Rails development advice


I'm new to rails but not new to programming. Yet I feel the lack of an organized environment for development is somewhat hindering my ability to learn rails thoroughly (3 console windows, text editor with a bunch of plugins, database editor and viewer, browser window opened and all this with a lot of data scattered throughout multiple files.. you get my drift..)

Is this a newbie sort of feeling and I will get the hang of it with time (lots of time) or is there a more comfortable way to develop in rails? I didn't find any rails specific IDE so any IDE needs tinkering of things well beyond my newbie skills.

advice needed,


What environment have you come from? When I used to do ASP development, there was still a need for separate code editor, DB editor/viewer, and a couple of command prompt windows.

Being confused by the data being "scattered" may just be your unfamiliarity with MVC (I'm making an assumption there, and apologise if you're not new to MVC). After several years of arranging my thinking, the separation of responsibilities now seems second-nature, and looking at imperative code just makes me want to start extracting methods and classes.

For my Rails development, I use an "IDE" (Netbeans 6.9.1), a couple of terminals/consoles (gotta get into 'screen' to reduce the number...), and a couple of browser windows. To me, this is still "organised" - it's just that it's *me* that controls the organisation :slight_smile:


Like yourself, I'm relatively new to rails but not new to programming. And, like yourself I had a similar "Is this right?" reaction.

The good news is that one can try out these fancy new-fangled online screencasts. (Geezers my age didn't have such resources when we were first learning how to toggle opcodes into the front panel of a PDP-11.) For me, the key benefit of screencasts (e.g. http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ ) isn't their technical content (I can get that from a manual.) but rather that one can get the feel/ambiance of the development process and a reasonable sense of how all the various pieces fit together by essentially "looking over the shoulder" of somebody who is already up to speed.

The bad news (with regard to your question) is the screencasts do indeed tend to show a whole lot of jumping around between multiple consoles and editors and the like. So, at least given what you've said, your experience sounds fairly typical to me.

Dan Nachbar

I'm also a Rails newby, but I've had very good surprises using RubyMine, by JetBrains (RubyMine: The Ruby on Rails IDE by JetBrains). Try it out. It does help to make sense of Rails.


For a good Ruby/Rails IDE, check out RubyMine.