Ben Turner wrote:
> On Jan 3, 7:46 pm, Giles Bowkett <gil... / gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>>> b) What is the status of available IDE's/debuggers for platforms such
>>> as MacOS or Linux? Is there anything comparable to i.e. Eclipse?
>> This is a hot topic but I **think** it only comes up because people
>> who work in languages where tool support is vital assume tool support
>> matters in Ruby. There's much less tool support in Ruby but I really
>> think it's a supply/demand thing. It's very easy to build stuff for
>> and in Ruby. If people really needed IDEs, we would probably have
>> more. As far as I can tell the payoff for IDEs in Ruby is pretty
>> marginal. I could be wrong. But there's a gazillion projects underway
>> to make Ruby run faster and maybe one-and-a-half IDE projects. I think
>> the only demand for tool support in Ruby comes from people who got
>> used to it in other languages. Force of habit rather than actual
>> necessity.
> 
> I believe that tooling is one of the important factors in what makes a
> language "popular" with the code-writing masses. I can only speak with
> authority from a Java perspective, so bear with me. Java has a huge
> community of frameworks, tools, building environments, IDEs and
> anything else you can imagine. On a daily basis, I rely on tools such
> as:
> 
> * continuous integration engines such as Hudson or Cruise Control
> provide an up-to-the-minute overview of the status of the code
> repository
> * build systems such as maven to provide out-of-the-box automated
> building, testing, test coverage, code quality checks etc.
> * IDEs with strong refactoring tools, debuggers and direct version
> control integration
> * etc.

Well, debugging is a completely different thing on Ruby than many other 
languages, since you can basically build your own Ruby debugger in a few 
lines of code. However, I believe all available IDEs for Ruby has 
standard debugging support.

And I agree with you: I can't understand what bad it is to have things 
bunched into projects through an UI. For example, I think it's 
incredibly convenient to just press a button and run the test cases for 
that file I'm currently edit (as I can do in NetBeans). Or to autobuild 
the RDocs for the current project. Or the ability to use different 
versions of Ruby for each project. And so on.

Since you're a Java programmer, you would probably want to look into 
JRuby as well (and NetBeans as the IDE, which is a really great IMO). In 
JRuby, you can use all your existing Java libraries from Ruby. With 
Monkeybars for example, you can create a Swing layout in NB and handle 
the UI with virtually no coding. make sure to check out the screencast!
(And NetBeans supports both Ruby and JRuby, btw. The trunk versions of 
NB support the multiple version stuff.)


Best regards,

Jari Williamsson