IntelliJ does it again - this time for Ruby

I'd been doing my Ruby work in Jetbrains' IntelliJ 6 using the open source IntelliJ Ruby Plugin. Frankly, it wasn't a patch on developing Java or C# on any half-way decent IDE, including Visual Studio, which just barely manages the half-way decent mark. The plugin could do syntax highlighting correctly most of the time - you occasionally had to add round braces to clarify stuff or it would get confused - and it could run tests. But it couldn't run just one single test in a suite. If you hit the shortcut for run in a test file, it would run all tests. How annoying is that? It also had a few helper menus to do stuff like script/generate and things of that sort. That pretty much summed up its features.

Well, today I upgraded to IntelliJ IDEA 7.01. All was well, I continued where I'd left off a few minutes earlier when I was working in IDEA 6. I write some code. I go to a test. I hit 'Run' and look at the output panel expecting to see the results for the ten tests in the test case. I see just one result. Did I run the wrong test case? A quick check and then I realise what's happened - only the test in which the cursor was positioned has run. It dawned on me that maybe Idea 7 had more to offer than I'd expected.

A second later I was trying out my favourite IDEA shortcuts to see how they worked for Ruby. Shift+F6 (Rename object under cursor), Ctrl+Space (intelligent autocomplete) and Ctrl+Alt+V (Introduce variable) seemed to work fine (I didn't test 'rename' very extensively though).

Intelligent Autocomplete



Extract Variable



Alt+F7 (Find usages) worked, sort of, because it went and found an entirely wrong usage and didn't find another I knew existed. Ctrl+Alt+M (Extract Method) unfortunately doesn't work. Yeah, I know, RDT crossed refactoring's rubicon for Ruby early in 2007, but it looks like it'll be a while before it shows up in production IDEs.

Now I can look forward to some of the stuff I've been missing when developing in Ruby. Like expressive (and consequentially longer) method names and renaming classes and methods when I understand their usage better. I've been using IDEA since it was in version 4, and every single release has made me go 'Whoa, that is so neat' when I looked at some new feature. And they've done it again with IDEA 7.

Incidentally, I have looked at the competition. I've tried Aptana (I've been using RadRails for a year) and have looked at Netbeans. They're OK, but in terms of the overall package, I find IntelliJ the better option. Of course, the $500 price tag attached to IDEA is way too expensive for someone earning in Rupees, so yeah, for my personal stuff I still use Eclipse+Aptana, but I don't enjoy it very much. As for TextMate, I'll consider it when I get a MacBook, provided Apple does something to shed the 'unfriendly toward developers' image it's sprouted since the release of OS X Leopard.
Post a Comment