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Ruby in Steel 1.5 Leaves 'Iron' Age Behind

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The newest version of Ruby in Steel, a Microsoft Visual Studio-based IDE for Ruby on Rails, is now available from SapphireSteel Software.  The new 1.5 developer version supports integrated edit-and-run capabilities for Ruby 1.8.x, Ruby 1.9.x, and JRuby 1.4.  Along with many improvements to IntelliSense and the product's debuggers, Cylon and JCylon, Ruby in Steel has also dropped its support for IronRuby.

Based on some information coming out of Microsoft's IronRuby project that led the Ruby in Steel team to believe that Microsoft might develop a VS integration for IronRuby, the team has decided to drop support for IronRuby as part of this new release.  Huw Collingbourne from SapphireSteel believes that dropping IronRuby will not be a problem for most Ruby in Steel developers since a majority of them just use standard Ruby.  For the record, the IronRuby program manager says he never "announced" an IronRuby VS integration, but he did say that his team would have to develop one if no one else did.

Ruby in Steel features its own debuggers (Cylon and JCylon), intelligent code-completion via IntelliSense, and its visual designer for rails.  Cylon and JCylon contain just about everything you could ask for in a debugger - conditional breakpoints, breakpoints on exceptions, call stack, watches, and the exploration and manipulation of variables.  Although there are a large number of fine detail fixes in version 1.5, the main update is support for JRuby 1.4, which was released late in 2009.  JCylon has been updated to reflect the new version of JRuby. 

                                            Hover Drill-Down Debugging
                                     

Drill-down debugging lets you look inside objects and expand arrays and hashes in the docked debugging windows, in the code editor or even right inside the interactive Ruby console
.

         Docked debug windows
      

For the road ahead, the developers at SapphireSteel may be adding some significant changes to the Ruby 1.9 default debugger, which is still under development.  All other major aspects of Ruby 1.9 are supported in Ruby in Steel with the exception of debugging.  This is because the Ruby in Steel team does not use an integrated debugger.  Instead, the SapphireSteel team implements the Visual Studio 'build configuration' system to allow users to switch between Ruby or JRuby interpreters when running and debugging a single project.  This methodology lends itself well to supporting languages that are constantly in transition.

A free 60-day trial for the 1.5 developer version of Ruby in Steel is available now.  The developer edition of Ruby in Steel costs $199.  There is also a Text Edition available for $49.  See the comparison chart here.
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