Tuesday, March 06, 2007

NetBeans 6 Ruby Support Even Better Than Expected

See, here's the deal. I'm not a very advanced IDE user. I used Eclipse for years and JDE before that, and I wouldn't ever have considered myself a "pro" with either. I learned what I needed to get the job done and not a whole lot else. Beyond that I never knew some of the coolest features, and was never so good at convincing people to make a switch. This actually has helped my migration to NetBeans, since it basically does all the things I was used to in Eclipse. But it has been problematic when I try to convey how cool the new NetBeans Ruby support really is.

It's super cool. It does things I've not seen any other IDE or editor do.

However, it's best not to take my advice, and Roumen Strobl has recorded two seriously excellent demonstrations of Rails and Ruby support in NetBeans. They make the sale way better than I could (though I now have many good ideas for how to sell it better in the future).

If you have any interest in Ruby editors or IDEs, you should take the time and watch these, especially the Ruby support.

Two Demos: JRuby on Rails and Advanced Ruby Editing in NetBeans!


Raphaël Valyi said...

Sun is just incredibliy smart for such a large company. I mean there are so much large companies that would rather prefer to do whatever possibe to sell their crapy API or framework they spent so much entropy at making it. Usually, large companies will invest whatever will be required to sell any crapy technology with the best vendor lockin lurking behind (.Net, Flex, to name a few ones...)

I should say I'm honnestly quite impressed by Sun that just caught both the most clever web framework ever and the best scripting language ever and ported it the the best runtime, no matter if they should rewritte quite a lot of IDE feature instead of just promotting existing IDE support for legacy entropic frameworks such as Stuts, Spring or Hibernate.

Good humility lesson and well done. If you go the the RadRails homeage, you'll see that Radrails has virually no momentum at all by now, the authors are quite desperated about it. Now, that said, if I were a decision maker at IBM, I would immediately fund RadRails or an equivalent project because otherwise I think no Railer will stick with Eclipse when we see what Netbeans can now do for ruby (code navigation/completion/refactoring ar just so great).

Finally. Ruby and Java are remarkably complementary. We would always require a statically engineering language along with Ruby. C++ was an applealing companion to Ruby (via RubyInline or Swig). But Java just encapuslates better the complexity than C++ for large modular/maintainable framworks for virtually no overhead cost by now. Moreover, JRuby promise a tight intregration of the languages.
Then JRuby + Java is likely the be the winning combo. IDE matter much less with powerful languages like Ruby, but such a Netbeans support will still make our life easier (at least after 7 pm :-). Saw the demo, I'm already switched.

My two cents. Congratulations for JRuby 0.9.8.

Raphaël from Paris

PS: I'm back from a small Rails Conf from http://www.tuto-rails.com/, but convincing decsion makers to switch Rails for funded projects is may be the hardest task... Hopefully, Sun move can also helps about that.

Anonymous said...

Hello how to get Netbeans 6 Ruby supported IDE?

I've downloaded Netbeans 6 daily build from

but it doesn't have Ruby support to create new project.

Which build type I need to download and from where?
Thank you

Charles Oliver Nutter said...

Raphael: Once again you have very good insights to share. Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you're enjoying the NetBeans Ruby support...I've already become hooked on many of the features, and I'm actively chasing Tor to start on the next round of work. Things are looking great for the future.

Anonymous: Go to Update Center in the Tools menu. Select the default Development Update Center and under the Features category choose Ruby. Complete the wizard, and I believe you will need to restart the IDE. That's all there is to it!

mm said...

should be interested in it:

blankman said...

Yeah, you are right about the Rails/Ruby integration in the M7 release ... There are still some issues but it is ridiculous how easy and fast it is to use the IDE to make a program ... the type ahead is good, and the configuration just works ... so two thumbs up :)

Anonymous said...

To get Rails support in Netbeans 6, you have to first download eighter the M7 build or the latest daily build. Ruby and Rails plugins for Netbeans are not included out of the box with the currently available download of Netbeans 6, therefor once you install Netbeans 6, you must go to: Tools -> Update Center and then choose Ruby on Rails Add-On. Once Netbeans' Update Center downloads Rails plugin, you are good to go. Oh, and also do not forget to download MySQL JDBC driver from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/

Anonymous said...

How do I get Netbeans 6 to utilize JRuby-0.9.8? Even though I've pointed it (I thought) to 0.9.8, it seems to default to 0.9.2? What am I doing wrong? Please advise...

Clay Bridges said...

As of NetBeans 6 Beta 1, there didn't seem to be a Tools / Update Center. Instead, I think you want Tools / Plugins.