Last year, Jetbrains (makers of arguably the world's best IDE toolset) dropped a bombshell when it announced that it was moving to a subscription model – just like Microsoft, just like Adobe. The uproar was expected, though I think even Jetbrains was taken aback by the level of vitriol smeared over its forums for weeks afterward. Unsurprisingly, folk don't like paying for subscription software; they don't like to feel they're being forced to pay for subscription software. So Jetbrains came up with Subscription MkII, or what they like to call the Perpetual Fallback License. It was somewhat better as it offered the option to stop paying the subscription after a year and then keep the version of the software you were using when you took out the subscription; essentially you get to keep a version of the software that was a year old… and so the vitriol continued.
Who the hell wants to keep software that's a year out of date? came the cries. Well, you don't have to… as long as you keep your subs up to date.
Jetbrains stuck to its guns, and I think it came as no great surprise to anyone when the outrage died back to a vague rumble of discontent. For me, the subscription model is a win-win. I was paying a yearly upgrade fee anyway, and now, for the same price, I get all the other IDEs (PyCharm, RubyMine, AppCode, Webstorm…) thrown in.
So aside from the licensing, has anything really changed? No, not really. It's still the best IDE toolset money can buy (yearly) in my opinion, and the list of outstanding bugs is still long enough to reach Mars and shows no sign of shrinking; this is a shame because I was hoping that without having to worry about implementing new features to keep people buying their products, Jetbrains would take the time to clear some of those outstanding issues.
Now I think about it though, there is something a little different: the friendly product icons have gone and have been replaced by corporate Adobecons: garishly-coloured and incomprehensible smudges that make your eyes water if you look at them for too long. I miss the days when the Pycharm icon was a snake.
Snake -> Python -> PyCharm.
It was so simple…