Jan 14, 2008 / software ~ rails ~ tools
NetBeans 6.0 for RubyOnRails: 2 Days Later

I've been giving NetBeans 6.0 a few hours of usage after downloading it reccently, and thought I'd share my thoughts and findings.

Great Things

  • Snippet Support: Nice shortcuts for RHTML and Ruby.
  • Database Explorer: The in-built database explorer is a great addition, very useful for quickly checking columns names or running a query.
  • In-built mongrel runner: "just works" too, although it took me a minute to figure a few things out (mentioned later).
  • Color coding in the mongrel output: Nice :)
  • Code DOM navigator: great for getting an overview of class methods and attributes.
  • Automatic Updates: The IDE automatically updates itself via the internet. It's great to know that features are evolving and maturing as I use the IDE.
  • Jump to File: The ability to quickly open any project file instantly using Ctrl-Shift-O. I've seen this feature in Resharper and use it a lot.
  • controller/View Switching: Using Apple-Shift-A to switch from Rails controller methods to their corresponding view.
  • Jump to Class/Definition: Apple-B for jumping to class definitions (again, Resharper gives me this nicely in Visual Studio using Ctrl-B).\
  • Inline diff: When I change code, it remembers the previous version and easily lets me see what it was before.
  • Neat Nav Keyboard Shortcuts: The Rails code navigation options are very useful, listed here

This guy has some good resources for TextMate lovers using NetBeans.

A Few Gripes

  • I was confused that the in-built mongrel runner doesn't dump to development.log. Instead you can view its output in a IDE window (which is also color formatted.

  • The SVN client seems to want to "add" files to the repository without me having o explicitly to a SVN ADD. I'd prefer it not to do this.

  • The code completion stuff is a touch slow. But, the inline help it gives is useful if you're not familiar with a give API.

Next Steps?

I'm planning on installing NetBeans on my Work PC - a 2 year old Acer TravelMate. Will be interesting to see how that goes!

I'll be writing more about that, and the general NetBeans experience, over the next week or so.

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