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A few Ruby questions

Lance Spence
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 25
I'm expanding my horizons with programming languages as I'm a Microsoft developer primarily doing ASP.NET web applications. I'd like to know how does Ruby scale in terms of application development and complexity? Is it possible to create Enterprise Grade applications or is it more geared towards providing quick results to small programming tasks?

Also what advantages does Ruby provide over developing applications using ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC?

How well does Ruby integrate with other programming languages such as C#, PHP, etc? Is it possible to embedded Ruby with these languages due to Ruby having a particular knack at handling certain tasks quicker, easier, and better than other langauges?

Thanks!
Peter Cooper
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2009
Posts: 25
I'm expanding my horizons with programming languages as I'm a Microsoft developer primarily doing ASP.NET web applications. I'd like to know how does Ruby scale in terms of application development and complexity? Is it possible to create Enterprise Grade applications or is it more geared towards providing quick results to small programming tasks?


Ruby is particularly well suited to small tasks, given its background as an interpreted, scripting language, but now it's generally considered more than that. It's basically in the same ballpark as Perl or Python in this regard. Many people use Ruby to build enterprise level applications (Thoughtworks, for example), however, but nearly always on a UNIX-related stack. I don't know of any enterprise grade Ruby applications on the Windows platform. Typically Ruby is scaled using the advantages UNIX provides - separation of processes, message queues, the ease at rolling out multiple boxes that do the same thing, etc. The scaling is an architectural thing rather than an inherent feature of the language and its associated technologies.

Also what advantages does Ruby provide over developing applications using ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC?


I haven't used ASP for about 8 years so I can't really say. From my point of view, being able to use UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems (whether Linux, BSD, or Mac OS X) is the ultimate win for me. I know MS is doing a lot of good things with ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC lately (with the latter adopting many of Rails' better ideas) but the OS and the draconian licensing are deal breakers to me. If you're used to that platform, though, MS is not doing a bad job from what I hear.

How well does Ruby integrate with other programming languages such as C#, PHP, etc? Is it possible to embedded Ruby with these languages due to Ruby having a particular knack at handling certain tasks quicker, easier, and better than other langauges?


Currently Ruby has, perhaps, the best relationship with Java, rather than C# or PHP, in the shape of JRuby, a JVM-powered Ruby implementation. There is also IronRuby, an implementation of Ruby for the CLR that should offer the same sort of integration with CLR based languages but I don't think it's considered production ready in the way JRuby is. IronRuby is being worked on by John Lam of Microsoft though, so it's an officially supported MS project.

BTW, since you're an experienced Microsoft developer, consider checking out Ruby In Steel. There's a free edition and it's a Ruby IDE and debugger that uses Visual Studio. You should feel right at home with it.


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Lance Spence
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 25
Thank you for the information I will check out both "Ruby In Steel" and IronPython.

What OpenSource or FREE IDE do you recommend for Ruby development that contains a nice integrated debugger, syntax highlighting, and code completion to name a few. I am a Linux user as well as Windows user, so something cross-platform would be nice.

Thanks
Lance
Raghavan Muthu
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Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 3344

Nice to read about some non-java specific discussion Thanks to you both!


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Peter Cooper
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2009
Posts: 25
Despite its open source routes, open source IDEs have been a bit of a sore spot for Ruby. Good ones, anyway ;-)

If you need to tick both boxes, Aptana RadRails is probably the way to go. It's based on Eclipse. Despite the name it's not just for Rails development and can be used for pure Ruby development if you want. It's a reasonable IDE as long as you like Eclipse (which I don't, but hey).

More celebrated is JetBrains' (of IntelliJ IDEA fame) RubyMine but it's a commercial product. I suspect a lot of Java-heads will love it though, and it gets the best reviews overall. I don't use it because I'm not into IDEs personally.

Ruby In Steel is definitely a good option on Windows. I've given it a go and it feels really nice. Despite not being a Windows user anymore, I still appreciate how well constructed Visual Studio is I wish there were an IDE as good as VS on other platforms. Eclipse just doesn't cut it for me.
Lance Spence
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 25
Thanks Peter, I'll have a look at them.
Alaa Nassef
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 467
What about netbeans? I've heard that it has great support for ruby and rails (haven't tried it yet)


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Himalay Majumdar
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Joined: Sep 28, 2008
Posts: 324
There is Ruby-only version of the NetBeans IDE or you may choose to add Ruby support to your NetBeans IDE.
I didn't work on this either but seems promising.


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Lance Spence
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 25
I've been looking at Netbeans and it's support for Ruby. I like it much better than Aptana and I think I've found my IDE of choice for Ruby!
Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Go for Netbeans
Its great not only for ruby but for rails too.
There is no command line support for rails though, which can become infuriating at times
Dave Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2005
Posts: 301
Sumit Bisht wrote:Go for Netbeans
Its great not only for ruby but for rails too.
There is no command line support for rails though, which can become infuriating at times



You can bring up a rails command line in Netbeans just by right clicking your project and clicking "Rails Console".

& Just to second the opinions on Netbeans, I've been using it now for several rails projects and find it excellent. "Alt Shift + R" Quickly brings up a selection of Rake tasks available which is nice, it lets you see all the rake tasks you can do at a glance, run your migrations, show code statistics, generate RDoc's etc...

By default it comes with JRuby, but you can easily add a different platform if you already have an existing Ruby installation.

I give A++ to Netbeans for their RoR development tools, Now I just wish they'd do something about the Visual Web JSF Projects in 6.7!


Regards, Dave Brown
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