JetBrains is the developer of the IntelliJ platform, which powers Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, PyCharm Professional, GoLand, PhpStorm, and other IDEs. However, IDEs are large applications and can be overkill for simpler projects. JetBrains has now revealed its new lightweight editor, Fleet, which aims to be modular and compatible with just about everything.
Fleet is advertised as a lighter “next-generation IDE,” in much the same way that Microsoft created Visual Studio Code as a lighter alternative to Visual Studio. JetBrains said in its blog post, “Fleet is a different experience for those who sometimes just want an editor but also want a fully-fledged IDE, those who want to use a single tool as opposed to specialized ones, and of course for those certain scenarios that some of our existing IDEs may not cater for when it comes to distributed development.”
Fleet is being built as a modular framework, with the front-end (what you see), back-end (indexing, analysis, navigation, advanced search, etc.), and file system functioning as distinct components. JetBrains says this will help Fleet run across many different environments, from a simple local application to a cloud-based web service.
JetBrains Fleet sounds comparable to Visual Studio Code, which also supports multiple languages, remote sessions, themes, and collaborative editing. Microsoft also just rolled out the first version of the web-based Visual Studio Code editor. Competition is always good, though, and it could help encourage Microsoft to keep improving Visual Studio Code.
JetBrains Fleet isn’t publicly available yet, but you can sign up for the Early Preview on the company’s website.