Aptana Takes Over Development of RadRails
Last Wednesday at EclipseCon, Kyle Shank, one of the main developers behind the largely-successful RadRails project officially announced a significant change to his project:
Yesterday at EclipseCon I announced that Aptana would be taking over the RadRails project and integrating it into their existing suites of editors, debugging tools and community features. Rails tooling on Eclipse needs a full-time effort and Aptana has the team and resources to do just that.
The Aptana IDE and RadRails are both EPL open-source products, and that will continue in the future. Initially, you’ll see some immediate bundling of the products, and then we’ll work on making a tighter integration as time goes on. We’ve set up a forum for questions, and if anyone is interested in contributing, please let us know and we’ll be happy to set something up. We hope to have everything transitioned by mid-May.
At the moment, it's really difficult to gauge how popular RadRails is in a world dominated by hackers wielding TextMate, Vim, and Emacs. The community consensus seems to be that RadRails is the tool of choice for the legions of Java programmers migrating to Rails development, probably due to their familiarity with Eclipse. (More often than not, this observation is made with a snicker.)
A quick poll on the #rubyonrails IRC channel (averaging over 400 members) generated little in the way of support for RadRails, but as to be expected, triggered a massive argument over the relative superiority of the aformentioned text editors.
Others contrasted RadRails with its competitors, such as Jeremy Durham's advocacy of NetBeans: "seriously. it does everything radrails does, the interface is nicer, the support is better and it does context sensitive method completion and help.. it's very slow tho."
It remains to be seen whether RadRails can be rescued from the doldrums of open-source abandonment, but for the sake of the community we hope that Aptana can do it. What do you, InfoQ reader, think about RadRails?
I'm a happy RadRailer
RadRails and the others
Emacs, Vim and TextMate are as good as they've always been and the people that use them will always like them. The fact is though, they also rely heavily on scripting and command line utilities to do what is basically the same job as the IDE. But nobody should pretend that they're "31337" and only require a text buffer, file open and file save to write code. That's simply not the case -- or at least I've never seen it.
The key word is "integrated" -- you either like it or you don't. Whether it's in an IDE or a text editor with 1000 little disparate utilities is a matter of style. It's not like either is going away.
Many of the Java/.NET converts do appreciate RadRails, NetBeans(?) and soon IDEA for Ruby development and refactoring. However, I will warn IDE vendors not to make them too heavy. I have been an IDEA user for 5 years and was happy with the performance until version 6....I'm seriously considering moving to Eclipse because IDEA is simply too slow now.
But yes. RadRails is excellent for Ruby. It's light, fast and has the right level of integration while leaving your command line uninterrupted. (use both?! gawd! who's mad now!?) Based on the screencasts I've seen, NetBeans looks good, but it turned the command line into wizards...which looks annoying at best.
Waiting for something better
And CodeGear (makers of Delphi and JBuilder) seem to be cooking some Ruby IDE of their own ...
But I never used Aptana's IDE and will give it a kick after they deliver the integrated version.