Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Rails Development Using Vim

Rails developers fortunate enough to run OSX have raved to no end about TextMate, but what do the rest of us, being *Nix and Windows users, have available? RadRails is an EXCELLENT IDE, and I have used it almost exclusively for nearly a year now, but as an editor, like all software, it has severe limitations. It's a bit slow and too much of a memory hog for my taste, and not nearly as easy to extend as I would like.

In my experience as a Linux administrator and desktop user, I have learned to appreciate, and now love the Vi editor. Well, more accurately Vim. If you are using a GUI, Cream is an excellent set of customizations for GVim that make Vim more accessible to the new user.

To improve the state of affairs even further, there are various Ruby and Rails specific extensions and customizations that bring Vim to the point of being nearly as good, and better in some ways, than TextMate or RadRails. We're talking autocompletion, autoindention, syntax highlighting, abbreviations, and much much more. See this post (so useful to me that I mirrored it here) for how to tweak Vim for Rails development.

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