Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eclipse DTLK and Ruby

I've started playing with the Eclipse in general and the Eclipse dynamic languages toolkit (DTLK) specifically for it's Ruby support. The 1.0M3 version doesn't seem to be the update servers so I downloaded the full package version and unzipped it into my local eclipse install. The "Mx" numbers must be prerelease milestones.

So far the experience has been much better in general than past forays into using both Eclipse in general, CDT, and RDT (though that was quite a while ago for all of the above). I havent tried, but I don't think this version doesn't seem to have any particular support for rails, however I'm mostly doing quick algorithmic prototyping or utility scripts in Ruby.

One nice feature is the binding of build configurations to a specific ruby interpreter so, on my Mac, it's a nice way to develop and play around with an install of ruby 1.9. Also, I do like to support for unit tests and execution. It also automatically indexes and pulls up rdoc strings. Both nice touches, though I have yet to figure out if there's a way to configure a Ruby project to autorun the unit tests while you type or for every resource save.

The DTLK project in Eclipse is a smart project in that it seems to building a foundation of eclipse support for dynamic languages in general - and there has to be a lot of commonality there. So I'm looking forward to getting more comfortable in the DTLK Ruby environment.

I have some motiviation as I'm also trying out eclipse for embedded development using CDT configured with an embedded toolchain. Eclipse Ganymede is a much nicer enviroment for code browsing than many of the mini-embedded IDE's provided by the vendors.