First announced back in November 2021, JetBrains Fleet is now available in public preview. Fleet is clearly aimed at the “smaller” IDE segment currently dominated by Visual Studio Code and takes a very interesting approach. Fleet starts as a lightweight and fast text editor with simple code editing features, but can be turned into a more full featured IDE experience by enabling Smart Mode.
Smart Mode attempts to autodetect the opened projects configuration (Typescript, Gradle, C# solution, etc. ) and downloads the appropriate tool chain and language servers to give full functionality such as code completion and refactoring. This aims to be a quick and fast launching editor that can be switched to a more full featured Visual Studio Code-esque editing environment at the press of a button.
Some questions answered from their FAQ:
What Languages are Supported?
Moreover, Fleet is built to be extensible via plugins. We hope to see many more languages and technologies supported by the community this way.
Will It Be Free?
Yes, it will be possible to use Fleet for free with limited features for non-commercial development. All core functionality will be available in the free edition, but there will be certain limitations related to remote and collaborative development, some enterprise features, and support for service-level agreements.
Will It Replace Other JetBrains IDEs?
No, it will not. We are fully committed to continuing active development of our IntelliJ-based IDEs. With Fleet, we’re aiming to offer an alternative view on how an IDE can be organized, and this is impossible to implement within our current product line without going against the expectations of developers currently using those other IDEs. This means Fleet will co-exist with our established products.
Additionally, Fleet heavily relies on the IntelliJ code-processing engine for its smart code-editing features, such as project-aware and context-aware code completion, navigation to definitions and usages, refactorings, on-the-fly code quality checks, and quick-fixes.
JetBrains Fleet is available for download on Mac, Windows and Linux via the JetBrains toolbox launcher. You can learn more about Fleet and see it in action in the video below.