Develop locally, Debug Globally?


#1

Total Ruby N. here. Just in the throws of reading the books and
choosing an isp for my server etc.

If you are developing a “one-off” rails app with the intent of using it
on an isp hosted server, would it normally work better to develop and
debug the thing locally (like on a Mac for instance), and then go
through a round of “move it to the server and retest everything there
and get it working there”? Or would you be better off to just develop
the whole thing “out there” on the server?

Are there any IDE’s that work directly on files that are on a remote
host instead of local files?

thoughts? experiences?

thanks,
jp


#2

The answer to this one is a resounding “develop and debug locally”. You
basically can’t do any development tasks on a hosting account (they will
get very annoyed at you). Many rails developers choose to develop
locally using the webrick server, because it’s quick and easy to use.
However, if you are deploying to a particular server configuration, such
as Apache/FastCGI, then it’s probably worth also testing that
configuration out on your machine as well, just so you know it isn’t
going to have any major problems.


#3

Jeff P. wrote:

Are there any IDE’s that work directly on files that are on a remote
host instead of local files?

thoughts? experiences?

thanks,
jp

My thoughts…

Develop it locally - you can control the environment much more easily
this way, but ensure that nothing is hardcoded for your local
environment
Test it remotely frequently (like once a day) using SwitchTower or
similar to deploy the code on the production environment so that the
time between you introducing an environment specific bug and the time it
gets reported to you is very small

Follow a Test Driven approach and you’ll be ok. One of the hardest
parts of any server project is deployment, Rails + SwitchTower does make
this part a lot less painful (think Java deployment [shudder]).

IDEs etc - I don’t use them for Ruby, but you can never go wrong with
vim/emacs for editing text :slight_smile:

(PSPad for windows has some kind of ftp feature built in which you may
find useful, of course on the Mac you have the rails-team recommended
TextMate)

Kev