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Ruby on Rails® for Microsoft Developers by Antonio Cangiano

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1.5. Editors and IDEs

Talking about editors is like entering a minefield. As the Latin would say "De gustibus non est disputandum," which can be liberally translated as, "There's no arguing with taste." Editor and IDE preferences are highly personal, and I will therefore refrain from telling you which one you should use. I do, however, provide a list of a few popular choices, and I invite you to try them out at your leisure, until you find the one that's right for you.

1.5.1. IDEs Are Helpful, Not Necessary

Microsoft evangelists may occasionally use Notepad in their demos, but as a Microsoft developer you know all too well that without a serious IDE like Visual Studio, writing ASP.NET or .NET desktop applications would be a nightmare. Your proficiency in Visual Studio may make or break your productivity.

In the Rails world there isn't an official IDE and we're not big fans of drag-and-drop tools either. The truth of the matter is that Rails doesn't need either of these two things. Most Rails developers are very happy about using text editors. As a matter of fact, when programming in Ruby or in Rails, a good text editor is all you really need. Even something as simple as SciTE, which we installed through the One-Click Ruby Installer, is probably sufficient.

C# and Visual Basic are both relatively verbose languages that take advantage of a huge framework. Ruby is so expressive and concise that an IntelliSense system like the one you are used to in Visual Studio would be helpful, ...

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