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Rails IDE or Editor

Ruby on Rails can be used with either a simple text editor or with an IDE.

A text editor is a tool that creates and edits a file with only plain text. Once the code is written in the editor, it need to be compiled and run on a command line tool.

An IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. It is a more powerful tool providing many features, including text editor features.

Some of the Rails IDEs are listed below:

  • TextMate
  • E
  • Intellij IDEA
  • NetBeans
  • Eclipse
  • Heroku
  • Aptana Studio
  • RubyMine
  • Kuso IDE
  • Komodo
  • Redcar
  • Arcadia
  • Ice Coder


The TextMate is mainly used for Mac operating system. It allows you to write extensions to the base environment. The extensions plug into TextMate to add new features to the base editor. These extensions are called Bundles.


The E text editor is build just like TextMate editor to work on Windows. It replicates many features of the TextMate and even allows to use the TextMate bundles.

Intellij IDEA

The Intellij IDEA is a commercial IDE made of JetBrains. Earlier, it was also used for Java development. JetBrains version 7.0 has added Rails support to the Intellij IDEA.


The NetBeans is an IDE from Sun. Earlier, it was used for Java development. Sun version 7.0 has added Rails support to the NetBeans.


The Eclipse IDE is the most commonly used IDE today. Uisng a plug-in RadRails, you can add fully Rails support to the Eclipse environment.


The Heroku IDE provides a new and unique way of writing Rails application. It is used completely online to develop applications. You do not need to install any software on your system to use Heroku. It does not support Internet Explorer.

Aptana Studio

A product from Aptana, is a stand-alone desktop IDE based on Eclipse project. It is quite similar to Eclipse. The Rails features are packaged as plug-in to the Aptana Studio environment.


The RubyMine IDE is the most preferrable choice for Rubyists. It provides many extra features than other IDEs. One feature it includes is click and follow. When you will click on a function, it will take you to the function being called. This feature comes in handy when multiple functions share the same name and resides in different files and folder. The other features are Git annotate and Git compare.

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