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Netbeans 6.5 Rails Console

I was really excited about the release of Netbeans 6.5. It is the only solid Ruby  / Rails IDE that I know of, and it runs circles around Aptana (aka RadRails). Among the new release features is an integrated Rails console. This means that I can develop and test all in the same app without having to ALT+Tab myself to death.

Let me preface this rant by saying that I have the utmost respect for Netbeans (despite its owner) – it is rock solid, easy to use, and powerful. However, the Rails console leaves much to be desired. Here is my list of issues that I would love to see addressed (by someone with more Java finesse than myself):

  1. The Rails console doesn’t allow pre-typing. The environment may take 1 – 30 seconds to load. In this time, I should be able to start typing in my command and have it fill-in correctly once the prompt is available. It will fill in all the stuff I type before it is ready in a random order instead.
  2. The “Up” arrow on the keyboard moves the caret to the previous line, unlike in IRB / console / Bash where it should autocomplete the previously run command
  3. Ctl + L will clear the screen, just like in the development logs, and console on Linux / OS X, but it actually renders the console useless. It removes your prompt, and stops accepting keyboard input

While someone is at this, here are some of my dream features:

  1. The same code-completion that is provided by the IDE itself. If I type in a model name, and hit “.”, it should show me a list of instance methods on that model.
  2. Syntax highlight the output just like in the IDE

Please Netbeans community, Christmas is coming – consider it a gift to the world!

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