The subscription hook

In IT, everyone knows what an IDE is.

Even those old-school die-hards or new kid rock-stars on the scene who are writing code in vim, or emacs, or whatever, they know what an IDE is (but of course they think it is for the weaklings). So, the question of “an IDE or no IDE” is pretty controversial.

But the choice of an IDE when one decides to go for it is no less so. And for many of us, it’s choose one tool and stay loyal forever.

In the world of Java development, people around me mostly use the IDE. IDEA. Not ‘idea’, but the JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA. And we even buy licences. Yep, we do, though let me tell you, it doesn’t happen a lot in Ukraine where people worship pirated software!

So when it came up on the JetBrains company blog that they are going to meet the needs of polyglot developers, I clicked through to read the whole article. Yep I might want to use more tools, not just the IDEA, but maybe WebStorm and PyCharm too.

But after I read the article about the upcoming changes, I discovered that it wasn’t just about using multiple tools. Going forward, they were going to implement subscription model, rather than a pay-once-use-always model.

Well, not exactly pay once, since you also had to pay for the updates you wanted. But still, you might decide the updates weren’t worth it, and still use the program as is.

With new subscription model, you have an option to pay for each month or yearly. But when you stop paying, guess what?


Your IDE stops working.

Basically, you do not buy a licence anymore; you RENT a licence.
Which is why, instead of talking over the impending multi-product licensing, angry developers started venting out their emotions over being thrown the hook of a subscription.

But there is another small detail. The question of how exactly the model will work, as in whether it will require an internet connection. In short, it will… but just once every 30 days. But what is to be done with people who only have intranet? Don’t think that they do not exist; there are government people, security people and other people who basically work behind the company imposed bars and can’t access internet from their workstations. What is to be done for them?

Why, read this to know the answer!

(I hope you did get some useful information from this, because I surely haven’t. Let’s hope it is not a veiled verion of “nothing”).

So… fun times. I really am on the fence about this one. I do like you JetBrains! (Hell I’d work for you if you would have me.) But this trick does seem to be somewhat ill-advised.

Or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t like to pay for subscriptions?


About Maryna Cherniavska

I have productively spent 10+ years in IT industry, designing, developing, building and deploying desktop and web applications, designing database structures and otherwise proving that females have a place among software developers. And this is a good place.
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