Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Gleaming steel

Note: The RichText blog has moved to www.ricroberts.com

UPDATE (19 Sept 06): Radrails included debugging all along - check out my latest blog entry.

Last week I posted an entry about RoR IDEs and debugging. Since that was written, I have tried out the latest version (0.75) of the free RubyInSteel plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio from the chaps at SapphireSteel software.

Using the simple articles in their website's online user guide, I successfully managed to import my rails project, and debug rails server methods. (For the record, I am using VS2005 Professional).

Running the server in debug mode was considerably slower than running it normally, taking 3-4 seconds to load each page, but it was much quicker than running Komodo's debugger. My only complaint is that my rails server seemed to randomly stop a couple of times while debugging.

I also managed to successfully install and use the VisualSvn SVN plug-in for Visual Studio. This is not free but cheap at $19, and I found it much better than ankh, which I had previously tried.

To use VisualSvn, you also need to install the Tortoise SVN client, which is available from the VisualSvn download page. Everything was a dream to set up and use - All I did was install everything and it just worked. (It seems to just go off the .svn folders in the directory structure, as I assume all svn clients do. These folders were already there for me, after using RadRails).

Visual Studio 2005 itself has its down-points, such as being RAM-hungry and a little bit buggy in places, but its a mature, effective editor with lots of good features. I also had almost zero learning curve to overcome before starting to edit my RoR code, with me already being very familiar with this IDE.

I think I will use the VS2005-RubyInSteel-VisualSVN combo as my main environment for a while - at least until RadRails includes rails debugging.

Stay tuned to find out if I still feel the same love after using it in anger for a bit!

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