By Tor Norbye on Mar 05, 2007
Roman has created two excellent demos of the new NetBeans + Ruby support. The first one shows Rails support, the second gets into editing. Let me me point out that until now, my focus has been on editing - so the Rails support is very preliminary. The interesting features are in the editing area, but as the Rails demo shows, if you're building a Rails application you should be able to get your work done. (There is an open bug pertaining to process management - launched Ruby processes aren't always killed by the IDE, so keep an eye on your process list for older processes. Yes, it will be fixed!)
Here's a quick hint, since it's not really obvious from the IDE: Use Shift F6 early and often. It "runs" the current file. For a unit test, that will run the tests. In a Rails app, it will open the browser on the "relevant" URL. For example, if you're editing a controller, or a view, or a helper, it will show the associated view.
I recently added a new feature to the editor you can play with: Smart Selection. Press Ctrl-Shift-Up/Down (on the Mac, Command-Shift up/down). It will select progressively larger code blocks based on the parse tree. Within a comment, it first selects the line, then the whole comment block.
Finally, I just integrated a Ruby Gem Manager (available from the Tools menu). This lets you easily see which Ruby gems you have installed, and more importantly upgrade them or install new ones. This assumes there is a
gem command next to your Ruby interpreter, which is the case for the bundled JRuby, but maybe not if you're configured NetBeans to run with whatever you have installed in
Here's a screenshot of the initial screen - my locally installed gems:
Here's what you get when you click on Install New:
Actually, if you just press Install New you see a much larger list - all available gems. You can filter down the list by typing in the Filter field - regular expressions are okay. Here I've typed
rails to see any gems that have "rails" in the name or description.
I'm writing this from San Francisco international airport - I'm waiting for my flight out to Denver for the Posse Roundup 2007. It's going to be a fantastic week - technical talks, skiing, and of course I'm excited to see the unveiling of Josh Marinacci and Robert Cooper's project. With all the attention around the Ruby work this week it's bad timing to go off the grid, but at least I can leave by pointing out that this is an open source project, all the code is available and if there's a fatal bug in there, somebody can find it and fix it! Have a great week - I know I will.
P.S. I've seen lots of blog entries around the NetBeans Ruby support lately - thank you all for trying it out and writing about it. I found this Ruby IDE comparison particularly interesting.