I remember, several times actually, David Heinemeir Hanson explaining in his presentations there is no need for IDE’s in the Rails world, because everything is very accesible and simple. I am not one hundred percent in agreement with said comment, and in the past I have tried several IDE’s.
I also used NetBeans 6.0. I think it has the best Rails approach to source formating (I like tidy code) but I miss some refactoring options. The smart windows and excellent use of the new SWING library make it a favorite, except for the vast resources it needs, which usually means it runs a bit slow in my desktop.
RoRed is a Windows only light IDE which gets the job done surprisingly fast. It lacks some of the major features of the big names, but for fast editing, it surpases the previous three contenders. Too bad it is only for Windows environment.
But what is surprisingly, is what I am using at the moment in my Windows XP machine as my main editor. No, I am not using an IDE. I found it faster to just keep some console windows open and run the script commands myself. As I depart the ranks of the newbies, I found in no need of an IDE console to use rake or run a script. As a matter of fact, it started to get annoying. Jumping from folder to folder was also easier from a window. What I wanted was fast, very fast editing, and superb editing control. The kind of highlighting syntax that recognizes RHTML, HTML, and Ruby apart in the same file (okey, if it’s Ruby + HTML = RHTML…) I wanted control on my folding and I wanted commands galore to make my life easier… and I found it.
It’s called… Vim!
Yes, I went back to Vim and the new(est) Windows plugin for Rails. It’s so amazingly light, fast and powerful, I might not use anything else in the future. Or I might. But the thing is I am surprised how an old tool got new features and it looks better than ever.