"Dudebot" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:email@example.com...
I'm a fairly visual person, and I have a piece of paper with many
boxes and arrows with labels like "has many" and "belongs to" for my
database models. It's messy, but it works.
What I keep looking for--weeks, actually, I'm certain it's out there,
but I haven't hit on the right set of Google query terms :)--is
something that will take a Rails set of models and show its design.
Does anyone know of such a thing? And if not, what are people using
to visually lay out their model designs?
In addition to railroads, The rubymine IDE has a visualization system. Uses the (proreitary) yFiles Graph visualization library, so the images look a little fancier, but the basic graphs are not too disimilar.
One nice feature is that it is live unlike railroads, alowing you to move around the models if you did not like the default layout. It also lets you show/hide the special properties of a model like 'Created_at', as well as show or hide the user defined models.
Probably not worth considering unless you already use the Rubymine IDE, but I thought it should be thrown out there.
Now for an aside:
I know IDE's are not particularly popular in the Rails community, and for good reason. Most IDEs are fairly bloated, and often make some tasks harder. Depite being a java-based IDE it is not as bloated as say an Eclipse-based IDE. The IDE though is suprising good at offering good options for autocomplete, although not perfect, but with a dynamically typed language perfect is just not possible. Unfortunately, in a few places the Rubymine IDE does make some tasks harder. An example is not being able to just type "rake db:migrate" but having to use a keystoke combination to open a dialog box to choose which version to migrate the database to.
Perhaps a furtue version will offer a command prompt for those who like the code completion, refactoring helpers, and some of the other little nice touches an IDE can offer, but want to keep the existing command line workflows. I know the latest private beta of RadRails is offering this.