I’ve been watching Tor Norbye grinding away on NetBeans 6, and couldn’t wait any more, so I went and downloaded a daily build, and it seems to kinda work. Up till now, all my Ruby work has been in Emacs, but the NB6 pre-pre-alpha trumps it.
One thing that impresses me in the project read-out above is that it’s picked up the CVS check-in status of all the files in the Ape project.
Mind you, pre-alpha code does have some issues; I had to restart NetBeans a half-dozen times to get the Ruby modules out of the update center and into action. Also, if you go get NB6, particularly for Ruby work, here’s some advice: start it up, then go for a cup of coffee while it indexes the Java universe. Then, when you first open a Ruby project, go get another cup of coffee; pre-indexing Ruby takes longer than Java. [Update: Just to be clear, this is only the first time you run NB.]
I hit another bug; upon first start-up, it asked me if I wanted to import my NB5 settings and promptly crashed when I said “yes”. This actually led to a pleasant surprise: I noticed that NB was supporting the Emacs control-F/B/N/P/A/E keystrokes apparently out of the box.
The core editing window has a bunch of improvements; the one I liked was that when you’ve got a syntax error, there’s a little doohickey in the margin that you mouse over to get the details, as opposed to the whole line being “hot”.
Here’s a sample of the syntax highlighting. I’m not sure I agree 100% with all the choices, but it’s sure easy to read. This is the function for fishing links out of Atom entries.
The NB toolbar is ridiculously cluttered and busy; who needs a button for “Open File” anyhow? I whacked it back to the minimum, and since I use the hide-and-reveal-on-mouse-over for the Projects, Files, Runtime, and Navigator windows, my NB is a lean, mean coding machine.
I’ve run across a few bugs in the more advanced features, haven’t got around to filing them yet. There was one indentation bug that seemed really moronic so I emailed the file to Tor and said “Guess I should file this, right?” and he wrote back “I did, and the fix is in the Update Center.” So if you’re interested in alternate editing environments for Ruby, right now seems like a good time to shake this one down and feed back on it.
NB6 seems awfully solid for something that’s not even advertised as an alpha yet. I don’t know when they’re thinking of shipping. Next time I do some Java tinkering I’ll give NB6 a try and report back. In the meantime, Emacs has lost its grip on my Ape and Blog-Commenting projects.