One of the first questions you will need to answer when starting with Ruby on Rails, is what editor should you use. For the mac, it has been TextMate. I haven’t really liked the IDE’s for Ruby on Rails (although I never really used them). So, I needed to find a good text editor for Windows. Turns out Sublime Text looks like the best one I was able to find. It works in Windows, Mac, and in Linux. It is a lot like TextMate, and might even surpass it in features. I almost switched from TextMate to Sublime, but I didn’t because the snippets and plugins aren’t quite up to par with TextMate’s. However, if TextMate 2 doesn’t come out soon, Sublime will probably surpass it soon. Must have features are snippets, and a sidebar file browser. Both TextMate and Sublime have them. (Of course if you’re a vi or emacs pro, than stick with it. None of my students are.) My only question is, should my students pay for it? I told them they should when they start making money using it.
I also notice that none of my students had any command line experience. Thinking about it, I had to learn the command line (in Linux) in a Software Engineering class that made us learn Linux and C++ pretty much on our own and then write two substantial programs in C++. Although frustrating at times, it turned out to be a very good class. We never teach the command line in any of our classes. I got a big blank stare when I mentioned make. The downside to only teaching with IDE’s. Luckily, I need to revamp my Operating Systems class. Maybe I will make it a lot like my Software Engineering class.
Update: See this post for more information about editors: http://www.christopherslade.com/2011/10/another-rails-editor-and-user.html