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
At this point, if you develop Rails with IntelliJ IDEA and want to use a graphical debugger on occasion, you'd be well advised to use NetBeans or RadRails as a free secondary IDE. I can't recommend that anyone buy IntelliJ IDEA just for the Rails support, but I can suggest it to developers who develop Rails as well as Java sites.
[Jump to the review of the Ruby on Rails IDE of your choice from the list below:
SapphireSteel Ruby in Steel Developer Edition 1.2 and Text Edition 1.1.5
Aptana RadRails 1.0
ActiveState Komodo IDE 4.3 and Edit 4.3
CodeGear 3rdRail 1.1
NetBeans IDE 6.1
MacroMates TextMate 1.5.7
JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA 7.0.3 with Ruby plug-in 1.0
E Text Editor 1.0.20 Beta
Intype 0.3.1 Alpha]
E Text Editor 1.0.20 Beta
The E Text Editor is basically a TextMate clone for Windows. It shares many of TextMate's strengths and weaknesses. Because several TextMate bundles rely on Unix capabilities, E asks that you install Cygwin to enable those bundles. E has a few Windows-specific bundles of its own, for example to support C# and ASP.Net, and ships without the obvious Mac-specific bundles, such as ActionScript and Objective-C.
E takes advantage of the community that has grown up around TextMate. Most of what's in the TextMate book applies equally well to E, and many TextMate bundles downloaded from the Macromates Subversion repository will run as is in E. Some won't, of course; Windows currently doesn't have an AppleTalk clone, at least that I know of.
E has a project view that's surprisingly useful. As you can see here, the E project view on my computer also shows the TortoiseSVN icon for each file. E also has its own local versioning mechanism.
I experienced occasional crashes when using E, but I couldn't reproduce them well enough for a bug report. The author appears to be responsive; I saw two updates to the product during my tests.
If you adopt E as your primary Rails development environment, consider using RadRails or NetBeans as a free secondary IDE for your debugging and refactoring needs.
Intype 0.3.1 Alpha
Intype is a fast, efficient code editor for Windows that was inspired by TextMate. It's actually good enough to use as a free Alpha test version, but it lacks many of the features implemented in E. For starters, it has no project view; it's missing about half of the Rails bundle; and it has no bundle editor. Unlike E, it has no way to implement bundle features that require Unix functionality.