Ruby on Rails: Choice of IDE

January 4, 2006 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment

To make sure you know what the IDE is, here is the definition from Wikipedia:

IDE (An integrated development environment) normally consist of a source code editor, a compiler and/or interpreter, build-automation tools, and (usually) a debugger. Sometimes a version control system and various tools to simplify the construction of a GUI are integrated as well. Many modern IDEs also integrate a class browser, an object inspector and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development. (read more).

To be frank, I did not straight away start thinking that I necessarily need an IDE for my Ruby on Rails programming. For the last 2 years I spent a lot of time coding PHP in my text editor (it is actually a plug-in for my trusted old Norton Commander clone, FAR Manager). But I suddenly remembered that when I started programming in PHP, I really missed the IDE environment of my early programming days, with powerful debug, meaningful error messages and contextual help. So, this time with Ruby, I want to make sure that I use the IDE from day-1.

The choice of an IDE is not an easy one. If you want to go with the easiest choice and just use the editor that David Heinemeier Hansson (the crteator of RoR) used in his screencaps, most likely you will be out of luck, as the name of this product is TextMate, and while it looks quite cool, it’s only available for Mac OS X. If you have a Windows PC like me, you will have to get something else. The most popular options are UltraEdit (looks like the color schema is not too good), FreeRide (a bit unstable – it crashed on me when I clicked “Help” ;), but it comes with InstantRails, so no harm in trying it out, given that it was developed especially for Ruby), SciTE (it looks a bit dull for my taste) or RadRails (which looks and sounds great – it was built for RoR specifically. However, some people reported it as a bit buggy).

I have decided to try out RadRails and if there are no major suprirses, will stick to it.

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Ruby on Rails: Take-1 Model-View-Controller in Ruby on Rails

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