Using Emacs for Ruby development

Emacs, the God of all things. I’ve been working my way through, over the past several years (after having been introduced to it by Ravi), all kinds of books and tutorials on lisp. Unfortunately, I’ve not been particularly good at following through and becoming a master, so I’m not really a guru or anything when it comes to Emacs skills. (I promise, it will change this year.)

Anyway, while working on Ruby, I was looking to find a good editor. Who isn’t, after all? I’ve used Eclipse with RDT and RadRails, but it wasn’t compelling (that might change with this stuff). After moving to the Mac, however, I was looking to buy TextMate – which I’ve heard a lot about. Before buying it, I thought that since it was “inspired” by Emacs, why not give it a shot? Ultimately, I got comfortable using Emacs itself, so I haven’t really given TextMate a real shot, despite owning a license (thanks MacHeist!).

So. This is my first in a series of posts about using Emacs for Ruby and Rails. The “cool” thing for this time is – inferior mode for Ruby. This provides a SLIME-like interface for Ruby, and allows you to work really interactively. What that means is, while typing in the editor, you can ask fragments of code to be interpreted, change only particular definitions quickly and rerun other code that uses them, pipe all that back and forth between windows, so on and so forth. And at any time, you can switch to the Ruby process (running with Emacs using irb) in use and explore the current environment.

Check it out, its very neat and it even comes with Ruby.

4 thoughts on “Using Emacs for Ruby development

  1. Thank GOODNESS I can use Emacs with ruby… I’m hopefully going to work for a company that uses Rails, and I would really love to continue to use Emacs.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    SLIME forever!

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