Aptana Studio 3 Beta for Rails Development
I’ve been using TextMate along with a terminal window for my Rails development. When I was doing PHP development, I had settled on Eclipse as my IDE. However, since most of the people I knew used either TextMate or Emacs for their Rails work, I reluctantly purchased TextMate and gave it a shot.
I really like TextMate. It’s got a lot of power that’s not immediately obvious. As I got into it more, I learned enough keystrokes to really make editing code a breeze. I also kept a terminal window open to run the usual Rails commands, like “rake db:migrate” and “script/server”. This two-pronged setup served me well, until…
I was testing a somewhat complicated set of database operations and was getting strange results. As I started adding logging statements to figure it out (old-time c-programmers like me call it the “printf” method of debugging), it hit me. This would be much easier if I used a debugger!
After reading several articles online about debugging Rails with TextMate, I came to the conclusion that I wanted something more robust and easier to use. Enter Aptana Studio 3.
Aptana Studio 3 is currently in Beta, and I’ve run into a few things that either don’t work properly, or maybe I just don’t know how to use those features. There’s a definite learning curve, especially figuring out good keystrokes to do things that were easy in TextMate. And it’s a bit slower than TextMate, especially starting up. But I can handle all of that, ’cause the debugger makes it all worthwhile! It’s easy to set breakpoints, step through my code, and view my variables. Very nice!
Oh, did I mention that it has Git support built in? The stage/commit process is very visual and easy to use, with a nice diff display.
I’ve been using Aptana Studio full-time for about 5 days now, and haven’t been tempted to return to TextMate. Check it out!