Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Toy

Yes, I'm going to do an entry about a programming topic. I know. I know. It's shocking. =]

As I've said before, I use Ruby on occasion. I honestly only use it for smaller scripting stuff - things that I used to use Perl for.

It's a handy language (not to mention a heck of a lot more readable than Perl). However, I've had a problem with it - the lack of a really good IDE.

Since I started using it, I've been using either a text editor or FreeRide, the IDE that comes with Ruby. Both of these things do the job, but they make my life harder than it should be in my opinion.

Of course, if you listen to some people, my life should be much much harder, but we try not to listen to them too often =]

Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes, IDEs.

Flipping through the latest Dr Dobb's, I see a mention that NetBeans 6 now has support for Ruby, and a standalone version for Ruby if you don't want the whole package, so I decided to give it a shot.

I like it. It doesn't have *everything* I'd like, but it does have a number of things that are nice and, let's face it, it's free (as in beer and as in speech for the rabid Stallman fans out there. Now go back to your basement where you belong =])

On the positive side:
  • Auto indent
  • Paren matching
  • Highlighting
  • Auto insertion of closing parens and, I believe, quotes
  • Debugging
  • It's fairly snappy
  • Compared to FreeRide, it's rather easy on the eyes

On the negative side:
  • No Intellisense-like completion (or if it has it, it's realllly slow. I'd wager it's the former).
  • Requires a JKD (not a huge deal. Just a bit of a headache when you find out during install)
I haven't played with it a *whole* lot, but what I see so far, I like. It's certainly better than the setup I had been using before, and it's a whole lot more aesthetically pleasing.

Honestly, I'd love to have something like Intellisense on it, but it's not a deal breaker, and, for a language like Ruby (where everything is an object of basically indeterminate type), I can see how it would be a bit of a pain in the butt to provide.

Current mood: decent
Current music: Fastball - Fire Escape

No comments: