What editor do you use?

Tim Bray recently posted the results of his Developer Tool Survey (although, I think it was really an editor/IDE survey). He asked Ruby and Rails developers about what kind of development they do (primarily Ruby or primarily Rails), and which editor/IDE they use. While the survey was not very scientific (and raised the ire of a number of ‘old school’ rubyists because of the phrasing of some of the questions) it does provide some interesting information:

  • Text-mate was the clear favorite overall and among the Rails leaning contigent (which reflects the general Mac bias in the Ruby community), although VI editors have about the same number of users on the ‘pure’ Ruby side of the house.
  • Text editors are still1 the clear winner (vs. IDEs) among Rubyists, capturing almost 65% of the overall user base.
  • Among IDEs, NetBeans and Eclipse are the only ones with triple digit users (or double digit percentages).

The survey didn’t address a couple of things that have come up on the ruby-talk mailing list. Perhaps a future survey might look into things like:

  • How are people using refactoring tools, and which ones?
  • Test-unit vs. RSpec use (and the use of RSpec Story Runners)
  • What debugging tools are people using
  • What code coverage (and related) tools are people using

While the survey is not without flaws, it’s always interesting to look at your community from a different angle. Thanks Tim for putting this together, I’ll look forward to see what else people start asking about.

1 Tim Bray and I talked a bit about the percieved lack of ‘advanced developer tools’ (read IDEs) a while ago.




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I use mc for teaching

Anonymous's picture

I use mc for teaching newcomers, not too heavy, still does syntax highlighting, useful two-pane visualization/navigation of FS to ease their learning curve.

text editor

MIke's picture

My favorite text editor is a

"EditPad Lite" in following editor are lots of very useful options. For example:

default "default line break style" - Unix Linux OS X
or just You ca set up your default text encoding to any type ou need ;)

Best Regards
Craigslist webmaster


http://www.linuxjobworld.com's picture

gedit works for me. i am a average computer programmer.

IDE's and 'advancement'

Sean Lynch's picture

Every IDE I've tried with Rails work seems to hinder development more than it advances it.

I find Eclipse/websphere useful for J2EE work, but there are so many complicated interdependent pieces to keep track of you need help to get complex projects done. I think Eclipse is more complex than Rails is. Like hunting mosquitos with bazookas (a joke for the Python crowd).

The Rails framework is so much less complex. You don't have to decide which of six or seven different ways you choose to implement some functionality. The limited choice leads to cleaner designs and implementations. Like DHH has said, Rails is for the 80% of the work in the middle. the 10% at the top will need the overly complicated J2EE framework, and the 10% at the bottom will be quicker and easier with php.

I've been using scribes, a gtk based editor with good Ruby syntax highlighting. Scribes is lightweight and stays out of the way. Before that I used gvim or vim.

ide's for ruby, ruby on rails

paschelino's picture

in my opinion, too, the current ide's are somewhat dull, incomplete and unfortunately progressing too slow for the community (having used NetBeans and Aptana). tools and features in the ruby world are constrained to a damn fast development (they call it 'edge development' like living on the edge). this leads to a divergence between the tool/ide you're favoring and the libs your developing with. in other words: you'll find yourself back on the command line interface as quick as you can think of -- or you struggle with your ide, messing with configuration issues or alpha stage plugs, that actually just do not do, what you need.

so what's an appropriate advice?

i'm actually using kate. it's syntax highlighting is ok and it's possible to activate some kind of 'fake-code-completion' (i actually avoid the kde4 version of kate for this last thing. when it opens a completion box, it's only flickering around and freezes it's ui. i'm using the pre kde4 version instead.) the thing, that's nice about kate: you have sessions! if you reopen an earlier saved session, kate will open all the files that were open the last time. these two features give you at least some kind of ide-feeling ;-)


http://www.linuxjobworld.com's picture

i likt gedit the best. tried using emacs but couldnt get it. eclipse and aptana are too heavy for me as of now. once i get good then i will use them.

Activestate komodo editor is

Anonymous's picture

Activestate komodo editor is fine and Activestate komodo IDE is great.