JetBrains Announces ‘Fleet’ IDE to Compete with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code

On Monday JetBrains (creators of the Kotlin programming language and makers of the integrated development environment IntelliJ IDEA) made an announcement: a preview for a lightweight new multi-language IDE called Fleet using IntelliJ's code-processing engine with a distributed IDE architecture and a reimagined UI. By Friday they'd received an "overwhelming" number of requests, and announced the preview program had stopped accepting new requests. ("To subscribe for updates and the public preview announcement at or follow @JetBrains_Fleet on Twitter.") They'd received 80,000 requests in just the first 30 hours, reports Visual Studio magazine: Although JetBrains didn't even mention VS Code in its Nov. 28 announcement, many media pundits immediately characterized it along the lines of an "answer to Visual Studio Code," a "response to Visual Studio Code," a "competitor to Visual Studio Code" and so on... "When you first launch Fleet, it starts up as a full-fledged editor that provides syntax highlighting, simple code completion, and all the things you'd expect from an editor," JetBrains said. "But wait, there's more! Fleet is also a fully functional IDE bringing smart completion, refactorings, navigation, debugging, and everything else that you're used to having in an IDE — all with a single button click." "It starts up in an instant so you can begin working immediately..." boasts the Fleet web page, adding that Fleet "is designed to automatically detect your project configuration from the source code, maximizing the value you get from its smart code-processing engine while minimizing the need to configure the project in the IDE." And it also offers "project and context aware code completion, navigation to definitions and usages, on-the-fly code quality checks, and quick-fixes..." Fleet also offers a collaborative environment allowing developers to work together — not just sharing the editor, but also terminals and debugging sessions. (There's even a diff view for reviewing changes.) "Others can connect to a collaboration session you initiate on your machine, or everyone can connect to a shared remote dev environment," explains Fleet's web page. "It supports a number of remote work scenarios and can be run locally on the developer's computer, in the cloud, or on a remote server," reports SD Times. (And Fleet's home page says soon it will even run in Docker containers configured with an appropriate environment for your project.) SD Times adds that Fleet "currently supports Java, Kotlin, Go, Python, Rust, and JavaScript. The company plans to extend support to cover PHP, C++, C#, and HTML, which are the remaining languages that have IntelliJ IDEs." It's multi-platform — running on Linux, MacOS, or Windows — and Fleet's web page promises "a familiar and consistent user experience" offering one IDE for the many different technologies you might end up using. And yes, there's a dark theme.

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