My Ruby on Rails Coding Environment

Posted by Scott on Dec 4th, 2006

I thought discussing my coding environment when working with Ruby on Rails might make for good blog fodder, so here it is:

I have a dual-head monitor set up at home and give jedit one desktop area and share the remainder between Firefox and several terminal windows. My basic terminal setup includes the following:

  • One terminal in the rails project working directory, to run rake or perform svn commits.
  • One terminal running script/server.
  • One terminal running tail -f log/development.log.
  • One terminal running the mysql interpreter so I can poke at the database manually.

I’ve found this setup to be productive as I’m coding, particularly as I keep an eye on the logfile for ruby errors. Also, I keep a bookmark toolbar folder of frequently accessed web and rails development sites, including:

Since ruby is such a concise language, I actually spend the bulk of my time dealing with HTML/CSS issues. Firebug makes it easy to pick elements from a page and analyze their CSS styles or DOM location. Jedit has some nice intellicode-like auto-completion features for ruby, but it slows the editor down quite a bit and so I’ve got most of that turned off. The API docs are easy to use, and I often learn something new by reading them directly.

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