Learning Rails - Advice for development environment

Hello,

I have been learning Rails for several weeks now. I am working through
Michael H.'s tutorial and other various things. My question is
basically
regarding what type of environment to do my development in. First, some
background:

I have used different linux distros on and off throughout the years, so
it
was easy and familiar for me to set up my desktop computer with Mint and
get rvm/rails etc installed and working correctly. No issues there.

However, I went out and bought a laptop this last weekend; I have never
installed any linux variant on a laptop, so when I did it was startling
to
find out how incredibly terrible the battery life / power management
functions were. I was getting ~2 hours of life just doing simple web
browsing. After spending an afternoon tweaking everything (using
powertop,
thinkfan etc), I was able to increase that marginally.

Then, I had someone recommend that I use win7 as my host OS, and then
use a
VM for rails development. While doing some research, I came across
Vagrant.
I got it set up and installed using one of the boxes made for rails
development, however I have not started using it yet. I guess the idea
is
still quite fresh regarding workflow. If I was using a standard VM with
ubuntu or whatever, I would boot it up and do my work inside just as if
it
was the host OS. When it comes to Vagrant, I am a little more confused.

Am I supposed to start my headless vagrant box, start all my services /
rails server etc inside, but then have Sublime Text 2 on my host OS -
and
work out of the shared directory while just performing tests inside of
the
VM?

I use Guard / Spork on my desktop - how do I set this up within Vagrant?
I
have read that some people have issues with it.

Am I going to run into any problems down the line running windows as my
OS
for coding / the VM for testing and server?

Well, I am rambling. This whole idea is just very fresh for me, so I am
just looking for any feedback possible. I want to get my development
environment set up as fast (but as stable) as possible, so I can get
back
to learning more rails!

Thanks everyone,
Michael

Hi Michael,

I’m an ASP .Net dev guy for close to 7 years now and have always used
PC.
Last year I bought a Macbook on Gumtree and have recently found a lot of
joy in programming Ruby on Rails using Terminal. I run VMware Fusion
with
Windows OS for my .Net dev but found myself doing less of that now.

Sometimes I just power on my PC with windows and then remote desktop via
Chrome. That worked well too.

  • Fai

Dropbox comes in handy too, this way you can do development anywhere. I
haven’t tried the Windows tools for RoR and prefer Mac style when it
comes
to RoR.

I am using a Mac so I do not have you problems. Is you laptop certified
for
a specific distro of Linux. Do you know that Dell and may be HP have
laptops certified for Ubuntu and Redhat? I personally would try to use
Linux, bash, git, apt-get, more performance. I would try to fix Linux
issues. You could develop in Windows, Ruby works on it. Vagrant is good,
you can just run ‘ssh vagrant’ and call tests and guard from you windows
shell. The problem is that Windows shell is rubbish and you have to use
putty because Windows does not have ssh. I would just avoid to use
Windows
entirely, it is too limiting. I would try to fix LInux issues on the
laptop
or buy another laptop, seriously.

Hi Michael,

I’m kind of in the same situation as Fai. I’m a .NET developer doing
ASP.NET. But currently I started doing RoR development. For that purpose
I
bought a Mac.
I understood that lot’s of RoR use Textmate ( http://macromates.com/ )
as
IDE. Texmate is only available for Mac.
Another great editor is SublimeText 2 ( http://www.sublimetext.com/2 ).
SublimeText2 is available for Mac and PC.
I also heard a lot of praise about RubyMine by JetBrains
( http://www.jetbrains.com/ruby/)

But the thing I like about RoR is just that it’s less tool dependent
like
.NET development which relies heavily on Visual Studio and Sql Server.
One
can develop a Rails app by just using the terminal and an editor.

hope this helps,

Anthony

Op maandag 18 maart 2013 20:46:31 UTC+1 schreef Michael A. het
volgende:

Hi Michael,
I think the problem may be with the hardware being too new. Some lap
tops
have good comparability with mainstream linux distros.

I had better success with older hardware and although they run slow
under
windows (which is by design by M$) they run quite fast under linux.

For example Lubuntu 12.04 installs without problem on a Lenovo 3000
N100.
With rvm and RubyMine I can run multiple versions of ruby and rails.

I have been using Linux as a desktop since 1998. I can vouch for how
ideal
Linux is for RoR dev. It’s a natural home for it. I have done loads of
RoR
projects on Linux, obviously.

I don’t have a popular view. I think that an IDE is essential to RoR
work
(or any development). Proper debugging is always required. I spent an
awful
lot of time researching IDEs and by far the best was Netbeans, but
unfortunately they have dropped support for Ruby in the latest versions!

I haven’t really found a good replacement IDE. On Linux, vim is
ruby-aware.
However, debugging and profiling aren’t a luxury, they’re essential and
using text editors just doesn’t hack it.

My own preference will be to consolidate on Eclipse as it’s pretty much
the
swiss army knife of IDEs and if, like me, you are multilingual, its’
your
common denominator especially if you combine Rails and Java (GWT
anyone?).

The problems that you are having with battery life sound very much like
it’s either your battery/hardware or something terribly wrong with your
linux. I use linux on all my laptops. In fact my main dev box is a Dell
M1730. Now out of date but it’s such a comprehensive setup that I can’t
readily migrate to an updated machine (and it’s powerful enough for my
needs to why change?).

I have always found Linux to beat Windows hands-down on performance,
lightness of overheads and certainly it’s not a battery drain! On the
rare
occasion that I need Windows, I run it under vmware very successfully.

Try a fresh Ubuntu (I prefer Kubuntu as I prefer KDE) installation.
Ubuntu
is brilliant at “just working”.

A big Apple advantage of course is that it “just works” and it’s also
unix
(BSD), so you get the best of both worlds, but at a premium price tag.

Michael A. wrote in post #1102638:

I would really like to thank everyone for their input and opinions.
Right
now, I have done a clean install of Ubuntu and I will tweak it here and
there until I can get battery life where I want it. I have been using
Sublime Text 2 with several plugins, although in the future I may try a
true IDE to see what the differences are.

I’ll have to somewhat disagree with the idea that a true IDE is
essential to Rails development. I have been involved with our local Ruby
user’s group, here in Atlanta, for several years and I’ve not seen a
single presentation, or know of any Ruby developers that uses an IDE.

I really don’t find myself using a debugger much at all when developing
Rails. If I do find a use for stepping though code I take that as a sign
that I’m doing something wrong. Either my methods are too complex and
need refactoring, or my test cases are insufficient. As for performance
metrics, there are plenty of better (IMHO) ways to do that. Ones that
are not dependent on a particular IDE.

What I see the vase majority of developers using are VIM, Sublime Text 2
& TextMate, with Sublime quickly taking over TextMate’s share. It’s also
worth noting that over 90% of the developers in our group use OS X with
nearly all the remaining 10% using some flavor of Linux. I’ve not met
anyone personally that develops on Windows. i know they are out there, I
just haven’t met anyone in the area that does.

I would really like to thank everyone for their input and opinions.
Right
now, I have done a clean install of Ubuntu and I will tweak it here and
there until I can get battery life where I want it. I have been using
Sublime Text 2 with several plugins, although in the future I may try a
true IDE to see what the differences are.

Also, I do recognize that a Mac would be the best all-around computer
for
me, but I just cannot justify the cost right now (especially as I am not
making any money yet doing rails! Actually, I’ve been in the
automation/controls industry for ~9 years, and just now deciding to
learn
something new).

Thanks again - great community here!!!

Yes, it seems that Linux’s (Ubuntu in my case) battery management is not
as
good as that of Windows 7.

I am running 12.04 and W7 as alternative OS on a Dell XPS. As an old
Unix
developer I use emacs on Ubuntu (and xemacs on W7) as editor. It has
nice
modes for a lot of programming languages. Debug facilities of RoR are
very
nice, so why an IDE? rbenv for different versions of Ruby and Rails.

Regards

On Friday, March 22, 2013 1:35:04 AM UTC+13, [email protected] wrote:

A big Apple advantage of course is that it “just works” and it’s also unix
(BSD), so you get the best of both worlds, but at a premium price tag.

Homebrew is inferior to APT. For example, if you install Postgres, you
don’t get daemon running automatically, you have to run it manually.
Stone
fucking age, OSX. I do all development on Linux, but 50% of time work
fom
Macbook via ssh.

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