Ruby Product Gives Nod To Microsoft

    July 24, 2006

New software called “Ruby In Steel” is set to come out later this year; according to its makers, it will “provide an easy, accessible Ruby coding environment for [Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005] users.” One version, a “personal edition,” will be free. A “developer edition incorporating more advanced features” will sell for an unknown amount.

If some of this sounds unfamiliar, the SapphireSteel Software website explains things quite nicely. “Steel is a free Ruby language add-in for Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005. It provides an editing environment for Ruby programs complete with syntax colouring and the ability to run console applications with one keystroke.”

The business entity has high hopes for its coming product. “We aim to produce the best Windows development tool possible for Ruby. We aim to leverage all the features of Visual Studio: code completion, snippets, IntelliSense, etc.” Don’t expect a grand launch of some finalized, end-all, though.

Referring to its list of goals, the site stated, “to achieve this will take time. We do not intend to have a big-bang’ release; instead, we shall produce a series of beta’ versions at intervals of approximately one to two months, implementing further Visual Studio features and fixing reported bugs in the previous versions.”

It’s also worth the way in which the company is making its products increasingly accessible. Earlier this month, it was announced that “The Little Book of Ruby . . . Huw Collingbourne’s guide to programming Ruby in Ten Chapters,” had been translated into Brazilian Portuguese. That manual is available now.

Would-be Steel users should note that the company isn’t all-inclusive. “The Steel IDE will only run on Windows – not OS X or Linux,” the site states. But it also notes, “there is nothing preventing you from developing under Windows and running the debugged Ruby scripts under other operating systems.”

Older version of Windows will not be allowed, and neither will outdated versions of Visual Studio. “Visual Studio 2005 standard edition or above” and “Windows XP (service pack 2)” are required. On the features and compatibility front, Steel will have “debugging and IntelliSense for Ruby,” and it will provide support for Ruby On Rails.

There’s no word on when exactly Ruby In Steel will be formally introduced.

Update: Huw Collingbourne was kind enough to contact me and point out a development schedule, which you can find here. I appreciate the correction.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.