Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cool New Demo of Ruby Support in IntelliJ IDEA

If you like Ruby, you're going to like this. If you like IntelliJ IDEA, you're going to like this. Check out this cool demo of the new Ruby plugin for IntelliJ IDEA.

So far, this is a beta-quality release of the plugin, so don't be expecting all the bells and whistles... yet. JetBrains is serious about this, though, so expect to see much more coming in the future. The demo shows some of the features that the plugin already supports, like:
  • On-the-fly syntax and error highlighting
  • Keyword code completion
  • Reformat code according to your style settings
  • TODO comment support
  • Structure-aware features such as structure view, goto symbol, etc.
  • RDoc support
This is great on so many levels. Combining Ruby and IDEA just makes sense to me, considering they share a lot of similarities in terms of philosophy. Both Ruby and IDEA try to help programmers be more productive by being smart, flexible, and intuitive, and even more so by getting out of the way and letting the programmer do what the programmer needs to do. And although this demo only shows Ruby support, don't think we've forgotten about Rails. Support for Rails already exists in the Ruby plugin and we will be expanding it as we go.

I think the big advantage IDEA will bring to Ruby developers will be the code-level intelligence and usability that IDEA is famous for in the Java and web languages (Javascript, HTML, XML, CSS, etc.). It will bring not just structure to the project (as any IDE should), but also new capabilities as well. For instance, refactoring, intelligent navigation and code searching, on-the-fly static code analysis (problem/error highlighting in the code), and intention actions (quick fixes). For Ruby/Rails developers who already appreciate productivity, they will surely appreciate how these features will help them to become even more productive than they are now.


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