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News Update

Early February 2007 News Digest
by Huw Collingbourne
Tuesday 6 February 2007.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of being a developer who’s so busy developing that he never has time to let people know what’s going on. I’ll try to make time to keep updating this blog to give you a summary of any news and developments. OK, so here’s the news for February…

- Ruby In Steel Movies

Snippets – one of the Ruby In Steel all-action blockbusters…

If you want to see the Developer Edition in action, you may be interested to take a look at the Camtasia movies I’ve been recording. These are short Flash-format screencasts which last between 3 and 4 minutes each and include a narration (so plug your speakers in). There are four movies online so far – covering the Ruby Editor, the Interactive Console, Snippets and a few basic IntelliSense features. I’ll be recording many more movies over the next month or two. Go To The Movies.

- Beyond Ruby In Steel 1.0

As you probably know we finally launched version 1.0 of Ruby In Steel Developer on Monday of last week (29th of January). Pretty soon we realised that there was a problem installing it on Vista and so we went into overdrive to fix that. Yesterday, we released an updated version which works on both XP and Vista. Anyone who has version 1.0 and who needs this update should contact us. The Vista update has also been added to the 30-day Trial Edition, available from the SteelWorks download area.

- Ruby In Steel Personal Edition

We had a bit of a panic recently when we realised that Release Candidate 2 of the free ‘Personal Edition’ bombed out on February 2nd. This was an oversight on our part. We had intended to remove the time limit from RC2 but it got left in there by mistake… At any rate, the full version 1.0 will be released shortly and we’ll check that thoroughly to make sure that it really and truly hasn’t got any time limit left in. By popular request, we are also making the splash screen less predominant. Version 1.0 will be available in the next week or two. RC2, with no time limit, honest, well, anyway, I hope… ;-), is available for download now.

- On The Road to version 1.1 And Beyond

Development certainly didn’t stop with the release of version 1.0. As announced on our Road Map, the period after release of version 1.0 is allocated to fixing bugs and resolving problems. The Vista incompatibility issue was the first such fix. We are now turning our attentions to the debugger. As we made clear from the outset, the current debugger is single-threaded and, while this is fine for most Ruby programs, it can run into problems with Rails. This is why we currently advise Rails developers to use the LightTPD server (rather than WEBrick, Mongrel or some alternative). Even with LightTPD, performance and reliability with Rails applications does not rival performance and reliability with normal Ruby programs. This is far from being ideal and we are working towards a better solution. Initially this will involve making improvements to thread safety. In the longer term, this will lead to a multi-threaded version of the Cylon debugger for use with a greater choice of servers.

- Our Upgrade Policy

I know I’ve said this before and apologies in advance for repeating this. However, it still seems that some people are unclear about our upgrade policy. It’s really pretty simple. If you buy any version of Ruby In Steel Developer 1.x (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 etc.) you will be entitled to free updates throughout the lifetime of the 1.x product, culminating in version 1.5. This will include forthcoming editions with the multi-threaded Cylon debugger and the Visual Rails developer. The introductory price ($199) will be held throughout the initial bug-fix period leading to 1.1, after which it will be set at its normal price ($249). Anyone who buys at the reduced price will be eligible for exactly the same free updates as buyers at the full price.

- Ruby In Steel Around The Web

I wrote a piece about the problems of IntelliSense for dynamic languages in The Register recently, and I’ve also written a simple tutorial on Rails for Bitwise Magazine. Meanwhile, an interesting discussion on Ruby In Steel’s IntelliSense broke out on the Ruby Inside site.

- The Ruby In Steel Forum

Our own discussion forum has been pretty lively too. If you haven’t joined, please do so. It’s open for chat about any version of Ruby In Steel or Ruby programming in general. If you have bought the Developer Edition, there is also a private support forum (please send me a message with your registered name and serial number in order to gain for access to this). While, in theory, we don’t guarantee to provide support for the free and trial editions, if you glance through the forum you’ll find that we are generally pretty responsive to questions posted there.

Anyway, that’s enough news for now. More later…

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