the blog
Back to -Blog

Visual Rails Workbench - Preview

Visual Design With Ruby On Rails
by Huw Collingbourne
Wednesday 23 January 2008.

We’ve talked before about our plans for a visual designer for Ruby On Rails. We call this the Visual Rails Workbench and it will form part of the forthcoming update (v 1.2) of Ruby In Steel Developer (free to registered users). To give you some idea of what we’ve been up to, here is the first public screenshot...

Here we are designing a page using the mouse to move and resize elements. We have also created some styles using the Properties panel. Along the bottom of the workplace you can see buttons to toggle between ERb (‘native Rails’ view format) code and the HTML ‘Page Designer’. The Page Designer automatically assembles valid HTML pages from ERb Layouts, Views and Partials and subsequently disassembles the component parts after the visual design has been done.

I should say that the design workspace is just one element of the Visual Rails Workbench. We have a number of additional tools to help to navigate through ERb templates, to drag and drop components and to import and export pages to and from external HTML editors. We’ll be fleshing out the details here in the Blog over the next week or so...

Bookmark and Share   Keywords:  development
  • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
    24 January 2008, by Pranks


    Good things shaping up for .Net developers.

    Here are my 3 quick questions...

    (1) Is it possible to work without Rails. I mean Plain IronRuby with

    (2) What are your plans regarding classic Ruby and IDE. I mean developing with just ERB/Erubis and Ruby, with Ruby in Steel as an IDE.

    for example:- PHP + Dreamwever, where code is just placed between HTML and it works.

    (3) Will this IDE work for IronRuby on Rails.

    Please blog more about your forth coming Ironruby support.


    • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
      24 January 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

      Thanks for the interest. Regarding support for IronRuby. We already have an IronRuby form designer and IntelliSense system under development. See:


      Given the fact that IronRuby still has some way to go in its own development, there is only so much we can do at the moment. Suffice to say that when IronRuby is ready to go, we aim to be ready to go too ;-)

      As for point (2) ’classic Ruby’. I should say that we have always worked on the basis that Ruby In Steel is a Ruby IDE first and foremost and we aim to support whichever framework(s) are most important to Ruby programmers. Currently the dominant framework is Rails and we aim to provide first class support for Rails. For more on this see this:


      But the fact that we have dedicated Rails tools does not mean that we are ignoring Ruby. Far from it. Our Rails debugger is also our Ruby debugger. Our Rails IntelliSense is our Ruby IntelliSense. Even the Visual Rails Workbench analyzes the code using features taken from our Ruby IntelliSense system.

      We do not have immediate plans to provided dedicated support for other templating systems. However, we shall be announcing longer term plans (including more on IronRuby) on the Blog following the release of Ruby In Steel 1.2.

      best wishes


  • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
    23 January 2008, by Willem

    I am really looking forward to the forthcoming update! Looks really impressive!

  • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
    23 January 2008, by cortfr

    Wow... this looks really great. Can’t wait to try it out.

    • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
      16 February 2008, by Edgar Gonzalez

      Wow! cant wait to use it!! when is this getting out???? i will buy the license inmmediatly!

      • Visual Rails Workbench - Preview
        16 February 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

        We are having a final beta test phase over the next couple of weeks. Ruby In Steel 1.2 (including the Visual Rails Workbench) will ship immediately after that - in other words, by early March. If you buy Ruby In Steel Developer now, you will receive a free upgrade to version 1.2 as soon as that ships.

        best wishes


© SapphireSteel Software 2014