I've generally been doing stuff on Microsoft .Net out of college almost 2 years ago. I just started looking at Ruby on rails. So what editor should I use? I'm using Notepad++ right now but can I get debugging etc. somehow?

+4  A: 

Aptana Studio

I use it for all web development - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, Rails...

EDIT: For full disclosure, I'm biased toward Aptana and RadRails as I know a few members of the original RadRails dev team.

Thomas Owens
+1  A: 

I've been using Aptana/Eclipse/RadRails, but if I were to do it again, I'd definitely try NetBeans. Aptana has been a major headache.

I've never used IronRuby, but that might make you feel more at home.

James A. Rosen
+1  A: 

The Netbeans IDE is a good, all around editor for many languages. I'm pretty sure the 6.5 beta has support for Ruby on Rails, along with Javascript and a few other web languages. It's worth checking out (

Netbeans 5.5 had rails support.

Sapphire in Steel integrates with Visual Studio.

Mark Cidade
Today (Oct 6) a free version was released
+5  A: 

Try both NetBeans and RadRails for maybe a week each, then you can find which works best for you. The best advice is to learn your tool. If you are not checking out something new about your editor, something that could potentially save you time (regexp, etc) then you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

I have been using Eclipse/Aptana/RadRails and unlike Gaius have been pretty happy with it. I recommend the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers from Eclipse Downloads:

Then grab Aptana Studio, following these instructions.

When Eclipse restarts Aptana will have a view, click on rad rails and you are good to go. Just make sure you have ruby installed already, or it becomes a pain to resolve.

+1  A: 

I mainly code ColdFusion or PHP (and JS/CSS/xHTML), but have dabbled in a bit of RoR. RadRails/Apatana has been great for me, because it's built on Eclipse, which I was already using for my other work. It also integrates with Subversion via the Subclipse plugin.

The Eclipse platform is so extensible that it's worth investing a bit of time in to learn, but then again I like having a single IDE rather than having to switch between different apps.

I briefly looked at Netbeans, but TBH Eclipse just felt better for me, and Aptana itself is great when you come to do anything in JavaScript.


James Marshall

I use Emacs on Windows.

Installing and configuring it to work with rails is a pain though.


Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll try these out and see what works for me.

+1  A: 

I've been very happy with E. It's pretty lightweight and supports TextMate snippets and commands, which means you get access to a huge set of Rails-specific helpers.

However, it is decidedly an editor and not an IDE, so you won't get debugging, built in console, etc. But I've found that for Rails projects I prefer a light editor and a shell (like Console) for tests, debugging, etc.