An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application for computer programming. IDE provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for development of software.
The next part is the build automation tool that mainly compiles the codes by the programmer. The third part is a debugger whose main task is to test or debug the program for any errors in the code.
The IDE design helps programmer by maximizing the productivity by providing tight-knit components. An IDE also keeps the view of files, errors or warnings and source code on the same screen that make programmers work easy.
Now, after knowing about the Ruby on Rails framework and IDE, lets now know about some of the best known Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the Ruby on Rails web application framework. Jet Brains is one of the leading and familiar programming language development tools name.
Rhyming works well with most of the major frameworks such as Ruby 2.4 and Rails 5, Puppet, AngularJS, RubyMotion and many more. It also provides seamless support for front end technology development.
Rhyming also offers seamless integration to some other systems such as Git, Mercurial & SVN, SQL or database and many others. NetBeans allows users to quickly and easily develop desktop, mobile and web apps with Java, HTML 5, PHP, C/C++, etc.
Its popularity is mainly among the developers who love to use the keyboard (no mouse) for lightning fast coding. VIM is a free to use IDE, and it is available under the open source software license by GPL.
Users can easily convert it into a powerful Ruby development environment through right customization and configuration. It is another one of the best in class Ruby on Rails IDE which comes from the company named Accelerator.
It is available as open source and free to use for Ruby development. It is a faster, easily customizable, and comes with some new features to help developers to boost productivity. Sublime Text 3 is one of the most powerful cross-platform lightweight code editors available for programmers.
Sublime Text 3 core is a lightweight, configurable and feature rich IDE. There are various plugins available that users can use to transform the text editor into a full featured Sublime IDE for Ruby programming.
Users can easily access the commands in the Cloud9 development environment for Ruby on Rails. User will have to just open the command and then type the program name following ruby.
Although it is a commercial product, but it also offers an open source free version by the name Komodo Edit. The fully featured Komodo IDE is offered free of cost to qualified educational institutions.
Atom is one of the highly configurable text editor that comes from the house of GitHub folks. Developers can use various plugins that are available to turn it completely into a Ruby editor for Windows or macOS.
Most of the Ruby on Rails projects does not need a resource heavy and full featured IDE for development. Arcadia has some very good features such as script editing, running and debugging support.
It also includes support for source browsing, syntax highlighting and code completion. Just like Python, Ruby is also a very popular programming language for learning among the beginners candidates.
However, it this article I hope that readers will find an appropriate IDE for web development using Ruby on Rails. Since graphical environments became popular and more used, programming editors were also evolving.
The first ones are lightweight, while the second kind focus on providing as many tools as possible to unify everything we would need. In order to develop for the major operating systems, brands usually provide an official IDE.
For instance, if you want to develop iOS or macOS applications you should use Xcode from Apple. Text editors can be used for multiple languages, while IDEs tend to be more specialized.
Let’s take a look at the options I have been trying for Ruby on Rails, my framework of choice to develop web applications. It’s not free, but you can try it out as long as you want (a message will pop up often to remember you to buy a license).
It has a very good multi-cursor implementation that lets you select similar occurrences very easily to make fast changes. It also has an excellent “Got anything” feature that lets you type whatever displaying matching files in your project.
It’s cross-platform and has a good plugin system, which made it a no-brainer when choosing a multi-language editor. I’m writing this article on November 2015, and the latest (beta) version of this editor was released on March 2015.
Its development has been very slow, but it was not a real problem because it had no good competitors. This is not true anymore, so I opted to stop using it and search for alternatives.
Atom is an open source editor created by GitHub. This seems to be the natural successor to Sublime Text, so I used it for an entire project and I felt very comfortable.
Being free is a major boost for its success, and coming from GitHub gives a warm feeling of “being at home”. In macOS, you can use the tab key to shift lines of code to the right without affecting snippet generators.
When the focus is on the file browser, pressing the space key makes a scroll, as in Chrome. It was a pretty solid option back in the beginning of Ruby on Rails.
It is also the choice of David Handrail Hanson, who helped Macro mates to develop some features in its early stages. It has always been a paid piece of software, but since version 2 it has been open sourced and therefore free.
About the search feature I like it when it marks with an icon in the gutter the lines containing matches. I can’t use the tab key to shift the code to the right, being forced to use CMD+] (although this is an macOS standard that I’m getting used to).
For basic operations such as removing trailing spaces or adding a blank line at the end of the file after saving, we have to install third party bundles which are old and can be abandoned some day. Maybe because Symfony2 uses namespaces and can be a pain to remember all paths, the help of an IDE is very appreciated.
It also uses annotations to define routes and variable types, and this is alleviated by History. Ruby on Rails doesn’t need an IDE because it follows conventions instead of being explicit as other frameworks.
But I thought it would be a good candidate because the way it shows the files structure (it can be configured to group models together with fixtures, and other useful things), as well as the way it provides all the tools you would ever need to not leave the IDE at any moment. This one is the only paid option of this comparison, although it’s not expensive at all looking at the tools it includes (I’m thinking on that database manager it has thanks to Java and its connectors).
It unifies all ever needed tools, such as the debugger, the terminal, the database client, and so on. It can organize files grouping by controllers, models, helpers, layouts, views, and so on.
Update: Thanks to Erik Hanson that commented that I should have used a slash to separate the directory from the template file. After opening it, it takes about 500 MB, and after some minutes it surpasses the GB.
It doesn’t respond to some macOS standard keystrokes, such as going to the end of the file. There are also some cases such as when navigating through the results in the “Go to class” window, where it says that you must use CTRL+cursor, interfering with Exposé (if enabled).
The debugger, even being very complete and similar to an IDE for a compiled language, it’s rather complex. I prefer the simplicity of writing just “debugger” between some lines instead of creating a breakpoint and restart the server in debug mode.
One thing I dislike about this is: I put a breakpoint and I evaluate a variable containing an array of objects. It has bundle managers that make the installation process very easy (such as “Bundle”).
Marvin does not remember the project I was working on, I have to open it again through the File menu. As you see, I cannot find the perfect editor, it simply doesn’t exist (yet).