3rdRail Development Environment for Ruby on Rails

CodeGear, a leader in developer tools, today announced the general availability of its new integrated development environment (IDE) for Ruby on Rails (RoR), the open-source framework written in the Ruby programming language and popular with next-generation Web developers.

The new product – CodeGear 3rdRail – was announced on the opening day of RailsConf Europe in Berlin.

"CodeGear's new 3rdRail IDE represents an important step in tooling for Ruby on Rails,” said David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails. “They've gone beyond macros and generators and dealt with Rails code on a logical rather than merely textual level. This opens up a whole new world for things like advanced refactorings and, in general, provides an environment that's familiar to anyone coming from IDE-heavy environments like .NET or J2EE."

Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby programming language said, "Congratulations on the release of 3rdRail. As the author of Ruby and a developer, I am more than pleased that CodeGear’s development tool joins the Ruby developer community. As Borland tools helped me a lot when I just began to do programming, it is a great honor to see that a CodeGear tool supports the language that I designed. 3rdRail has a well designed and very impressive interface which covers programmers at all levels from beginners to experts. I expect 3rdRail will contribute greatly to Ruby's future."

Though Web developers have flocked to RoR for its speed and ease of use in creating rich Web 2.0 applications, users can be slowed by manual processes and practices in developing for the framework. The CodeGear 3rdRail IDE contains several advanced productivity features aimed at making it easier and faster for both new and experienced Rails developers to build database-driven Web applications.

“3rdRail is an intuitive IDE built specifically for Ruby on Rails, with an in-depth grasp of the semantics and conventions of RoR,” said Michael Swindell, CodeGear Vice President of Products and Strategy. “This fast, focused and uncluttered tool – with features such as intelligent code completion, refactoring, smart code navigation, editing, debugging and others – understands what the developer wants to do.”

Key features of CodeGear 3rdRail:

Code Navigation: 3rdRail assists rapid and efficient traversal of application structures. The dependencies view uses a combination of syntactic and semantic analysis to provide a view of all project interdependencies. It understands how a RoR application works so developers only have to look at the area of their code relevant to a given selection.

CodeGear Commanders: CodeGear Commanders provides a quick interface to all of the power of a RoR command line for running code generators and performing other tasks, and integrates it into the IDE. For example, output from commands adding a model or view are immediately reflected throughout the IDE. Command output is hyperlinked, so that clicking on any generated file or folder will open that in the IDE.

Intelligent Code Completion: Developers are able to write programs more accurately and with fewer keystrokes because they no longer need to remember fine points such as object types, methods and method signatures. 3rdRail’s code completion includes several powerful, integrated features for method completion, parameter completion and syntax checking. 3rdRail is able to understand the context of what a developer is doing and predicts likely expectations based on conventions and semantics. Rather than simply produce a pop-up list of hundreds of choices, 3rdRail shows the right ones. 3rdRail’s code completion is so advanced that even methods that are created dynamically at runtime are included.

Refactoring: 3rdRail contains technology specifically for RoR that allows developers to improve and simplify application design. With the refactoring tools in 3rdRail, developers can reorganize their application code without changing the results.

Complete Runtime Environment: Packaged with 3rdRail is a complete, turnkey Ruby on Rails runtime environment including databases, Ruby, Rails, the Gem manager and a number of special Gems and tools. A developer license for InterBase™, CodeGear’s database for embedded and enterprise applications, is included.

Productivity Wizards: Using the built-in RoR generators from the CodeGear Commanders is a powerful way to work; 3rdRail extends this through special productivity wizards that combine multiple related steps together into one operation.

Web Development Tools: Mozilla browser, JavaScript debugging, Document Object Model inspection, request monitoring and other tools are embedded to help developers edit and manage all website artifacts.

Eclipse Plug-in Compatible: 3rdRail is built on a light-weight, open Eclipse-based core foundation which provides out-of-the-box compatibility with a wide selection of open source and commercial tools and plug-ins available for the Eclipse platform.

"I love VIM and TextMate, but a development environment like 3rdRail gives me Rails-specific navigation, project management, debugging and refactoring that make me insanely productive,” said Mike Pence, a Boca Raton, FL-based consultant focused on creating rich web interfaces. “CodeGear has brought their tooling expertise to the world of dynamic languages, and for me there is no looking back."

U.S. Availability and Pricing
3rdRail is available immediately. Supported platforms are Mac OS® X, Microsoft® Windows and Linux. The product is available for a special introductory price of $299 (including a one-year maintenance subscription).

3rdRail is part of a family of products from CodeGear that includes JGear™; JBuilder®; CodeGear RAD Studio™, Delphi® for Win32, PHP and .NET; C++Builder®; and InterBase. For more information on 3rdRail, visit http://www.codegear.com/products/3rdrail