Thursday Sep 20, 2007

Installing and Configuring NetBeans Ruby

Netbeans Beta 1 was released Monday, and you can download a version of the IDE that contains Ruby support from the NetBeans IDE 6.0 Download Page. A good resource to help you get started is the new tutorial Installing and Configuring Ruby Support. This tutorial provides everything you need to know from downloading, installing, and configuring Ruby support, to working with databases, to deploying a JRuby application to Glassfish.

If you are creating Ruby on Rails applications, we have another new tutorial in that area, Building Relationships Between Rails Models. This tutorials enhances the tutorial Creating a Ruby Weblog in 10 Minutes. by enabling readers to add comments to a blog post. In particular, the new tutorial describes how to create a one-to-one and a one-to-many relationship between models in a NetBeans Ruby on Rails project.

If you are interested in contributing to NetBeans Ruby, please consider joining the Ruby mailing lists:, used to discuss development of the Ruby features for NetBeans, and, for general support and discussions of NetBeans Ruby. To subscribe to and participate in the aliases, please visit the Mailing List page.

Wednesday Sep 12, 2007

Native Ruby and JRuby Support in NetBeans IDE 6.0

There is a rumor floating around that the NetBeans IDE Ruby support only works for JRuby. Don't believe it. The IDE makes it very easy to use your own Ruby installation in addition to the bundled JRuby software. As a matter of fact, the first time that you open or create a Ruby project, the IDE looks on your system for other Ruby installations. If it finds any, it pops up a dialog box listing the available installations and lets you choose which one to use.

Using JRuby is just like using Ruby, and you don't have to know anything about Java to use JRuby. You can open your existing Ruby applications for development in the IDE and work with them using the IDE's features regardless of whether you have chosen to use the JRuby interpreter or your native Ruby interpreter. The one exception that I know of is that with JRuby you have to use the ActiveRecord-JDBC adapter if you are using a database server other than MySQL. However, all you have to do is to put the client driver in JRuby's lib folder, make a couple of simple changes to your database.yml, and add a snippet to your environment.rb. Tom Enebro writes about it here. The ActiveRecord-JDBC adapter works with MySQL, Postgresql, Oracle, Derby/Java DB, HQLSDB, and H2 database management systems.

One of the advantages of using JRuby is that you can access Java libraries from your Ruby application. Tor and Cindy put together a great video about this for NetBeans TV.

Another benefit is that you can war up a JRuby application and deploy it to a Java application server, such as GlassFish, just like you would with a Java web application. Arun Gupta has written several blog entries about this and the upcoming Installing and Setting Up Ruby tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for one of the simpler methods of deploying to the GlassFish server. One advantage of deploying to Java application servers is that they are designed to be multi-threaded and thus can handle more than one request at a time. In addition, Java application servers provide tools that make it easier to manage your deployed applications. For detailed information about creating and deploying JRuby applications, see the Rails Integration page on the JRuby wiki.

Monday Sep 10, 2007

New NetBeans Ruby Videos and Articles

Cindy Church and Tor Norbye have teamed up to create two more videos on NetBeans Ruby, this time focusing on the Ruby editor:

Also recently published is Brian Leonard's and Beth Stearns' article titled Test-Driven Rails Development. This article describes the features of the NetBeans IDE that can help you test your Ruby and Rails code.

Be sure to check out the NetBeans Ruby Wiki and let us know what docs you would like and if you have docs to contribute. The wiki is a community site, and the instructions for contributing are there.

Friday Aug 31, 2007

New Video on Java and Ruby Development

Check out the new video on NetBeans TV titled Mixing Java and Ruby Development. In this video, Ruby developer Tor Norbye uses NetBeans IDE 6.0 to integrate a Java CRUD application with a Ruby on Rails application. The video highlights many of the features of the NetBeans Ruby editor, including code completion. Also included are the Rails code generator and the IDE's JUnit module.

Our coworker, Cindy Church, put in long hours producing the video and it shows in the content and quality of the video. The video is fairly fast-paced, so a written version of the video script is also available.

Friday Aug 17, 2007

Check Out the NetBeans Ruby Wiki

Gail has been very busy this week working on the docs pages at the NetBeans Ruby Wiki Check it out and let us know what you think. This is a community site, so if you have stuff to contribute, the instructions are there.

At the bottom of the main page is a link to Documents Under Construction. I have the honor of listing the first draft to be offered up for review, "Installing and Configuring Ruby Support in the NetBeans IDE." This is a very raw draft, as I am still in the learning and exploring phase of information gathering. I thought it would be good to get this out so we can get feedback on what kind of information you really need during your initial use of the Ruby Support Package.

A lot of the stuff we put in here was due to the suggestions you have sent us so far. I also want to give Tor, Brian, Arun and other developers a big applause for providing most of the information that I added to this draft through their blogs and their wiki contributions.




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