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Commercial Ruby IDE Offerings Heat Up

| by Luciano Ramalho Follow 2 Followers on Feb 02, 2007. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

This week Saphire Steel announced its Ruby IDE for Visual Studio, dubbed Ruby in Steel. Add the recent release of an IntelliJ plugin for Ruby, and we have two high grade development environments embracing the agile language from Japan.

The products are not at the same stage. The IntelliJ Ruby plugin is in early beta at version 0.1, while Saphire Steel is already selling its 1.0 release. Even at beta, the IntelliJ offering has a solid feature set (screenshots), and more functionality is promised in its roadmap, but a debugger is not in the short-term release plan. The IntelliJ Ruby plugin requires IDEA 6.0, which costs $499 for new buyers.

Ruby in Steel, on the other hand, boasts their 'Cylon' debugger, promising speeds up to 100 times faster than the standard Ruby debugger. Also, the claim of "full analytical IntelliSense" for Ruby and Rails stands out in their array of features. Two versions are offered: Ruby In Steel Developer has a launch price of $199 (for a limited period) but later will cost $249. A free "personal edition" is also available, that is not time-limited, but has less features and a slower debugger. Both require Visual Studio 2005 standard edition or above.

Some Ruby veterans continue to wonder why an IDE is needed at all and happily continue using Vim, Emacs and Textmate, but for the Java and .Net crowd, the availability of solid IDEs certainly appears to make Ruby more appealing.

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Open-source offerings not lagging behind by Rafael de F. Ferreira

Apparently NetBeans' Ruby support is also coming along in a very fast pace.

Re: Open-source offerings not lagging behind by Sidu Ponnppa Chonira Kariappa

Eclipse with RadRails and the Ruby Refacoring plugin (r2.ifs.hsr.ch/trac) is a very sound option, given the alternatives. IntelliJ's offering isn't bad either (and it's open source too, though the host IDE is commercial) but it's a Ruby plugin, and personally I like RadRails layout when I'm working on Rails rather than pure Ruby. Yeah, I guess I'm no Ruby veteran. But I do love my 'extract method' and 'rename' refactorings :-)

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