Riding Rails on IntelliJ

Textmate seems the “official” IDE for rails projects. But we have to develop under Windows, so no Textmate.

We used eclipse with radrails (Aptana) for a while, believe me, it’s not fun. Then we start to try IntelliJ now.

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Space in IntelliJ gives you “word completion”, just like “Esc” in Textmate. And Ctrl+Space works for local variables nicely. And it even works for instance variables, but it needs long time to think. Ctrl+Space works partially in Eclipse, but not in a RSpec file where no explicit class declarations.

Global search on Textmate is a pain, especially if you forget to delete huge development.log and test.log. So I just grep extensively when on Macs. In IntelliJ, you can specify which directory to search with, this helps a lot. Even better, when you have to search the whole project, it will ask you if you want to skip development.log/test.log, very intelligent.

The amazing thing is that renaming classes name and methods name work perfectly in IntelliJ. This feature alone will save me countless time and energy.

Subversion support in Texmate is not so nice, I would just use terminal for subversion operations. In both Eclipse and IntelliJ, the supports are just awesome.

When you have conflicting files, the diff support in Textmate is primitive. And there is no good files/directories comparison tool under MacOS. Meld diff viewer is awesome, but it may take some effort to install it on Macs.

The biggest problem with IntelliJ is that it’s not very responsive, compared to Textmate. But it’s definitely faster than Eclipse.

We use Watir as our scenario test tool, so moving away from Windows doesn’t seem quite possible. This being said, it seems IntelliJ is our best bet.

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~ by Yi Wen on January 1, 2008.

One Response to “Riding Rails on IntelliJ”

  1. Guiffy is a good file diff and merge tool and folder compare AND its available for MacOSX and installs easily. Works on Intel or PPC Macs. Works on 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 (Leapard).
    http://www.guiffy.com

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