Lab test: Climb aboard Ruby on Rails
The InfoWorld Test Center sifts through nine Rails IDEs and editors to help you choose the tools to suit your development needs
Aptana RadRails 1.0
When I reviewed RadRails 0.7 in 2006, I said that "all serious Rails developers should consider it for their toolkits." At the time, RadRails lacked debugging and refactoring capabilities. I'm happy to say that its refactoring is now excellent. In addition, its debugging is now sufficient for the purpose, thanks to the ruby-debug-ide gem.
My biggest gripe about RadRails in 2006 was the lack of documentation, which has since been remedied. In addition to a combined help file for RadRails and Aptana Studio, Aptana offers a number of videos, and a book by an independent author has just been published about using RadRails, titled AptanaRadRails: An IDE for Rails Development.
A full table of Aptana RadRails features is available. I would take the comparison columns that list NetBeans and 3rdRail features in this table with a grain of salt; a quick check found several features incorrectly listed as missing in NetBeans and 3rdRail. I don't think the table was current when I viewed it.
I encountered two minor problems with Aptana RadRails 1.0. First, it still doesn't have a visible soft word-wrap display option, which is a general Eclipse issue. Second, it generates .RHTML files for new views on Rails 2 projects that should have .HTML.ERB files.
The second problem will be addressed in a future update to RadRails, according to Aptana. The word-wrap problem has a work-around, in the form of an Eclipse Monkey script.
On the other hand, if you need any of the Professional features of Aptana RadRails and find the modest license cost a problem, you might want to look at NetBeans as a completely free alternative.