October 16th, 2007
I just started playing with the NetBeans 6 Beta 1 Ruby IDE. I found out about it through George Cook’s excellent writeup which includes plenty of screen shots to spare you from having to install it to see how nice it is.
I must say I was blown away with how much better it is than my current setup of Eclipse and Aptana with RadRails. I’ve been using Eclipse for about 7 years primarily for Java development so it is no small feat to get me to even consider playing with NetBeans. However, after playing with NetBeans for Ruby there is no comparison. NetBeans is a clear winner over Aptana with RadRails.
A few random highlights include:
- Real code-completion that actually works. This includes some impressive class introspection that picks up you local class properties.
- Some handy short-cuts that let you jump from a controller action to its view and back, and from also from your code to your tests and back
- One of my favorites is that the rdoc information is shown as you type out method names. This is a huge time-saver so you don’t have to dig through some external resource for syntax specifics.
- A nice integrated SVN gui. This has been a big source of pain for me as well in Eclipse where SVN support is totally lacking
- A macro recorder
- An integrated database tool
- This project is very actively developed. When I first started using RadRails the development cycle was brisk and lots of new features were flying around. Ever since Aptana picked up the project development has ground to nearly a halt and what is there consistently crashes my Eclipse.
In addition, you can install just a standalone Ruby IDE bundle so you don’t need to grab the Java (or other) stuff if you don’t need it.
I am still not ready to take the plunge to use NetBeans for my Java development. However, thanks to this very impressive offering of a Ruby IDE there is now a glimmer of hope that I may try NetBeans for my Java development in the future.