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Ruby In Steel on a Macintosh

Life beyond the PC...
by Huw Collingbourne
Saturday 15 September 2007.

If you are surprised to see Ruby In Steel running on a Mac, so are we! Some people claim that the Mac is the ultimate Ruby development platform - but little did we guess that Ruby In Steel might form the central part of the ‘ultimate Mac mix’. Until one of our users told us, that is...

Jan M Faber of SuperSaas - a company that provides web based utilities such as the Super Schedule reservation system - wrote to tell us how he’s been using Ruby In Steel.

“About a year in the making, our site was entirely built with Ruby In Steel,” (Jan says), “And I intend to keep using the product going forward. It is ’en vogue’ among Rails builders to use Mac OS X, but the advantages of the integrated Rails IDE were compelling enough that I now use Ruby In Steel in a virtual machine on the Mac.

“I run it under something called Coherence on a 30" screen, and it behaves just like a Mac app with drag/dropping etc all fully functional. I have Firefox/firebug open on the second monitor to fire of commands and can follow what’s happening in the debug window on the other monitor. This also allows me to test IE/Firefox and Safari without having to switch computers. A little Capistrano script automagically uploads the site from the VM through svn and restarts the servers with a few keystrokes. Pretty much the ultimate productivity setup for doing Ajax work if you ask me.

“Where the Ruby In Steel setup really shines is in Ajax debugging, since the usual Rails way of debugging by putting a "raise...inspect" in your code disturbs the very messages you are trying to follow, the Ruby In Steel watch window is a life saver here. The Firebug plugin shows the messages arriving and going to your browser over the network. Since the virtual machine looks and acts like a different computer to the browser you are testing the messages going over the whole tcp/ip stack.”

Ruby In Steel (top left) seen here at home on the Mac...

Nice. Maybe I’ve finally found a good excuse to buy a Mac ;-)

Visit The SuperSaas site at: http://www.supersaas.com/

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