back to article Angry devs hit out at JetBrains over shift to subscription pricing

Developer tools vendor JetBrains has run into a storm of protest over its announcement of subscription pricing from 2 November 2015. JetBrains sells a number of popular IDEs, including IntelliJ IDEA for Java, PHPStorm for web development, AppCode for Objective-C and Swift, and CLion for cross-platform C/C++. Currently …

  1. sjsmoto

    Why does it always have to be a total change up? Can't software companies market a canned, independent product with updates for a year, AND offer ongoing buffet subscriptions for people who want those? Then after a couple of years check the stats to see where the money comes from?

    1. Rob Gr

      To be fair, judging by Jet Brains responses it looks like they are now considering this.

  2. MMX

    Seemed like a good deal to me..

    From what I read of it, it seemed like a good deal - it would give me a license for the full range of IDE's for a price not too far above what I currently pay for one. Which is handy as I do shift languages so I can use Resharper as and when I need it, and switch back to IntelliJ for the Java & android projects. And be able to do a bit of C++ learning with CLion on the side without having to worry about the 30 day trial.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corporate nightmare

    I great reason to go to the free open-source version if you're forced to upgrade (as I was about 6 months ago after using IntelliJ8 for 6 years). The rest of the team has shifted over to it from Eclipse too.

    Licencing in companies is a notoriously poor area in most cases (the reason why I stuck with such an old version, it worked and too much hassle to get it upgraded). To try and get the licence people to sort something out where they pay monthly for a single licence.... not a chance at this place!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me vindictive...

    But I'd like too see one of these companies be completely abandoned by its customers, then see it go tits-up, and finally the greedy sod in finance/commercial departments who suggested it as a "good move" named, shamed, humiliated and finally tarred and feathered!

    And its not even about moving to a subscription model.. its about pulling the rug from under existing customers.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obsolescence by design built into software.

    I really do worry about how our future generations are going to handle the fact that a larger and larger part of our common culture is being programmed to self destruct after a limited time.

    This kind of thing might appeal to bean counters but with DRM, and software/games/books etc requiring online verification to even work or time limited self-destruct, is slowly destroying any kind of cultural legacy that our children and grandchildren might inherit.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A real reason not to use subscriptionware. After the <u>xxxxx</u> apocalypse, you'll be screwed if you desperately need to use Brand X software and the subscription has expired. Ditto closed source and bugs. [To /sarcasm or not to/sarcasm?)

    My income here has wild variation so subs are a problem. If it were just one or two, it might be a problem, but damn it, it's never that simple, is it?

  7. davefb

    Pay monthly?

    Wish I could blag work into paying that price, because always loved jetbrains products, just not the prices. Monthly it might not seem quite so expensive..

  8. thames Silver badge

    How about voting with your feet?

    "Developer tools vendor JetBrains has run into a storm of protest over its announcement of subscription pricing"

    Protesting is what you do when the other guy really has no reason to listen to you. Switch to a different IDE or editor. There's loads of them out there, and lots of them are free and open source which means that it costs you nothing to try them. Try out several, pick one, and get on with life.

    I've switched between IDEs and editors over the decades more times than I can remember. The most fabulous one that I can recall was UCSD P-System, where the OS basically was an IDE. The ASE editor was really different, but incredibly productive once you got used to it. The whole edit/compile/run cycle was amazingly fast and fluid because the IDE was deeply integrated into the OS, not just an application that ran on top of it. If you used it with a Wyse WY-50 terminal on a 38.4 kbaud serial connection, the code seemed to go from your imagination straight into the editor bypassing your fingers altogether.

    But guess what? Those days are long gone. I got over it. I've used various MS-DOS stuff, CP/M and mainframe editors I can't remember the names of, massively over-complicated Windows stuff, and various odds and ends on Linux. I've also used some truly horrific IDEs for a variety of embedded industrial controls.

    Right now I'm mainly using Geany on Linux. It does everything I want, and I'm probably only using a fraction of its features. I also found out that unlike Windows, Linux (or any unix-like OS) is like having the OS as part of the IDE and if you're doing everything from inside the IDE, you're doing it wrong. I also found out that automating development tasks through scripting is a lot faster and less prone to failure than manually clicking my way through ever changing menus in an IDE-that-wants-to-be-an-OS hundreds of times over and over again.

    So, don't get angry. JetBrains wants one thing and you want another? Just shrug and move on. That's life.

    1. Stretch

      Re: How about voting with your feet?

      "if you're doing everything from inside the IDE, you're doing it wrong"

      You seem to have missed the point of the I there. Now you just have a DE.

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    The problems with this type of software:

    1) Technical faults (this is when your clock gets mis-set once, or something, and the expiration system expires your totally valid software.)

    2) Forced upgrades. These subscription models almost always seem to be tied into keeping the software up to date. If you don't like some new change, or there's an incompatibility with a new release, you're probably SOL.

    2.5) Forced upgrades again -- some people just buy a version of some software, it works great, so their costs after that are $0. But with this model you have to pay either way.

    3) What if they go out of business? In some cases the company has sent a perpetual license code to their current customers, but other times they've just found out their software will irrevocably drop dead in x time.

    4) The "far future". A few have already alluded to this, what does someone do with a copy of this software 20 or 30 years from now?

    "I really do worry about how our future generations are going to handle the fact that a larger and larger part of our common culture is being programmed to self destruct after a limited time."

    I have to be honest, I haven't seen this. I avoid DRM-infected audio and video, and for Linux there's vanishingly few pieces of software with an expiration.

    "Protesting is what you do when the other guy really has no reason to listen to you. Switch to a different IDE or editor. "

    People protest whether "the other guy" has a reason to listen or not. To me, it sounds like JetBrains *IS* listening. But there has not been enough time yet to find out if JetBrains will have a useful response, or just make an excuse why they're going subscription. Plus, of course, people currently have a fully purchased copy of IntelliJ IDEA or whichever IDE, so they don't really need to switch in the coming weeks.

  10. Stretch

    Eclipse is free.

  11. Mark 65


    "Under the new scheme, called Toolbox"

    Should have called it "piggy bank" or "cash cow".

    With regards the mouthpiece's comment about making it simpler and easier to understand, how fvcking stupid does he think the user-base is?

    I can understand it. Under the old system I pay once and use forever. If you happen to make some marvellous improvements I can choose to give you more money for an upgrade. Under the new system I get to pay every month even if you produce fvck all of any worth in order that I can still use the version I found useful, and that's if you haven't forced loads of updates on me.

  12. Daniel Voyce

    I am torn

    I really rate Jetbrains (Like Wax Lyrical over their IDE's), but the subscription model for things like Adobe came about because individuals who couldnt afford the £3k for the master suite of products were just pirating it. I'm sure Jetbrains has the same problems but their products aren't expensive, I mean for just over $100 you get IDE's that blow anything else out of the water featurewise (Note: I am aware that an IDE is a highly personal thing... my point isn't to start an elitist war on "My dev environment is better than yours").

    I do however understand the pricing model for polyglot teams / developers who maybe dont want to spend around $400 each year to upgrade when they can get the whole lot (and maybe a few other products they just couldnt justify on cost means) for around $20 a month!

    My main worry is it would cause apathy within Jetbrains development in creating new features for the IDE's when they know they have guaranteed income from it each month...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I am torn

      And when Jetbrains get taken over then the new owners decide to stop supporting these products and they stop working what do you do then eh?

      Of even if Jetbrain decide to stop supporting a product will your copy stop working?

      When Adobe went to a tithe model for Photoshop I said Nope not gonna do that. So far it has not been a problem.

      Now I am gonna say 'nope' to any software that requires a subscription to keep it working.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bye Bye Jetbrains...

    ... it was nice knowing you.

    But it's now Time to move on.

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