If you talk to most Rails developers, they'll usually scoff at the idea of an IDE. Many developers do their work using the Mac-only TextMate, VIM, Emacs, JEdit, or another simple text editor.
In this chapter I'm going to cover some of the options available for development environments on Windows. I'll walk you through the steps of creating a simple Rails application with each tool and explain the pros and cons of each program.
RadRails (http://www.radrails.net/) became a very popular IDE among newcomers to Rails because it is based on the Eclipse framework that is typically used by Java developers. While RadRails and other Eclipse-based Rails IDEs are extremely useful, some Windows developers might find some important features missing.
Development of RadRails was halted in February of 2007 but has since been picked up by Aptana. RadRails will be integrated with Aptana's suite of web development tools.
Widely recognized as one of the better IDE choices on Windows and Linux
Integrated Subversion support via the SubClipse plug-in
Syntax completion, made even easier by snippets available from http://drnicwilliams.com/2006/11/06/post-halloween-radrails-trick-all-textmate-snippets-available/ (courtesy of Nic Williams)
The product is not updated often, as development of Eclipse-based plug-ins is difficult.
Can be a memory hog at times
In August of 2005, I wrote an article showing how to build your own Rails development ...