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IDEs for Ruby

César Guzmán
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 08, 2009
Posts: 29
Greg
Here's another one, which IDEs do you recommend to work with Ruby on every platform (windows/mac/Linux) and what about working on visual components?


SCJP 5, SCWCD 5
Vamsi S Krishna
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Posts: 4
I used eclipse and netbeans, in my opinion netbeans support for ruby and rails is better than eclipse for windows and linux. For Mac textmate seems to be better option it has so many bundles which improves your development much faster.

As for the IDEs you might be interested in looking at the link below. I hope I answered your question.

http://pivotallabs.com/users/chad/blog/articles/933-the-great-ruby-ide-smackdown-of-09
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

I didn't try it but if RubyMine delivers what IntelliJ delivers for Java, it will be the ultimate Ruby IDE.
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
I tried out RubyMine and although the refactoring and method insight were welcome features, the IDE felt very heavy compared to TextMate, and I ultimately dropped it. I also tried out the Ruby plugin for Eclipse, but again - but satisfaction I have from coding with a very lightweight editor like TextMate can't be beat.

It should be noted that while I'm working with Ruby I'm working on smaller projects, and I don't have a distributed team - which both may play factors when choosing your IDE.
Gregory Brown
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2009
Posts: 14
César Guzmán wrote:Greg
Here's another one, which IDEs do you recommend to work with Ruby on every platform (windows/mac/Linux) and what about working on visual components?


Hi Cesar,

Though it may seem surprising, I actually can't think of even one accomplished Rubyist that I know that is using an IDE for Ruby. Part of this is that up until recently, the IDE tools simply weren't there, but a bigger part of it is that the work flow tends to be significantly different enough in Ruby that an IDE isn't necessary. I would say that the vast majority of programmers use either TextMate, Emacs, or Vim for Ruby coding.

Rather than advocating a particular technology, I'll go over some of the things you'll need and won't need in a Ruby editor. Beyond the obvious things (such as syntax highlighting, line numbering, etc), you'll want a way to run your code from directly within your editor. Since Ruby is just a command line interpreter, any editor that can access the shell can easily just do 'ruby this-file', so I think that's a non-issue. You might also like to be able to run rake tasks easily. Again, since rake is a command line utility, automating everything from running your tests to deploying code to 'whatever you want' can easily be scripted away and assigned to a keyboard shortcut. Editors like Textmate are rake-aware and can let you fire off a task by name rather than just executing a shell command. That's a nicety, but not a requirement.

You'll also want an editor with decent completion. Though there are some efforts to do this intelligently in the more full featured Ruby IDEs, it's a much harder problem than in static languages. So I tend to just rely on more simple completion, which just scans the open files for names you've already typed and lets you complete those easily. Both vim and textmate make this easy.

But beyond access to the shell and easy completion, for the most part, you won't need most of what an IDE offers. Ruby needn't be compiled. Folks rarely use a debugger when working in Ruby (if anything, you'll fire up interactive Ruby (irb) to poke around a bit, or just write a test). The refactoring tools can be nice, but Ruby is terse and programs tend to be small, so if you feel the need for heavy refactoring tools, chances are it's a sign you should reduce the complexity of your code. Project based file browsing is a great feature, but any modern editor will do that for you, no need for an IDE.

One last thing is easy revision control integration. Many editors have plugins for this, but my best recommendation is just to learn the command line utils first, then script away and automate the common tasks you do with them.

I completely understand the desire to have a full featured IDE, but to be honest, if you learn the *nix workflow and get comfortable with the command line, then automate anything repetitive you do, you'll find the tools you couldn't live without before mostly just get in the way.

This all having been said, mixed mode projects probably deserve an IDE. If you've got a Java project mixed w. JRuby, maybe Netbeans or Eclipse make sense. If you're working w. MacRuby, XCode might make sense.
And there is also nothing wrong w. using the tools you're already familiar with. I'm sure if you spend your whole day in Eclipse, editing Ruby in it wouldn't be too painful. But if you're looking to learn a new tool to do Ruby 'right', don't look towards an IDE, look towards a lightweight and powerful text editor instead. It's definitely a shift of midn, but you won't be disappointed.

Finally to answer your point about GUI tools, there isn't much Ruby-specific stuff there. Typically Ruby GUI libraries interface w. lower level frameworks (Fox,WxWindows,Tk,Gtk,Swing,etc,etc) so you'd just use the tools for those native frameworks if you needed them. Though there is a place for GUI ruby dev, you might seriously ask yourself whether it's a good idea in most cases. The web, or command line tools are often the best way to go.

-greg
tim cook
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 1
César Guzmán wrote:Greg
Here's another one, which IDEs do you recommend to work with Ruby on every platform (windows/mac/Linux) and what about working on visual components?


Aptana Studio 1.5.0

http://www.aptana.com/
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
tim cook wrote:Aptana Studio 1.5.0http://www.aptana.com/


I downloaded, installed, and used Aptana studio a while back as well. It's merely eclipse with a lot of plugins bundled in (ruby/rails included). It has the same benefits/drawbacks as any other full featured IDE, though I found it less alluring that JetBrains RubyMine. You can get trials of aptana, rubymine, textmate - or you can install the ruby/rails plugins into eclipse yourself... I don't think it will take you long to decide on which one fits the best.

Frankly, Textmate was the best software purchase I've made in a long time - I would encourage you to try it out .
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Frankly, Textmate was the best software purchase I've made in a long time - I would encourage you to try it out.

Agreed. TextMate is a nice editor but it's only available for the Mac. If you happen to be on Windows, you might want to give E-TextEditor a try - it advertises itself as bringing the "power of TextMate on Windows". Apparently it's compatible with TextMate's bundles, too.


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Gregory Brown
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2009
Posts: 14
Lasse Koskela wrote:
Frankly, Textmate was the best software purchase I've made in a long time - I would encourage you to try it out.

Agreed. TextMate is a nice editor but it's only available for the Mac. If you happen to be on Windows, you might want to give E-TextEditor a try - it advertises itself as bringing the "power of TextMate on Windows". Apparently it's compatible with TextMate's bundles, too.


E-TextEditor is a reasonably decent TextMate clone, but a little clunky when it comes to Ruby integration (bundles its own cygwin, IIRC). Definitely one of the better choices for windows, but something like gvim will give you many of the same features and work cross-platform.
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy
Bartender

Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
Does E-TextEditor offer Code-Assistance (Ctrl + Space or Ctrl + Shift + Space) if I have installed RoR bundles ?

Could you please point to download link of GVIM ?


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Gregory Brown
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 18, 2009
Posts: 14
Balaji Loganathan wrote:Does E-TextEditor offer Code-Assistance (Ctrl + Space or Ctrl + Shift + Space) if I have installed RoR bundles ?


I don't know, actually.

Balaji Loganathan wrote:Could you please point to download link of GVIM ?


Google can.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: IDEs for Ruby