IDE. at least in python, i expect the IDE to understand the new features in latest versions of python. so normally, i'd expect software updates every time there's a new language version.

          could someone explain to me why updates might not be needed for a java ide?

      • If it doesn't need updates then there's no point for company to exist in the first place. What's wrong with people being paid only as long as they actually do useful work? I don't think you showed that rent seeking is in any way needed here let alone that there's no alternative for it.
      • JetBrains charges for updates, and it seems to have worked for them so far. Plenty of don't mind the $50/year to get updates and make sure the software still works. The subscription model isn't nearly as profitable as one would think, especially since old customers get to keep their software and buy 1 more year's worth of updates. If anything, raising the price and allowing for perpetual licenses would have been better.
    • That is not necessarily bad for corporate customers and myself with Office 365.

      Office 365 I pay $99 a year. I have office on 3 systems and my Android phone. I also get 1 TB of cloud storage with OneDrive as well. I get all the newest versions and fixes like MS is adding colors back and more touch oriented features for my surface pro and Android for free. My $99 is because I also have Access. My exwife was in big trouble last year with no work and needed to go back to school to get recertified and didn't ha

  • I have used it once on a contract and was not impressed with its functionality. There wasn't much difference from other IDEs and most of them are free.
    Hmmm, pay for something or use a free one?

  • As a paying user.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @01:24PM (#50462937)

    ... I'd feel a bit better about it, if they actually fixed some of the long-standing rough edges, like the completely-broken built-in compiler behaviour (something that Eclipse, despite being free and generally Old and Busted), and severe lag even on powerful machines, seeing as they're now asking for more money for the same product.

    They promised this years ago, and it still hasn't happened. If I'm paying (and now, paying continuously), I'd expect them to lift their game.

    Want my money? Give me software that works better than the free alternative.

    • I'm kinda in the same boat. I've had subs for PyCharm and WebStorm both personally and through work for years. I don't think I'm gonna renew them when they expire. I'm finding more and more that the free alternatives are just as good now.

      Latest problem: PyQt on Windows. There's no intellisense in PyCharm using the binary install of PyQt. Getting it working, as far as I can gather, requires grabbing the library's source, finding everything I need to build the source in VC2010 and then (hopefully) it works. I

      • by jma05 ( 897351 )

        > and the clusterfuck that was Eclipse

        I never got this rage against Eclipse. Its a FOSS product. For a FOSS product, it provides a level of polish that goes well beyond the standards of a typical FOSS. It is one of the most complex projects out there. The standard distributions of Eclipse work quite well, out-of-the-box. Now, it has a very large ecosystem of complex plugins - at a level that is unmatched by other IDEs. Like with Firefox, some of these plugins do bog down Eclipse. But that's hardly the fa

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by davester666 ( 731373 )

      They are claiming that with this new model, they won't have the constant pressure to come up with fancy new features each year to make you re-up your support agreement, so they will actually work on fixing bugs and releasing features that have fewer bugs as they are completed.

      Somehow, I doubt it, as the subscription model removes any real impetus to advance the application, just to make sure it keeps running with minimal improvements.

  • It's been nice working with ya.
  • by mtinsley ( 1283400 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @01:30PM (#50462969) Homepage

    For a developer with an unstable income, it might be perfectly fine to stay on an older version of the software until they've stashed enough cash to afford the upgrade. That will no longer work.

    Just to be clear, "stashing enough cash for to afford the upgrade" means setting aside $100 for the year.

    If you have to "stash cash" to afford the upgrade chances are you should save your money; you can get by with Eclipse. I don't approve of the new pricing model, but the "I can no longer afford to be a developer" argument doesn't work. The new model is actually cheaper per year for anyone who always renews their license.

    Personally, I prefer to purchase something and be done with it. If I want the upgrade I can purchase that outright as well. If I don't then I think I should be able to continue using what I have already paid for.

    • That's just one point he made, could read the article for more. Such as how this new service requires the program to phone home to continue working. In a work environment where internet access is restricted, it make not be able to phone home so using your personal license for use at work won't be an option. Your company would have to pay and host their own licensing server but that server (according to the article) won't be able to validate personal licenses. Even if it could validate person licenses the co
      • by Anonymous Coward
        And what happens when the company discovers this really isn't profitable, so much in fact that they have to close up shop? Show of hands, who here thinks that the company will waste time and money keeping the server up, or making a tool to remove the DRM?
      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        if you are looking at $100 per year that might seem like a large one time purchase

        Wait, is this Slashdot Bangladesh? What's next, a thread about pissing in a bucket to save money on the water bill?
         

      • Office 365 is great for me.

        MS does sell the regular version of Office too you know. I need MS Access. For $99 a year I have Office on 4 devices with Access including my phone and my exwife in California when she needed a real version of Office and was broke. Their 365 includes free new updates like 2015 when it comes out and 1 TB of Onedrive storage and file synchronization across all my devices. They automatically show up in recent documents.

        It is an excellent value as this would cost more than $2000 easil

        • Their 365 includes free new updates like 2015 when it comes out and 1 TB of Onedrive storage and file synchronization across all my devices.

          That's the thing, i don't need those upgrades, and paying monthly is insane. I've had the same version of Office for what is it now 8+ years? I've never had a need to upgrade, the software i purchased works just fine. Not everyone needs bleeding edge, most of the time bleeding edge in software isn't that big of an improvement.

          It is an excellent value as this would cost more than $2000 easily for the professional version on each device ... oh oops I upgraded the motherboard and install got de-actived :-( ... no problem I will just enable it on new computer take it off old one etc.

          Done correctly it can benefit the consumer as well. Adobe ... not so much

          That's a problem with the new DRM. I have an older version Microsoft Office installed on about 7 computers, more if you count upgrades and past computers. It's this new trend where com

          • Adobe sucks and is a monopoly. After buying Aldus and anyone who made video editing they are trying to milk the cow for all its worth. Also they try to make each function into a seperate product to get more money. So it is like MS splitting up word into 3 different programs. One for editing. One proofing. One for clip art etc. Then they have the freaking audacity to charge you full price each year??

            Don't view opinions on subscriptions by Adobe who suck.

            I pay $90 a year and could go much cheaper with 3 devic

            • Like i said, if you are only paying for one service then i'm sure you'll find it a steal. Anyways Google Drive is free for 15GB of space (that's more than enough space, i have my backup ISO of windows 8 and 10 on there along with thousands of other files and pictures) and they provide word editing tools all for free. They work in most web browsers and mobile devices running Android. Not sure if it works on Windows Phone but does anyone even have one of those? Again, all that, for free. Looks like OneDrive h
  • by Brendan Robert ( 2820681 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @01:44PM (#50463021)
    I've been using Netbeans since version 3.6 and am quite pleased with how it works, even in the recently released 8.1 beta. I've tried JetBrains and it seems fine enough for what you pay for (except the maven support feels very clunky and not very seamless, IMHO.) But feature comparison vs. price paid? Netbeans wins, hands down. I've tried Eclipse many times over the years also, but come to the same conclusion: I still don't personally like using Eclipse. Therefore I keep going back to Netbeans because it has 90% of what I need and there's plugins for the other missing 5%. The rest? I have a command line and I'm not afraid to use it. You can use whatever tool(s) you like, but I've been coding in Java professionally since 2000 and you can uninstall my copy of Netbeans when you pry my harddrive from my cold, dead hands.
    • I assume that there is some type of application for which NetBeans is as good as (or better than) Eclipse - that application is NOT desktop/standalone Java application.

      As a long-time Eclipse user, I moved to NetBeans for just short of two years before the delay when starting an application and the very flaky dependency building (when multiple projects are included in the final application) drove me over the edge and back to Eclipse.

      In Eclipse you hit "debug" and it starts debugging the application. I
      • I assume that there is some type of application for which NetBeans is as good as (or better than) Eclipse - that application is NOT desktop/standalone Java application.

        As someone that maintains a java-based emulator for several years I couldn't disagree more with that.

        As a long-time Eclipse user, I moved to NetBeans for just short of two years before the delay when starting an application and the very flaky dependency building (when multiple projects are included in the final application) drove me over the edge and back to Eclipse. In Eclipse you hit "debug" and it starts debugging the application. In NetBeans you hit "debug" and it starts to compile. Change code in Eclipse, hit save, and quite often the application continues with the new code. In NetBeans the on-the-fly debug changes are unreliable and slow (another compile cycle).

        Then you are doing it wrong, dude. You should make sure to check "Generate debugging info" under the compile settings for the project, which eliminates the need for the IDE to do it on-demand later. You can connect the debugger to a running instance by clicking "Attach debugger" as long as the process has JPDA enabled already. I do it all the time when I do J2EE or Sling-based dev work since the app serve

        • I think you've missed something. If you're using Maven then you have a compile cycle. Eclipse incremental compilation takes, effectively, no time. Hot-swapping frequently saves restarting the application and getting it back to the state where you can reproduce the bug.

          NetBeans does not do either of these well

          Remote debugging is always very cool, but it's a little frustrating in that when you finally finish a session with Eclipse, including hot-swapping code on the fly - you then have to actually comp
    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      But feature comparison vs. price paid? Netbeans wins, hands down.

      No shit. If you consider that Netbeans has even a single feature, its feature to cost ratio is infinite. Nothing could ever beat that. And even if something else costs only one dollar and it has a billion features, its feature to cost ratio is negligible in comparison.

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        Thanks for the math lecture, but I think to most people it's obvious that the point here is that the value of extra features in JetBrains versus what you can get in Netbeans is not worth the price they ask.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a huge negative for me. As well as being a Java developer I am a photographer who uses Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom in my work. I HAVE NOT UPGRADED EITHER SINCE ADOBE MOVED TO THE SUBSCRIPTION MODEL. If I have a tool that I use for my work I want to own it. I don't ever want to lose access to that tool for any reason. If I have a project built in Idea and 10 years from now the world has moved on, Idea is no longer the tool of choice, and my "subscription" is lapsed because it's not used any more; I

    • Re:Hello Bitrot (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:57PM (#50463303) Homepage Journal

      You know that Lightroom is still available for sale, right?

      When Adobe announced the "Creative Cloud" nonsense, I bought a copy of CS6, upgrading from CS3, knowing that if I didn't act, I would never be able to do so again. At that point, I immediately began phasing out my use of Photoshop. Unfortunately, I haven't created any big new projects since then, and I'm stuck using Photoshop for existing projects because Pixelmator doesn't handle manual text kerning changes correctly on import. But the cover art for my fourth novel will be done entirely in Pixelmator.

      You see, Photoshop hasn't added anything I really care about since they added layers and layer effects. There are a few minor enhancements that are nice to have, but I was happy on Photoshop 7. I buy upgrades to Photoshop whenever an OS X upgrade breaks it badly enough. It annoyed me badly enough paying for bug fixes when I was doing it on my own terms. When Adobe tried to push me to a monthly fee schedule for Photoshop, I walked away and haven't looked back.

      I still buy Lightroom about every second release (about $40 annually), because unlike Photoshop, its upgrades actually provide tangible benefits—new camera support, face recognition, etc. (Yeah, theoretically Photoshop upgrades technically add new camera support, too, but I've imported RAW files into Photoshop a total of three or four times ever; typically, I start out with the processed output from Lightroom.) The problem with Photoshop is that it is a mature product, and there aren't any cool new features left to add that provide enough benefit to pony up an extra $80 a year to get them.

      That's a serious problem for companies like Adobe. You see, they're in a position where they command the market. The only place to go from there is down, and the writing is on the wall. Flash is a failure. Photoshop is rapidly seeing the bottom portion of its market worn away by competition. This leaves Adobe's last remaining market—big graphics shops. Those folks will keep buying Photoshop until they no longer find themselves exchanging Photoshop files with other companies. Adobe is thus bleeding those companies for every possible penny they can before Photoshop eventually fades into obsolescence. Or at least that's what it looks like from where I'm standing.

      • That's why you just don't build an empire around a small number of products.

        Adobe has to be competitive and spend money developing and promoting new products? Boo hoo..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's an easy solution to this problem - just offer both pricing models and let the consumer choose.

    E.g. you can buy a perpetual license to a specific version of Intellij for $X, or you can buy the subscription model for $Y / year (which is not tied to a specific version). At that point, its the consumer's choice.

    I feel like people have knee jerked a bit much of this. I like the idea of owning my version of Intellij (have been using it since 2002'ish), but I tend to avoid buying every single version (I

  • by bunyip ( 17018 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:28PM (#50463191)

    I'm self-employed and the price of IntelliJ is the equivalent of about 30 minutes of my time. I write algorithms for several companies, in multiple languages, and have been quite happy with IntelliJ. Your mileage may vary...

    That said, perhaps Eclipse would do everything I need, but there is a cost of changing - I'd be spending some time scanning websites to figure out how to do what I want to do.

    A.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're doing pretty well if you earn $398 per hour.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      That is one thing thats cracking me up.

      People freaking out over Photoshop's price is one thing. It's almost (not really) a monopoly, and many professions that require it aren't paid very well. Many of those professions also live or die by their skill in using Photoshop.

      The tools Jetbrains make however, are almost all tied with highly paid professions with near zero unemployment rate. They also have a shitload of free alternatives.

      A lot of people at work mentionned how "holy shit so expensive would never pay

  • I think they are really feeling the pressure from Microsoft integrating more and more features in Visual Studio that used to be resharper only. I use resharper at work and also pay for a private license, and I think it's pretty good.

    But...
    I fucking hate the subscription model.

    Maybe it's time to try coderush or something.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Resharper is very popular, but Jetbrain's flagship is IntelliJ along with the other language specific IDEs. With Eclipse annoying people more and more, you see these more often.

      The main reason behind this change is probably a combination of wanting less spiky income, along with how all of these IDEs are basically useless without constantly being upgraded, because of how quickly things like JavaScript and open source dev tools change, so people either have to keep upgrading, or just stop using them. May as w

  • You can still buy a license [jetbrains.com] that doesn't expire. It looks like once again, TFS is a steaming pile of dog shit in terms of quality and accuracy.

  • I purchased the last version of IntelliJ Idea and would upgrade if I see significant incentives in the product to do so. At the moment they seem to be throwing a lot of effort into releasing new products rather than working on existing products.

    I can see an advantage for someone who wants the entire suite of products as long as new products are constantly added but not so much for someone who just wants Idea. With a subscription they have no incentive to make a product better as they have you hooked into

  • For example, Adobe Premiere 2015, which is part of Adobe Creaative Cloud, is pretty much broken as it exists today. If you want it functional, you have to roll back to the 2014 version.

    Subscription services suck because they already have your money, so they're in no hurry to fix their broken product. They'll get around to it eventually. Maybe.

    Otherwise, a stand alone edition suffering the same problem would be critical fix numero uno or they don't get to sell any.

    Another company going the same route is A

  • When they go for this, it's bye bye new resharper.. I hate all these subscription models of late..

  • Any SaaS model has only one purpose: make more money for the vendor over time and get rid of customers who do not buy. Typically, SaaS costs the customer more after two to three years, plus, and that is the complaint here, they either pay up or lose the software. Traditional licenses allow for running the application indefinitely. There are a few tricks for overcoming subscription model restrictions, such as backdating a VM or cutting a VM off the Internet once the license got applied and confirmed. That is
  • Is anyone else here using this combination?

    I am a longtime Java programmer that has been using Netbeans since 3.x. Recently I have started doing Python projects and found the Python plug-in support for Netbeans 8.x very rudimentary. So I tried PyCharm and found it does what I want and ended up paying the $99 for the personal-pro edition. There are a number of things I don't like about PyCharm and it has a lot of rough edges for a paid-for product but I haven't found anything better yet.

    When Netbeans

    • although i don't deal with java at all, i do write a fair amount of python scripts to help me manage our infrastructure. i originally started with eclipse+pydev but moved to Komodo and then to pycharm. as a (primarily) network guy i require a lot of handholding from my IDE. i've found komodo a lot poorer at that than eclipse. then i discovered pycharm and haven't looked back. i haven't found anything (on gnu/linux) that comes even close to it. i'm interested in what you don't like about it. (apart from spee

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