What editor do you use?

by Pat Eyler

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.

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