Ruby on Rails Developers IDE, NetBeans 6 Beta 1 is Out!Author: ceefour | Filed under: Ajax, Beginner, Cool, Friends, GUI, JRuby, News, Opinions, Praises, Rails, Reviews, Ruby, Tips, Tools, Web 2.0
NetBeans 6 Beta 1 is here!!
Let’s rock the boat
It’s the first significant NetBeans event in probably a year
NetBeans isn’t only for Java geeks anymore, it has tons of Ruby and Ruby on Rails support now!
What surprises me (and delights me!) about this release is that, not like previous NetBeans 6 milestones where NetBeans-Java is bundled with Ruby, they actually make a special Ruby-only version.
The Ruby-only download is mere 19 MB in size!
That’s quite “cheap” (in terms of bandwidth usage). I’d expect the Ruby version to be less memory bloat and should have better performance as well, than the mammoth 172 MB one
I have been using NetBeans 6 for several months now, starting from the first NetBeans+Ruby version which is NetBeans 6 Milestone 7, and I can say I’m very impressed.
I’m still downloading Beta 1 and haven’t yet installed Beta 1 at the time of this writing, but I can be sure it’s gonna be event better than the last NetBeans 6 Milestone 10.
Don’t let the “Milestone” or “Beta” name put you off, it’s already usable in more ways than most software.
Check out why George Cook says Netbeans THE best ruby on rails IDE:
… I was gonna write a blow for blow comparison of netbeans against radrails, but I really see no point. I figured it’s best just to tell you why netbeans’ rails support is so creamingly good, but so you know I have evaluated both and textmate, firstly – here’s some points about the other 2. …
… I looked about and by chance came across an article that said that ruby on rails support was being added to netbeans 6. I hunted around like a crack addict and found the nightly builds to try out.
I was extremely impressed.
Netbeans is fucking fab, it proper rocks. I’ve been on netbeans 6 since milestone 8, which is about 1,000 builds now (they’re constantly working on it, and updating it). I’ve been with it through broken indentation, broken code completion, broken everything, null pointers, new features, more efficiency, the memory leak sorted out. I’ve watched it evolve before my eyes: I was installing new builds twice a day – Now it’s so stable and so good that I haven’t updated my build in a month (I might later on .
Code completion that works – really really works:
Code completion is activated with CTRL + SPACE – once activated you can type, or select from the list:
And here are what the diffs look like in the files themselves:
In line documentation when you need it, where you need it:
Just press CTRL+SPACE on a keyword and you get the docs.
Click on rescue, or move the caret over it with the cursor keys:
You use the + and – buttons to fold code
(Read his article for more info. He has a very comprehensive review of many NetBeans-Ruby features!)
Michael Urban has his own opinion in Move Over Eclipse. NetBeans 6 Rocks!:
Ok, I admit the title is a bit inflammatory to Eclipse fans. But after working with NetBeans 6 over the last week, I have to say I am very impressed. This is not simply a minor upgrade, as is so common in IDEs these days even when they are given a new major version number. Quite the contrary, NetBeans 6 is a major new release, and a major improvement over NetBeans 5.5.
A roundup of NetBeans Ruby-specific features in this release:
Ruby/JRuby/Ruby on Rails Support
- Project Support. Quickly create Ruby projects with logical structure, run Ruby files, configure other Ruby interpreters (such as JRuby or native Ruby), locate and install Ruby Gems through a graphical wizard, create and execute unit tests, run RSpec specification files, jump between a Ruby file and its corresponding unit test or spec file, and so on. View Demo.
- Advanced Ruby Editing. Advanced code editing for Ruby, using semantic information about the program to offer code completion, showing available classes and methods for the current expression, along with the associated RDoc documentation. The syntax highlighting is enhanced with semantic information, such that unused local variables and parameters are shown in gray. There are many other editing features, including Goto Declaration for jumping to the declaration point of a class or method reference. View Demo.
- Ruby Debugger. Single-step or run through Ruby code, set breakpoints, look at local variables, navigate the call stack, switch threads, and evaluate expressions by just hovering the mouse over the variable in the Editor. There is also support for the “fast debug” extension.
- Quick Fixes
- Automatic detection of block variables that might be accidentally modifying local variables
- Rails deprecation warnings which identify usages of deprecated Rails idioms (enable this warning in the Ruby options panel)
- Quick which finds same-line definitions of classes or methods and offer to explode these into multiline, formatted definitions
- A number of experimental hints compatible with Beta 1 but not bundled; access these from the Plugin manager. These hints can convert between do and brace-style blocks, they warn about “wrong” name conventions for Ruby symbols, they offer to run the Rails generator to generate missing views for action methods, they identify possible incorrect usage of attributes
- More information about the Ruby quick fixes
- RHTML formatting (and improvements to the Ruby formatting algorithm). A new formatting preferences panel allows configuration of the continuation indent as well as enabling reformatting of comments.
- Updated bundled JRuby to version 1.0.1
- Ability to deploy Rails projects to Java EE application servers
- YAML code folding and navigator, improved RHTML navigator
- Go To Declaration in RHTML files now work to warp to partials, redirect_to, link_to, etc.
- Large number of bug fixes and tweaks
- Export Diff Patch – CVS and Subversion integration
- based on unified diff
- automatically opens generated patch file into the editor with colored annotations
Don’t forget the general improvements as well:
- Smarter code completion. The NetBeans editor is quicker and smarter, providing completions for keywords, fields, and variables. It also lists the most logical options at the top, and lets you dig down into the full options at the bottom
- Highlights. You can think of the highlights feature as an easy-to-use and more correct substitution for the editors Search. The IDE tracks the position of the caret and, based on it, highlights some parts of the code. The highlights are marked with a background color in the editor they are also put into the error stripe, which permits for having overview of the whole file.
- Better Navigation and Inspection. In addition to Highlights, the source editor lets you quickly navigate through your code with improved Navigator window organization and the Members and Hierarchy Inspectors.
- More than just code completion. With live templates and Surround With functionality, you can quickly enter commonly used blocks of code and focus on the business logic.
- There is much more. See the Java Editor User’s Guide.
Update: And more from Peter Cooper of Ruby Inside:
NetBeans is a powerful and free. You can create Ruby and Rails projects, run Ruby files, configure interpreters (MRI and JRuby), install Gems graphically, run tests, run RSpecs, debug Ruby code, run Rails apps, and so on, all from the IDE. The Ruby edition is only a 19MB download and it’s available right now. There are several Ruby related NetBeans screencasts for the less convinced.
Already more than enough evangelizing, I guess…
Head on to NetBeans 6 Release page to find out more and download.
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