It looks like Jetbrains just announced that they are releasing a free and open sourced version of IntelliJ under the APL 2.0 license. Cool beans, however, open sourcing an IDE is just the first step…
The hard part is building a sustainable community. To channel Tim O’ Reilly,
…what really distinguishes open source is not just source, but an architecture of participation that includes low barriers to entry by newcomers, and some mechanism for isolating the cathedral from the bazaar. This architecture of participation allows for a real free market of ideas, in which anyone can put forward a proposed solution to a problem; it becomes adopted, if at all, by acclamation and the organic spread of its usefulness.
Let’s hope that IntelliJ isn’t just throwing the source over the fence and expecting magic to happen.
Good luck to IntelliJ creating that architecture of participation.